April 24, 2003

Campus Couture

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After spending a whole academic year gushing about the latest fashions from high-end designers that would fetch a semester’s worth of tuition, it’s finally time to come down to earth and realize that very few people are rushing to take heed of my costly couture advice. Old habits die hard, and no column will pry Cornellians from their tried-and-true style agenda. So what fashion statements have Cornell students been making? A year-end look around campus rather than at the glossy pages of Vogue yields the following results. Despite all the diversity of this institution, the classic Ivy-League tradition pervades in what we wear. And the extremely schizoid and frigid weather deters us from straying too far from heavy-duty insulated gear. To sum it all up, we’re like Brooks Brothers meets Eddie Bauer, a preppiness characterized by high-performance practicality. Here’s a list of some of the definitive clothing items that we just can’t seem to live without.


Cornell has a love affair with all things Burberry. That unmistakable plaid pattern pops up everywhere. To get in on the action, just know that at your nearest Chinatown black market you can get some great knock-off Burberry at a fraction of the cost of the real deal at Neiman Marcus.

Vera Bradley Bags

No, the bag of choice is not Coach or Fendi, it seems to be a Vera Bradley tote bag. These totes are extremely quaint in that country-rustic way, and they are available at many specialty gift boutiques starting at $38.

Saucony Sneakers

Any time you look down, you’ll see a sea of Saucony shoes swimming at your feet. The trademark S-shaped stripe sneaker comes in various colors and costs around $50 a pair.

Butt-Logo Sweatpants

Wearing the school logo with pride along your rear end is now the norm. Favorite logos to prance around on your butt seem to be “JUICY” and, of course, “CORNELL.” Sweatpants are moderately priced at the Cornell Store, and Juicy Couture sweats can be found at all costs on www.ebay.com.

North Face Fleece

High-performance, insulating fleece is more of a necessity rather than a preference here, and everyone seems to choose North Face to get the job of keeping warm done. A Denali Jacket will set you back $165.

Cornell Sweatshirt

Whether you bought it as a pre-frosh during Cornell Days or as a desperate attempt to avoid laundry duty, you’re bound to have this all-reliable hoodie in your closet. It’s no surprise it’s a bestseller at the Cornell Store — the durable polyester-cotton blend can withstand anything. The ever popular Best Selling Hood Sweatshirt costs $39.95.

Archived article by Sherry Jun