A guide to student style

Is there a singular “Yale look”? Not anymore. But some students have a keen sense of personal style, whether it comes out in blue blazers or purple high-tops.

Erica Blonde ’12 was an editorial intern at the Yale Alumni Magazine in her senior year. She was president of YCouture, a student fashion and design club, and she wrote about fashion for the Yale Daily News and the website CollegeFashionista.

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When I was a high school senior, and people asked if I was nervous about going to Yale, I remember responding, “I’m worried that no one else will eat frozen pizzas or watch America’s Next Top Model.” It was mostly the latter. Part of it was a fear that I wouldn’t find people with my enthusiasm for prime-time television, but part of it was that I didn’t know if there was a place on the Yale campus for someone interested in fashion design and trendspotting.

As it turns out, there is. There are two fashion clubs—YCouture and Runway Inc.—and a handful of students in every class who take up internships or post-Yale careers in the industry. But interest in fashion on campus doesn’t stop there; it also takes a more personal shape. Yes, there is an abundance of sweat pants and hoodies at Yale, but there’s also a population of students who are deliberate and enthusiastic about what they wear.

It might be hard to see what their sartorial choices have in common, but that’s perhaps the difference between fashion at Yale today and fashion in the bygone days, when every Yale man was supposed to have a tweed jacket and a pair of white bucks. Today fashion at Yale is as diverse as the student body. For some students, self-styling is an important means of expression; for some, it’s just fun. And there’s a plus: I even found people who would watch America’s Next Top Model with me.