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Elizabeth Landers | Campus Chic Report

S--t Tufts girls wear

Published: Monday, November 26, 2012

Updated: Monday, November 26, 2012 07:11


Every college campus has its fashionable or less than fashionable moments. Over the past four years, I have watched trends rise to power and fall from grace on the runways in New York. For our purposes, Pro Row provides the sartorial Jumbo equivalent of a runway. My list includes serious and ironic items that you know you wear, too.

If you’re going to carry a tote bag around campus, it’s most likely either a Longchamp or a Longchamp lookalike. The real deal heralds from Paris or a local Bloomingdale’s and carries a pretty steep price tag for a basic canvas tote with leather handles. The allure is in its simplicity, as the bag is roomy enough to carry laptops and books while still looking chic.

I knew that Tory Burch and her eponymous line were taking over the world when a less-than-fashion-savvy former boyfriend once asked me why I did not own a pair of her flats. Once again, this is one of those trends that has launched so many imitations that it’s hard to distinguish real from fake. But if you’re a girl and you own a pair of ballet flats with a shiny silver or gold medallion on the toes of your shoes, it’s likely you’ve joined the bandwagon. There are worse things to have, however, as these shoes are practical and flattering. 

It’s not too much of a stretch to say that you are seriously frowned upon at this school if you use an ephemeral plastic bottle. The stainless steel, reusable variety provides sustainability and is now a chic status symbol. I personally have witnessed many a Nalgene clipped to handbags or dangling from backpacks like lucky rabbit foot keychains — but you know, one that is much more politically correct. This trend transcends genders, so we can classify this one as “S--t Tufts people wear.”

Our gym got an upgrade, and so did our gym attire. Nike and the omnipresent Tufts T-shirts from the campus center have always been spotted on the treadmill, but now Lululemon has also appeared all over the gym. It may be hard to differentiate one basic racerback tank top from the next, but the Lululemon pants are a dead giveaway in the department of tightness — which is extreme — and the small, center placements of their stylized “A” logo. Lululemon is not limited to the gym, however, and I know that their leggings are now an acceptable substitute for other stretchy pants. I’m as guilty as the girl beside me in accounting.

If you’re looking for more manifestations of Tufts’ commitment to “do good” for the world, then you cannot forget TOMS. The shoe design, an exact copy of the Argentine and Spanish work shoes called alpargatas, stands out from typical Tufts footwear. In other words, you’re doing social good and everybody else knows about it, too. 

One trend that teeters between functional and unflattering is the flannel shirt. Now, I know that all the young men on this campus sport this New England, quasi-lumberjack look with ease, but most of the flannels I see on girls swallow them up. Maybe they are borrowing them from their boyfriends, or maybe the fit is supposed to be this loose. It’s unclear. What confuses me beyond all means, though, has to be the long-sleeved flannel shirts with the cutouts in the back. A flannel shirt rejects all logical notions to be sexy, so why are girls trying to make it such?



Elizabeth Landers is a senior majoring in political science. She can be reached at

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