Cracking the designer dress code

Robin Withall

What exactly is Villanovan style? Is there one? According to one freshman on the website, “If you like Lily Pulitzer and Ralph Lauren, then this school is for you. People are into themselves, and appearance is everything.” Is this really the case? Well, this female isn’t the only one who agrees.

“Yeah, there is definitely a Villanova style. If you don’t wear Birks, a North face jacket, Seven Jeans, a Tiffany bracelet and don’t carry a Coach or Dooney and Burke bag, you’re definitely one of the few oddballs” says one junior wearing camouflage pants (no, she is not a member of ROTC) and pink Chuck Taylor sneakers. “I, however, prefer to be one of the only truly unique persons that go to this school.”

Now, let us break down the style and discuss some “key” articles in detail. First, there is the infamous North Face Denali Fleece, commonly seen in black. The North Face describes this jacket as “the ideal all-around mountaineering fleece piece.”

It is very likely, however, that the girls who wear the fleece could care less about the description, as mountaineering is not too common on campus. The slim product costs $165 and is lightweight and most importantly, thin, keeping girls warm and looking anything rather than bulky during the chilly months.

Uggs are all the rage at Villanova and just about everywhere else in the country. The sheepskin boots are made in Australia and, being that there is no snow to speak of in Australia, are actually advertised as “sand boots,” though they do quite well in the snow. Though they aren’t the most attractive footwear, these boots start at $110 and are worn by many celebrities, adding to the appeal. They are so popular, in fact, that if you planned on buying them as a Christmas present a few months ago, you were put on a waiting list and told to expect them in July. This could be a problem, as Uggs are a trend that may not last.

Tiffany’s silver jewelry is also a Villanova staple. It is simple, timeless and, compared to other Tiffany jewelry, relatively inexpensive, costing about $175 for the signature bracelet. Hey, you get to say you’re wearing something from Tiffany’s.

If you’re wearing Birkenstocks (about $110 for the popular Boston Clogs), a polo with the collar up (about $50 to $75 dollars for the shirt, and a lot of time for starching and “collar popping”) and carrying a Nalgene water bottle, then congratulations, you’ve mastered the prep-look. If, however, you’re wearing Seven jeans (starting at $135), a Burberry scarf ($210) and carrying a Coach bag (prices vary by style), then you’ve subscribed to a more “chic” mode of style.

A survey of 20 random girls reveals that 13 of them own something made by North face, nine of them own a pair Birkenstocks and eight of them have a Coach bag. A whopping 14-girl majority said that spending over $130 on a pair of jeans is acceptable. Guys differ in their trendy choices, preferring Abercrombie and Fitch, American Eagle Outfitters and similar stores.

While a survey of this size is by no means 100 percent accurate, it does show a certain trend: Villanovans do tend to have a certain style, and their tastes are expensive.

Each of the products in the survey, for example, cost over $100. Does this mean anything? Does it mean that we’re all rich and preppy? Well, not necessarily. Plenty of Villanovans do have a style deviating from the “campus norm.” Besides, as one Ralph Lauren-outfitted, Birkenstock-wearing, sophomore said, “My Birks are so comfy. Maybe we just like to be comfortable.”