The latest spring fashion has arrived at GW. Women, get ready to show some leg, men break out those oxfords, and everybody get ready to pop that collar. I set out on a sunny Saturday afternoon and hit up all the campus hot spots – J Street, Kogan Plaza and the Quad – to see what students are wearing this season.
This year’s hot item for women appears to be the skirt, and the shorter the better. Styles include crisp, clean hemlines, pleats and flirty ruffles. Match with a pastel tee or a ribbed tank and you’re set for spring. Vintage T-shirts are a cute carryover from the fall, especially the ever popular “Everybody Loves a (insert demographic here)” T-shirt.
And what about footwear? From Reefs to Rainbows, flip-flops are always a popular and comfortable choice. For the more fashion-forward, freshman Rachel Mednick said, “the UGG boot of spring is moccasins.” Her friend, freshman Brittany Wankel confirmed that she saw moccasins all over Paris while visiting there on spring break.
Luckily for the men, the metrosexual of fall has progressed into the college frat guy of spring. Goodbye, cashmere sweaters and Prada messenger bags; hello, baseball caps and worn-in T-shirts.
Men’s clothing remains somewhat constant from year to year, but guys can get creative, too, and go beyond the standard cargo shorts and cotton polo shirts. Add some color to your kicks with a pair of old-school Chuck Taylors or Pumas. Pants made from different fabrics such as twill, linen or seersucker are perfect for the warm weather of spring. Be bold and incorporate something other than denim or khaki into your wardrobe.
The trendiest GW fashion this spring, however, is not something you buy, it is something you do. It transcends gender lines and has people turning their heads and asking, “What’s up with that popped collar?” Good question.
Everywhere I went, there it was. Groups of people strutting into Funger Hall with stiff, erect collars like a posse of preppy vampires in a plaid button-up cape. I went in search of an explanation. Perhaps they were running late to class and forgot to fold the collar back down? Maybe it’s reminiscent of the E-40 “Pop Ya Collar” song? Maybe you have a cold neck? Hickeys? But no answer seemed sufficient.
I searched endlessly on Google for the history of the popped collar but hit no educated results. I did discover, though, an anti-popped collar movement spreading across college campuses nationwide at universities such as Yale, Virginia Tech and North Carolina State.
Still unsatisfied, I took to the streets and did some research of my own.
“It’s a very bourgeois-look … I’ve tried, but it’s just not working for me,” sophomore Sara Rosen said.
I agreed, but had to admit that when coupled with a pair of aviators, the popped collar is a very cool look.
I concluded that, like most fashion trends, the popped collar does not serve any practical purpose. At least at GW, the general consensus is that it just looks cool.
This article appeared in the April 26, 2004 issue of the Hatchet.