Fall now seems like a dream in New England. It arrives and lasts, at best, for a few weeks, before relenting to Boston’s unflinching winter. When it happens, it happens overnight — the tweeds and trenches are suddenly gone, replaced with the omnipresent puffer coat. And this winter has been one of the worst. With snowstorms passing through almost every other day, what’s a style maven to do? This edition of Common Threads weaves between a fleeting fall and enduring winter, showcasing the sudden sartorial switch that occurs, and how, with a bit of effort, style can weather any storm.
“This coat keeps me very warm,” remarked freshman Osaremen Okolo from Canton, Mass. “This is the worst winter we’ve had in a while. Usually there’s one big snowstorm. Now it’s like every day.”
“I like wearing bow ties when they go with my outfit. I wear a variation of the same thing every day,” said Max Seawright, a graduate student in Romances languages and literatures. “I made this bow tie — I’ve probably made a couple dozen of them. This bag is from Brooklyn Flea — it has my swimming stuff in it. I’m coming from the gym.”
Tony Rothman, a teaching assistant in general education, bought his hat from a market in Moscow, where he lived off and on for more than 15 years. “As they say in Russia, there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes.” And as for his head temperature: “It’s hot.”
“I have to dress like a professional and not so sexy or fun,” said Tokyo native Ayumi Kanamoto, a visiting fellow at Harvard Kennedy School. “In Tokyo, everyone dresses very well. Here, people have a lot of passion and they’re interesting, but not so fashionable. I’m not even considered fashionable in Japan!”
Linda Martini of Milan said Cambridge residents dress more casually than people in Italy. “People in Milan tend to dress up a lot,” she said.
Matthew Sebastian, part of the A.R.T. stage crew, took his dog Sucuk (Turkish for “sausage”) out for a brisk morning walk. “I like the winter because I can layer. This is one of my favorite tweed jackets, it’s vintage.” But does he like the cold? “Oh, God no,” he guffawed. “It’s freezing.” He said he keeps warm with whiskey.
Tobi Tikolo ’14 and Sophie Hagerty ’14 have been dating for two years. “We’re just really similar,” said Tikolo. Even their style is complementary: “I do wear a lot of masculine-inspired things. I like men’s shoes and men’s watches,” said Hagerty.
“I have labs today — I’m an engineering student — so my wardrobe is very limiting. I have to wear trousers and flats,” said sophomore Yinka Ogunbiyi ’16. “I like items that don’t really make sense, like this sweater-coat-cardigan; it has a lot of hidden pockets.”
“This is balmy to me. I’m from Minnesota!” said freshman Luke Heine. “My style is very esoteric. This sweater is a bit Vail, Colo. — skiing some mountains, hot-tubbing at night.”
Before his visit back to Cambridge, alum Ellison Weeks, Ed.M ’11, who now lives in California’s Bay Area, went shopping. “I remembered how cold it was here, and I needed a new jacket, and I saw this one and loved the color and the camel wool. After coming to New England, my style is a bit preppier. I grew up a bit here.”
Harvard Film Archive Director Haden Guest popped out in the cold to buy “Zama” by Antonio di Benedetto.
“This is too cold for me!” said Louise Robin, an au pair from Corsica, France, and a student at Harvard Extension School. But she does embrace the snow while it’s here — she has several snow tubing and snowboarding trips planned.
Joseph Wawrzyn of Somerville was passing through the Yard en route to work. “I’m nice and toasty, all layered up,” said Wawrzyn, who is the singer of Boston band Condor. He prefers winter to summer and said he keeps warm with, “Layers and snuggles.”
“Yellow makes me happy and it’s so dreary. I wanted to cheer myself up,” said second-year Harvard Law School student Fatima Mohammed.
“I lived in PfoHo as an undergraduate and our mascot is a polar bear,” said Brandon Geller, a sustainability manager at the Office for Sustainability and a graduate student at the Graduate School of Education. “I wear this regularly. It keeps my little paws warm.”
“Harvard has better fashion in the fall. This is a men’s sweater I got from a thrift store. An oversized cardigan is my fall staple. It can make anything look great,” said Lami Olatunji ’14. “I’m wearing eyeliner on my lips and two-tone eye shadow.”
“These are my usual colors for fall and winter. Not just dark, but I have a lot of layers and colors. Kind of like the changing leaves, you have to have a lot of shades of the same spectrum,” said Hong Kong native Janny Leung, a visiting scholar at the Yenching Institute.