Georgetown Style vs. Smalltown Style

Polo shirts, boat shoes and bright colors: all necessities for a typical preppy outfit. Shirts, purses, and even pants are obsolete to a prepster unless embroidered with brand-name logos. A cashmere sweater tied around the shoulders is an extreme, but the distinctive style has certainly had an impact on fashion.

Last weekend I visited Georgetown University, where the style choices of the student body are known to be some of the preppiest in the realm of Ivy League schools, if not the nation.


Living just blocks from such an upscale shopping district like M Street, how could these Hoyas not be up-do-date on the latest trends? Stores like J. Crew, Fornash, and Kate Spade embody only a portion of the half-mile, cobblestoned street.

But after spending the weekend furtively sneaking peaks at strangers’ outfits as they passed, I found that the overall style of students at Georgetown isn’t as reflective of the preppy stereotype as it’s thought to be.


Jeans dominated the weekend casual wear, ranging from $40 American Eagle to $250 True Religion. Colorful cardigans and jackets layered a patterned or graphic Forever 21 tee. Walking along the manicured sidewalks, women weren’t sporting oversized designer purses, but North Face book bags instead.  The weekend apparel also strayed from the preppy reputation.  Nice weather allowed for summery dresses and wedges, but not necessarily the latest or most expensive.  Some women stuck with skinny jeans and some kind of sheer blouse. No matter what clothing they chose, their outfit was complete with perfectly matched accessories. Though still very much present, women relinquished designer labels for a more mainstream look.

During the day, the menswear varied from khaki shorts and name-brand polos to Hoya Saxa T-shirts and Sperry’s. At night, a checkered, button-down oxford shirt and a pair of designer jeans was uniform. Either they all have very similar taste, or these men feared originality.

Nonetheless, both men and women at Georgetown always looked put-together and polished. Even students heading to the library donned a presentable look, wearing nothing close to an old hoodie and pajama pants. Even if they lacked individuality, these students made up for it with their immense effort and attention to detail.


2 thoughts on “Georgetown Style vs. Smalltown Style

  1. Georgetown can, admittedly, be a fairly preppy place… but I don’t find it to be overly flashy. What I mean is that students strive to look polished and pulled together, but that doesn’t mean they fly down to M Street as soon as JCrew/Madewell/Rugby puts out their newest collection. I personally find my balance in striving for understated preppy chic (sporting few labels or obvious brands) by digging around at vintage stores (Annie Creamcheese and Mustard Seed) while also mixing in lesser known brands and basics from cheaper places.

    Some students may sport large obnoxious labels, but they aren’t at all respected for it because it shows that the fashion world and social pressures dictate what they wear each season.

    Nice post!


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