Making the Game Your Own


Making the Game Your Own: A Guide to Harvard-Yale Style




There are a lot of things that may come to mind when the words Ivy League are thought of. Whether it’s old, brick buildings or the immense history that makes up the eight Ivy League institutions that line the east coast, Ivy League universities have many stigmas and characteristics that accompany them. Two things that do not often pop into one’s mind when pondering Ivy League culture, however, are fashion and football. Granted, both football and fashion do exist among Ivy League culture in their own realm, but the football scene is in no way comparable to that of the University of Alabama or Ohio State and one will have no luck finding the same fashion scene as they might at Parsons. Although Harvard may not be the fashion capital of the world or the Mecca of Sports, there is still one day of the year where the students of both Harvard and Yale come together to not only tailgate and watch the game of the year, but to do it in style. 

The first Harvard-Yale football match-up dates back to November 13, 1875 and every year since then, this specific game has become a trademark in Ivy League culture. It is the type of event students, alums, and families mark their calendars for and as soon as the month of November comes around, the countdown begins. Although most people associate the weekend of the Harvard- Yale game with strictly football, tailgating, and showing the absolute pinnacle of school spirit for their home team, there is also the aspect of fashion that gets looked past. That “H” sweater your sporting to the game or that fuzzy beanie that is keeping you warm is more than just school apparel; although you may not realize it, these little touches here and there serve as ways for one to express their personal style while still showing school spirit. 

There are many ways one can incorporate their individual sense of style into their football game apparel and these different ways can fall between a wide range of extremes. One on side, someone could be primarily focused on how they will stay warm rather than stylish, so while bundled up from head to toe in winter apparel, they may incorporate some Harvard support and style into a Harvard striped scarf or a fuzzy pair of crimson socks. On the other hand, one might want to be decked out in Harvard gear head to toe, while also incorporating their own sense of fashion- no matter what it may be. This may mean bringing out that crimson colored vest that you swore to your mom you would never wear or in the most extreme cases capitalizing on the opportunity to dig into one’s makeup bag and bring out the classic, red lipstick. It is not about being on one end of the spectrum or the other, but rather finding that perfect medium of where one’s individual style meets their plans for game day. 

Although the main attraction for Harvard-Yale weekend is the football game, there are some other experiences that have a prominent role on the “to-do” list. This year, since the game is in New Haven on Yale’s territory, the trip to Toads the Friday night before the game is a must. For those who have yet to make the trip to Yale for the infamous weekend, one may be wondering, “Toads? Like the frog-thing?” This is a completely fair thought, but Toads is a little more than the animal that hangs by the pond. Toads is the epitome of “the place to be” on Yale’s campus, and it is the first stop for all Harvard-Yale football goers for the weekend. It is much more of a going-out, club scene so the go to apparel is a bit different than what everyone usually wears to the game. This being said, wear whatever makes you feel comfortable and most confident, and let’s not forget how much the temperature rises as you walk through those front doors so dress accordingly. This could also be the perfect opportunity to step out of your comfort zone when it comes to your sense of style. Think about it—new faces, a new environment, a legitimate completely new college campus. Could there be a better time to reinvent your sense of style and even catch the eyes of some Yale students. No matter what you decide to wear, Toads is all about having a good time with your friends and dancing the night away. The weekend is filled with opportunities to capitalize on both your sense of style and school spirit, so no matter how little or how much you decide to devote to your style this weekend, the main goal is to support your school and have fun while doing so. 


Grace Tworek ’21 ( wishes you a fashionable Harvard-Yale.