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What are fall colors and do you need them?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
You guys know that I live in the tropical Philippines where it's perenially summer or typhoon season, but I'm slated to go to Harvard this September.

My wardrobe consists largely of light, even pastel colors, sort of like the spring/summer ends of all your closets. Because of the extended US trip, though, I grabbed a few off-season dress shirts in cream and earth colors I found at a big sale.

What exactly are fall colors, though, and how important might it be to have some shirts in more muted colors? I have a light complexion for someone in Asia, so female friends kept recommending I get these light, bright colors.
post #2 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by josepidal
You guys know that I live in the tropical Philippines where it's perenially summer or typhoon season, but I'm slated to go to Harvard this September.

My wardrobe consists largely of light, even pastel colors, sort of like the spring/summer ends of all your closets. Because of the extended US trip, though, I grabbed a few off-season dress shirts in cream and earth colors I found at a big sale.

What exactly are fall colors, though, and how important might it be to have some shirts in more muted colors? I have a light complexion for someone in Asia, so female friends kept recommending I get these light, bright colors.

Brown and navy, and some olive. If you want to fit in at Harvard and Cambridge/Boston in general, earth tones are pretty much de rigueur 8-10 months of the year. It fits the weather.

Yes, Boston is a very brown place. And you are going to want to get a warm winter jacket when you get here. I was born and bred Canadian, so don't even do up my jacket (I hardly every wear coats) except on the coldest days of the year (about 6-7 days, total); but you are going to freeze. Congrats on getting into HLS though. I assume that you'll be studying for an LLM?
post #3 of 15
Fall is probably my favorite season, in terms of clothing. I love the English countryside look. So comfortable and casual. You've got a great opportunity here. And if you eBay now, you can get some great bargains.

LA Guy is right about the colors fitting the weather. Somehow it just feels wrong to pull out the pastels on a dreary, cold day. Much better to grab a soft tattersall and a pair of heavy brown flannels.

Ultimately, though, I think your concern will be less the colors of the clothes than their warmth and practicality.
post #4 of 15
Fall colors reflect the season - orange, brown, darker grey, some red, darker green. They are easy to love, and often come in nice heavy/soft materials. You might want to consider getting a few sweaters now that they're out of season, and can be picked up cheaply. Cashmere, lambswool, merino. You can find a lot on eBay now. You are going to be COLD, man. Boston isn't terrible, but it can be pretty unpleasant.
post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocHolliday
Fall is probably my favorite season, in terms of clothing.


Hear! Hear!

Jose, fall is the best time of the year when the leaves change and the air gets crisp. Be sure to find a way to get a car trip out of the city during late september and early to mid-october and drive through some wooded areas.

You will feel more cold in boston than the natives, but that just means that you get to wear better looking stuff.

Sweaters for sure. Also, look into layering. you will feel coldest outside, but some buildings can be very warm and you won't want to be stuck in heavy clothes. You will want to be able to add and remove layers in style.

The colors will make much more sense when you live through it. Grey, blue and coppery Donegals look fantastic too.
post #6 of 15
Jose, PM me when you get here, and I'll give you a special rate if you want my services as a stylist. You'll be the most stylish HLS student ever in two days flat. It'll cost you though... (not for the service, for the goods.)
post #7 of 15
People in New Haven think you're flamboyant if you wear any colors beyond navy blue, black, brown, or grey, and I don't think Boston will be much different. Just wear what looks good on you and don't worry about cues from those around you.
post #8 of 15
How about a great leather satchel or briefcase to go with this stuff?
post #9 of 15
If your goal is to fit in, go with an intelectual style (ill fitting chinos, checked or button down oxford shirts, shetland sweaters, brown oxfords) for the classroom, and then just whatever makes you look like the biggest douchebag when you go out. You'll look "Boston" in no time!

Seriously, if you want to look "fall in New England" just look at a J. Crew catalogue for some cues. You can get the stuff wherever you want, but they have that preppy NE style down pat.
post #10 of 15
I used to think students in NE had the J. Crew style down pat.
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by DGP
and then just whatever makes you look like the biggest douchebag when you go out.

Maybe he could literally wear a giant douchebag!

Ahem. Okay, that's my silly post for the year out of my system
post #12 of 15
You might want to look in the Trad Forum over at AAAC for more tangible ideas.

If you really want to go native, oxford-cloth button-downs are a useful form of disguise (standard colors are OK, but maybe slip a wine-colored stripe in with the standard white, pink, and blue solids). Khaki trousers (cotton from LLBean or wool gabardine), a navy blazer, and maybe two tweed jackets (dark grey or brown Harris) will get you in pretty much anywhere you need to go. Supplement with grey flannel, serge, or whipcord trousers as necessary. A nice sweater or two from the Andover Shop will cover more casual everyday needs.

The difference between fall and the sort of cold spring we're having in Boston is that the light is mellower in fall, and the turning leaves makes earth tones seem more appropriate. It also starts getting really dark in the afternoon by late November. If I were getting separate suits for each season I'd have a warm grey for the fall and a cool, bluish grey for the spring.

When you get to town, go to Keezer's in Central Square for quick and cheap thrift clothes, the Andover Shop and J. Press for fine trad RTW, and Rizzo's in Harvard Square for Italianate Ivy League bespoke once you have your needs figured out. [BTW, the Andover Shop catalogue makes for some fine bathroom reading.]
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
What percentage of grad students wear a sport coat regularly?
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by josepidal
What percentage of grad students wear a sport coat regularly?
1%, if that.

Grad school is very casual these days, though perhaps not as much as college. LLMs tend to be slightly dressier, as do MBAs.
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Fall is probably my favorite season, in terms of clothing. I love the English countryside look.

I couldnt agree more - but I will go as far as almost everything. The crisp air, the beautiful foliage, the smell of a fireplace, Octoberfest beer & food, college football every Saturday. What a time. And yes, the bucolic "comfort food" clothing doesnt hurt either.
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