This weekend, students of both Yale and Harvard will be faced with several difficult sartorial dilemmas: Do I want to sacrifice warmth for fashion at the game? What do I wear to the tailgate party? Should I crush that Harvard girl’s self esteem with an obscene T-Shirt or mack on her by dressing to the nines?

Over the last week, you may or may not have let YCC dictate your wardrobe with themed dress-up days like “Old Yale” on Monday and “Residential College Spirit” on Tuesday. Though some called it “kinda lame” and “reminiscent of high school,” at least you were given some sort of direction. But what about when it matters most during the 4,000 dance parties on Friday night and the all-important tailgate on Saturday? Fear not, the News is here to the rescue with a play-by-play of what you should and should not be wearing this weekend of debauchery.

Friday Night

When asked about their Friday night fashion plans, 12 students interviewed from both Yale and Harvard said that they won’t be dressing too differently than they would on any other Friday night (you have no idea how many times we heard “just a cute top and jeans”).

It seems the Harvard population is split evenly between fashion and practicality. Each of the six students interviewed said they were planning on attending pre- and post-game parties, but only half planned on bringing a separate outfit.

“I’m only coming down for Saturday,” Harvard sophomore Alexis Ixlahuac said, “so I won’t be bringing separate outfits. But a lot of my friends are making a weekend out of it, so they will be bringing more. It’s about half and half.”

Game Day

Saturday’s fashion is the real challenge. Although we sincerely hope we don’t see another sub-20-degree fiasco, the weather still may stand between you and your haute couture as a 250-pound Yale linebacker will (hopefully) stand between Harvard and a win.

“Most likely [I’ll wear] a black jacket, matching boots and a blue scarf at the game — it’s cold,” said Jelan Passley ’11.

Indeed, Jelan, it is cold. Temperatures in Boston last year barely broke 18 degrees. This resulted in a flock of students so insulated in a multitude of differently colored garments they looked like Kirby wearing the amazing Technicolor dreamcoat.

For others, outfits were uniformly blue or crimson as they came clad in university gear. Competition for the wittiest school pride shirt is almost as fierce as the one on the field. YCC, strap on your helmet.

Bill Toth ’11, like many of his fraternity brothers, said he will probably dress in a lot of things that scream Yale all over them.

It seems the Cantabs have the same idea.

“I will be wearing all Harvard gear, which includes a kickass shirt that defines the competition perfectly,” Carolina Beltran, Harvard ’13 said.

Indeed, it seems that the game itself is shaping up to be a barren wasteland of fashion, dictated by warmth and school spirit rather than bespoke couture. The confusion over spirit shirts this year may leave some students vulnerable to such egregious fashion faux-pas at the 2009 Game. Surprisingly, the bookstore offers a number of sartorially sound options.

For both: The striped scarves from Campus Customs and beanies are a classic option for both genders. Equally attractive on both men and women is the Banner 47 Rugby shirt from the Bookstore.

For gentlemen: Ralph Lauren items, particularly the oxford shirts and hoodies. Avoid the “bro” look at all costs — it just looks lazy. You don’t have to go all Harvard good ole boy prep; in fact, don’t do that at all — we assure you that look is out. Putting in a little effort, like making sure the clothes you choose actually fit you, will set you apart from the masses of drunken students stumbling toward the Yale Bowl.

For ladies: The varsity cardigan and striped patch zip-up hoodie by School House. Both very nice, but with ridiculously high price tags comparable to those at Harvard Square. Unlike Harvard however, Yale students are capable of looking fresh without breaking the bank. It’s hard to go wrong with skinny jeans and suede boots at the bottom. On top, opt for a Yale spirit shirt and a cardigan in any color, preferably blue. Keep in mind, a little bit of spirit goes a long way so don’t overdo it. Please try not to look like a walking admissions office brochure.

Let’s be honest, few will remember the outcome of the game and even fewer will remember what you actually wore, but why not try something new on the one day we consider it acceptable to wear Yale gear in public.

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