For the fashion-conscious, spring is a wonderful season. After months of trying to look good in bulky parkas and water-proof gloves, they can now shed their ugly cocoons and take the campus by storm with sun dresses, leather sandals, and designer shades. For the gentleman of Yale, the sunny weather seems to signal the revival of one much-loved, hotly-contested piece of apparel: pastel shorts.
Historically, pastel-colored attire has been no stranger to campus. GANT, the clothing brand that was founded in New Haven in 1914, recently reintroduced their “Co-op” collection of collared shirts, which come in colors such as pastel pink, pastel blue, and pastel yellow.
Pastel shorts often come in the seersucker style, which are shorts that feature thin, vertical lines running along them. According to urbandictionary.com, seersucker pastel shorts are the trademarks of students of “preppy schools.” The sample sentence for the “prep” entry reads: “Biff walked into class late, but he looked awesome in his seersucker shorts…” Before that, the entry noted that “Preppy colleges include Princeton, Yale, Harvard, Dartmouth, Trinity, Colorado College, Bowdoin, etc. Preps grow up and marry other female preps who are like them.”
And while pastel shorts are more of an East Coast tradition than a Yale one, some students have expressed indignance over their presence on campus. One person interviewed remarked, “It’s not that I don’t like them. I just don’t understand why people wear them!”
He went on to say, “Everyday I play a game in my head where I count the number of people I see in pastel shorts, and the number just gets higher and higher every day. I just don’t understand. They’re expensive but they barely cover any skin — why would you pay so much for something so short? Pastels are also just odd colors for shorts… They don’t even seem comfortable to me!”
Another student’s opposition to the apparel went further than practical concerns: “Unfortunately, seeing people in pastel shorts reinforces certain opinions that I have of them.”
Could the debate over pastel shorts create an East Coast/West Coast divide at Yale? Only time will tell.