At least Brown's number one in someone's book — Women's Wear Daily, a fashion trade journal, named Brown the most fashionable school in the Ivy League in its annual college issue last week.
Brown students were praised for their variety. Looks on campus include "downtown New York−looking hipsters, stiletto−clad sophisticates, California dreamers, Ugg−and−mini−skirt flirts and patch−worked bohemians," according to WWD.
Marjon Carlos '05, who coordinated one group of students that met with the WWD reporter, said Brown students are more creative than most in how they dress.
"I think Brown kids use their fashion to really express themselves," she said.
A reporter from the magazine spent a day at each Ivy League campus, observing and speaking to students.
Lauren Hinkson '06 was one of a group of students who spoke to a WWD reporter during the week before spring break.
"She asked us questions about style at Brown, about our personal style," she said.
Hinkson said she told the reporter that Brown should be number one in the league. "Our campus tends to take the trends that are prevalent in fashion for a particular season, and we tend to adjust them a little bit and make them our own," she said.
Brown is the best "as far as personal and funky style goes, I think," she said. "I mean, compared to Columbia we're not high fashion, but that's because we're not in New York."
Having visited Harvard University, the reporter was curious to know whether upturned or "flicked" collars were universally popular, Hinkson said. "We were like, ‘Oh, I don't really know anyone that does that here.'"
WWD dismissed Harvard's student wear as "strictly conservative prep."
"It's a silly competition, but we'll take our school pride where we can get it," Jesse Finkelstein '05 told the Boston Globe.
Carlos said other factors might have come into play in how Brown students compared to Harvard's.
"(WWD) came on one of the most picturesque days," she said. "Everyone looked good. Even if we weren't that well dressed, we looked yards better than other Ivy League (schools) that they'd been to," she said.
Still, Carlos said Brown students convey their character through their choice of clothes.
She said the WWD reporter said "the kids at Harvard dressed in accordance to what they wanted to do in their lives." For example, a business school student would dress conservatively, Carlos said.
"I don't think Brown kids care that much," she said. "We don't think that far in advance."