By Suanny Garcia

Photos by Sam Vail

April 5, 2013

The recent arrival of a most fickle springtime has challenged all five-college students to find a clothing style that works with whatever happens to be falling down from the sky on any given day. This week, we visited all five colleges to find any traces of recurring trends on each campus – our own Switchboard version of street style. We’ll call it "the valley method." Because each school has its own distinct student body, we found that the trends differed and varied among the five colleges. While there were many overlapping tendencies, we decided to capture the ones that remained brazen under the open sun.


At UMass we noticed the students were particularly in tune with their adventurous side – yes, the leather jacket is back in all shapes and forms.


The walkways of Amherst College were particularly desolate Friday afternoon but we did notice a heightened sense of school pride as many students wore Amherst College gear all around campus. Wearing college clothing is not an unusual trend at the school; but one Amherst student mentioned that, due to the politics and incidents of the past semester, many students spent last fall abstaining from a public exposition of purple, white, and the college’s seven-letter name across their chests. Evidently the overall mood of the campus has lightened and with it has revived the Amherst spirit.


At Hampshire, the students walked comfortably in their Doc Martens, which were seen in all shapes and colors. We also saw quite a few button-up plaid shirts, worn independently or as an extra layer.


At Mt. Holyoke College, the spirit of spring was manifested through brightly colored pants. Whether it was red, blue, green or any other color, the students opted for lighter hues in exchange for the classic jean wash.


The Longchamp leather goods company was founded in Paris in 1948, and decades later, Jean Cassegrain’s classic tote-style handbag has made its way onto the Smith College campus. This particular trend was not limited to Smith College but showcased throughout the five colleges as an example of just how durable a good handbag can be.