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Wearable story: Harvard Varsity “H” Sweater

Today, I woke up with my usual routine. I rose, groggy, showered, and then began to reacquaint myself with my setting. I was in Eliot House at Harvard University. Harvard! The gravity of the name still does not escape me. It’s a name steeped in excellence and prestige, and has an air about it that causes people to whisper. Naturally, considering this, it was the perfect day to don the “H” sweater.
Although it’s long been tradition to wear clothing to show off your college, the Harvard “H” sweater is one of the earliest pieces of historical evidence of this college pride in clothing. Originating in athletics, “Harvard Men” have been documented wearing “H” sweaters since at least 1901, and the clothing remains popular today. Women and men alike now wear it, so the clothing has strong roots and has held up over time as an icon of Harvard. And there’s ample reason why. Its simple, bold, simple white typeface complements the crimson sweater, to fully establish the Harvard identity, and the serif of the font distinguishes the text as well as the university it represents. My particular sweater is also made from 100% lambswool, and is incredibly warm, a necessity for Cambridge winters. Sold by the COOP, Harvard’s official bookstore, which proudly sells Harvard paraphernalia to a classical music soundtrack, the entire experience of ownership of this sweater, from purchase through the years, is refined and elite.
There is simply no better sweater for a Harvard affiliate to wear. Wear it proudly, as it was meant to be worn, and enjoy donning your elite status. Take pride in your education and background, you worked damn hard to get here. Your clothes becomes embodiments of who you are, so why not distinguish yourself through quality in all its forms?


Photo from: Sheridan, John E. “Harvard.” Harvard, 1901. hollis.harvard.edu

“THE NEW ART OF PAGEANTRY IN THE UNITED STATES.” Current Opinion (1913-1925), vol. OL. LVII., 09 1914, pp. 178. American Periodicals, http://search.proquest.com.ezp-prod1.hul.harvard.edu/docview/124782926?accountid=11311.

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