I Spy Style: The top five fall jackets at Lehigh


The fall season, as of late, is a particularly interesting time for clothes. I find myself waking up not knowing what to wear, while simultaneously checking the weather to see if it will be 75 degrees and sunny, or 53 degrees and raining with gusts of wind.

During the months of October and November, I am a believer in wearing a jacket “just in case.” On campus, people’s confusion over the weather manifests in different forms of outerwear.

To begin, I want to say again, I’m not an expert on what jackets are best. But just by looking around campus, I can tell you what people are zipping up over their tank tops and t-shirts.

  1. Carhartt Jacket

Carhartt’s style might say “let’s go fishing!” upon first glance, but their reputation for longevity and durability keep their outerwear a staple for the breezy fall days.

Carhartt-branded items might literally be everywhere: a sweatshirt, jacket, t-shirt, or hat is on a body at all times on this campus. The jackets specifically make a comeback at this time of year because the brand is so well-known for their outdoor apparel.

The price for this type of jacket is relatively affordable, but if that isn’t your vibe, other options for a practical, active jacket include: North Face, and Old Navy, Abercrombie, and Hollister.

2. Zip-Up Hoodie

Investing in a jacket at this unpredictable time of year may be too troublesome for some.

Thus, people lean to a sweatshirt or hoodie to do the trick. The zip-up is a comfortable jacket alternative that allows students to layer while also remaining casual if it is on the warmer side. On campus, I mostly see the common gray or black zip-up. Other popular campus sweatshirts include brightly colored from the local Pavlish store, cream-colored Brandy Melville and H&M or Urban Outfitters.

Zip-ups are among the easiest and most accessible entries on this list. I got my plain black hoodie from Hanes on Amazon for $10. This is easily the best way to go about layering in the fall. Alternatives can really be found anywhere you look and prices vary depending on the quality you’re looking for.

3. Flannel Jacket

Whether it’s corduroy, felt, or another warm fabric, the flannel jacket is a staple. Many wear it over hoodies, long sleeves or sweaters. I have seen it in all forms and colors, rocked by all genders. I saw flannels everywhere in the streets during Oktoberfest, and now the leaves are changing, flannels remind me of apple picking and a trip to the pumpkin patch. So why not bring that to Lehigh?

I personally found the flannel jacket I own from Zara. However, I find similar flannel jackets anywhere from Target to Urban Outfitters to Free People. There are also versions of thinner material that range from thick furs to breathable cottons as well, so it depends on the type of person you are and what type of flannel you prefer.

4. Oversized denim

I emphasize oversized because that’s what makes the look. I also cannot say I have seen a person wear a tight-fitting denim jacket. It is a way to elevate any casual outfit while bringing fall comfort to any wardrobe. Denim pairs well with so many items and is incorporated in many different styles. It can be dressed up with a button down shirt underneath or dressed down with a light hoodie and a pair of yoga pants to match the casual vibe. A jean jacket is a way to add something different to a basic outfit.

Jean jackets are so versatile because they come in many different forms: different washes, buttons and fits. It is a perfect way to look unique while also knowing the trends.

5. Puffer vests

It’s not cold enough yet for a full-on puffer coat, so just remove the sleeves! A vest is the perfect layer for a sweater, crewneck or hoodie and can be dressed up or down. While it is not a “jacket” I still categorize it as a fall layer that brings some relative warmth on the way to class.

There are so many places to purchase a quality vest. For a more athletic vest look, people lean toward Patagonia, Lululemon or Nike. Casual vests can be purchased from Gap or Athleta on the cheaper side, but better quality, yet more expensive, vests can be found at Alo Yoga, J.Crew, L.L. Bean or Ralph Lauren. I personally think simplicity makes for the most classic look. In my opinion, a simple black or brown puffer over a cream sweater is a tried-and-true fall look.

The fall weather means jackets and layering are back in style — it’s one of my favorite seasons because there is so much you can do with your outfits. Fall probably has the strongest color correlation of all the seasons between oranges, reds and neutral tones. While these jackets might be what I see on campus, they aren’t the end-all-be-all of fashion and practicality.

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1 Comment

  1. Hello! Obviously these are extremely popular fall fashions at Lehigh and are super important to recognize, but I don’t think this is a fair representation of Lehigh’s entire population.

    In my opinion, this is highly representative of the white population at Lehigh, and in addition the wealthy white population. Many students of color and other nationalities as well as white students don’t have some version of the aforementioned clothing items and survive the winter months with a hoodie and a small field jacket.

    It’s definitely hard to see the totality of the Lehigh community especially regarding culture and financial differences amongst different groups on campus. But, they definitely exist and should be spoken to, not in a derogatory or elitist way but in a way that encapsulates and highlights the broad-ish spectrum of students that make up Lehigh.

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