clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

First Round of Voting: Harvard Square vs. Allston/Brighton

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Ladies and gentlemen, it's time for Racked's first Neighborhood Style Showdown, a week-long quest to determine which part of Boston has the best local style. Today and tomorrow, we'll be pitting eight first-round picks against each other, Wednesday and Thursday we'll narrow them down, and on Friday we'll crown a winner. We can't do it without you, so get ready to vote!

For better or worse, Boston's gigantic student population often defines us in everything from partying to smarts—but today, the focus is style. Sure, we might be giving in to some stereotypes, but our first competitors are quite distinctive in spite of shared roots. To kick off our polls, we're pitting the area's most prestigious university neighborhoods against each other: Harvard Square, capitol of Ivy League fashion, and Allston/Brighton, hipster enclave where arguably many of Boston's wardrobe risks are taken.

The defining features of New England style are embodied in the collegiate wears of the crimson and white brainiacs. This Cambridge 'hood is based on an old-fashioned sensibility sustained by famous grads like JFK and that guy in Good Will Hunting, while right in the Square it isn't unusual to spot remnants of various counterculture movements. Definitely a study in contradiction.

Meanwhile, in another district borrowing the name Harvard (Avenue, that is), plenty of Allston/Brighton students and early twenty-somethings stay up on emerging style with a mix-up of thrift finds and copious amounts of LF and Urban Outfitters. We see their strength in numbers, but also, this is the place to find that covetable NYC "cool kid" vibe in Boston. And we can't forget the history of Allston Rock City as a spot for indie developments in the arts, especially music.

Who will advance to the next round? It's all on you, folks. Time to vote:

Poll results

· All Neighborhood Style Showdown posts [Racked Boston]