Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Support independent student journalism. Support independent student journalism. Support independent student journalism.
The Dartmouth
June 17, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Green Key Fashion 2024: Cowboy boots, tie-dye and glitter

Students share their Green Key styles and fashion inspirations.

2024-05-21 11.34.34.png

Just as the weather begins to warm — leaving behind the rainy days of early spring — Green Key provides students with an excuse to experiment with fashion.  

Although Green Key weekend festivities largely center around music — including performances by professional musicians, student bands and DJ sets — Dartmouth students also prioritize fashion. For some, the outfits worn to Green Key events become as integral as the concerts themselves. 

Luis Salum ’26 said the timing of Green Key during week eight of the spring term adds to the excitement of planning outfits. 

“[The end of the term] adds a little bit of spice to [Green Key], making it a bit more fun than it already is, because you’re also ending the term with a bang,” Salum said. 

During her time at Dartmouth, Namitha Alluri ’25 said she has witnessed the significance students place on fashion during Green Key. Since Dartmouth is a rural school, she said, the concert offers a unique opportunity to experiment with style. 

“It’s a one of a kind event,” Alluri said. “You want to make memories, and so you want to show up and show out for it.” 

Alluri credited the Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals with impacting her outfits and Green Key fashion at large. She described her Green Key outfit this year as “boho-western chic,” with cowgirl boots, a western buckle belt and a distressed denim dress.

Allison Smith, owner of Hanover clothing boutique The Ivy Edit, said that many customers purchased boho-inspired pieces in the lead-up to Green Key. 

“I find that a lot of people love to wear crochet,” Smith said. “There’s definitely a lot of ‘boho’ inspired looks but with a hint of sparkle to it.” 

Smith also said that social media has a significant influence on Green Key trends. 

“A couple of tops that [The Ivy Edit had] gotten for Green Key went viral,” Smith said. “Someone with a big following can wear something once, and all of a sudden people recognize it in the store, and they sell out instantly.” 

Ryan Hill ’27 said he noticed that many outfits were “Western” inspired. 

“I’ve noticed a significant amount of cowboy boots — I think that is probably one of the biggest consistencies I’ve noticed regarding trends,” Hill said. “I really like the country aesthetic, and I think the boots just look so good.”

Smith noted that “fashion always follows music in a way,” noting that the popularity of Beyoncé’s recent album “Cowboy Carter” may have increased the prevalence of the Western aesthetic.

Nathan Hill ’27 added that he believed the Western aesthetic has been integrated into mainstream fashion because of the romantic feeling it evokes.

“I think in a post-[COVID-19 pandemic] world, when we had spent so much time locked up inside, we’ve come to a point where now we just want to go outside and into the countryside and hang out, and we’re really romanticizing that,” he said.   

Hill said he also noticed that beaded necklaces were a trend during Green Key. He said he believed the necklaces partially stemmed from “indie” TikTok during the COVID-19 pandemic, but they have now become a popular way of expressing friendship.

“I think [beaded necklaces are] very easy to make yourself or have a friend make for you, so it’s just a nice thing to wear that somebody else has made for me, so it feels sort of special,” he said. “It also goes with everything.” 

Jordan Narrol ’25 identified tie-dye — specifically The Grateful Dead merch — as another consistent trend at Green Key.

“The Grateful Dead would allow you to sell [clothing] with [adaptations of] their logos on it,” Narrol said. “That allowed for all these really cool artists to make a living doing that, and years and years down the line, there’s still so much very cool tie-dyed merch of theirs.” 

Narrol was excited to see tie-dye as an element of Green Key fashion due to its originality. 

“Each and every tie-dye is unique,” Narrol said. “You have a very simple process that creates these abstract, complex results. So even though we’re seeing all these tie-dye articles of clothing, the pattern is unique to each individual piece — it’s the same yet undefinable.”

In addition to music albums and social media, some movies have inspired fashion trends. The 2023 film “Saltburn” left its mark on young people with its eclectic, revealing indie outfits and glitzy eye makeup, according to Kara Davis ’26. 

“‘Saltburn’ has definitely fed into our party fashion,” Davis said. “There’s so much glitter and sparkles, especially on clothes.” 

Alina Chadwick ’24 said she believes social media played a role in spreading the “Saltburn” aesthetic.

“We’re living in a generation where social media is really amplifying certain aesthetics and reusing trends, which is cool to observe,” Chadwick said.

Overall, Green Key offers a space for students to experiment with fashion and express themselves through their clothing, according to Narrol.

“I definitely think [Green Key] really gives people an opportunity to express themselves in front of their peers,” he said. “I feel like fashion is a way that a lot of people do that.”