Red Beret Girl: Dressing to Impress

LJ Coady, Staff Writer

Sophomore Lindsey Schwartzman, also known as “Red Beret Girl,” is famous on campus for her unconventional sense of style. Often spotted in silky skirts, elegant tops, perfectly coordinated jewelry and her iconic berets, Schwartzman embodies a confidence and individuality beyond her years. 

“Red Beret Girl” first went viral on Yik Yak during the 2021-2022 school year. Not an avid social media user, Schwartzman didn’t discover her fame on the app until her first-year roommate made a joke about the beret when it went missing.

“One day I was looking for my red beret because I’d lost it, and my roommate goes ‘oh no, you lost the iconic thing?’ And I was like, ‘what are you talking about … why is it iconic?’ [ …] She [asked], ‘have you heard of Red Beret Girl?’”

Now in her second year, Schwartzman wasn’t quite expecting to become famous for her clothes  especially not her hats. The idolized berets came about simply because they were easy to pack for college. There’s no particularly moving story or inspiration, only a genuine love of hats.

“So I try to wear a hat every day  I just like hats. Berets just happen to be the most convenient,” she explained. 

Schwartzman developed her passion for style when she was younger but was constrained by years of school uniforms. She experimented with clothes on the weekends, and didn’t always have the best results.

“I had some unfortunate fashion phases, too […] I wore crazy outfits, much crazier than I wore now,” Schwartzman said.

Though much of her interest in fashion comes from wanting to look good for herself, Schwartzman also recognizes that impressions matter. The way you look can influence people’s opinions and judgments, for better or worse.

“I’d always run into people I didn’t want to run into looking terrible […] the way you dress can really change the impression that you give someone.”

Schwartzman loves shopping at independent boutiques, but she also loves brands like Alice + Olivia and Ted Baker. All of her outfits are cohesive and well put together, a unique blend of elegance and quirkiness. Rather than a set style, Schwartzman takes inspiration from anything and everything from the weather to the books she’s reading.

“I really like matching colors. When things are aesthetically pleasing, I get really happy about that. Sometimes I’ll try to dress to match the [seasonal] colors outside.” 

Wearing outfits so unique that campus gives you a nickname is not for the faint of heart, and it can seem like Schwartzman is endlessly self-assured. However, it’s the other way around. Schwartzman uses clothes to project a positive self-image even when she doesn’t feel particularly confident.

“I’m not confident […] I refer to my clothes as my armor, so like if I  am ever giving a presentation or something where I need to be confident, I’ll dress up super nice, like way nicer than I do on average,” Schwartzman explained.

Not all feedback and attention has been positive. Schwartzman has dealt with the occasional rude comment or negative attitude, but she doesn’t let that deter her from wearing the clothes that make her happy. 

As for the legendary red beret? 

“I just don’t know why it’s the red beret of all the berets, because I’ve got so many different colored ones. I guess that was the one that stuck.”

The red beret sightings are more infrequent now, often replaced by a cream beret or a padded headband. According to Schwartzman, that’s not an accident.

“People know the red beret now, so I can’t be predictable.”