Your campus, Your story
Being a men’s style columnist who lives with three other guys—none of which consider themselves an authority on fashion—it is not uncommon to be asked for style advice. In fact it is almost an everyday occurrence. Recently I was helping a roommate select an outfit for a barbeque, and like any fashion worshipper, I immediately went to his closet to select a pair of jeans for him to wear. I was astounded (and let’s be honest here, somewhat appalled) to discover that he did not own a pair of dark wash jeans. It seems he “doesn’t like the way they look on him.”
What do you mean you don’t like the way they look on you? Dark wash jeans are a staple in menswear. They look good on everyone. Not owning a pair is unacceptable.
Needless to say I gave him a piece of my mind and sent him in a pair of khaki pants, because I was not about to let him out of the room with some tired looking pair of sky blue jeans. That would be rude.
After this peculiar discovery, I began to think about taste in fashion, and how men develop it. It isn’t as if my roommate has some sort of debilitating fear of style and therefore can’t develop a good sense of fashion. He hasn’t been raised in an environment completely devoid of good taste. He just chooses not to “partake in fashion.” How do we as people develop a level of taste when it comes to clothing?
Regardless, it is imperative that every guy who wants to be considered respectable when it comes to appearance develops a level of taste that allows him to know what looks good and what doesn’t.
With that in mind I have drafted a letter to all of you backward souls who are delusional enough to think that dark wash jeans are not for you and indulge in other atrocities of that nature. Don’t worry, we’ll get through this together. You can win against the disease that is backward fashion sense.
Dear Shia LaBeouf in that Sigur Rós music video and all like-minded people,
You have made a good choice by reading this, and I commend you on your strength and desire to change yourself for the better. I accept you, and your faults — just not your clothes. You are probably a great person and have amazing talents, but choosing clothing is not one of those talents. Your outfits are ugly and I refuse to be visually assaulted by your neon green and your light wash jeans. That is not what college is all about. If I wanted everyone around me to look like they were dressed by an unsettled blind woman who has a penchant for acid wash and old T-shirts, I would have gone to Western. That being said, I know your awful style choices and your denim shoes are not entirely your fault. People have been letting you get away with this for years. They think that you will just grow into good taste and that fashion isn’t that important to begin with. But they are wrong. No one grows into good taste, and fashion is of the utmost importance when you are going into the real world. So pull yourself together and get a pair of dark wash jean, some real shoes and a jacket that isn’t powder blue and semi-plastic (you know who you are). I know you know what you’re wearing is ugly, because there is no way someone looks in the mirror wearing plaid shorts and a T-shirt that says ‘That’s what she said’ and thinks they look good. Why do you choose to look this way? I don’t understand.
Now, pick yourself up and listen closely, because I am only going to say this once. I have decided it is in everyone’s best interest if I give you some basic guidance in putting your life (your style) together.
1. Go to your closet, I want you to throw away anything neon that has words on it. You don’t need that in your life.
2. Look at your pants: do they have embellishment and or holes? If yes, then burn them now. If not burn them anyway, I still don’t trust your taste.
3. You know that shirt you’ve had since your freshman year of high school that you really like to wear because it’s so comfortable? Throw it out.
4. Do your shoes still look dirty after you’ve washed them? Have you never washed your shoes? Are your shoes made out of something other than leather or a sturdy textile? Do you secretly hate yourself a little bit? I know. Get new shoes.
5. Get rid of everything pinstripe. Now.
6. I know that you like athletic T-shirts, so you can keep two. The rest of them need to go to Salvation Army.
7. “Graphic T-shirts” are for six-year-olds. Are you six? No. I never want to see them on or near you again.
8. Don’t you love the button up shirts with words and graphic designs on them? The ones that look a little like Ed Hardy designed them? Well now you don’t, because those are some of the ugliest things I have ever seen people wear as not costumes.
9. Call your mom and apologize for your appearance the past 18-23 years.
10. Call your girlfriend/your roommate’s girlfriend and ask her to help you put yourself back together.
11. Go shopping with your girlfriend/your sister/your roommate’s girlfriend/your roommate/some sort of counselor and buy whatever they tell you.
12. Subscribe to GQ and Esquire, and continue to read my column.
13. Try to go about living your life like a normal human being.
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