April 15, 2004

Campus Couture

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When studying abroad in England, I was excited to be minutes away from the fashion epicenters of London, Paris, and Milan. Now I could trade in my pedestrian American clothes for the more provocative ones engendered by the cosmopolitan milieu of Europe, in which labels like Yves Saint Laurent and Jean Paul-Gaultier exude a smoldering je ne sais quoi that brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Polo do not.

Upon arrival, however, I was more put off than turned on. Europe was stylish all right, to such a degree that it was a bastion of classic conservatism with its three-piece suits and monocles, as well as an ultra trendy landscape of eccentric, almost unwearable modern art clothing. I started to miss American casualness, where I could walk about in shorts and flip-flops without sticking out in a sea of stodgy Burberry or slick FCUK.

I soon snapped out of my provincial-minded fashion ways, and began to appreciate the variety and openness. The store displays were no longer repelling, and I even bought an off-the-shoulder top or two. Besides, where else but in Europe can you count on every man to confidently stride out in pink pastels and tight, low-crotch jeans without shame? In fact, I’d like for Americans to be cool and cosmopolitan metrosexuals like their European peers, and here’s a guide to achieving just that.


London’s Saville Row is home to the finest tailors in the world, creating custom-fitted shirts and suits for the likes of Pierce Brosnan, Prince William, and David Beckham. Any purchase from these craftsmen will set you back at least $1000 or so, but you can still posture yourelf as one of the impeccably dressed English elite with the simple purchase of an Oxford shirt — just make sure to buy it in pink, and always make sure to wear your collars up!

Retro Track Tops

Everything Europe touches turns into trendy fashion gold, so that even the most outdated pieces are brought back to become the hottest items on the market. Adidas is a prime example of this success; it’s going old school with its Originals lines, so that already hip European youngsters can look like even cooler, world-class athletes from the 1984 Olympics.

80s Video Star

The waning trend of the tacky 80s look is one I won’t miss. Flashdance tops and hideous, plastic jewelry just shouldn’t be brought back. On the other hand, the Miami Vice getup actually works on guys, but make sure to pair your blazers and Ray-bans with quirky T-shirts and narrow-legged jeans in order to give this retro look a modern edge.

Archived article by Sherry Jun