October 2, 2007

Fashion 101: Intro to Menswear

Print More

I prefer to think that guys at Cornell are lazy rather than being poorly dressed. They would rather spend their time chugging beers, playing with their iPhone/Wii/PS3 or even studying instead than assembling a half decent outfit for the frat parties and bars that they are bound to go to. Do these guys really think that girls (or other guys) will be turned on by their dirty running sneakers and the Polo that they have worn out for the past four nights?

Note: if you’re one of the dozen guys at Cornell who actually dresses well then feel free to stop reading here. However, I recommend reading on since there is always room for improvement in the fashion universe and especially on college campuses.

Guys should put some more time and energy into their outfits and overall appearance. Their façade may then be a better representation of their personality, not their lethargy. Dressing better will increase their confidence and thus have a wide array of positive results. Enhanced style may yield: attention from the opposite/same sex, increased respect from their peers or even higher grades.

Girls at Cornell put far more time into their outfits than guys do. Although girls do wear more accessories and makeup than their male counterparts, it does not mean that guys can get away with completely neglecting their appearances.

Put on some cologne (but not the whole bottle). Shave your beard if you’re usually shaggy. Or grow a 5 o’clock shadow if you’re clean shaven. People will notice. If you’re typically greasy, go without the hair gel. And if you regularly go au natural then use some gel. People will notice. And switch from contacts to glasses or vice versa. Seriously, people will notice.

People will also notice if you wear an item that differs from your usual wardrobe. Try a v-neck t-shirt, cardigan, colored trousers, patterned button down or other distinctive item. Stores are stocked with a wide range of merchandise to suit every style and budget.

Men’s fashion this season is versatile and easy to take advantage of. North Face fleeces, Jansport backpacks, pastel polo’s, stonewashed jeans, Abercrombie t-shirts, Rainbows and New Balance sneakers are SO high school. My apologies too ALL of my guy friends who regularly wear these items; it’s nothing personal.

Instead of the usual athletic sneakers or converse opt for a pair of patent leather sneakers or simple slip-ons if you must wear a sneaker. Or forget sneakers and go for a driving moccasin, which is comfortable and easy to wear for casual or slightly more formal dress.

Fleeces are great for keeping warm but a light weight fall coat such as a peacoat or topcoat would look more sophisticated. Instead of the usual navy blue blazer, go for a velvet or tweed blazer. Jackets like these can be layered with sweaters, hooded sweatshirts or even just worn over t-shirts for an assortment of looks.

Guys can also shop for basic looks that will add flare to their wardrobe. Military, athletic, safari, urban, vintage or preppy inspired items can add a lot of personality and make a decent outfit look fantastic. However, don’t think that because you are wearing one “themed” item means that all of your clothes have to correspond to that item. Mixing and matching different styles will probably look better than strictly sticking to just one look.

During the day certain accessories can also add a lot of personality without looking flamboyant. Non-athletic sunglasses can be both functional and stylish for daily use. Think Ray Ban Aviators or Clubmasters. Hats (not that faded, smelly baseball cap that you have been wearing for multiple years), scarves and belts can also be an economical and easy way to add character to an outfit.

Adding individuality to outfits or taking advantage of this season’s styles does not necessarily mean that guys will have to look gaudy or ostentatious. By selecting items that they like and perhaps reflect who they are may help them to get dressed, look nice and feel great.

Additionally, guys no longer have to let their mother/sister/grandmother/girlfriend dress them. As students attending an Ivy League institution, they should be smart enough to be able to dress themselves adequately. It’s really not that hard.

Guys, you don’t have to let your girlfriend dress you. She probably doesn’t dress that well anyway. So get your lazy and/or poorly dressed ass to the mall and go shopping.