(RSS) Fashion Fridays


Foxfield Races Edition

Dear friends, we have come upon one of the most exciting times of the academic year: the end. With fourth-years preparing to graduate, first-years worrying about finals, and everyone else working on their beach bodies, I am pleased to remind you that one of the most persistent University traditions is now upon us: the Foxfield Races. Colloquially known as “Foxfield,” this tradition proves to be quite the spectacle every year, which is why you need to look good for it.

Dressing up for Foxfield is like putting on your best white dress for Sunday morning church. You don’t need to dress well to walk around and party with your friends — while avoiding watching any actual races — but you need to dress well so everyone pays attention to you. That’s right, friends. This Saturday, it is perfectly acceptable to strive to be the center of attention within your social circle. Here’s how to do it.

What you need is, the “Color Pop” — a process which involves taking a nice outfit and adding a small subtle splash of color that offsets everything else.

Gents, wearing a green button down and an orange bowtie will get all the ladies talking. And ladies, now is the time to bring out that statement necklace to complement your favorite sundress.

Color Pops are a great way to help you accessorize and make the most out the typical U.Va. Foxfield style. Don’t just wear Chubbies shorts, gentlemen; that is simply not enough! You can do better.

If you’re going to wear Chubbies, then wear a pair of socks that offset the color of the shorts. Bright purples and greens will work well in most situations. Ladies, don’t forget that you have the advantage here. You all have a vast array of accessory choices compared to men. Try something new on yourself, like a hair bow, or some pearls, or maybe even a hat. The smallest Color Pop has the potential to make all the boys turn their heads.

This weekend is about being a spectacle. So go forth and be a bawdy, exaggerated spectacle. Take some risks with your clothes.

If you need any help this Saturday, I’ll be walking around helping people fix their fashion faux pas, so come find me. As my grandmother used to say, “If you look like a million bucks, you’ll feel like two million.”


How thrift stores saved my life

There was once a time, during my dark childhood, when I did not understand the importance of thrift stores. I thought thrift stores were all full of shoddy, tomato-stained hand-me-downs. I thought if you wore something from a thrift store, your clothes were inherently less-than and, by extension, you too were also less-than. It wasn’t until my late teens — when I began to make more independent fashion choices and actually pay for my clothes — that I realized how much thrift stores have to offer.

Wearing clothes from a thrift store is indicative of frugality, wisdom and fashion creativity — all character traits that are inherently greater-than. And who doesn’t want to be greater-than?

Thrift stores are wonderful — the smartest choice for the frugal shopper. My arch-nemesis has always been the idea of spending money. When I realized I could buy nice clothes for a cheaper price, I was enthralled. But many people don’t understand how wonderfully amazing this concept is. It’s a simple idea, really: you can purchase gently-worn (and oftentimes brand new) clothing from thrift stores at much lower prices than if you went elsewhere.

Now, I’m not telling you to throw out all your J. Crew clothes and stop by the nearest Goodwill. However, I am telling you mixing and matching — pairing a thrift store garment with something you already owned — is a great way to save money and still look great. I do it like it’s my profession. Most of the time, no one knows. If you’re afraid of your friends thinking you’re sloppy because you’re wearing something from a thrift store, you should find better friends.

There’s no shame in thrifting. It is so much fun, and you can always find interesting things. Some of my favorite shirts, jackets, ties and sweaters have come from thrift stores. Where else, other than a thrift store, would you find a sweater from the 80s with leather patches on it? Where else would you find gently-used flannels for every occasion? Not at a Nordstrom, that’s for sure.

Thrift stores allowed me to make my fashion choices more fun and daring. I have made extremely unusual purchases I ended up falling in love with all because of thrift store pricing. If you see a shirt with some wacky and interesting design for $2.50, you’re much more likely to purchase it than if you saw a similar shirt in a department store for $17.

Be like me, and try out my mixing and matching technique. You’ll save money on clothes, and you’ll turn all the heads this spring.


How do I look? The other age old question

“How do I look?”

Women and men of all kinds are known for asking this timeless question as they prepare to venture out into the world. It is an important question to ask, but why? Why do we need that second pair of eyes to critique what we’re wearing?

My answer: second opinions are crucial. No one wants to step outside with wild, messy hair, a crooked bowtie, or an unlaced Duck boot flailing to-and-fro. Without the help of that all-knowing best friend, we would all look ridiculous, with toilet paper stuck to our shoes and lipstick on our chins. It’s no different with clothing.

This holds true for realms of life other than fashion. Who wouldn’t want a friend to revise an essay for class? And what on earth would my column look like if not for a team of lovely editors to polish it before publication? Long story short, pretty much everything we do needs a second opinion.

With that said, ladies, don’t be afraid to ask if that dress makes you look fat. So what if it does? By saying yes, your friend is actually saving you from an evening of embarrassment. And you, gentlemen, don’t be afraid to get help tying that bowtie.

Whether you are waking up late and running to class, or dressing up for a night on the town, it’s important to make sure your fashion choices are error-free — you do not want me to spot you looking less than top-notch. Even if you don’t have a friend around to give you a second opinion, it is crucial that you use a mirror. In the fashion world, mirrors are your best friend. Use them. Love them.

Mirrors are the only thing that can save you from that hideous combing job or skipped belt loop. When you’re getting ready, just spend a few extra moments examining what you are wearing and how you’re wearing it, and I guarantee you will feel more confident about your entire appearance. Confidence is everything, people! So, never be afraid to ask “How do I look?” before going out, because even the most brutally honest answer will make a world of difference.


The top 10 mistakes every man makes with his wardrobe

10. He doesn’t have fun socks

The importance of socks in a man’s wardrobe is unparalleled. Why settle for those bland white sweatsocks when you have so many other choices? There are nearly infinite kinds of socks to be worn which do not cost much money — so why aren’t you wearing any? A personal favorite is argyle — a true must.

9. He doesn’t wear hats

A man also needs to own a hat. A hat is a guy’s ultimate accessory — whether it’s a beanie, a snapback or even — dare I say it — a fedora. Not only can they be used to cover up that bad Justin Bieber haircut your mom likes so much, but they can also be used to accentuate that Jay-Z look you have wanted since you were 12 years old. Also, they can be used to keep you warm, as well as protect you from sun and precipitation.

8. He has yet to experience the marvel that is the cardigan

The cardigan (colloquially known as the “cardi”) is a fascinatingly versatile garment. It’s like the mutant offspring of a jacket and a sweater. Cardis are warm and come in a variety of styles. Whether it’s classic button down or the edgy zip-up, the cardigan is every man’s must have.

7. He doesn’t iron his clothes

I’ve encountered far too many guys at U.Va. who do not even own an iron. How did you make it to college without owning an iron? I’m baffled. I’m astounded. I’m flabbergasted. I’m saddened. Pressing your button-downs and oxfords could make them look so much better. Ironing those khaki pants you wear four times a week will take your style to other worlds. Ironing is such an easy task. Spend a few minutes pressing their clothes, and I guarantee you will start to feel better about your wardrobe.

6. He doesn’t clean (or shine) his shoes

This is an extremely easy task which increases the longevity of your footwear — and can easily make or break an outfit. Regardless of the occasion you’re dressing for, you should make sure your shoes are clean by taking a few seconds and wiping off that Rugby Road dirt. Your shoes will be grateful for it.

5. He doesn’t pay attention to his undergarments

Underwear is fun, not scary. You should stop wearing your old, cruddy boxers with holes from eight years ago and have a little fun! Get those neon boxer briefs you’ve been eyeing or have some school pride and get some orange and blue undies.

4. He abuses conspicuous labeling

Don’t let super large logos and and designs get in the way of your clothes. If a logo has a circumference larger than three inches, it’s probably too big. We don’t need to see that Ralph Lauren horse or that huge Nike checkmark. We know you spend a lot of money on your clothes, but the excessive labeling is simply tacky.

3. He wears a “muscle tee”

This is self-explanatory. Don’t be caught dead in one.

2. He’s still rocking the pants puddle

This is not 1998. Pants should not puddle at the top of your shoes. This is unacceptable. I’m not saying you should go out and buy all new pants — you have some puddled pants, just roll them up a bit. That is a great way to avoid looking disheveled and lost in the world.

1. He doesn’t read this fashion column every week

If you take a few minutes once a week to read these words of truth, you shall undoubtedly find inner peace…about your wardrobe, anyway.


All tied up: the ultimate guide to wearing ties

Truth be told, it is never the wrong time to wear ties. Ties are appropriate in all seasons, and in almost any kind of weather. Bowties have become a fashion staple for both hipsters and those men who want to be classy, yet memorable. Neckties, too, are great for formal and semi-formal occasions.

Both fashions give one’s wardrobe an unprecedented amount of versatility — and if you don’t own any ties, you are truly missing out on something special. I have no idea how you can live day-to-day without being well-dressed. I feel bad for you.

Every man needs a variety of ties in his wardrobe. A few solid colors of each type, and then maybe some polka dots and stripes here and there for good measure. But take caution when dealing with heavily patterned ties — these can actually detract from your polished appearance. Beware of themed ties as well (“Spongebob,” “Space Jam,” etc.). Any ties with a readily accessible pop culture motif will make you look childish and — quite honestly — unappealing. It’s the truth. If you walk into an interview wearing a necktie adorned with “The Simpsons” characters, you do not deserve the job. You should re-evaluate your choices.

To all the lovely ladies reading this, it is completely acceptable for you to wear neckties and bowties, too. Don’t let those male chauvinists tell you otherwise. Ties are a classy look for both guys and gals — especially those prolific skinny neckties. A sleek, black, skinny necktie can make all the difference in a preppy female’s wardrobe, but note the same rules apply.

Guys and girls alike should remember ties are accessories, and as such, they do not have to match your outfit perfectly. Spice things up with an unconventional pairing of color, style, fabric and knot. This will take your wardrobe to the next level and make wearing a tie much more fun.

That being said, ties do not have to be expensive silk. If you are just getting started with these must-have accessories, try a local thrift store or Amazon. Start small and work your way up to designer ties. Remember these tips and — trust me — you’ll thank me later.


Spring Cleaning Edition

By now, you’ve had plenty of time at home to reassess your wardrobe choices for the remainder of the semester — so this week, I’ll be discussing some of the things you need to get rid of ASAP.

I even made a nice, neat list for you. You’re welcome.

1. UGG boots
Get rid of them. Now. Now. Now. They barely had a place in your wardrobe during the winter — and they most certainly don’t have a place in your wardrobe this spring. Even if it snows again, please refrain from putting them on. I know the urge will be strong, but fight it. I know you can.

2. Sweaters
Any and all sweaters should be promptly removed from your wardrobe. I don’t have anything against sweaters — personally, I love them — but I always feel a little queasy whenever I see someone wearing a sweater on a sunny spring day. If I see you walking around with a sweater on after next week, I’ll probably hurl.

3. Long sleeve T-shirts
Why are long-sleeve T-shirts still made, anyway? Everyone just rolls up the sleeves. As human beings, we instinctually refrain from covering our arms — we’ve been showing more and more screen throughout the last 300 years. Long-sleeve T-shirts are a step backwards from this progress and a hassle we shouldn’t pay any mind to. If you’ve got them, toss ‘em.

4. Everything wool
If there is a wool garment in your wardrobe, regardless of how small it may be, it must go. Wool is not allowed in the spring. It is simply unbearable to watch U.Va. students — people typically known for their adherence to the latest fashion trends — traipse around in hideous woolen garments during the spring.

5. Leather
If it’s made of leather, it’s wrong. Leather gloves, pants, jackets — none of these are allowed to follow you into spring. Just thinking about heavy leather garments worn in the 70 degree spring sunshine makes me extremely uncomfortable. Need I say more?

So now that we’re entering one of the most beautiful times of year, let’s not drag the sorrows of winters past along with us. Let’s shed those old cruddy fashion choices we made in the past few months, and begin again, my friends. You know I’m right.


Pajamas in public: an age-old question

Ladies and gentlemen of U.Va, your voice of reason has arrived. Fashion reason, that is. I’m the Fashion Jiminy Cricket you never knew you needed. I’m a normal person with an eye for the aesthetics of fashion. And the first item on my docket is the fashion degeneracy that are pajamas in public.

“Can I wear pajamas out of the house to class?”As a college student, you’ve probably asked yourself this question many times. I’m here to tell you that the answer is, in fact, no. The answer has always been no. The answer will forever be no. Pajamas, defined as anything you wore or could have worn to bed the night before, should never be worn in an academic setting. Waking up in the morning and not changing your clothes is simply unacceptable. This fashion faux pas is one of the most unforgivable, second only to wearing Crocs.

It’s simply good practice to look your best when venturing out into the real world. I will admit, however, that there are times in which you wake up late and have to run to class in whatever you’re wearing because you’ve used up all your absences — I stand guilty as charged. However, these days should be, at best, rare exceptions. You should never consciously decide to wear pajamas in public. It is just bad form.

Now, I know during finals insanity we all want to be comfortable while we study. But that is still no excuse for walking around in something you’ve slept in. We go to a prestigious institution. Grounds are gorgeous, the people are gorgeous — don’t ruin everything by wearing your old, nasty T-shirt with drool stains!

I’m not telling you that you have to be dressed to the nines. Guys, sweats are fine. Messy clothes are fine. Gals, leggings and T-shirts are fine. The only thing that is always 100 percent reprehensible is wearing PAJAMAS.

The ball’s in your court. Will you return every Friday for more sage advice? That, my friends, is a matter of taste. And we both know, in this area, I am the expert.








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