A Clash of Clothes

Disclaimer: This is the unanticipated sequel to last year’s article on female fashion. The first installment left critics raving and readers clamoring, but I’ve decided to switch focus this time. Brace yourselves, gentlemen. Fashion is coming.

The pitiful state of male attire at Dougherty is apparent throughout the campus. Everywhere I turn, my eyes are assaulted by baggy cargo shorts, running shoes with jeans and ill-fitting tees. Luckily for all you fashion neophytes, your savior has arrived. I will forgive your faux-pas, lead you not into mediocrity and deliver you from ignorance.

Let us begin with some of the more prominent symptoms of this unholy plague. First, pay attention to colors. Some colors go together, but others, not so much. Black and white? This isn’t 1850. Color has been invented, feel free to wear it.  Red and blue?  You can’t be a Gael and a Wildcat at the same time.  On the plus side, you will appear in three dimensions when viewed through the proper glasses.  Any combination of neon? You are not a highlighter, nor a tropical bird nor a noble gas. Stop it.

Additionally, please refrain from wearing solely one color. One of my friends does this, and has earned the title of “Blueberry.” And never, ever wear solely neon. I’ve seen freshmen (it’s always the freshmen) matching their neon Nike Elite socks with their neon gym shorts and their neon graphic tees, in addition to their neon basketball shoes and neon snapback, completing the outfit with a set of neon Beats hanging around their neck. Please hashtag #stopneon2k14 to help combat this horrific trend.

The way that your clothes fit is just as important as their color. Your baggy cargo shorts aren’t very pleasing to the eye. Unless you keep utilities or illegal substances in the cargo pockets, why not go with some slimmer, simpler shorts? Slim is “in,” regarding how your clothes should look. It’s a little-known fact that the “T” in “T-shirt” stands for “tight,” and that’s how your tees should fit. Tees that accentuate the natural contours of your torso are very trendy right now, and reminiscent of the corset, a timeless garment dating back to the 1500s.

Also, you want your silhouette to stay balanced when wearing skinny jeans and slim, ubiquitous Vans. For those of you that prefer looser clothing, you have not been forgotten. Your outfit should give off a relaxed vibe, somewhat evocative of a Franciscan monk’s habit. Such a classic look will never go out of style, as opposed to sagging, which was never in style. Invest in a belt, and people will stop laughing at you behind your back. However, sag with a belt, and you elevate yourself to the tier of avant-garde streetwear icons like Kanye and A$AP.

Speaking of streetwear, our suburban, academically-focused student population is doing it wrong. Do the words “Roshe,” “Diamond Life,” “bred” or “joggers” mean anything to you? Do you wish you were Schoolboy Q so you could look good in a bucket hat? Do you feel strangely attracted to any sort of box logo? Do your parents disapprove of your HUF Plantlife socks? If so, you may be infected with Zoomee’s. This contagious affliction is named after Herbert C. Zoomee, the first man who ever tied a flannel around his waist. He is also noted for coining the terms “fit,” “fire,” “trill” and “cop.” Other symptoms of Zoomees include an obsession with brands, the ardent belief that said brands will make the wearer cool, chronic vocal repetition of the word “swag” and a superiority complex. There is no known cure for this dastardly disease — instead, it comes and goes at a seemingly arbitrary rate. It is best to avoid contact with victims of Zoomees. May their tragic situation serve as a lesson for us all.

Despite their shortcomings, Zoomees aren’t the only ones with a problem. Those who steer clear of the reggae-blasting stores in the mall may instead find themselves at an equally terrible alternative — a world of bright, overly-branded tees and shopping bags covered in scantily-clad Caucasians. Strangely, many of these brands start with the letter “A,” and offer similarly-styled clothing. Perhaps that’s why they choose to emblazon their company name in size 800 font across your chest. But for some reason, people still pay to wear their logos all over their bodies and essentially serve as a walking billboard. This ties into a bigger picture, where people seem to dress in certain brands and labels just for the image. Are you wearing the clothes, or are the clothes wearing you? Ask yourself if you really want to be associated with the image that the brand carries, and consider the possibility that you might come off as a bit pretentious. Why would you wear Vans if you don’t skate, or Polo if you don’t play polo or Levi’s if you aren’t a cholera-stricken forty-niner panning for gold? Hurley? You don’t surf. The question of whether clothing really reflects lifestyle brings me to the final member of this unsightly triumvirate.

When I searched “hipster” into the always-reliable Urban Dictionary, it regurgitated a slew of definitions, either glorifying and justifying their existence or bitterly criticizing their attitudes, as well as a few exceedingly witty submissions (“definitions are too mainstream”). Maybe the term had meaning once, but it evolved into a stereotype, and now it’s liberally applied to anybody deemed too different or moving against the norm. Many students at Dougherty seek to adopt this image and attempt to stand out, usually through a quirky or unique outfit. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. The saying on your T-shirt might be funny (it probably isn’t), but it’s getting old. Yes, “awesome” ends in “me.” Hilarious. If you want to impress people with your wit and humor, try verbally communicating the statement instead of wearing it on your torso. Likewise, clever or amusing graphics on your clothes are entertaining, sure, but hardly fashionable.

Then there’s the issue of fandom. You want to demonstrate your undying passion for Linkin Park or your status as a Whovian? Fine. Just make sure the graphic looks good. Bonus points if the band, movie or show is obscure, so you can demonstrate your superior taste in art and your counterculture attitude. Trust me, a Joy Division shirt is very hip. And don’t forget to wear that superhero tee, especially if you’ve never read a comic in your life. There’s a word that rhymes with “hand-flagon” for all you geek chic guys out there. It hardly matters, though, when you’re putting the “hip” in “hipster!”

Needless to say, the above commentary is solely my opinion, to be taken at 100% face value, and is no way satirical nor sarcastic. The article, with its solid premise based on anecdotal evidence and hypocritical statements, does not represent the Wildcat Tribune nor the school. If you don’t give a hoot about your appearance, I respect your opinion. You can wear whatever you want; fashion and aesthetics are subjective. Please remember this before you write an angry complaint to the paper defending your comfortable cargo shorts and dope Obey snapback. You can sleep easily knowing that, fashionable or not, your garments were created through the efforts of impoverished, destitute laborers in a third-world country. Good luck, and look good.