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Catholic high school taught me many things the sleep benefits of long homilies, blue Powerade’s versatility as a mixer but appreciation for the merits of a diverse wardrobe was not among them.
School uniforms were a law at my school, instituted to help create a prison like atmosphere in which learning thrives. This attempt at squelching creativity and hormones was foolproof girls in short skirts clearly offer no distraction to adolescent males.
Some peers making the jump with me from public to private education had trouble adjusting to this mandate. I, on the other hand, embraced the simplicity a dress code brought to my morning preparation, eliminating the need for any brain function until after my first period nap.
My high school tenure was spent following the uniform enabled “more sleep, less thought” mantra to gloriously lazy results.
Fast forward to the present and my morning routine has hardly changed. My willpower to function is still pathetically limited: After defeating the alarm clock and assaulting the remnants of sleep with ice cold water, there is just about enough motivation remaining to make the trek to class.
Having to give serious consideration to my attire would throw off my entire day, not to mention upend deeply held worldviews. Luckily, this crisis is averted because I was born with a Y chromosome. For all the advantages ladies have in acquiring free drinks and avoiding speeding tickets, ease of dressing is one area in which the men reign supreme.
My toughest morning decision is choosing between khaki or athletic shorts. Maybe the seersuckers if I feel like blinding classmates with frat stardom. Footwear follows suit: Shoes are picked based on which pair is closest to my feet.
Upon completing these complex steps, I turn my very limited attention to shirts. A deliberate vetting process determines cleanliness and eliminates the most garish clashes (a skill learned from years of mom and sister belittling my hand picked outfits). Then, like the Toy Story claw, I swoop in and grab a random victim, administering a last resort smell test before heading off to campus.
It’s a beautifully streamlined process, applicable to just about any event in a man’s college life, provided that your wardrobe is appropriately stocked. The simplicity of male outfit assembly means it really is that easy for anyone to bro out in style.
Unfortunately, a cursory look around Blacksburg on any given night reveals a troubling lack of clothing awareness. Jean shorts, popped collars and more Ed Hardy shirts than the Jersey Shore house it’s enough to bring down the morale of even the most upbeat gentleman.
You don’t need wealth or fashion expertise to look good, just a desire to steer clear of the dregs of dorm couture. No one will confuse me with Jay Z, but I like to think there’s enough basic style intelligence upstairs to capably guide my Hokie brethren to dapper ground.
As blissful September warmth fades into a most unwelcome fall (also known as Blacksburg winter), there are several articles of clothing I believe deserve a place in any man’s closet. Adding these garments will allow you to turn your brain off come time to get dressed and still look on top of your game.
The most important has to be a pair of boat shoes,
the king of practical footwear. Don’t believe the hype: Sperry Top Siders aren’t just fraternity gear, although they do lend themselves nicely to the bro image. All men can enjoy them as an investment in utilitarian comfort that strike the perfect balance between classy and “didn’t feel like looking for socks” casual.
Appropriate in any weather and versatile enough to accompany almost all outfits, boat shoes are a staple of the well dressed man’s wardrobe.
Additionally, they complement the denim jeans that dominate the collegiate landscape far better than sneakers, a common fashion faux pas.
Jeans are hardly the only option for pants as October cold creeps into town. Khakis offer the same practicality with an urbane charm denim can never replicate; a comfortable pair with a set of companion button downs is essential to a well rounded wardrobe.
Speaking of variety, the next few months will see no shortage of North Face jackets and hooded sweatshirts on student bodies. Not to take away from these dependable outfits but there are more exciting alternatives available.
Sweaters provide the same protection against the elements while adding a sophisticated touch. It’s the quintessential collegiate look, one that never goes out of style.
Not sold on these minor wardrobe upgrades? Don’t make changes for yourself. Instead, remember the immortal words of ZZ Top: Every girl is crazy about a sharp dressed man.
Keep it classy Blacksburg.
There’s nothing we can do to stop it. It’s coming fast and it is about time we face the fact that it is approaching the cold.
Fall is on the way, which means we need to prepare for Halloween costumes, rain gear, and more importantly, boots.
It’s depressing. I haven’t even had enough time to truly learn that sunscreen is key this early in the semester. While my face is still a lobster after last week’s game, I’m upset at the fact that the ability to get sunburned will only last for a few more weeks. Packing away my sunscreen, sunglasses and flip flops is what I consider to be the most dreadful time of year.
Yet I know when it’s time to give in.
However, most of the female Hokies I know apparently don’t. While I plan to bring a huge bin of sweats, scarves and gloves back to Virginia Tech after fall break, I know girls are going to cling to skirts and shorts.
Guys, on the other hand, will wear their tees and shorts pretending they are not cold to avoid having their manhood questioned.
So for these next few weeks I’ll attempt to look pretty, wear make up and straighten my hair, but I know that it’s only for a short time.