The tenets of dressing well are easily understood, but not so easily practiced, especially on a college campus, where it always feels like you’re separated from that one item to complete an outfit. The item could be at home, missing, or still on the rack at the store, but either way, it’s not there when you need it.
This brings me to my first tenet: nothing ever looks bad, it just doesn’t look right. What I mean by this is that any article of clothing could conceivably be turned into a masterpiece. Be it a Saturday night party, or gym couture, every item has its setting, a place for it to shine. Wearing a leather jacket might be cute at the gym, but it’s not doing nearly as much work as it could at an Alpha party. Clothes, even the ones your mother buys for you when you tell her not to, have value. An oversized shirt is really sleepwear; a too small shirt is really a crop top; an ugly sweater is really an ugly Christmas sweater; an ugly shirt is really just 90s throwback gear. Their utility lies only in one’s own possibility to innovate from nowhere, conjuring up new aesthetics or looks.
A big part of my wardrobe (when I used to care about how I looked on weekdays) is color-blocking. Now, color-blocking refers to pairing colors on the color wheel that are complementary or opposite. This manifests in multiple ways: wearing pastels with pastels, three different shades of the same color, all neutral colors (denim, brown, grey, navy, etc.) to block against bright colors (yellow, red, pink, etc.), and complements (e.g. green & red). It is a system with rules that must be obeyed, until you’ve mastered it; then, of course, you can break any rule you so desire, but it is a good starting point for opening your eyes to see what colors pair well with one another. Remember: outfits do not start and stop simply at shirt and pant, but spread to accessories and anything else carried on the body forming a full aesthetic.
Set pieces are a way of carrying an aesthetic. They mark the look for its setting; like, for example, a leather jacket signifying a party look or a grid vest signifying reclamation of the geek look. These pieces speak for themselves and can be obtained for the low at thrift stores and for the high at other stores, if you’re the type of person that minds wearing some presumably dead person’s clothes.
All of these tenets are essential to forming daily looks, which then comprises an individual’s aesthetic, or what a person can typically be expected to be serving, on any given day. Remember: copying someone else does not make you look better, it makes them look better. Inspiration on the other hand has no loyalties.
By: Chad Tucker, Staff Writer