Life According to Ginger: How College Kids Dress

Life According to Ginger: How College Kids Dress

By Contributor

College movies suggest that all that students wear are preppy clothes (Abercrombie, Hollister, etc.), hipster clothes (ironically large glasses, flannel, etc), or togas (mostly self-explanatory). Unfortunately, this is simply not the case.

I would like to think that we dress pretty normally. Jeans, t-shirts and sneakers are the norm, and most people don’t like to conform to stereotypes. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t like to shake things up a bit. There are two ways to do this: stand out slightly from the sea of jeans and fitted tees, or shock and awe.

First, you get the people who wear items that are unusual, but not necessarily outlandish. Like that girl who regularly wears fishnet sleeves. It's a look I would personally never try, but it's definitely cool. Or the one who will wear heels, a cute short dress, and a domo trucker hat to parties. Gotta admire her spunk.

There are also the guys who refuse to wear weather-appropriate clothing. The one who wears shorts throughout winter—even when it’s -5 degrees and snowing outside. Last semester, there was a guy in one of my classes who didn’t wear shoes until it got below 40 degrees. I think they do it to impress the ladies, but end
up actually proving the validity of natural selection. There has to be a point at which summer gear worn in winter ceases to be (quote unquote) “badass,” and becomes idiotic, right?

Then there are the people who wear norm-defying clothing for the shock value alone. They are pure attention-seekers, and I love every single one of them. They have taught me so much in life. Like that parachute pants are only cool for the exceedingly stylish, but then they are awesome. And that is absolutely possible to rock a half-shaved, half-untamed, wild and curly head of hair. Said rocker is a one of my favorite people in the world. Have you ever imagined what Don Draper would look like if he had vivid pink hair? Probably not, but I happen to know exactly what it looks like, and that is AWESOME.

Other fashions that are suddenly socially acceptable (and applauded) at college: gold spray-painted combat boots, massive fur vests, mohawks (but really only if you’re a girl—weird, right?) toe shoes (google them, and let's all hold hands and pray they’re just a fad), men’s oxfords (on girls), Wolverine-style muttonchops, Stalin-style mustaches, and Amish-style beards.

But there is only one guy on campus whose clothes everyone routinely talks about. His name (which I’ve changed) is Fancy Jacob. I have never seen this guy looking anything less than absolutely spiffy. I’m talking dress shoes, chinos, v-neck sweater, cardigan or vest, collared shirt, tie, blazer, and pocket square EVERY DAY. Every single day. This guy knows the difference between a four-hand knot and a Windsor knot (for ties), and which one is more appropriate (the four-hand, unless you’re Donald Trump). He prefers the Flourish fold for a pocket square, as opposed to Bankers or Three Prong. He DEFINES norm-defying dress for a college student, and we all salute him.

Ginger’s Song of the Week: The Rolling Stones have never been more soulful than when Aretha covers them.

What do people wear at your school? Do you have your own version of Fancy Jacob?

Related post: Life According to Ginger: The Hipster Phenomenon

Topics: style, clothes, life according to ginger, trends, college life

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