Published on March 8th, 2012 | by Amanda Taylor0
Ask Amanda: You’re A Big Kid Now
For a long time, I felt a sense of dread whenever I saw a zip-up hoodie — particularly gray ones, because I think those are the most unimaginative with their mottled mid-tones. Also, the kind that splash a brand on the front — cleverly divided by a zipper. The kind lined with what looks like sheep wool. And most frighteningly, the variety that you can zip up all the way over your head (seriously, those terrify me).
In high school, I tried to teach a friend the merits of not wearing a zip-up hoodie by stealing his gray American Eagle staple and hiding it in my house. Eventually, he learned that the best way to wear a zip-up is when it’s underneath a blazer or a leather jacket. I’d like to think I was a large contributing factor in his style awakening.
But the fact remains that these bad boys run rampant — along with their sloppy counterparts — in the wardrobes of 20-somethings everywhere. Particularly in closets with male ownership.
What is it about boys that makes them want to dress like teenagers forever? Graphic tees, sweats in any capacity and tennis shoes are clothes that can be left in high school. I hear the argument of “comfort” more often than not, based solely on a fear that dressing better will somehow mean you must don a corset, or wear those braces on your legs like Forrest Gump. I also hear protests about real men not being concerned with clothing, like awareness will undercut the manliness of a wardrobe that “doesn’t care.”
Observe one Jeff Winger. A 30-something disbarred lawyer and star of the Greendale Community College Spanish study group, this guy knows what effortless style looks like. His carefully styled bed head, jeans with blazers and real shoes give him an air that says, “I am a working professional, and you want me.” (He’s right, I totally want him. That could be largely due to his killer body which has nothing do with clothes and will probably be addressed in a later post.) He puts in a small amount of effort, learned his personal style and now works it regularly in a fashion that women — and the overzealous Dean — find irresistible.
If you’re not sure how to start dressing like a grown-up, I have a lot of resources for you to utilize. Start with Ms. Ilaria Urbinati’s foolproof men’s style tips, browse through the blog “Put This On” and take 45 minutes to read through Esquire’s all-encompassing, Handbook of Style: A Man’s Guide to Looking Good.
I promise, once you start dressing like a professional, you’ll even take yourself more seriously. And I don’t think it can be stated enough that a well-fitted suit to a lady is like barely-there lingerie to a man. Incentive enough.
Welcome to the big leagues, boys. ♦ ♦ ♦
Amanda Taylor is SOUND’s opinionated style correspondent. She recently graduated from BYU with a Bachelor’s degree in journalism and has worked as an editor for The Daily Universe. Amanda hails from Salt Lake City, UT. You can follow her on Twitter at @salamandrs.