Do These Sperry’s Go With My Vest?

RHS is the equivalent of diving into an ocean filled with Vineyard Vines whales and Timberlands. There are more Lilly Pulitzer flowers in a Biology class than on the plants themselves. Michael Kors is practically our school mascot. We need to shake it up. Though the student body may excel academically, on the field, and on the stage, we are greatly lacking in stylistic diversity.

While there are several outliers, most students have submitted to a stigma of repetitive, preppy fashion. There is nothing wrong with the preppy garb; your J Crew sweater and statement necklace are sure to be quite the hit at your mother’s garden party. However, high school is no elegant gathering, rather a time of self discovery and experimentation where young people are able to gain a greater sense of self. High school is supposed to diverge from the adult world of conformity where people do the same jobs, in the same cubicles, at the same time. Self expression should be appreciated and practiced, and clothing is the perfect way to grow into yourself. I’ve had too many conversations with my friends, mostly female, regarding whether “it would be OK” to wear something. To that, I say, GO FOR IT! Try something new! Experiment without a fear of being judged! Wear that weird 80’s jacket that you found at Udelco! Wear that printed maxi dress you found in the maternity section of Target! You don’t have to be burdened by what you wear, and there is no need to constantly seek approval for tomorrow’s outfit. I am here to help you to release your fashion inhibitions and guide you into experimentation. So grab your pens, pencils- or just open up a notes tab- and listen up!

Faux fur coats are the new army jacket. The selection of your coat is key, as it will become your statement piece, your partner in crime, and the embodiment of your aesthetic. Snagging your fur from a bustling retail store is a waste of time and money– thrifting is the way to go. For just $20 you could strut out of Udelco with a fresh new faux fur coat!  I recommend wearing the garb during the cold hours of the morning, during your walk to school. You can strut up to the Athletic Center doors looking fresh to death, and then BAM! Slide off your fur bundle and excite the crowd with a second look.

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CJ with his fashionable new purchase

While faux mink coats give off a sense of fake luxury, it is sometimes fun to go all the way into low quality clothing. Five Below offers some great, cheesy, cheap tank tops, and I highly recommend. While the clothes are targeted for a sassy sixth grader, they can be fun for a Friday hangout with friends. Pictured is me snagging one of the tanks, dazzling with “Act Like A Lady Think Like A Boss.” On top of being painfully obnoxious, the tank top cost a mere $3 and was hit at the event I attended. Such tops provide great Instagram captions, and have a tight, comfortable fit.  

Sorry vegans, but leather is an essential. Head back to your local thrift store, maybe try Value Village this time, and treat yourself to a sleek, black leather jacket. Your jacket will not only be a great piece on its own, but it’s very customizable to fit your personality. For the left-wing political activist, Bernie 2016 pins can be slapped on, and in a year when Donald Trump takes his god given throne, that merch will be a great addition for the ironic hipster! Leather boots and a black cowboy hat also compliment the jacket if you are going for the metallic cowboy look.

CJ and Grandma Betty

It’s time to call up Grandma Betty and ask for a warrant to raid her closet. Grandma sweaters have gone slightly into the mainstream, but that does nothing to deter their excellence. Since digging in your granny’s wardrobe is a bit of a hassle, save yourself some trouble and look for three things: accessories, neon, and “bagginess.” First off, accessories are key to any outfit. Even the most basic American Apparel dress is jazzed up with the addition of chunky pearls or a pastel purse. Grandma or Grandpa will have gems locked up in the dresser drawer, so keep an eye out for that bejeweled monocle or broach. Next, neons are nothing short of amazing. The 80’s were a time of absurd fashion trends that when worn in present day add an eye popping flare to your outfit. Pictured is a neon horse sweater I snatched at Udelco for the fall season. The sweater is quite cozy and a frequent in my looks, and a great example of neon clothing. Finally, there is “bagginess.” Baggy T- Shirts are a great addition to a pair of acid washed jeans. You just tuck in the loose-fitting cloth to show your waistline, and ta-da! You’ve become an edgy teen. There’s something about a baggy T-shirt or sweater that just screams “Follow me on VSCO.”

This article is not for those who hold little regard for their appearance. Instead, it is for the many people who worry about breaking Ridgewood’s fashion standards.  Fashion is meant to be fun!  I encourage you, no I beg you, to break the norms and experiment with fashion.  As Coco Chanel said, “Everyday is a fashion show and the world is your runway.” So own your runway, and be different. I’m tired, and you probably are too, of the recycled Hamptons-wear, so slap on some neon and a faux fur coat and strut down the hallway.  

CJ Jerkovich
Media Specialist/Staff Writer

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