Anatomy of a Fashion Disaster

            You didn’t think it was going to end this way, did you?  You arrived on campus with your hot new college wardrobe and thought it would be easy.  You’d flash those sweet threads and win over a bunch of friends.  You were going to rock hard, friend, like those kids in that one movie who also rocked hard.

            Three weeks, a bunch of wild parties, and far too few hours of sleep later, your situation changed.  You chucked your girl jeans and reached for a pair of loose-fitting sweats.  You scratched at the five o’clock shadow on your face and saw no reason to shave.  You put aside those shoes with laces and decided that Rainbow flip flops, which conform to your feet, were the answer—even if it happened to be forty degrees outside. 

            And what about your hair, which you used to feather, spike, highlight and whatever else people do to hair?  Oh, you didn’t need to waste precious seconds combing that mop-top.  You just donned a baseball cap, turned it backwards, and suddenly had all sorts of free time for the online portion of Call of Duty 3. 

            Sure, you had become a slob, but you didn’t let it bother you.  You didn’t let doing laundry bother you, either, because huge piles of unwashed clothes grew alongside the stacks of pizza boxes you and your roommate were unwilling to remove.  As long as you could keep Febreze-ing the one pair of sweats that really mattered to you, you were safe.

            It seemed as if all of your courses had been scheduled to frustrate you.  There was no way you could muster the energy to put on pants with a zipper, not with a brutal class lineup like yours.  The morning classes were way too early, and you weren’t awake yet.  The courses during lunchtime were impossible, on account of your being too hungry to concentrate.  And the afternoon classes?  Oh man, you were way too tired to do anything special for those.

            So you just sort of slouched through the week, hidden from view behind your tent-like sweats, raccoon eyebags, and thick but uneven beard stubble.  Although you managed to make yourself somewhat presentable for the parties you were attending, even that became difficult.  By the time you laid eyes on the girl of your dreams, you looked like a total wreck. 

            When you went up to talk to this girl, she gave you a hardcore diss and focused her attention on a guy who wore a pink Lacoste sweater tied around his neck.   You scrounged up five bucks in cash, bought one of those cardboard-tasting pizzas that people seem to love, and spent the next three years of your life journeying across the internetz with your World of Warcraft traveling party.

            It was too late for you, friend.  But it’s not too late for incoming freshmen who read your cautionary tale.  Dear people, it doesn’t take much to trigger a fashion catastrophe.  Heed the old warning about sweatpants: Wearing them once in public is too much and all four years in college is never enough. 

         If, however, you still need help, you should obey these additional rules of the game:


Yeah, about those cargo shorts.  Oh look, they’re big, baggy, and not at all form fitting.  You can put a lot of crap in their pockets, such as your fifteen cellphones and Scrooge McDuck’s Money Bin.  But do you really need so much space?  Do you really want to look shapeless and terrible?  You do, huh?  Well, you definitely picked the right pair of shorts. 


Hey, I didn’t know you played for the Philadelphia Eagles!  If it’s not game day, you shouldn’t rock that enormous McNabb #5 jersey.  Now that he’s been traded, you probably shouldn’t wear it at all.  But you will, because you're the kind of guy who never passes up a chance to look awful and behind the times.


Polk High Track and Field Champions 2006—stand back, we’re in the presence of sports royalty!  Wow, five years ago you were part of a team that won its conference or something. You’re like Georges St-Pierre and Randy “Big Unit” Johnson all rolled up in one super-athletic package.   You should wear this championship t-shirt as often as you can, preferably with sweatpants and Rainbow flip flops, so everybody can see how great you once were. 


Whoa, check out the tribal jewelry on this wild man.  Is that an anarchy symbol on a leather chain around your neck?  A cute anklet with seashells?  A ring for each finger?  Oh, all of this stuff looks so great with that Lord of the Rings shirt you’re rocking.  Goodness gracious, did we mention that these chintzy baubles are amazing?  We did?  Well, we’re going to say it again:  They’re amazing!


Oliver Bateman and his friends dish out fashion advice like it’s their job, which should come as no surprise given that it is their job.  You can read all about what not to wear at