LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOYS: Dress Up By Dressing Down

I’m not sure if Mother Nature heard, but summer is starting. However when the weather isn’t cooperating, like a toddler on too many cookies, what is a Fashionisto supposed to do? It’s cold, but it’s May, so coats are just completely out of the question. Step in, today’s Fashionisto: clad in a velvet blazer, navy polo and dark wash jeans.

The velvet blazer is a sleek take on the classic staple and brings a refreshing air to the look. There’s nothing better than an article of clothing that makes you want to drag your face across it as soon as you see it. The velvet jacket is thick and warm, yet gives off an easy going aesthetic without any of the burden of winter.

Layering a blazer over a polo shirt is an edgy move used rarely by straight fraternity lacrosse players who apparently wouldn’t know any better. But in this look, it works. The polo shirt dresses down the look adding to the casual appeal the outfit makes. This Fashionisto looks comfortable yet attractive — and that is touchdown … or whatever you call a homerun in lacrosse.

What I love about this Fashionisto’s jeans is the wash. The pants try to trick you into believing they’re just a really cool colored slack, but surprise! They’re denim — and comfortable. This look says, “Yes I have on a blazer, but I’m anything but corporate.” The simple sneakers reiterate this. Dressed down, never dressed so well.

Hint: Try out these simple sneakers by Vans and this polo by J.Crew. Wrap it all up in this gorgeous blazer by Burberry and you're ready for whatever summer Mother Nature thinks it's in.


Boston weather can be best described by Spring Awakening’s “Blue Wind”. It’s literally spring and summer every other day. So when it’s hot and windy the best fashion defense is simple. A T-shirt and jeans would suffice for the everyday man, but we’re Fashionistos which means simple compositions with attention to detail.

This Fashionisto has a very plain ensemble that looks easy going yet sophisticated. A blue oxford shirt is a must-have for any self-respecting man. The large beige buttons contrast the blue shirt, making it modestly fashionable without sacrificing its “easy” factor. Men’s clothing, especially during this warm season, is supposed to look easy.

Short-shorts used to be a joke I got made fun of in elementary school for. Now, they’re the sexy-chic that gives an instant stud factor to any man that can pull them off. Navy blue short-shorts are easy to pull off, but don’t be afraid to experiment with pastel greens and yellows if you’re a confident Fashionisto.

As always tie off the easy going look with easygoing boat shoes. Sperry Top-Siders aren’t going out of style anytime soon, so if you haven’t invested in a pair, go shopping stat!

Hint: Try this comfy cotton shirt from J.Crew and pick up these simple short-shorts while you’re at it. Tie the look off with Sperry's and for the debonair Fashionisto check out these swanky sunglasses by Tom Ford for when the Boston sun is extra bright.

LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOYS: It’s All In The Layers

Fashion is about the layering. If you’re a statistics major it’s about the interaction of regression lines; if you’re an international relations major it’s about the conflict. Styling is all about what you match with what, and the subject today plays no exception.

This Fashionisto’s scarf is chunky, yet utile. It looks warm and has a fun pattern in a simple stitching that even your grandmother would create. Around this time of year it’s barely scarf weather, but its loose wrap is a safety blanket of warmth anyway. Underneath it’s hiding a light blue oxford style button-down with a navy V-neck sweater on top. Simple prep school chic under the guise of a layered Fashionisto.

The cotton canvas jacket is a great pick for fall and spring seasons. Stiff shoulders and loose fit means it will look just as good buttoned as it does unbuttoned. Yes the colors of this look seem pretty dreary as we go from black to blue to something in between, but the variance in textures speaks for itself.

Cuffed light-washed jeans will always look great, as long as you have enough happening up top that your over-washed stretched out denim doesn’t make the headlines. Also now that it is no longer snowing or raining like a tropical forest, Boston is a great place for your suede desert boots.

It’s all about the interactions when it comes to clothing attraction. Play with what you already have in your closet and you might find that the combinations of the simplest item will turn you into one fierce Fashionisto.

Hint: Barneys NY is one of the best databases for fashionable scarves like this one. Tryout these simple desert boots from Clark then wrap your whole look in this slick fatigue jacket from J.Crew.

LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOYS: Springtime For Fashion

They say March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb; but now that it’s April, wool is the last thing on our minds. Mother Earth is finally turning away her cold shoulder so we can finally start shedding our winter coats. This is the perfect moment for edgy Fashionistos to say, “YOLO,” and pull out the neon yellow.

There is nothing mellow about the yellow this Fashionisto is wearing — bright and pastel like the Easter egg my Jewish mother would never let me paint. Here's a stereotype based in fact: men in lively, sunny colors are welcoming and stylish. Fashion is about being noticed for your clothing choices, so get noticed! Wear a color that doesn’t occur naturally in a bruise and I promise you will be #winning in no time. 

A lightweight coat is necessary at this point in the year. Nylon windbreakers make a decent spring jacket, but they sacrifice texture. This Fashionisto’s lightweight trapper jacket does not surrender comfort for shape. It has a great cut and pocket detailing, and it keeps a Fashionisto out of the chill while not looking like he just got back from warming up for a basketball game. This kind of jacket says, “Let’s go day drinking, even though I won’t need  my drunk coat to keep me warm today.”

You ought to know the drill by now: loose-fitting dark wash jeans are casual and not emasculating. They’re cuffed a half inch as if it's an afterthought of our subject. Canvas Sperrys are a lightweight shoe that can match every lightweight jacket. Are you noticing a trend here? Heavy coats, scarves and sweaters are an anachronism this time of year, so do the children in Cambodia a favor and start wearing less fabric.

This week we learned that lightweight and pastel are the key to your spring wardrobes. Make your closet a little more cotton candy and rainbows and I promise you’ll make it to next fall with a smile on your face.

Hint: Another great masculine pastel is the seafoam blue curacao hue of this J.Crew shirt. Wear it under this ever so utile barbour coat when there's just enough breeze to give you the shivers. Also, don't shy away from fashionable glasses. Try this pair from Oliver Peoples.

LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOYS: I Want It In Every Color

The whimsical appeal of American fashion truly takes shape when you add bright colors to classic staples. There’s something to be said about wearing an article of clothing in an unexpected color. Chinos and trenches come in khaki too often, but this Fashionisto offers a Technicolor mash-up to the dreary spring day.

Working our way down, we have a bright chambray shirt hidden beneath a bold navy trench coat. Typically, it’s hard for me to use navy and bold in the same sentence, but by the way this modern take on trench is styled, it’s obvious. Wide lapels means a masculine cut and its crisp waxed nylon sheen kisses the sunshine as if heckling the rain clouds. That’s poet talk for waterproof. Brass buckled and double breasted, say hello to your new spring coat.

This Fashionisto is also sporting a pair of slim fitting Nantucket red slacks. They’re so casually couture as if he took the pair right off of fashion demi-god Brad Goreski. I’m beyond jealous. Red can be a hard color to wear, but every man should find a place to inject crimson into his wardrobe. The scrunched, uncuffed ends are the perfect transition to his slate gray desert boots. For those of you who didn’t know men’s boots came in different styles, imagine the sleek charm of Salvatore Ferragamo mixed with the grunge of post-apocalyptic Mila Jovovich (read: go buy these immediately). His sunglasses are a sleek and casual compliment to the rest of his outfit. The fade to clear coloring of the rims is a look I’ve never seen from typically tortoise Ray-Bans.

And there you have it; simple choices and exciting colors make fashion as simple as recreating Piet Modrian on Microsoft paint!

Hint: Finding great staples in fashionable colors can be harder than it sounds. Get started on this gray chambray from J.Crew and cover it up with this beautiful trench from Burberry. Tie off the look with this pair of red slacks by Carven. Great designer staples in all the right colors.


The prepster is a rare hybrid of the preppy self-entitled schoolboy style with the grunge cluttered aesthetic of hipsters. Madras and boat shoes and Ray-Bans (oh my!) are the holy trinity of Cape Cod chic, so it only makes sense to bring the look back down with acid washed jeans and heavy-handed styling.

This Fashionisto’s plaid gingham shirt is a popular item every spring. Styled with sloppily rolled cuffs and left purposely wrinkled, this shirt gets an A+ for lack of effort. Nothing says Seattle Sound better than a grunged-out plaid that would make Kurt Cobain proud. Blue leather boat shoes add to the authenticity of the preppy mode and the lazy cuff on the faded grey jeans really makes the prep pop. That’s what makes the difference between boating on your parent’s luxury yacht and your illegally built houseboat with Claire Boucher while listening to Grimes. If that reference was too farfetched for you, you should seriously reconsider you time spent on Spotify. Overall we’re left with a look that gives off a laid back New Englander vibe.

These outfit choices are perfect for those almost-spring days. Those days when you just want to say, “Screw it, I’m drinking an iced coffee today,” and then you regret it after the brain freeze and wind chill set in. Untucked and cuffed on every limb, casualness is no excuse for style rules. Take note of how this Fashionisto cuffs his jeans only once — jeans should only be cuffed once, one inch. Otherwise, say chinos or cords, you can cuff them as many times as you’d like in half inch increments. I don’t make the rules, I just call them, so if you’re reading this with jeans cuffed up above your ankle, now is the time to check yourself before you wreck yourself.  

Sometimes the best mash-ups of fashion aesthetics are clothes of one mode worn in the style of another. Whether that means running the dryer a little extra or tucking in your ironic graffiti T-shirt, I encourage you to give prepster a try. It has all the perks of prep with all the sex appeal of bohemian style.

Hint: Sometimes you need to look like you were laid off to look laid back. That means expensive clothes worn like you're broke. Try this lightweight cotton shirt from J.Crew with these super-fine tortoise Ray-Bans. Wear the whole look with these classic Sperry Topsiders and you’re ready to try out prepster-chic. Iced coffee in hand, give those hipsters a taste of their own irony.


No matter which way you spin it, punk is hot. While the preppy, self-important and entitled man is the kind that you want to take home to your parents, the punk rock dirty Billie Joe Armstrong look-alike is just the kind of guy girlie teen magazines have been telling you to sleep with for years. Punk rock is normally associated with ugly hair styles, tattoos and unmentionable diseases, but the one gem to come out of all that noise is the fashion style. This Fashionisto sports a punk-chic aesthetic that has all the sex appeal of the genre, and none of the stank.

I cannot get over this leather jacket. When wearing a leather jacket, a rule of thumb is that leather should never look like “pleather”, even if you’re a vegan. It’s like wearing a fake designer handbag that your uncle bought you from China that says “MADE IN CHINA” right across its label. I can’t tell whether this leather jacket has a cow’s soul and suffering sewn into it, and that’s a secret that will have to die with this Fashionisto. Skewed zippers are finally in. They add a new dimension to normally cliché pieces like leather jackets, rain coats etc., but the way it travels up the lapel like some grungified leather peacoat is the kind of detailing Gareth Pugh dreams of. That’s runway talk for “ZOMG AMAZEBALLS!!” The golden zippers on this leather jacket give it a ritzy edge. The hardware on your jacket is vital to its fashion appeal; it’s like the leather interior of your leather jacket.

And that’s the magic of punk rock. All you need is one amazing item and you leave the rest of your clothes simple to do it justice. A plain white tee and loose, dark washed jeans do the trick. What can I say about jeans and a T-shirt that wouldn’t be trite and over used, other than the fact that they look great on everyone. Plato said, “Beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity,” and he must have known what he was talking about because all he wore was a toga and sandals.

White sneakers are cool but beat-up white sneaker are punk. I encourage every Fashionisto/a to have at least one pair of bright shoes. They pop with your dark wash jeans and corduroys and add some youthful disregard for traditional shoe design to your style. Beat up white sneakers bring a whole new irony to the color pop. Muddied and torn whites say, “Look at this article of clothing that I intended on keeping clean and pure as when I bought it, but ended up messing it up anyway.” Like torn jeans, these beat-up white shoes look like they’ve been places and have memories.

Punk, and any other rock aesthetic, is based on brute beauty. But there’s a fine line between what looks dirty and what looks weathered, and you always want to be the latter. I encourage you all to try out a punk look especially in the spring season; just don’t go all hardcore on us.

Hint: Here’s another quote to take home with you, “Keep it simple, stupid.” Try these simply elegant J.Crew jeans and these worn-out sneakers from AllSaints, which I actually own. Also from the British design team, this leather jacket screams punk — but remember at a punk concert, no one can hear you scream.

LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOYS: Whimsically American

Fashion, like any art, needs to stay modern. Sure, retro and vintage are chic, but there is nothing quite like the avant-garde strut of a Fashionisto dressed like the ghost of fashion future. 

Starting with his shoes, we see a classic pair of full brogue honey brown oxfords. Oxfords are so intrinsically “English professor,” and anything associated with Colin Firth in A Single Man is kosher in your closet.  Matched with a pair of slim fitting dark washed jeans, the shoes not only pop, but don’t age the Fashionisto. He looks young and casual even though his en pointe styling is way beyond his age.

A military style peacoat is timeless, but the double-breasted toggles take the look to the next season. The strong collar frames the colorful striped sweater underneath like a work of art — and this sweater is definitely a work of art. Truly, the best time to wear a striped sweater is all the time. But this particular sweater, with tapering stripes and colors, is what we wished rainbows looked like. Explicitly “party on the top and party on the bottom” interesting and whimsical patterns show smart shopping sense. Contemporary college men’s style has guys wearing too many ironic cat T-shirts and purposely ugly thrifted sweaters. This Fashionisto's style bears a message; dapper is finally in, so stop dressing like a homeless Where is Waldo.

We cannot forget about the accessories happening in this outfit either.  Pay attention to the nautical thinly striped belt that continues the tapering lines through the look. This Fashionisto is also sporting a pair of trendy purple sunglasses that are just as sleek as purple sunglasses sound. These pops of color are the refreshing bursts of springtime fashion our campuses need. In the wake of Paris Fashion Week, these reminders of spring are greatly appreciated. It’s like an It Gets Better video — but for clothes!

The leather and canvas bag is utile and fashionable; everything a man’s bag should be. The subject’s outfit is fashion-forward, balancing a classic English prep school template with pieces that have a quirky yet sophisticated American mode. Youthful and relaxed, this ensemble has a sunny Californian disposition. But the ease with which this Fashionisto pulls this look off still makes us feel like we’re four hours late to the party.

Hint: The Coup de Gras of this outfit is the striped sweater. Have fun with your clothing with styles by Jack Spade’s whimsically American clothing. This sweater is the kind of technicolor dream coat your wardrobe is begging for. What’s better than an English shoe style? Italian leather. This Oxford by Salvatore Ferragamo is a modern take on classic stitching. Finally stay warm in this stiff collared J.Crew peacoat. overall, the lesson of the week is to pay attention to Parisian Fashion Week, but keep your clothes domestic. American fashion is sexier than euro-trash, and women (or men) will still want you to paint them like your French girls.

LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOYS: Masculinity At Its Best

Why do men grow beards? Sure, sometimes I’m too lazy to shave and it’s fun to stroke/pretend my face is a baby hedgehog, but in the end it’s all for the sake of ruggedness  The single word that only looks good on guys, a state of being rugged is what separates the men from the boys and the Fashionisto's from the dainty fashion femmes. It’s incredibly easy for men’s fashion to go awry and make a guy’s look too feminine, like infamous Chris Colfer and Tilda Swinton. Let’s face it, if you’re fashion sense is making you resemble La Roux, you’re doing it wrong. Lesson to be learned — androgyny is like communism; only attractive in theory. This week’s Fashionisto gives us a crash course in machismo.

Let’s work our way down. Beard, check. Facial hair is easily the most valuable accessory a man can have. Next, the thick knitted scarf is a must have for the cold season. Normally I’d recommend a merino wool or cashmere textile, but for the sake of masculinity, a stitched wool gives a uniquely rustic flavor to the ensemble. The trick to dressing like a real boy is making people think you’re wearing clothes for function, not fashion.

A leather jacket is essential to every wardrobe, but take note of this coat in particular. Wide lapels exaggerate shoulder width and the metal zippers and buckles are the kind of fun detailing that rarely makes it into menswear. Combined with a great navy Henley shirt, the Polo’s less pretentious cousin, this look asserts a worn-in, yet fashion conscious aesthetic. Can you say Marlon Brando?

Worn out jeans are so underrated. Being a Fashionisto doesn’t always mean you need to wear the tightest and most brightly colored pants on campus. Faded jeans bring casualness to any ensemble, and as long as they fit you they won’t look, as my grandmother calls it, schleppy.

Tie off the look with a sleek watch and a pair of sturdy boots. Stainless steel is the only bling a guy should ever bring to his outfit. Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but stainless steel can take a beating and never dulls. It's perfect for when you’re riding your bike, hunting wolverines or whatever you do with your glowering machismo. A fashionable pair of boots alludes to the same bucolic rusticity of the scarf. Rule of thumb, unless he’s wearing a suit, a Fashionisto should wear as simple a shoe as possible.

So what did we learn this week? An over calculated fashion sense can leave a Fashionisto looking sterile and starkly femme, which is that “Make it work moment” that separates a Tim Gunn from a Glenn Close. Or a Glenn Close from an Albert Nobbs, your pick. Remember men, your clothes are a direct expression of you, so make sure we know both those chromosomes aren’t X.

Hint: The cornerstone of this outfit is the leather jacket. This one by Schott NYC has the same whimsical biker theme going on. K.O. the look with this scarf by J.Crew and this Henley from AllSaints Spitalfields. Follow my rules, and in the words of Mulan’s Li Shang, “I’ll Make a Man Out of You.”


How do you translate boho-chic to the male aesthetic without looking like a hipster? The dirty word that’s become a staple in urban culture, hipsterism, is one of those trends the fashion purists wish would run down the drain as easily as a bottle of some obscure microbrewer’s ale. But until then, we pray for the diamonds in the rough, and sure as shooting, they do emerge.

More of a reassembled Mr. Rogers than a Devendra Banhart progeny, this week’s Fashionisto serves up every flavor of umber in all the textiles we love. Remember, the only way to get away with a monochromatic palette is to vary textures and patterns.

Today’s subject does just that. The earthy herringbone trench elongates the look and offers all the same advantages of a blazer or sports jacket. Sure, some people may try to hire you to find their lost ironic cat sweater or discover who drank the last case of PBR, but did film noir ever go out of style? Don’t answer that question.

Unless you’re on a golf course, argyle is still cool. Show me a man who wears argyle socks, and I’ll show you a man who is making upstanding life choices. The argyle sweater is a basic article every Fashionisto should have to W.A.S.P” up his chambrays, ginghams, or even wear stag like our subject. Paired with the top is a great pair of maroon corduroys. The secret to keeping corduroys current is to wear a pair with thin wales (the ridges ingrained in the fabric). Maroon is a great color for Fashionistos who don’t want to give in to the preppy Nantucket scarlet slacks but still want to hold on to fun colorful pants for a rainy day. 

This Fashionisto completes his outfit with a standard pair of canvas Sperry’s and a funky mauve pleather book bag that is less campy than it sounds, I promise. Items like these really add to the character of an outfit which truly speaks to the hipster appeal. It’s the equivalent of stating, “Hey, I may or may not be toting a bilingual backpack that helps me on adventures.” Hipsterism is about tongue-in-cheek fashion that is inarguably and starkly attractive. It’s like watching a Lana Del Rey music video and finally understanding what it means to be a poor little rich girl who watches Lana Del Rey music videos. But remember, the number one rule of being hipster is to not talk about being hipster. 

Hint: First of all, if you really want to recreate this look, don’t go any farther than designer brand Salvation Armani. But if you’re like me, and think old clothes have bad karma in the stitches, here’s a cheat sheet. Herringbone coats are easy to find and come in all different colors. The same goes for argyle sweaters like this one from Banana Republic (and go merino wool, or go home). Also this pair of burnt umber cords by Allsaints Spitalfields are to die for. Happy thrifting!