It’s easy to understand why ’90s grunge sits well with college students. The casualness of showing up to a party in faded denim or letting a flannel shirt slide down a shoulder during class feels edgy and subversive.
But the look has gone so mainstream in recent years that it often reads more trendy than effortless. The poser who spends hours trying to look artfully disheveled has become something of a cliché in hipster culture. Today, the scruffy dude wearing pajama pants and horn-rimmed glasses is as likely to have coordinated his outfit the night before as he is to have just rolled out of bed.
Remaining coolly blasé, this Fashionisto brings new life to a tired fad. The blazer and boat shoes might seem unfit for an otherwise rugged ensemble, but they add an element of intrigue to the look. By keeping his look subtle, this guy differentiates himself from the Jordan Catalano carbon copies one is bound to find on campus. The resulting look, ironically, feels more nonchalant than anything involving a ripped Sonic Youth shirt.
To replicate this comprehensive look, start with basics. This Fashionisto opts for a graphic tee with an indecipherable design (such mystery!) and fitted gray jeans. Simple clothes in muted colors serve as a strong foundation for the rest of the outfit.
Next, brighten things up with grungy but colorful add-ons. An open flannel keeps this low-key and cozy, and this dude’s florescent beanie is an original twist on shabby chic. A patterned hunting hat or something with a pom-pom are also rad headwear options.
This Fashionisto goes a little bit New England by sporting a pair of classic Top-Siders. But what makes his outfit completely distinctive is his eccentric choice of outerwear. Paired with casual weekend clothes, his pinstriped blazer feels like a last-minute addition, perhaps something he grabbed off the floor before heading outside. And the mismatched grays of the jeans and the jacket intensify the laid-back vibe.
For all we know, though, this Fashionisto spent days deciding between Dr. Martens and Sperry Top-Siders. Maybe it took three products to get his hair to hang over his face just so. The point is, you don’t actually have to not care in order to pull this off. You just have to look like you don’t. Regardless, if you want to be truly convincing as a jaded dispassionisto, you’ll need to practice wearing this guy’s awesomely apathetic facial expression.