LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOYS: Top Of The Class

Let's Hear it for the Boys

Autumn is my favorite season to be an academic in. Something about the warm nutty fall shades, the crisp chill in the air and the smells of brewing apple cider always motivates me to curl up into a library chair and crack those books. Unfortunately, nothing turns me off in the library faster than swathes of sweaters and tracksuit bottoms. As today's Fashionisto was heading to the library, he showed me that he never compromises his style despite being an academic. Charles Hix, the author of Looking Good, once said, “Looking good isn't self-importance; it's self-respect.” Whether you're heading to class, checking in at the library or studying in your favourite café, having a sharp appearance can help sharpen your attention and academic prowess.

Today's collegiate is sporting pieces that are typified by their association with academic life. The cream V-neck sweater with suede elbow patches is very elegant and reminiscent of the style of a typical British professor. However, elbow patches are in fact relics from army shooting jackets. Now designers from Thom Browne to Burberry have adopted elbow patches onto sweaters, blazers and sports jackets. There are different styles of elbow patches on light knit sweaters — this Fashionisto is wearing a classic like this J.Crew one. If you are feeling more adventurous, why not try one like this with Aztec print patches from Topman?

The key to pulling off any trend is knowing how to style other pieces around it. This Fashionisto wisely paired his cream sweater with navy blue chinos, giving two different but complementary color blocks. Chinos or khakis were also standard army wear, but became mainstream collegiate fashion when soldiers returned from the war and wore their chinos to class. Now you can get them in every color and they are a great basic alternative to jeans. Zara has some wonderful chinos in various styles: this one is similar to today's Fashionisto's. Try rolling them up and sporting some printed ankle socks to give a quirkier twist to this sophisticated look. The brown belt is essential in this look, pulling the sweater and the chinos together. If the sweater had been a thick, cable-knit jumper that could sit heavily on the hips the belt would not have been necessary. Since the knit of the sweater is so light, the belt adds a certain hardness and gives definition to this Fashionisto's shape.

This law student could have polished this look off with some predictable wingtips or oxfords. Instead, by wearing a pair of moccasin slippers he kept the look casual and comfortable — perfect for studying in. Moccasins have a wonderful autumn feel to them; since they are traditionally Native American footwear, something about them has a very earthy element to them. At the same time, they are aesthetically pleasing. While I appreciate how the toffee tone of the moccasins complements the warm cream hue of the jumper, I think I would have liked to see this Fashionisto in bright red or teal green moccasins. The suede material of the moccasins has a wonderful way of absorbing rich hues and a kick of color would have been a nice surprise.

The final tip to achieve this look, straight from today's Fashionisto, is to not necessarily spend money on expensive clothes, but to find what fits you the best. So next time you decide to hit the books, make sure you've kitted yourself out in some fetching academic attire!

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