The Difference Between: Being fashionable and looking like a twat

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During the research for this article (i.e., staring around my lecture hall), I noticed something quite unusual. The girls, for all their make-up and carefully thought-out clothes (sweeping generalisation #1) looked good, but really generic. No glamorous Aphrodites here, but no complete fashion cock-ups either. The guys, however, were where the real fight between fashion and twattiness came out, and it was excellent.

I should probably put a disclaimer here, I know as much about fashion as I do about the economics of sub-Saharan Africa, or whatever thrilling conversation PPEists get up to. But neither I, nor you, need to, because it’s still very easy to spot a twat. Just take a quick walk along Cornmarket, checking other people out (so, just a quick walk along Cornmarket really) and you’ll find yourself turning into Gok Wan, judging those red Doc Martins, that guy’s hair, or the couple with matching jumpers.

So, my pet fashion hate? The one accesory that can turn someone from classy to pompous just by it’s colour? The Red Scarf of Wealth. The Red Scarf epitomises the public schoolboy image that everyone seems to have of Oxford. Come November, the posh boys will whip out these scarves, ready to flash them in front of doe-eyed freshers who, they hope, will be drawn in by their carnal desire for Moët and caviar. When really it just flags said person as a bit of an arse, and perhaps slightly unnerved by the riff-raff around them.

But thinking about it, hipsters are even worse. Whilst they believe they tread the fine line between cool and zany, they just make everyone else cringe. Or laugh. Wearing slippers to Hall? No. Half a tub of Brylcreem to slick your hair back? No, you’re not in the Mafia. Wearing glasses with the lenses popped out? Really? The only good thing about hipsters is that they don’t yet realise they’ve become mainstream. It’d be fun to watch one realise this, casting away their Raybans and iPhone 4, sobbing into their chunky knitted sweater. But that’s all that the hipster scene is good for.

So, the million dollar question- how do you avoid looking like an idiot who threw a wardrobe at themselves and wore what stuck? Hell if I know. My morning dressing routine is a) grab a t-shirt b) grab jeans or chinos c) put one of my two pairs of shoes on (or flip-flops if I’m feeling really exciting) and run out the door. For going out, replace a) with grab a shirt, and put aftershave on. So far, it hasn’t gone drastically wrong. So I guess the moral of the story is this: if you don’t try and dress like a twat, you won’t look like a twat.

But don’t get me started on high fashion.
Alex Curran

 

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