Fashionolgy with Nico Salvatori

March 8, 2013

Fashion is often thought of in terms of how an individual’s sense of dress reflects his or her personality or socioeconomic status. Thus, someone who dresses extravagantly is either trying too hard at great financial risk, or has enough money to do so, feeling the need to express themselves in overwrought dresses and an astounding number of accessories that end up forming more of an amorphous blob than an eclectic whole brought together by mutually complementing individual pieces.I’m talking about infinity scarves, those endless rings of cotton that keep the neck so cozy and warm at the cost of making each person who dons one look either like a cobra trainer, or just a very reckless person who thought it would be cool to play with a large and dangerous snake for a little while in the winter.But, at the end of the day, a good fashion sense must be considered within the context of the individual. Some people can pull off wearing thirty bracelets on each wrist, while others should be a little more respectful to their forearms.

Because fashion is so subjective, many people are better off avoiding the prevailing trends in favor of a style that works for them. Nonetheless, whatever route they choose, an individual’s sense of fashion says something about them — makes some sort of statement in the eyes of their peers.

But is it possible for someone’s overall attire to say nothing at all about their personality? Probably not, but that hasn’t stopped me from trying.

Lately, I’ve noticed that many of my friends enjoy commenting on (what I would call) my inexhaustible talent at wearing the same sweatshirt everyday (and pulling it off). They think it’s funny to pick on Nico and his predictably uniform attire. But what they don’t know is that I make very deliberate decisions about what I wear. There’s nothing haphazard or inattentive about my fashion sense.

I understand that a bland wardrobe may suggest a number of unflattering things — poverty, laziness, social rebellion, practicality, a traumatic childhood, total ignorance of current fashion trends, complete incompetence when it comes to looking like a respectable citizen — but I’m willing to take that risk for what I believe to be a much higher principle than blind reverence for the fashion gods.

My goal is to be the first person ever to make a fashion non-statement. Here’s how:

Nothing says “I’m a manufactured, walking billboard — maybe even a cute one,” more than obnoxiously large logos and brand associations. The fastest path to fashion obsolescence is by becoming an advertisement for a company that profits on slave labor or a company that just might not even be around in a few years. Going the no-logo-route frees you from these traps and makes for an outfit that can work with just about anything. Which brings me to my next bit of advice.

Nothing says “Hey, relax, I’m just trying to look somewhat decent,” more than a congruous interplay between patterns on a shirt and a casually elegant pair of khakis (which I detest because of how I always associate khakis with my job). Once you’ve eliminated patterns entirely, you really only have to focus on solid colors. Stay dark, but not dreary. You don’t want to come off as a loner, but you also don’t want to come off as terribly upbeat. Find a nice middle ground. Maybe some earthy browns or a mid-level grey. Be that bridge–that very literal grey area–between optimism and pessimism and no one will be able to get a good read on your personality, however much they try to categorize your fashion sense and what it says about you.

This falls into the aforementioned (first paragraph) trying-too-hard category, which is, in itself, a statement, and thus antithetical to a non-statement. Duh. Plus, “button” is also a verb, which means you have to button the buttons, and that’s just too much work. Verbs are bad when it comes to fashion. Any article of clothing that can be verbified is no good — such as the tie. Ties are bad, because tying ties is even more bad, and complex, and really hard, and one day I swear I’ll be able to tie a tie without the assistance of YouTube, okay. Whatever.

Accessories, done right, suggest nuance and taste. And nuance is bad for making a non-statement. Nuance is all statement. So stay way from that. Thanks.
And that’s about it folks. The path to making a fashion non-statement is rather simple, and pretty cheap actually. May you successfully dress ambiguously until the end of your days.


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