How to be a cool kid, and other assorted bits of wisdom endorsed by semi-famous people and birds of prey alike

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Isaac Messinger

By Isaac Messinger | The Broadside (Contact: imessinger@cocc.edu)

As I travel around campus during the week I see many things. Bad things, like ballooning, 2006-era jeans that look like hand-me-downs from Soulja Boy bad. All white New Balance shoes that belong on a fresh cut lawn in front of a grill. Those hideous wrap around sunglasses that you probably found on the ground at a Nickelback show. It’s a jungle out there, kids.

Most of the time I’m able to survive by blindfolding myself and using my eyes only when my certified fashion consultant tells me there are no basketball shorts in the vicinity. Until today.

Today, while ascending the stairs to the Science Center, blindfold affixed tightly over my retinas, I felt the aura of a something horrible. Something so poorly fitted that the extra space could have housed an entire colony of Chanel models and their stylists. Something denim. As the monstrosity grew closer, my Balenciaga blindfold burst into flames, scorching my tightly shut eyes. I screamed and fell to the ground, tears breaking off what was left of my charred eyelashes. I didn’t dare to look.

Needless to say, I’m writing this from the emergency room. Also needless to say, I have been moved to write share some style advice, so that hopefully, nobody will ever have to go what I went through. Here are three bits of advice gleaned from my years as a beacon of clean style.

Firstly, and most importantly, you have to cuff your pants. Nobody will ever take you seriously if you are wearing un-cuffed pants, least of all Virgil Abloh. If you don’t know who Virgil Abloh is,just picture Jesus, but with more clout, and cuffed pants. You may be thinking to yourself: “But I’m wearing cargo shorts.” I literally don’t care. Cuff them. If you don’t know how to cuff your pants, just kinda grab the ends of the legs and roll them in an upwards vector. Pow. Instant style. Do not underestimate the power of cuffs. I once saw a woman get a job at Target without saying a word, simply by cuffing her sweat pants to her knees.

“The higher your cuffs, the higher your style levels.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

Number two is nearly as important as number one, and much simpler: When in doubt, dot it out. Are you unsure about the stylistic integrity of a piece of clothing, a hat, or a pair of shoes? Just take the nearest set of markers and put some polka dots all over it. Everybody like polka dots. Members of the opposite sex will immediately become aware of your mating potential. Santa Claus will stop at your house before everyone else’s, even if it’s not Christmas. Just trust me on this one. I mean, have you seen leopards? Those things rock.

We’ll finish off with a classic, a paragon of style advice, a mainstay of excellent fashion. Have you ever seen someone wearing jeans and an old hoodie, but somehow they just looked fresh as all hell for no reason? Somebody that made joggers and nondescript running shoes seem like a tuxedo? You may have guessed what the special sauce is by now: Be attractive. Nothing makes mediocre style seem great like being good looking. Your jeans don’t fit well? Be more attractive. All of your button down shirts have weird tribal patterns on them? Just get your Zac Efron on. Boom, tribal is suddenly the hottest thing since that hot pocket you had for lunch. Can’t seem to pull off those ski boots with your cocktail dress? You guessed it, just be more attractive. Chateau meets business party has never been more appealing.

Now obviously, my advice is infallible, but should you feel the need to debate or counter anything I’ve said, please feel free to take off all of your clothes, head towards the nearest trash can, and toss them right in there. Because your outfit is trash.

Meanwhile, for all my sexy cuff lords: look around you. Take in the bad things, the boxy padded suit jackets, the (admittedly pretty cool) shoe-sock things that fit all your toes. Look down at your gloriously cuffed pants and breathe deeply.

Gandhi is proud of you, and so am I. 

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