By Aaron Warga
Photos by Christine Zhang
A few weeks ago as I scurried down the hallway, probably late for something as usual, one of my floor mates remarked, “You always look like you have your life together!” Ha. That’s a good one—Me. Life together. My life’s all over the place. It’s a gigantic, whirling tornado that consumes any semblance of put-togetherness in its path. Speaking of tornadoes, it looks like one attacked my room, which probably smells like some frightening combination of barbeque tofu wraps and tears… and maybe that tupperware that’s been sitting in my fridge all semester. I used it once to steal food from Leo’s, and it’s been festering in there ever since. When I get dressed in the morning I scrounge through the pile of wrinkled clothes that I was too lazy to fold and put away. It’s been sitting at the foot of my bed for months. As I type this I realize that my hands and fingernails are stained indigo because I dyed my hair yet again. I could keep going but I think some things are best left unsaid. Needless to say I’m a mess.
Clearly something about what I was wearing that fateful day fooled the world into thinking that I know what I’m doing. I thought I’d share the outfit with you so that you too can trick people into thinking your life isn’t a disaster. Christine, who took the lovely photographs for this article, has an incredible tolerance for nonsense. It took three tries to get this photo shoot to happen. And then I was late because I thought sunglasses would make me look more put together, but I lost them in the wastelands of my dorm room… they were broken anyways. She was so sweet about dealing with my incompetence: it really was impressive. You can pretend I’m wearing the sunglasses though. That brings me to my first looking put-together tip: sunglasses. Sunglasses will hide the bags under your eyes, your dead, vacant stare, and puffiness from crying over something you found in the “Gay and Lesbian” section of Netflix (*cough* “Blue is the Warmest Color”). Plus they look cool, unless you wear them indoors. Don’t be that person.
Another great way to hide your ineptitude is to wear all black. Who has time to worry about color coordinating when they’re 20 minutes late for class? Plus it’ll make you look serious… even if you have blue hair. So my coat isn’t actually black, it’s navy. But that’s close enough. Did you really expect more from me?
I’ll (attempt to) deconstruct this outfit.
1) Trench Coat (Or is it a pea coat? I’m from Texas, I don’t know these things.)
It doesn’t really matter what it’s called as long as it looks snazzy. I got mine from Zara, and it has a lapel and buttons, which equal fancy. Fancy equals life put together. It’s science. Trust me, I’m a STIA major.
Button-down shirts tend to be associated with relatively formal situations, plus, buttons make you look like you put effort into getting dressed. You’ll look like you actually go to events that require a button-down, so people will think you’re important. Important people have their life together, because they wouldn’t have become important if they didn’t have their life together in the first place. So logical, right? This one’s from Topman.
Jewelry screams “I separate lights, whites, and darks when I do my laundry.” Not only did you manage to put on clothing, you even went to all the trouble of putting on accessories?! I only have 2 necklaces and this ring, but it looks like I probably have more, right? (Update: I lost this necklace… ☹) You’ll look so on top of things that people will probably think you even make a list of objectives for the day when you wake up and cross them all off before you go to sleep! I tried that once, but then I got too stressed from the pressure and watched The Legend of Korra for 4 hours straight #Korrasami4lyfe.
4) Resting Bitch Face.
This is optional but you can make sure to look slightly unamused at all times. It’ll look like you’re constantly unsatisfied, so everyone will think you have high standards. Foolproof.
5) Chelsea Boots
Don’t they just sound fancy? You could wear these with pretty much anything and you’ll still look chic and put together.
Do these look like the feet of someone who’s wearing an unwashed outfit that was drenched in sweat three days prior? I thought not! I never said anything about smelling like you have your life together.
Even your feet will look like they’re on top of everything.
I think the most important thing to take away from this would be to wear all black. Even if you aren’t wearing button down shirts or fancy-looking coats, your outfit will still look cohesive by virtue of being all one color. Black works for everybody, even the hottest of blue-haired messes.