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Style with Sean

Sean Fitzgerald | Tuesday, December 6, 2011


If fashion makes you cower in fear like a Japanese schoolgirl when Godzilla invaded, then I am here to help you. My name is Sean Fitzgerald and I have a passion for men’s style. For me, style is timeless, affordable and achievable for the collegiate male. Let’s face our inner Godzilla and start making some stylistic upgrades.

Cargo Pants: Lots of Function, Little Form

I understand that cargo pants serve a purpose. That purpose is to hold things, lots and lots of things. Cargo pants are the ultimate choice for functional apparel. They have twelve gazillion pockets and work well in the outdoors. Going camping? Bring them.  Going to class? Not a fan.

The Suggestion: Corduroys

If you want to be warm and comfortable, corduroys are a solid choice. The thicker the width of the vertical line of the pant, also known as the wale, the dressier the pant and the more velveteen it feels. If you want a softer feel to your cords, then search for pinwale or pincord corduroys.

Ditch the Hoodie

We all want to show off our wonderful Notre Dame attire, but you don’t need to wear a hoodie all the time. Hoodies are really hard to do anything with. It’s hard to layer with a hoodie because it’s difficult to put a thicker layer on the outside of this already thick material. They are warm, but I think we can do better.

The Suggestion: The Sweater

Look for crew neck and v-neck sweaters. Sweaters generally are made of merino wool, cashmere, silk, cotton or a blend of materials. A lot of debate surrounds cashmere.  The general consensus is that it is loved by a few, but too expensive for most.  A cashmere sweater may be $130 retail, while merino wool may be $50. Is cashmere worth the extra money? For me, no. But, you will have to make your own decision on this one. Caution: merino wool shrinks so be careful when you wash it.

Dare to be Different: Something Besides a Black North Face Jacket

I could go on and on about the alternatives to this and why people should try something new, but I’ll give you the Sparknotes version. Style is personal. It reflects individuality. The North Face Jacket is just uninspiring. Where’s the personality? I have to admit the black North Face Jacket is comfortable, but it’s not the only warm article of clothing you can wear during winter. Discover your inner Lewis & Clark this winter and be more adventurous.

The Suggestion: The Coat

My coat of choice is the pea coat (or peacoat, for some reason retailers can’t decide how to spell it).  Pea coats will keep you warm, protect you from the wind and are easy to layer over other attire. Generally top-end pea coats are made with an 80 percent wool/ 20 percent polyester blend. However, a 60/40 pea coat will do just fine. Caution: ensure that the shoulders fit off the rack. Your tailor can work his magic, but he can’t do much if the shoulders don’t fit right.

Take some time to think about these suggestions over break.  You never know, you might even impress your family with your new sense of style.

Contact Sean Fitzgerald at [email protected].

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.