The Observer is a student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame, Saint Mary's & Holy Cross. Learn about us.



Your Christmas Wish List: Style Guide

| Monday, December 8, 2014

christmas-graphic-WEBKeri O'Mara
Winter semester, deceptively named “spring term,” can be a time of stylistic regression. Take the gifts and time Christmas break offers to refresh your wardrobe and delay the onset of the daily groutfit. Don’t know what to ask for? Here are a few tips:

Alterations on your suit

You wear your suit on the most important occasions of your life. As January rolls around, you’ll start having interviews for future positions, presentations in your classes and formals to show off your sartorial class, so you’ll want the suit that makes a difference. Even if it’s a hand-me-down, having a suit tailored to fit makes you look on top of your game, even if you’re focusing on containing your nerves. Wearing a baggy suit is just as out of style as baggy jeans are, and no one should look like a Zoot Suit Riot enthusiast.

Ties, especially from The Tie Bar

Everyone loves ties; it is scientifically proven. To be on your game, snag a couple slimmer, 2.5-inch-wide ties to go with your newly fitted suit. I never understood why men began to wear wider and wider ties, but thankfully, “Mad Men” reminded us of the glorious 1960s slim ties. My personal favorite source is The Tie Bar. On their front page they offer personal styling based on your occasion, shirt type and comfort level, and the results are spot-on. If you’re completely lost on what to choose, get an urban stripe, the modern remake of the classic power stripe tie. What to avoid unless you really know what you’re doing: the collection of printed, “conversational” ties your dad keeps around for casual Fridays. All regular ties are $15 on The Tie Bar, with designer collaborations running at $25 apiece.

A tweed blazer

The winter coat of blazers. In the bone-rattling winters of Indiana, it can be an extra layer, and in the spring and fall, you can use it to replace a light jacket. The versatility of this piece also amazes: You can throw it on with jeans and a T-shirt, or wear it to a holiday party with the same jeans, a button-down and the tie you snagged off The Tie Bar. When browsing colors, avoid the browns, unless you’re trying to be mistaken for someone’s philosophy professor. Snag a grey herringbone for a classic or a dark blue as a risk. Elbow patches optional.

A fisherman, or any chunky, sweater

If I could choose one article of clothing to wear for the rest of the eternity that is winter, it would be a thick, chunky, knit sweater. Be it a Fair Isle cardigan or a cable-knit fisherman sweater, these beauties have the substance and warmth that you want once the chill sets in. Then, as green re-emerges, they can be dug back out to enjoy the woods in style. Just as they blend heat and elegance, a chunky sweater will convey the gruff, outdoorsy man and the creative soul of Hemingway all in one. When specifically should you wear it? Holiday parties, shoveling snow, jetting off ski slopes or cradling a mug of hot chocolate in one hand and a novel in the other.


You have enough sweatpants emblazoned with the Notre Dame logo. What’s the difference you ask? Joggers are loose near the top, but get tight through the legs. Weird, you say? Just think for a moment, why are tight-fitting leggings a girl’s go-to? The slim leg portion provides the comfort of sweats cloth with the extra, er, space you might near the waist. Plus they look a lot more fashionable, even if you’re still wearing it with a ND hoodie.


Everyone needs socks. Running out of socks means doing laundry. Don’t run out of socks.

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

Tags: , , , , , ,

About Daniel Barabasi

Daniel enjoys taking long walks on the lakes, debating grammatical punctuality and dancing in the swing fashion. In his spare time, he is a neuroscience major in the Class of 2017.

Contact Daniel