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Welcome Back: Putting away the pinnies, breaking out the Chinos

By Matt Singer- Senior Staff Writer

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At the risk of sounding like that one Game of Thrones meme on the Internet, students who are concerned about their dress should brace themselves because fall is coming.

This coming season ushers in the return of frequent pants wearing, which, for starters, completely changes your shoe game because some things just don’t go well with shorts. 

Guys can dust off their Clarks, desert boots and dressier loafers that have been forced into a vernal vacation and also retire the boat shoes that have likely underwent far, far too much action during the summer. Whereas summer fashion is about warmth, vibrancy and excitingly bright hues, fall warrants a bit more tonal modesty. It’s the last stop before winter, which makes everyone bundle up, so sleek and simple is key.

Expect to see ladies bring their flats back out, which they can then pair with their favorite pants or jeans. These will coincide with an extension of the sandal-appropriate time frame, as girls can make them work with pants much better than guys — sorry, fellas, but the whole flip-flop baggy jeans combo doesn’t work anymore. Girls might also be smart to start sporting boots, albeit none of the Ugg variety, for, hopefully, painfully obvious reasons.

It’s a bit too early, ladies, to wear combat or any heavier pairs of boots, which are perfect for mid-January, and remember that anything too warm or too thick is going to be uncomfortable on the days when the fall temperature creeps up a bit too high. For girls who choose to wear skinny jeans or tight-fit pants, the bottoms should go inside the boot. Seeing your skin-tight pant leg stretched to the seams with your boots’ tongue pressing against it is a good sign that you’re doing it wrong.

But, back on the topic of pants, boyfriend jeans have finally reached a point of fashion stability that they’ve become a go-to for girls looking for something to match with certain pairs of sandals or ever-so-slightly formal footwear. And in terms of jeans, girls have a lot more leeway than boys, and for good reason: Girls tend to match washes and tops better and know how to vary their overall style and jean type.

If you’re a guy and you just can’t bear to wear anything but denim, as many college-aged guys can’t, look into Levi’s. After the company launched its website, Levis501.com, which showcases 501 different ways to wear a pair of Levi’s, the brand should become synonmous with versatility in the denim world. 

Their many washes are in addition to their many color options, and the website is a good how-to guide for the denim addicted so they can at least incorporate a healthy dash of style into their preference. Varying your typical jean-heavy style is a great way to eventually move into the world of chinos and corduroys, so look at the experimentation as dipping your toes in the water.

Although many students might not have the luxury of season-specific wardrobes they never wear outside the appropriate months — i.e., summer linens that are literally only worn in the summer — there are, nonetheless, some things you need to retire after August.

Guys, the pinnies and sleeveless shirts need to be put away until next summer, with the few possible exceptions coming only in the forms of bro-only barbecues, tailgating, sports outing and the like. For a variety of reasons, many guys might not be prone to sweaters or layering just yet. 

However, a lot of what guys wear in the summer can carry over: simple v-necks and crewnecks, polos and button-downs. So long as they aren’t outrageously summery or covered in boats, lobsters and whales, the carryover should be quite all right, and very helpful for those on a budget.

Many ladies will probably start to layer again, and retailers almost seem to predict this trend by offering many more sweaters or long sleeve blouses for women than they do for men. But they can still dress comfortably rather than going with a de facto bundling up and can still enjoy light and flowy tops. 

Cardigans become almost ubiquitous in the fall for women, and that’s because not many people genuinely consider topping an outfit off with one as layering, per se. It’s light and a good accent, and you can cuff the sleeves just enough to keep from becoming too warm.

The adjustment from summer to fall isn’t actually that hard to make. The die-hard fashionistos and fashionistas might go all out in their transition, but not every college kid has the luxury of a seasonal shopping spree. For that reason, merely calming down your summer look can accomplish a lot come fall. 

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Welcome Back: Putting away the pinnies, breaking out the Chinos