Guys fashion gets a splash of frat


One of the cardinal rules of fashion states; “no white after labor day.” However, no rule orders on the donning of other colors after a certain point in the season. And in the wake of such freedoms, pastels and patterns brighten up the hallways of Staples; paired with boat shoes and cashmere sweaters, the “preppy” style for guys is flaunted throughout the year.

For the male population at Staples, styles and fashion senses range all across the spectrum. There are the guys who wear sweats and sports logo wear every day, some who pull off graphic t-shirts with jeans others who add a little bit of “frat” to their wardrobe. These J.Crew and Vineyard Vines frequent shoppers have wardrobes composed of pastels, boat shoes, button downs and a pair (or ten) of Chubbies (shorts).

Harry Epstein ’15, has a high profile in men’s fashion– he works at Jack Wills, the British based “preppy” outfitter, and also has started  his own clothing line– Gracious Manufacturing. Epstein describes a “preppy” wardrobe as including, “button downs, short chino shorts, seersucker and maybe some nice loafers…but if not, then Sperry’s.”

The term “preppy” is in reference to the Northeastern subculture associated with private university preparatory schools. The term developed into an American adjective describing the “subcultural speech, vocabulary, dress, mannerisms, etiquette and accent reflective of an upper-class, Northeastern upbringing,” according to Wikipedia. The styles have been taken to colleges and are classified as “fratty.”

“I would describe my fashion style as fratty,” George Garland ’16 said. Garland, a proud supporter of the style, finds most of his wardrobe at Patagonia, J.Crew, Chubbies and, of course, Vineyard Vines.

The popular brand, based in Martha’s Vineyard, was started in 1998 by two brothers who were sick of their corporate Manhattan jobs. The duo then began selling ties so they didn’t have to wear them themselves. Their start up story reflects the laid-back attitude of the company and of those who wear their clothes. Vineyard Vines now has their famous whale trademark printed on merchandise including ties, button downs, bathingsuits and sweaters.

Similarly, Chubbies promotes such a lifestyle. The men’s shorts and swim trunks have an inseam of only five-and-a-half inches, range in over 120 designs and seem irresistible to Staples guys.

According to Garland, the Chubbies trend started about two years ago in Westport, after the company was started in 2011, by four Stanford students.

“In regards to frat clothes, I think it’s annoying but awesome,” Epstein said. “And I would like to involve myself at some point by purchasing some Chubbies.”

As  described by Cameron Felton ’15, “It’s not a trend. It’s a lifestyle.”