We’d like to thank everyone for the positive response the blog has received. We’re honored and humbled by your generosity, but know that we have to step our game up if you’re going to stick around. With that, we’d like to establish a few guidelines about the blog – what we hope to achieve, how we’ll go about it, and provide a little color on your three humble bloggers.
Our ultimate goal is to have the entire city of Washington, DC dress better, starting with the future leaders of the world that walk through SAIS.We know many before us have tried and failed, and we know that we probably will too. As delusional as we are, we know we aren’t going to change an entire city’s culture let alone most students. The point is to have fun while trying to do it and to grow closer with our brethren here at SAIS and in Washington, DC.
We’ll do this by educating, not lecturing, people. We don’t want to be the fashion police and critique your daily wardrobe because, to be honest, we really do have better things to do — like this final paper that’s not writing itself or scouring the internet for the best fashion deals out there or drinking. Our posts will point out some of the most egregious sartorial violations that most men make and offer our suggestions on how to fix them. We WILL NOT embarrass, satire or disparage any single person’s style. We’re not going to roll around campus stealthily taking pictures of people as an example of what-not-to-do.We’re not in the business of demonizing anyone. That’s what talk radio is for.
Like international relations theory, style has no right answer, despite what some professors or editors may profess. As we mentioned in our first post, the style spectrum is wider and longer than the political spectrum. This is especially true for your three humble bloggers. We are three individuals with distinct tastes and preferences who do not agree on everything. This blog almost didn’t happen because of a major disagreement about lensless glasses. The point is, the three of us won’t always agree with the advice we dispense, nor should you. It’s up to you, the reader, to decide what is right and what is wrong, and create your own style. We offer guidance, not edicts. We’re not here to tell you to buy certain items or spend thousands of dollars to remake your wardrobe. In fact, you probably have a few great pieces that may or may not require a little bit of tailoring, but have yet to put it all together into a coherent outfit. That’s what we’re here for.
In order to achieve the best results, we need to have an interactive discussion with our audience. We’ve received a lot of feedback already and we thank you for it, but we need more. We’ll send weekly emails, without spamming you, to highlight the past week’s posts. If you have questions, we encourage you to email us at email@example.com. Your feedback helps us gauge what topics to cover, shed light on the highest sartorial sins and how to fix them, and quantify exactly how critical and full-of-ourselves we are. All you Stats and econometrics TAs, we’re really going to need your help on that last one.
With that said, here’s a list of what to expect in the coming weeks. We’ll also do our best to answer the many questions some of you have asked. We hope you’ll continue reading the blog throughout the holiday break and offer suggestions. Remember, we aren’t who we are without the sartorial sins you commit.
Noh, Kutler & Segal.
 OK, we know some of you aspire to be faceless government bureaucrats….
 Instead, the three of us will take pictures of ourselves highlighting what-not-to-do.
 This is all Noh. The rest of us believe glasses should have lenses in them….
 Tailoring your clothes will instantly transform your wardrobe. INSTANTLY.
As GW puts it: Grown Man Style (GMS)
I think that says it all…
Courtesy of Shanti Mahajan
Courtesy of the smart guys at putthison.
SAIS = Students Actually Interested in Style
Washington, DC has long been known as “Hollywood for ugly people.” Although we were initially confused by the saying, we can now say that we understand why it sticks. With a few exceptions, people dress TERRIBLY yet somehow manage to achieve some sort of fame, probably because they donated a lot of money to a presidential campaign or they happened to write an article in some obscure journal more than 25 years ago. We think we’re putting it nicely.
Having lived, studied and worked in DC for a combined 26 years, we feel that we can now make an accurate, unbiased assessment of this city’s fashion and sense of style. It sucks. Squared-toed shoes, scuffed shoes, unpolished shoes, white socks with shoes, ill-fitting suits, shapeless jackets, bland colors, ugly ties, sneakers with suits, and a whole list of other sartorial sins that make Washington, DC the sartorial Sodom and Gommorah of our time.
We don’t know about you, but we’re sick of seeing our poorly-dressed brethren make this city the laughingstock of American fashion that it is. Unlike our government, we intend to do something about it. We are three fashion-forward Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) students launching the Students Actually Interested in Style (SAIS) Blog to help greater Washington, DC dress better.
We’ll focus primarily on menswear as men seem to be the most egregious violators of sartorial law and are the primary driver of DC’s infamy. We don’t profess to be the foremost experts in our field like our professors, but we will research and collaborate with leaders in the field to bring you the best advice and improve your wardrobe. We’ll aggregate and cite the best menswear blogs out there including putthison, mostexerent, nicetrybro, the style forum and other reputable blogs. We’ll also run a few semi-original columns using current Johns Hopkins SAIS students to reinforce our points and hammer home a few others.
As graduate students taking out hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans, we’re also painfully aware of budget constraints. Yet another painful truth about DC is that wages are violently depressed relative to other major East Coast cities. We know you’re broke and don’t want to spend a lot of money on your clothes. Almost all of our suggestions and rule will take cost into consideration, with the purpose of achieving “attainable style.”
Style is, of course, what you make of it. The style spectrum is wider and longer than the political spectrum. Like politics, style is full of gaffes, ideologies, doctrines, and flipflops. Don’t be afraid of them. Taking your lumps, from yourself and from others, is part of your sartorial education. No matter what style you choose, you should own up to it. If you like skinny ties, you should proudly wear skinny ties. Lensless glasses? Wear them proud and tell all the haters to go f*ck themselves. Your style is not your style if you hide it from the public.
To totally contradict our last paragraph, here is a list of vital information that every man in DC needs to learn. The list was inspired by this post on putthison but tweaked by us to make it more DC-friendly. We hope this list starts a trend in our great city to get people to dress better, but we know that there’s a better chance Congress will actually pass a sensible debt reduction plan.
1. Unbutton the bottom button of your jacket. It’s not intended to be buttoned.
2. Same goes for your vest.
3. Remove the tags on the sleeves of your jacket before you wear it.
4. If your jacket/suit comes with white basting thread on their shoulders or holding closed their vents remove it before wearing.
5. Jacket pockets are intended to be opened. Use a small scissor or seam ripper.
6. More than three jacket buttons is never appropriate for anything.
7. If buttoning the top button on a three-button suit seems wrong, it is.
8. Brown shoes, brown belt. Black shoes, black belt.
9. When wearing a suit, your socks should match the color of your pants, not your shoes.
10. Belt or suspenders. No and.
11. Your jacket sleeve should be short enough to show some shirt cuff - about half an inch.
12. Your pants should end at your shoes without puddling. A slight or half break means that there is one modest inflection point in the front crease. If your pants break both front and back or if they break on the sides, they’re too long.
13. Your coat should follow and flatter the lines of your upper body, not pool around them. You should be able to slip a hand in to get to your inside breast pocket, but if the jacket’s closed and you can pound your heart with your fist, it’s too big.
14. When you buy a suit or sportcoat, it should be altered to fit by a tailor. This will cost between $25 and $100.
15. Your tie should reach your belt line - it shouldn’t end above your belt or below it.
16. Your tie knot should have a dimple.
17. Only wear a tie if you’re also wearing a suit or sportcoat (or, very casually, a sweater). Shirt, tie and no jacket is the wedding uniform of a nine-year-old.
18. The only men who should wear black suits during the day are priests, undertakers, secret agents, funerals attendees and yokels.
19. Cell phone holsters are horrible.
20. So are square-toed shoes.
21. Never wear visible socks with shorts.
22. Never wear white socks with dress shoes.
23. Never wear sneakers with a suit.
24. Or any socks with sandals.
25. If your shirt is tucked in, you should be wearing a belt (or suspenders, if you’re wearing a jacket as well, or your trousers should have side adjusters and no belt loops).
26. Flip flops are great for the pool and the beach and not great for anything else. (Some say this is a matter of taste. We agree. If you have any taste, you will only wear flip-flops at the beach or pool.)
27. Long ties are not appropriate with a tuxedo.
28. Never wear polyester outside of the gym or theme parties.
Noh, Kutler & Segal