The Casual Dresser

by Jonathan Li

23 Jan 2013

dress: to clothe or attire oneself
dresser: one who dresses 

Winter is here. Bring on the darks and the layers-on-layers. Every piece gets a chance: an outfit is now more than just a trio of shirt, pants and shoes — that’s for summer. When the bitter cold of a Hanover winter hits campus, some would say that it’s simply too cold to dress up.

I disagree. After many mornings crossing the Green, I’ve noticed that there are a considerable number of Dartmouth men who capitalize on the cold and use their wardrobes to stay warm as well as look good.

There are a few staples for the Dartmouth dresser. They are tried and true — effective, dependable, fashionable — and definitely worth the investment.

Justin Maffett ’16

Jacket: Barbour
Scarf: Burberry
Sweater: Patagonia
Jeans: Levi’s
Watch: Seiko

Kelly Mitchell ’13

Pea coat: J.Crew
Cardigan: Banana Republic
Shirt: Brooks Brothers
Khaki’s: J.Crew
Boots: L.L.Bean

Peacoats

The peacoat has its origins in military wear, and its versatility has cemented its status as a wardrobe staple, from informal to formal wear. When buying a peacoat, invest in its warmth. Check for wool content, as opposed to one hundred percent cotton. J. Crew has a dependable, traditional peacoat, but in terms of price for value, Macy’s collection is absolutely comparable. Peacoats are rarely a perfect fit, so consider visiting a tailor for a very worthwhile sleeve alteration.

Fleece sweatshirts

Infamous for their rivalry with The North Face, Patagonia offers an equally pricey and equally durable product. Patagonia has traditionally used more adventurous color schemes, whereas The North Face loves their dark shades. (Black North Face, anyone everyone?)

If you’re not too excited to shell out over $100 for a sweater, consider East Mountain Sports, a smaller retailer headquartered in New Hampshire that offers equally effective products for considerably less.

L.L.Bean boots

To be honest, before I came to Dartmouth I had no idea these were so popular. However, their reputation of utility very much precedes them. They’re moderately priced, durable enough for everyday use and have great traction for slippery conditions. A pair of these, combined with wool socks, make for warm, dry feet and a happier you. These boots will also last for years.

The alternative would be some sort of more formal boot. Anything too formal, though, risks sacrificing weather-effectiveness in more extreme conditions. On milder winter days, chukka boots would fit the bill. Chukkas go with anything, suitable for nearly all levels of formality and are seasonally appropriate for fall, winter and spring.

Scarves

Scarves are the some of the most easily personalizable items in your wardrobe. In the winter, among all the dark colors you are sure to be wearing, scarves are an opportunity for a pop of color and personality. There’s no nitpickiness when it comes to brand names, but cashmere, wool, or silk are necessary, just for the sake of practicality. It’s cold outside. Scarves are a must have for warmth, but you can pick whichever one you’d like.

These Dartmouth winter staples were all born out of the need for weather-effective clothing. Though prices may seem intimidating, these pieces — especially the L.L.Bean boots — are very much worth the investment. Even Conan O’Brien has famously noticed our love of functional fashion.

“[Dartmouth is] the cool, sexually confident, lacrosse playing younger sibling who knows how to throw a party and looks good in a down vest,” O’Brien remarked in his 2011 Commencement address.

All photos are by Natalie Cantave ’16.




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  • anonymous

    I hope that’s just image compression…