How not to look ratchet

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“Oh, my god. Look how ugly her outfit is” is the most common-used phrase when anyone wants to open a conversation with me. Especially in a college setting, you’ll be surprised on how bad students dress. So I decided to ask a few people on what clothing they think is “ratchet” – parlance for something gross and ugly. There happens to be some recurring “styles” that many interviewees mentioned.

I promise I’m not bashing college student fashion choices as much as others; instead, I’m here to help students make the right fashion choices. As a disclaimer, free advice may also be freely discarded.

So, the top most ratchet thing you can do? Sag your pants. For the love of gods, please don’t sag your pants!

“I kind of don’t like guys sagging their pants. Actually, I hate it … and some women wear dresses that reveal the butt crack,” Jael Tegulwa, a UW-Fox freshman, said.

“If I can see your undies we got a problem,” Freshman Jada Taylor said.

Don’t wear dress leggings as pants or tights, either. I’ve seen it. I hope you know I can see your panties thanks to your sheer or worn-out leggings.

Other people I asked didn’t like belly button shirts and ripped jeans.

“Ripped jeans and camisole with bra straps showing never made sense to me, or shirts with your belly button showing. I mean on a beach that’s okay, but on a daily routine…,” Huma Malik, a junior, said.

But there are so many other places college students can let their fashion sense go awry.

Starting with shoes: moccasins and uggs—sorry, but if your moccasins are grimy in the inside and have salt stains on the outside, don’t wear them! Same with Uggs, I get that they’re warm, but I feel like they are so basic and not even practical because they aren’t waterproof. Once they get wet or lose their shape, they look so gross! Moccasins and Uggs need to stay at home and be used as house slippers. And then there’s those infamous yoga pants. As a general bit of advice, don’t wear yoga pants with Uggs.

Having fashion sense often just comes down to taking a moment and being objective. So if you don’t know how to wear multiple prints at once, don’t do it. Which brings us to Vera Bradley. That fashion house’s prints reminds me of my childhood, soccer moms everywhere and my grandma’s knitting bag.

Another thing with the prints— it’s due time to stop the monogram 2K17? You’re not a walking billboard. I cannot stand to look at a Louis Vuitton “LV” monogram labeled on every Neverfull bag, or any bag for that matter. Most counterfeit items also have the “LV” monogram, so I’m highly unimpressed. Minimal monograming is fine, but a whole bag like that makes me want to barf.

If you have Louis Vuitton monogrammed anything, it’s at least better than COACH or Michael Kors. I did, in fact, like Michael Kors at one point—middle school. Back when nobody knew who or what Kors is. Now that it’s so overdone and extremely basic (“I can’t even?”). I also think Kate Spade New York, COACH and Tory Burch are overdone.

I also feel strongly about socks and Birkenstocks; even guys aren’t safe on this. I don’t ever want to see  grimy white Nike socks with Birkenstocks. As a basic rule, socks and sandals in general are a no.

Okay, this is the last thing: if you’re late to class, you better be fashionably late. In other words, take the time to look as good as possible, even if you end up late for wherever you’re going. It’s my secret tip that I share with everyone. I never get yelled at for being late because I look put together. If you show up late and you look like you woke up five minutes ago, or anything close to scrubbing—just don’t show up at all. Because you look ratchet.

Remember these kindly words of wisdom: “better late than never, but fashionably late is even better.”

In the end, what all fashionistas would tell you is to plan your outfits properly. If you’re too lazy to put in the effort, think about it: next time you reach for a pair of sweatpants and a hoodie, that’s two articles of clothing you need to put on. Instead, opt for a jumpsuit or dress—that’s only one article of clothing. If you are stuck on sweats, at least make sure they’re decent looking. Although I disagree with Huma on the ripped jeans and crop top, you can make it work.

One of my favorite looks is a bralette from Victoria’s Secret and a pair of distressed jeans, converse, a denim shirt and don’t forget the reflector “Gatsby” shades by Ray-Ban. This trend is hot in Miami.

Another hot look is mesh sweatpants from Victoria’s Secret that look fabulous with a pair of gladiator heels, mesh crop hoodie from Victoria’s Secret and a mini jean jacket.

Sweatpant, hoodie, jean jacket and gladiator heel ensemble. • photo from Instagram @nananareen

If you need something more summer-y, opt for joggers or harem pants. I think denim on denim works great especially if it’s paired with rose gold Birkenstocks.

A double-denim choice that’s perfect as summerwear. • photo from Instagram @nananareen

For more of a casual, but more conservative/professional look. Go for a neutral coloured camisole, tucked in a pair of pants, a statement necklace, pointed toe flats, and don’t forget the blazer!

The solid white blazer atop muted pinks and blues makes for memorable snappy-casual business affairs and elegant, casual afternoons alike. • photo from Instagram @nananareen

These are just a few, but essential outfits I have in my wardrobe. You can never have too many shoes or articles of clothing in your wardrobe. And if you still want more fashion tips, you can always contact me for advice.

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