One of the biggest roadblocks I run up against when advising guys on fashion is the idea that dressing well is somehow at odds with the rest of their lifestyles. Guys will claim that they’re too busy and poor to shop for new clothes. Or that they’re math grad students. Or that they live in San Francisco, where blazers are only worn ironically. But dressing well is not fundamentally about buying expensive brands or donning outlandish getups. I firmly believe that you can wear a hoodie every day and look put together, so long as it’s 1) the right fit for your body type and 2) of a consistent formality with the rest of your outfit.
I mention fit first because it’s both obvious and difficult. Style blogs hammer on fit. Men’s magazines hammer on fit. Yet fit is often hard to distinguish. Where is the line between body-skimming and skin-tight? Where should the cuff of your pants hit your foot? And what about all those trends – the baggy jeans trend, the oversized sweater trend, the boyfriend shirt trend – that seem predicated on, if anything, anti-fit? Read the rest of this entry »
I recently did a weekend trip to Brussels and stayed in a hostel for the first time. It was a unique experience: much like backpacking, hosteling has in recent years entered the verbiage, connoting not only a particular type of accommodation, but a certain culture – twenty-something Lonely Planet types trying to transcend the mundane, bonding over late nights and early departures. In the past, for convenience’s sake, I’d always booked hotels (or not traveled at all), and certainly, hostels are short on that quality – with twenty bunks to a room, it can be hard to get a shower in edgewise. But I discovered that you meet people at hostels in a way that you simply can’t when you rack up Starwood points at the Hilton.
Especially for those traveling alone, hostels can mitigate the feeling of being an outsider in a foreign place, and they are immensely social. Minutes after my arrival, I was with several other guests, trying samurai sauce on Belgian fries and dodging cyclists. On a free walking tour the next morning, I met several girls from Iowa who were studying abroad in Valencia (in hostels, everyone is coming from somewhere cool and going somewhere cooler). When the tour ended, we continued sightseeing, eating croissants, and generally behaving like tourists. They were very welcoming, and a lot of fun, but maybe one of the best parts of traveling with strangers is that there’s no commitment of any sort, no expectation that you will continue to spend time together. So after dinner, I went back to the hostel, sat by myself, and learned about parametric architecture from a Brazilian exchange student. Read the rest of this entry »
This post is especially for girls in science, although the overall message is applicable to girls (and guys) in any field.
At Harvard, I studied math, statistics, and eventually computer science, all subjects with badly skewed gender ratios and a preponderance of ego. With the exception of my roommates, the majority of my closest friends were male – guys I’d met debugging race conditions, solving birthday problems, proving NP-completeness. This phenomenon was further compounded by my primary choice of extracurricular, The Salient, Harvard’s ever-beleaguered conservative newspaper, where the total female membership rose to two my senior year (the other being our publisher’s girlfriend).
Over winter break, I went to visit a girlfriend of mine who was spending the semester in Paris. She was living in a tiny apartment in the third arrondissement with views over Le Marais. We spent our mornings taking walks in the Tuileries, our evenings half-assing pilates exercises. We ate breakfast at midnight. We made fun of our exes. The fact that I could count my girlfriends on one hand had never really bothered me – I was brash and frank in a way that bordered on unladylike, and had plenty of male friends and string of long-term relationships – but for the first time, I wished that I had more of them. Read the rest of this entry »