Colgate Couture Grand Finale

Katie Zarrella

Dearest Colgate,

For the past three years, I have criticized, critiqued and attempted to convalesce your decrepit fashion sense. We’ve covered everything from haute couture to hangover chic, freshman faux-pas to senior styles and sick sneakers to sexy stilettos. I believe that my efforts have, on some level, paid off but I am highly concerned that Colgate’s fashion aesthetic will considerably deteriorate upon my graduation. Who, may I ask, is going to remind you to wear four-inch pumps in a snow storm? Who is going to wag her finger when your sunglasses fail to swallow a good two-thirds of your face and who else will vocally and publically judge you when you leave JJ’s looking like a collar-popping, Polo-clad pumpkin?

That being said, I feel it is necessary to use this column as a crash course in the biblical teachings of “Colgate Couture.” Let’s start with my biggest personal pet peeve, the overly lackadaisical student. I know I’ve spent the past few columns commenting on corrupt fashion politics, scandalous lingerie and the complete and utter disaster that was the Oscars, but I’d like to remind you that any combination of sweatshirts, sweatpants and pajamas is still not an outfit. I do not care how late you may be for your 9:20 or how much you drank the night before. It is never ok to stumble into class, the library or anywhere else in the greater Hamilton area looking like you just rolled out of bed. Please invest in a pair of jeans, a skirt, a ball gown; anything that will make you look like the opposite of a degenerate.

My next concern is the over-the-top prep look. We get it, you own a house on The Vineyard, you’re a proud scotch-drinking cigar-smoking member of Beta Theta Pi and you’re probably from Connecticut, but unless you’re a professional croquet player who’s double majoring in clambakes and charity golf tournaments, you have zero excuses for strutting around campus resembling a madras-wearing Easter egg. As an alternative to the country-club-chic look so many of you have mastered, I suggest you expand your horizons and wear black. All black. If you so desire, you may supplement your new look with a felt fedora, suspenders and, of course, a constant look of apathy.

In the same vein, I’m not entirely sure when this Lilly Pulitzer paired with Wayfarers look kicked in, but it’s an oxymoron and it’s completely absurd. I’m at a loss as to how someone can take something inherent to the Williamsburg/ Lower East Side Hipster culture and incorporate it into a WASP-tastic ensemble. Please understand, I am in no way suggesting that you should not wear sunglasses; quite the contrary. You should wear sunglasses every second of every day, whether you’re inside, in a thunderstorm or taking the LSAT; however, if you insist on maintaining your preppy look, you may wish to investigate shades from brands such as Gucci, Prada or, for those of you who enjoy a brisk game of tennis, Oakley.

If I were allowed more space, I would go on for pages, volumes even, but since there are apparently other people who write for the Maroon-News, this will be our last point of discussion: footwear. Why the Uggs. Why the Rainbows and why the J.Crew flip flops. You are not an Eskimo. You are not on the beach. You are not to wear the aforementioned atrocities on your feet. Ladies: stilettos, Chanel-esque ballet flats and flat cuffed calfskin riding boots are not really made for walking, but they are made to make your feet look delicious, so I suggest multiple pairs of each. Gentlemen: I do not see nearly enough wing tip oxfords, Frye motorcycle boots or fluorescent limited edition Bapes. Get with the program.

Some of the things I’ve said may offend you. Some of the things I’ve said may not apply to you. Most of the things I’ve said are completely outrageous and that, my friends, is the beauty of fashion. So please, Colgate, don’t take fashion too seriously. You’ll never make it out looking fabulous.

Fashionably yours,

Katharine K. Zarrella