Colgate Couture: How to Make a Fashionable Departure

Colgate Couture: How to Make a Fashionable Departure

Zoe Gordon

The time has almost come, my fashionable friends. There are mere weeks left in the year, and in my college career, and soon I will be saying a lot of goodbyes – to friends moving far, professors I will no longer cross on the quad and a beautiful campus that has truly become a second home. The first of many goodbyes I regretfully have to say is to this weekly Colgate Couture column where I have tried, perhaps unsuccessfully, to convince you to buy leather hot shorts and lace up booties. With all the unlikelihood and undesirability of guiding the closet of every reader into the same direction, I hope I have conveyed one important lesson that has taken me years too many to embrace: Have fun with fashion. Life is too short, and, surely college too much shorter, to do otherwise.

When I need to remind myself to have fun with fashion, to try something new, to take a risk, I think of Coco Chanel. She was not your typical jeans and quilted jacket, Tory Burch-flat-wearing, kind of lady. Chanel completely redesigned the way women dressed in the twentieth century by introducing the little black dress, menswear-inspired jersey materials and the idea of showing a little more skin (in this case, ankles).

In just one of the many now infamous quotes by the designer, Chanel said, “It is the unseen, unforgettable, ultimate accessory of fashion that heralds your arrival and prolongs your departure.” We all came to Colgate with intentions of heralding a particular arrival, with ideas about what we would get involved in, what friends we would make and how we would present ourselves, from the inside out. Surely a lot has changed (as it should) or has not gone according to plan (as life would have it). Regardless of age, a lot of different departures are approaching, be it for summer vacation, a semester abroad or the last final walk, in front of peers, parents and professors, across the stage. Before your departure from Hamilton to wherever you may go, prolong your presence in the memories of others with some bold and playful fashion choices.

Deadlines and finals are approaching, but don’t let those sleepless nights hinder your capability to impress. It is seriously spring now, and the colors of the season are brilliant – take inspiration from nature with pieces in peachy pinks, dahlia purples, sunny (nearly neon) yellows and aquamarine blues. You can easily transform a groggy get up by trading your plain whites and grays for something simple, yet more vibrant, from J. Crew (showing a particularly punchy palate), Splendid or new-to-the-scene Wessex.

Shorts are making a big comeback with new shapes and proportions. Save those old denim cutoffs for the beach and slip into even more comfortable and surprisingly flattering so-called “slouchy shorts” from designers like Vince, Alexander Wang and Free People. These are obviously looser and longer, so balance your top half with that bright tee tucked in. Shorts are also being shown cinched at the top with beautiful bows or beading, and billowing at the bottom in balloon styles that make your everyday khakis look absolutely drab. Make statements where you can with items like shorts – they won’t look ridiculous during the day and can (and should) be paired with wedges for a striking evening look.

Finally, seek out that one special piece that can be on hand for those moments of departure – be it from a formal, a date or your very own graduation. Remember, this season is all about patterns; the more obscure the better. Pick something you will be remembered entering and leaving in. I am crazy for Issa’s One Shoulder Print Dress, with Mara Hoffman and Diane Von Furstenburg showing similarly psychedelic styles. These dresses embody the idea of fun in fashion. Look within yourself, rather than around the often-monotonous quad, for inspiration.

Goodbyes often come too quickly, this one certainly has, but make the most of your time left with choices that will represent who you are, and where you are headed. Best of luck, fashionistas! I have no doubt that you will all continue to make entrances and departures in style.

Conact Zoe Gordon at [email protected]