Colgate Couture: Jersey Shore



I like Jersey Shore. There, I said it. I have not missed a single episode of the show that has made household names of: Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino and “Pauly D” Delvecchio, and apparently neither has most of America. In case you have recently abolished all technology that repeatedly references the show, or prefer to pretend you don’t enjoy a little fist pumping now and then, here is a recap: Jersey Shore follows eight tan, trash-talking cast members during their summer living in the breathtakingly sleazy town of Seaside Heights. The ladies are buxom and bawdy, and the men are pumped up and profane. Both are equally brainless and make for a solid thirty minutes of entertainment.

So what can these self-proclaimed guidos and guidettes tell us about fashion? Both sexes continually miss the mark, but occasionally they showcase glimmers of fashion forwardness, intentional or not.

In an effort to find redeeming qualities among their overtly lascivious clothing (optional) choices, here is a look back at a few of the endearing no-no’s: Jenni “J-WOW” Farley has become known for her unending supply of tops that dip simultaneously to her belly button and her bottom. She calls the signature look “sexy sophisticated,” and will be marketing it further in an upcoming clothing line. Meanwhile, Snooki and Sammi “Sweetheart” Giancola both have an affinity for form-fitting, garish patterns. Leopard inlayed with zebra, topped with lace and finished with sequins, why not? Especially when paired with a pink velour clutch, or a now famously spoofed extraordinary hair poof. For the beefed-up boys like Ronnie Ortiz-Magro and Vinny Guadagnino, skin-tight bedazzled tees always win out to button downs, providing for greater agility on the dance floor.

None of the aforementioned statements should be attempted on the Colgate campus or beyond, but with a few extra yards of fabric here, and an embellishment removed there, Snooki, J-WOW and The Situation could all be on par with some of the upcoming spring trends.

When it comes to prints in the new season, more is definitely more. If designers like Dries Van Noten and Donatella Versace have it their way, you will be mixing and matching prints in outrageous, though admirable combinations from head to toe. Nowhere in the mix should there be any Sammi-inspired animal prints – traditional florals from Tory Burch, primitive patterns from Diane Von Furstenburg and more abstract motifs from Marni rule these runways.

Last week I talked about getting minimal, but spring is also overwhelmed with pattern. Don’t be afraid to mix prints (a striped sweater, perhaps) and layer with contrasting fabrics (a floral mini skirt, eccentric tights) that you might already have in your closet. Pair with simple accessories for an absolutely standout look. I think Snooki might just fall for Marc Jacobs’s patterned look, complete with an oversized pink heart bag.

On trend with this season’s cutout obsession, and just barely reminiscent of JWOW’s shirt du jour is the backless shirt or dress. Kate Hudson did backless exactly right at the recent 2010 SAG Awards, wearing an all white long sleeved, Emilio Pucci dress that dipped dramatically close to her behind. A happy medium between the red carpet and the trashy Jersey Shore adaptations of this deliciously daring trend should be neutral in color, and balanced in terms of fabric coverage. If the back is open, the front should certainly be covered, and your bottom half should be kept clean and streamlined. Try affordable and effortlessly wearable cotton options from Alexander Wang and Geren Ford the next time you step out for the night, whether it be to the local club Karma or the Jug.

Finally, for the men; Pauly D recently told New York Daily News that he believes his hair could indeed be the “next Rachel.” As atrocious as his signature blowout is, it is a daring addition to his already outrageous outfit choices. While I am in no way endorsing an over-gelled ‘do, or encouraging any sort of skin-tight tees, I challenge you to push the limits of your personal style. Try a new color – say purple or light green – or a new pattern instead of the tried and true checkers.

When in doubt, don’t do as Jersey does. But don’t be afraid to follow their courageous lead into new fashion territory.