Spring: What not to wear

Regan Coomer/Photographer

I was walking to class the other day when I noticed a fashionably dressed male walking in the opposite direction. I looked him up and down – grateful for proof that someone has read my men’s fashion article – and what did I see? An otherwise nicely dressed male student wearing Birkenstock sandals with a pair of woolly socks! I could not help looking toward heaven and thinking, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Spring is in the air here at Northern Kentucky University, and one part of getting out of the winter doldrums is showing a little more skin. However, the more skin you show, the more likely you’ll stumble into a fashion disaster (Like my friend Mr. Birkenstock). Here are a few things to avoid this spring and summer.

Birkenstock Sandals/Dirty Flip-Flops/Gardening Clogs

I know some people love the Bohemian look and this type of sandal may seem like the perfect accessory, but this is 2006. There are only two people who can wear Birkenstock sandals and get away with it: Jesus and Jerry Garcia. If you’re not either one, do us all a favor and leave these at home. Birkenstocks are a favorite of the men because they’re easy; men slip them on and go. However, a standard flip-flop is just as convenient and looks better in the modern era in which we live. They also come in a variety of colors and styles unlike the standard blah Birkenstock sandal. Speaking of flip-flops, I know I’ve preached this before, but here we go again: if your flip-flops have the dirty imprint of your foot on them, throw them away. Another thing I’ve noticed around campus is the girls wearing rubber gardening clogs. Just because they’re pink doesn’t mean they’re fashionable. They are only appropriate for your grandma and the garden. Just don’t do it.

Low-rise jeans/skirts/capris

Low-rise everything is in style when it comes to bottoms, but there is a right way to wear them. If you wear these low-rise jeans, skirts, etc. too small, they create the infamous “spare tire” that just looks horrible. Avoid this by wearing the size that fits you. Don’t think that “I am a size 10 so all 10s should fit me.” Wrong. Every brand makes their jeans/skirts/capris differently. Try on at least one size smaller and one size bigger than what you usually wear. Don’t get caught up in a number. What’s important is that it looks fabulous on you.


The traditional problem with wearing tank tops for women has always been bra-straps showing under spaghetti-strapped tanks. In order to avoid one evil, some women avoid the bra-strap issue by skipping a bra altogether! I’m all about feminism, but wearing a bra is an absolute must for the majority of women. The solution to the bra and tank problem is either wearing a strapless bra or allowing a bra with pretty color-coordinated straps to show. Simple!


Women, Jessica Simpson-inspired Daisy Dukes are not acceptable for class. The male population will do anything but think about class in your presence, and the attire will raise a few women’s eyebrows. Bust out the dukes when school is out and wear them over your bathing suit. Guys, please avoid all shorts that fall above the knee. The knee or below is the perfect length. Same rule goes for swimming trunks. Anything above the knee is old-man length.