Charm School 101 for the College Student

When I wake up in the morning, I find sheer enjoyment walking to my dressing area, opening the huge doors of my closets, and selecting my fashion ensemble of choice for the day of being entrenched with my clientele. The euphoria of running my fingers over each silk blouse or sorting through my drawers of vintage three-tiered belts is better than a stroll on the Champs Elysee in April. I am a true clothes fanatic, and I inherited it honestly, because my grandmother was one as well. Each item is carefully chosen, reorganized, disassembled, from the accessories to the proper pair of shoes, because I am well aware that if I am not exemplifying the role that I am responsible to execute with due diligence, then my title of Image Consultant/Publicist is contradictory to my personal beliefs. Also I believe that a pair of shoes are the anchor of your outfit, usually my outfit is coordinated based on the design of the shoe. I realize this is rather retentive, but I had a salacious love affair with Sperry Topsiders and Sebago when I was prep in undergrad.

I love dresses that are tres conservatif, with the right line to enhance my stature. I love slacks made of the finest wool gabardine or linen; they walk with me as I stroll. Which now leads me to the question of why would anyone wear jeans that are sagging off of their buttocks? What is the attraction to showing the waistline of your boxer shorts while your cuffs are dirtily dragging on the pavement? Don't these students realize this is a fashion faux pas? Do they realize that when I see them, I automatically remove all my jewelry and lose eye contact with them? I refuse to enter an elevator depending on what the other party is wearing. This isn't paranoia, this is what the laws of perception have taught us due to living by example, and real life scenarios. There are people that wear this uniform of sloppiness and tote a loaded Glock 9, and don't value your life or the old woman they robbed exiting the currency exchange with her cashed social security check.

I am not old, I am what one would consider seasoned, and I have watched the hip hop/grunge videos with Q-Tip, Nirvana and Cypress Hill and other than their music being fashionably hip, their jeans are sagging to the point where only the tips of their "Tims" are visible to the human eye. Help me understand, that this obsession with oversized clothing perhaps could be a means to exerting power or manliness. Maybe they suffer from Napoleonic Syndrome. I by no means am Freud or Jung, and nor am I attempting to psychoanalyze anyone, but there is a certain amount of "swagger" that is gained when jeans are saggin; and hoods are huge. The machismo that is attained is as evident as Al Capone's scar.

Why would any man feel it is apropos to show their "Fruit of the Looms" in a public environment? Why would it be assumed that I want to know how your buttocks look or be privy, in my mind that's clearly a "too much information kind of moment"?

Most times the men that wear sagging pants automatically receive a stigma that they are gang-related, are murderers, are "burn outs" or marketing illegal substance, when in actuality they could be students at the Kellogg School of Business, Harvard or MIT that enjoy a more urbane style of dress. New York Senator Eric Adams launched a statewide campaign referred to as "Stop the Sag", because the hidden undertone of wearing such obnoxious styles is reminiscent of someone that truly doesn't have good self-image or stellar self-esteem. I am not proud to admit it, but I automatically think this is another "hood rat" that might rob me, or may carjack me if I sit at the streetlight too long.

When are the youth going to embrace themselves and feel comfortable in the skin they are in? When are they going to understand that there is a standard that is well respected and doesn't have stereotypes attached to it like a load of Samsonite luggage in Terminal G for "ghetto"? If my President's slacks are not sagging, then doesn't that say something about the trend?

I can remember the French designers Marithe et Francois Girbaud, and their exorbitant jeans that every minority on public aid wore with pride as they stood jobless on the corner sipping malt liquor beer in a brown paper bag, in most lower socio-economic status areas. They felt they had reached Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, and were worthy of sitting with Anna Wintour and Andre Leon Tally with their hoods on their heads, oversized Timberland boots, and Girbaud jeans, when instead of walking the catwalk, they would've cleared out the building because people would've feared they were the disciples of Shug Knight going to a gala affair or the Player's Ball. The Upper East Side would never be the same.

There have been hopefuls to attempt to address the "fashion situation," i.e. Russell Simmons, whose argyle look and snug baseball hats have only benefited Mr. Simmons and his Rogaine snafu. Rocawear by Jay-Z, Applebottom by Nelly, and Fubu, but the designs still return to the mentality of someone not interested in preparing for the LSAT, but perhaps interested in watching "Belly" for the third time. These wealthy rap under lords who pontificate about "not believing the hype", are aiding and abetting the hype themselves. I wouldn't be caught dead or alive in a pair of anything called Fubu. Don't these supposed role models understand that students are impressionable, and anything they advocate, some young, low self-esteem, bullied teen will wear to try to fit in. The urgency is now, this second, anyone with sagging pants should take the empowerment and ownness to pull them up, affix their belt snuggly, tighten their bootstraps, and walk with a stride that represents someone that cares about their image, self-perception, and more importantly their promising future. My hope is that deep beneath all of those oversized layers of "fughesi" manhood there is truly a real Hugo Boss, perhaps one day soon they will be their own boss.