Swat Style Snapshot: Engineering, Boston, MA, Dana
His Current Outfit:
Ahn sports a green plaid shirt which he purchased from and left it untucked. Over the shirt, he wears a navy J.Crew sweater with a small V-neck. Ahn idiosyncratically leaves the shirt buttoned up and keeps the collar within the neckline of his sweater. “I just think it looks better,” he said. Contrasting with the bold pattern of his shirt and dark hue of his sweater, Ahn’s basic, cream-colored khaki pants balance out his outfit. Ahn has lightly folded the hems of his chinos, revealing his grey socks, which are also printed plaid. He wears a pair of peach Generic Surplus shoes that cross over elements of desert boots and moccasins. Previously Ahn wore smaller glasses; and he recently made the switch to his current frames as “they suit my face better,” he said. The dark-grey colored glasses have a wood-grain finish. According to Ahn, “If people have bigger glasses you can see their eyes better.”
When dressing himself, Ahn follows his instincts and refrains from over-formulating and overthinking his outfits. “I just kind of go by feel, I don’t really have a system,” he said. His perspective has been influenced by the “based philosophy” of Californian rapper Lil B. Ahn describes the “based philosophy” as “going with the flow … you’re in touch with your inner being and you let things go freely,” he said. As a result, Ahn is skeptical of whether he has a cemented sense of personal style. Rather, he strives to find a balance between aesthetics and comfort. In Ahn’s opinion, following trends and attaching greater meaning to clothing is “absurd” as he believes outward appearances are not reflective of people’s inner selves. “If you’re a douche bag and wear nice clothes, no one’s going to like you,” he said.
As for the formation of his style, he sees dressing as a form of expression, in a similar way with music and drawing, his other interests. Ahn also attributes his style to his Bostonian upbringing. According to Ahn, Bostonians from the Harvard area are known to dress preppy whilst those in the vicinity of the Berklee College of Music are more likely to dress hipster. Given the great diversity of style in Boston, he acknowledges that he reflects different aspects of the Bostonian aesthetic. “I guess no one’s going to be completely unique, unless you’re Lady Gaga,” he said.
Style at Swarthmore:
Ahn expresses neutrality towards the style students demonstrate on campus. “As long as it’s decent and you’re not exposing bits and pieces of yourself that people don’t want to see, it’s fine by me,“ he said. However, he doesn’t feel like he is in a positioned to judge as he admits to wearing his share of sweatpants to his classes, especially after late evenings writing papers. For a small, liberal-arts campus, Ahn acknowledges the presence of a handful of well-dressed Swatties. “Walking around I see plenty of stylish people. Okay, maybe not plenty but here-and-there,” he said.
As for his style influences, he attributes his RA, Seth Udelson ’13, to fashioning his on-campus style. According to Ahn, Udelson’s positivity and preppiness contributes to the development of Ahn’s own style. Ahn’s greater hall life has contributed to his fashion style. “I don’t want to brag, but Dana basement is a pretty fashionable hall,” he said. Although he doesn’t feel pressured to dress a certain way, Ahn does attribute the commonality of exceptional style as cultivating a sense of camaraderie. “We share interests in shoes, as a hall,” Ahn said. A female hallmate, who wears the same sized shoes as Ahn, even occasionally borrows his shoes. “It doesn’t go both ways,” Ahn said, citing his difficulty walking in heels.
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