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The Blue & Gray Press | August 19, 2019

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Men’s Fashion at Mary Washington

Men’s Fashion at Mary Washington


There’s nothing like a well-dressed man. Charm and intelligence are valuable traits, but would Ryan Gosling be even half as dreamy if his suits weren’t always so well-cut?

Women tend to take center stage in the fashion world due to the variety of trends seen on runways, but men’s fashion is a much more subtle art.

Here are the three essential rules to being a stylish man on campus.

First, pay attention to fit. Most clothing sizes just don’t fit well enough, and with jacket sizes this is essential. Having a few items of clothing tailored is an investment that will be returned many times over.

The second rule: no sweatpants under any circumstances. Write that one down.
Lastly, keep accessories simple. A well-chosen pair of shoes, for instance, is a simple way to say a lot about what kind of person you are without saying a word.

When it comes to men’s fashion, studio art major Mattson Fields gets it just right: expressing his personal style by choosing classic pieces based on quality and design.

He describes his own look by saying it’s “Like what people wear when they think they’re better than other people. I don’t think that I’m better than other people, but sometimes I just look like I do.”

Fields, a junior originally from Arlington, Virginia, wears a T-shirt with the aperture symbol from a camera on the front from the online store “Threadless,” a site specializing in community designed T-shirts.

“My look is sort of art student circa 1999, circa 2000.” His beige sneakers are from

“I love sneakers that look kind of classic, like canvas sneakers, although I’ve never had any converse.” Fields wears a gray hoodie from H&M.

“I buy a lot of stuff from H&M because it’s cheap and always really fashionable.” The hoodie has a quirky design feature that allows the zipper to go up all the way to the top of the hood, covering one’s head completely.

“It doesn’t really make practical sense,” he said of the sweater. His outfit is complemented by a classic swatch watch.

“I only buy swatches, because I really like Swatch. I think watches are one of the few things that guys can like legitimately wear. I just like watches because they’re functional, I think they look good, and there’s a lot of cool designs for them that people don’t really know about.”

Mattson’s style influences are quite eclectic, ranging from the cast of the British TV show “Skins” to Harajuku street fashion in Japan. As an art student, Fields has a hard time being both someone who values what they wear, while also keeping in mind that his clothes “always end up getting paint on them.” As he points out, fashion has a direct link to the art world.

“You’ll see a lot cooler fashions on the creative majors, English and Creative Writing and Studio art kids. It’s something about being an individual. It’s just about expressing yourself, telling people you care about aesthetics.”

Mattson’s style is the perfect example of how to put a personal spin on classic, well-structured pieces.

Image courtesy of Sarah Kelly/The Bullet


  1. 2010 alum

    This article showed some promise with highlighting the most egregious of fashion faux pas committed by the majority of the UMW male population, but then it strayed a bit. Some of the pointers here, I’m afraid, will only serve to mislead an already mostly hapless UMW male population.

    I agree that fit is the most important thing. An ill-fitting Gucci suit looks worse than a suit salvaged from a thrift store and tailored in. I also agree that sweatpants/shirts have no place anywhere outside of the gym or some sort of activity.

    That, however, is the extent to which I agree with this article.

    First of all, it’s November. No one should be wearing shorts in November. Just like sweats have their place in the gym, shorts have their place in the summer months. However, if you’re really fashion conscious, I would suggest you follow the Godfather Don Corleone’s advice and eschew shorts all together, because, well, they’re undignified.

    Second, while Swatch is a respectable watch company for their popularizing of the quartz movement in the 80s and for mainstreaming wristwatches, that’s the highest praise of that particular company you’ll hear from myself or anyone who knows an iota about horology. Do yourself a favor, save a little bit of money and invest in a decent automatic watch. It’ll save you the cost of replacing the battery every year or so and if it’s a nice enough piece, you can hand it down as an heirloom piece.

    That brings me to my third point–it’s great to express your personal style. But remember that quality counts too. Do yourself a favor and avoid H&M like the Eurotrash warehouse that it is. H&M is not fashion-forward. It’s about 6 months behind the curve by the time it gets to you and at best you’ll be aping what everyone else is wearing. Like eschewing a Swatch for an automatic watch, you’ll be doing yourself a favor if you focus more on a few well-constructed and quality pieces that will last.

    Please don’t take this as a personal attack on either the writer or the author. I appreciate that the Bullet is dedicating some time to men’s fashion as well as women’s.

  2. alum

    so all i need to “look like i’m better than everyone else” is an h&m sweatshirt, a watch, and some nondescript shorts paired with canvas sneakers? i dont mind the first half of this article, but i hope the second half is a joke.

  3. The voice of reason.

    I’m sorry, 2010 alum, but your stance on abortion lays bare the degree to which your opinions deviate from the mainstream. Your comment for this article has been ignored.

  4. People taste delicious, therefore his stance should be plausible. So there.

    Also, sweatpants are comfortable. I will wear them out in public. If you disagree, there will be fighting words. -.-

  5. 2010 alum

    @The voice of reason. I’m sorry, it doesn’t seem as though sarcasm gets through to you unless it’s as obvious as Fleur de Lulz’s. And here I thought that the bit about eggs being delicious would have been a dead giveaway. Guess not. I’ll try to be more obvious for you next time around.

  6. It’s ok, 2010. It’s a skill that’s taken me forever to perfect. Being so obvious that I can only pray it’s biting 😀

  7. Arnold

    A gentle reminder to 2010 alum and Ms. de Lulz: the Bullet comments section is not necessarily for private conversations, it is meant to be focused on the particular article at hand. I thought you both knew this, but apparently we need a refresher in commenting etiquette.

    Thank you for complying with this simple request, and have a spectacular day.

  8. Arnold, as a private conversation between us, I feel as though you don’t need to take this comment section so seriously. That is all.

  9. Arnold

    The comment section is serious business. This is the paper of record for the greater Fredericksburg area, and I hope that we can raise the discourse to help both entertain and inform. Although I must admit informing is my primary goal, I feel that we can do both.
    Thank you for your help in this goal. Together we can make a difference.

  10. I can only imagine the flying “The More You Know” being trailed by the rainbow here….