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Retrosexual: Newest look for D.C. guys

Jenna Johnson

Today's guest blogger is the editor in chief of District Cut, a men's fashion blog here in Washington. He blogs anonymously, but you can call him A.J.

It can be a real hassle trying to juggle looking professional yet effortless -- and stylish without upstaging the big dogs -- all the while focusing on work and the learning experience of your internship.

Luckily, the current mood in fashion happens to be understated and recent trends from the runways of New York, Milan and Paris reflect a more conservative era in menswear -- one that is quite perfect for interns infiltrating our fair city.


This era in fashion has been given a name, retrosexual, and is a renunciation of past trends where men were told to look too made-up, superficial and outlandish -- metrosexual. It's the metrosexual trend that created a complicated complex for interns and made getting dressed an actual chore.

Retrosexual is a celebration of past masculinity and a much more relaxed and youthful way of approaching even professional style. It was best illustrated in the Fall 2010 collections of Billy Reid, Gilded Age and J. Crew.

Looks like these should be an intern's best friend this fall. While a few basic suits are always in order, more emphasis should be paid on a good wardrobe of separate pieces that can easily be mixed and matched.

Not only will this provide a more voluminous wardrobe, with pieces that can easily be transferred into your casual dress, but it also eliminates the whole costly factor; lets face the music, most interns don't get paid and a full suit can easily run $500. Invest in one, maybe two, fundamental suits and leave the rest to separates -- shirts of a variety of colors and patterns, and trousers.

Although a little black suit is always a great wardrobe staple, it seems that one in gray or a very rich navy will take you the extra mile. Why? Because contrary to popular belief, black does not go with everything. On the other hand, a gray suit can easily be paired with light or dark shirts and ties and black or brown shoes. Furthermore, gray or navy are a great middle-man that can easily be altered to look more casual or dressy. J. Crew offers two great wool suits -- gray and navy -- that feature their slim Ludlow silhouette.

As interns, cardigans can and should play a central role in your range of separates. During the summer they can easily take the place of a suit jacket for a more interesting and light look and, during the fall and winter, they can be placed underneath a suit jacket for a textured and layered look.

Banana Republic best illustrated this trend recently with a light gray cardigan strategically placed underneath a wool gray suit. This can also be done with shawl-collar sweaters and pullovers as well.

Lastly, the power of small accessories should not go overlooked. Try to invest in a quality sterling silver tie bar and a few basic pocket squares to class up your look and make them look complete.

(Photo courtesy of District Cut.)

Campus Overload is a daily must-read for all D.C. interns. So, make sure to bookmark You can also follow me on Twitter and fan Campus Overload on Facebook.

By Jenna Johnson  |  July 22, 2010; 1:21 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. Interns  | Tags: Fashion, Internships  
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I'd say gray, charcoal, dark navy, then black. Before that though good business casual slacks in darker tones than `the' suit. Why? Because you can put on a shirt and tie with the slacks & forgo the the jacket and no one will know or care in most cases. Interns shouldn't wear cloths that cost much on a daily basis because there's too high a risk that you'll be stuck with some potentially dirty & cloths destroying task by people too dumb to think far beyond 'this needs to get done'. Besides, it's a lot better for the budget. Save the nicest clothes for the occasions that demand it, which will never ever be every day.

Posted by: Nymous | July 24, 2010 3:43 AM | Report abuse

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