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Students cite personality, confidence as reasons for dressing well

Photo by AK Alilonu ’16 – Tucker Brown ’17 say he got his idea to express himself through how he dresses from Jim Welty ’14, a past member of Speech and Debate.

By Kaleb Lucero ’18

Already surrounded by polo-clad peers, what inspires a student to go beyond the common collared t-shirt style?

It’s about a “look good, feel good” mentality, said Tucker Brown ’17, who often wears a button up shirt, pants and a bowtie as his defining style.

He said that it’s an idea he got from Jim Welty ’14 while they were both on the Speech and Debate team, and really started putting it into practice during the second semester of his sophomore year.

“It’s not a sense of ‘I’m better than you,’ at all … It’s more of a personality thing,” he said “It’s just expressing yourself.”

He gave the example of how athletes will generally wear athletic clothes, and how this allows them to express themselves just as much as dressing up does for him.

Brown did say that at first, people think it’s for Mass, and might make a joke like “Mass dress isn’t until next week.” But after a while they start to realize that it’s a normal thing for him.

Jim Stickell ’16 agreed with much of what Brown said, and added that many people think that it’s all for an event.

When they do realize that it’s just how he dresses, he said it feels nice when someone points out that he looks good.

However, some people react differently than others. Stickle said that adults or people outside Brophy tend to notice or say something more than students.

Brown also pointed out that wearing nice clothes isn’t about wealth or class for him. He said that some of the clothes he wears are simply from your everyday store.

When you dress well, you feel more professional, carry yourself differently and are motivated to maintain your health and appearance, Brown said.

“Wearing [good clothes] became a motivation to live healthier … so that you look good not just outwardly but feel good inwardly, too,” he said.

Stickell said that Brophy already pushes us toward dressing nicely, why not embrace it?

“At Brophy we already wear collared shirts, we can’t just wear a t-shirt and jeans … I feel like we’re wasting that opportunity if we don’t just turn into it,” he said.

When it comes to starting to dress nicely, Brown said that the Internet is very helpful in figuring out color coordination, making sure things fit, finding accessories and learning other basics.

Stickell said that understanding colors, and which ones look good on you, is a good way to start.

He said to experiment and ask questions to family, friends and especially the people at the stores, considering clothes are their job.

Cole Cartledge ’18 said that color coordination is a key part of dressing nicely.

Coming from a middle school with a uniform, Cartledge said that he started dressing nicely at Brophy simply because he could, and started figuring things out on his own.

One thing Cartledge has come to appreciate is matching, and while no one taught him how to do it, he was able to figure it out on his own.

This is the thing that Cartledge is known for when it comes to dressing nicely, both according to himself and Marc Raban ’18, who emphasized the fact that Cartledge matched so often it made him stand out.

Cartledge said that the attention is a nice bonus, but, like Stickell and Brown, he dresses the way he does because it appeals to him.

Cartledge, Stickell and Brown all stressed that dressing well is about expressing personality, boosting confidence and feeling good. They said they dress the way they do not to show off, but because they enjoy looking good.

“It’s just what we do,” Brown said.