A Style Interview with Mr. Hess

Tate Flack, Staff Writer

Mr. Hess, arguably University School’s most stylish teacher, answers questions on how stay fresh within the parameters of the dress code. The US dress code is strict in terms of hair length and facial hair. Mr. Hess doesn’t explicitly talk about styles, but I think we can all agree that a little grooming in the morning would go a long way. In terms of shirts, it often hard to choose. What colors/brands to you recommend and for which seasons? “The dress code allows students to wear any solid colored dress shirt, meaning stripes, polka dots, plaid flannels, etc. are out of the equation. As a former student, I’m impartial to blue and white, as those were the only colors we could wear. However, with more flexibility, a way to change it up and add variety is color and material. Fall and spring are good times to wear lighter shirts (cotton or linen), and you can make it fun by adding color: aside from white, a light oxford button down goes great for those seasons. A light blue, green, red, yellow – these pastel colors go great in the fall and spring. In the winter time, it makes sense to go a little darker/heavier. Thicker cotton shirts, maybe even a solid-colored flannel shirt, for example.” Now that we know what shirts to go for, how can we layer? Sweaters? “this is one of my biggest pet peeves with students. Stop wearing hoodies because 1) they are NOT dress code, and 2) they’re not stylish. If you’re cold in the winter, wear a sweater! Many different kinds: crewneck, v-neck, quarter zip, cardigan. I personally like patterned, wool crewneck sweaters and cardigans, but there are so many options. I find myself leaning towards thick wool crewneck sweaters, and with cardigans, I prefer fisherman cardigans with the shawl-style neck.” Sometimes the walk from the student lot to the main entrance is frigid. How can we stay warm and look cool at the same time? “My closet is filled with vintage jackets that I find at thrift stores. For warm-ish weather (fall and spring), I go with lighter jackets: Levi’s denim jacket, lightweight bomber jackets, corduroy jackets. In the winter time, I’ve never preferred the bulky look of the thick ski jacket, so I prefer to wear shorter, less bulky goose down winter coats (or a peacoat).” Now that we have covered the top half of our bodies, what about the bottom. What pants both comply with the dress code and look cool? “students are allowed to wear khakis, corduroys, and dress slacks. The colors of these pants can vary, so similar to shirts, I recommend changing it up based on weather. In the fall and spring, lightweight slacks or cotton khakis are a great move. I try to vary the shirt/pant combination, so I’m not wearing a light-colored shirt with a light-colored pants. In the winter, corduroys are a warmer alternative to khaki pants, but if you like the khaki pant look, J. Crew makes really comfortable flannel-lined khakis that will keep you warm without sacrificing style.” Finally, What about Belts and Shoes? personally I’m not opposed to belts with fun patterns, but I almost exclusively wear brown leather belts (and usually the same belt) every day to work. I prefer brown belts/shoes to black, but you have to always match! You can’t wear a black belt with brown shoes, or vice versa. Regarding dress shoes, I like Johnston & Murphy shoes and boots – they’re nice leather, they’re comfortable, and even though they’re expensive, they last a long time. If you’re going for a more rugged winter look, I love my Red Wing boots because they look great, are good to wear in snow and rain, and they will last a lifetime – it’s less expensive to get the Red Wing boots repaired and re-soled than it is to buy new boots. Red Wings > Timberlands!” Finally, we know Mr. Hess’ secrets and we can step up our wardrobes, within the dresscode.