The Apparel Chair

Meet Our Newest Columnist, Jonathan Weiss

He gave his frat bro's a good dressing down for dressing poorly. The email went viral. We gave him an advice column.
Photo: Bruce Weber (Kidding! It was taken by a pal of Jon's)

The Fratshionistau is Ready to Tackle Your Style Dilemmas.

By now you’ve probably seen the email. Sent by Jonathan Weiss, the “apparel chair” of the ATO chapter at Emory, the missive tore his fellow brothers a new one for their schlubby approach to style. Was he over the top? Yep. But he also leavened his scolding with a sense of humor and enough self-awareness that you couldn’t help but like the kid. Even better, Mr. Weiss’s recommendations were actually pretty solid: adopt earth tones for fall, get into the slouchy Americana feel of obscure Japanese label Talking About The Abstraction, and get yourself a statement scarf.

Which is why you’re reading this.

Like Mr. Weiss, we love us a loud muffler, so we asked him to curate a sale featuring his essential fall picks from brands like Missoni, Versace, Gant, and Givenchy.

We also liked the dude’s passion for style, so we asked him to write a biweekly style column for Gilt MANual. Writing under the inevitable banner of The Apparel Chair, he’ll be tackling all manner of style dilemmas that afflict guys on campus these days. For more on Mr. Weiss, check out the recent Q&A with GQ.com, but first, read his answers to my questions below.

And, more importantly, if you know a style challenged college guy (who knows, maybe that’s you), drop Jonathan a line at [email protected]! Check back in a couple weeks for his debut column.

Are the ATOs known as a particularly stylish crew at Emory?
ATO had some dark, chubby-filled days, but I think in the past few years we have turned a corner. While they may not be knowledgeable on designers, the brothers of ATO each have their own personality and dress accordingly.

Sadly I am not an anomaly, most other fraternities have some version of an apparel chair, even if they go by different names. However, I definitely broke the mold in terms of apparel chair requirements when I decided to throw some tips to my brothers.

When I was in school it was all about dressing down, and looking like a crunchy boarding-school stoner. What’s campus style at Emory like these days?
Emory has a laid-back, library-stacks studying style, which is code for not a lot of style. Although, the high international pool of students from Asia brings an awesome array of otherwise unknown Chinese, Japanese, and Korean designers.

What’s the most common style offense you see on campus these days?
Dressing like a slob to class; I can understand that you might get away with sweatpants and a stained sweatshirt in a 100 person lecture, but you better believe the professor notices your effort (or lack thereof) in a ten person seminar.

How would you describe your style? How has it changed since starting school?
Ever since I fell into Beat Poetry in the beginning of college, my style has become Americana inspired (think JJ Mercer F/W lookbook 2011). Before I started school I was still looking for my “style” and followed my family’s sound fashion advice.

What are some of your favorite labels?
Warby Parker, AllSaints, A.P.C., Scotch & Soda, and Topman.

Who are your style icons?
Frank Sinatra—The Chairman of The Board taught me that a man’s style speaks volumes about him. For introducing me into fashion as a way to express myself I owe Frank a deep debt of gratitude.

Jean Touitou—Designer for A.P.C, Jean has embraced a sense of true simplicity that the fashion world either forgets or dismisses. His approach to fashion is genuine and it displays in each of his designs and collaborations.

Jack Kerouac—A literary icon too, Jack embodies the Beat Generation and a commitment to living. As a man who made his own path in life and forged his own look, he taught me that if being yourself means standing out, go for it. That is important.

Shop statement scarves on Gilt >>

Check back the week after Thanksgiving for Jonathan’s debut column!

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