make it work, designers


And now it’s time for another great entry in our…


Yes, you’ve come here for years to get the unique perspective of a guy hanging on to the feathering tendrils of bloated youth, and we never disappoint. But enough lolly and gagging. Time for…


Dear Aging Fratboy: Cardigans? What do you think? Don’t they just accentuate how fat we’ve all become?

That depends. Your cardigan needs to have three characteristics to make the cut: made of NON-ITCHY COTTON, no elastic-like gathering at the waistline, and it has to actually fit.

If you get the ones that gather right at your belt, making a little “poof” above it that looks – both up close and at a distance – like massive love handles, you should give the fuck up. Now. Seriously.

Get one that conforms to your body, even if you’ve been hiding the fact that you’re in your 40s. Anything XL and over, and you start looking like Hitchcock after eating Mr. Rogers.

Aging Fratboy… I like basketball shorts that go way down past the knee. But I’m white, and I’m told they look like “culottes”. What are culottes, and what should I do?

Do you actually still play basketball? I mean, do you really actually play games of basketball with friends, where there’s defense, and running, and you keep score? If so, you have earned the right to wear whatever the hell you want.


with Scotty, Lindsay/Jack, Rizzo and Seth – and those shorts are some of my SHORTER ones

Anyone saying you’re wearing culottes needs to get dunked on.

Dear Aging Fratboy: What’s the latest one can wear white jeans?


Aging Fratboy – What is your general rule about “favorite T-shirts”?

I don’t have a general rule, but I have rules about T-shirts in general: you can wear any shirt as long as it doesn’t have writing on it. Exceptions include:

• your alma mater. 35 of my shirts are Carolina-related.

• utter non-sequiturs. This does NOT include $45 “Gettin’ Lucky In Kentucky” ironic shirts from Urban Outfitters. This DOES include Matt Gentling’s “I Am All Excited About the Church of God” shirt with the Tasmanian Devil on it.

• shirts left in your possession by someone else. Somehow this absolves you of any responsibility, and allows you to enjoy the shirt all you want. Having lived in several group houses with intermingled laundry, I have many such shirts.


The above example was left in my drawer accidentally by Susannah Mills at some point around 2000. It depicts a random Kappa Sig party at the University of South Carolina in 1997. Words cannot express how comfy and perfect this shirt is now.

Aging Fratboy, I saw you wearing one of those Italo-Gallic “double collar” dress shirts at an event last weekend. Are you officially endorsing the double-collar aesthetic?


Yes, with caveats. You must pick the right double-collar look – too dark a contrast, and it verges into “guido” territory, too jarring, and you look like a clown. An actual clown.

I opted for the “light lavender – dark lavender” collar, which you can only pull off if you’re married and have seemingly stopped caring what anyone thinks.

Well, that does it for this edition. Tune in next time for…



5 thoughts on “make it work, designers

  1. emma

    Aging fratboy – I think you should add one more tshirt to your exception list (as it makes up about 50% of my tshirts) – tshirts that have races that you have run on them.

  2. kent williams

    past aging to old & I never joined a frat…
    The Last Poets were in Iowa City for an African American Studies event about 10 years ago, and I got a Last Poets T Shirt from them.
    Something about that shirt — bright red, with THE LAST POETS in black letters on the front — has had people stopping me in the streets in Detroit, New York City, Iowa City, Berlin, Paris, and Amsterdam. I think more people have complemented me on that T Shirt than have ever actually heard a Last Poets record.
    As a white guy from Iowa, this has me conflicted. Am I somehow a suitable walking billboard for Afrocentricsm?

  3. Ehren

    No exception made for the band t-shirt? I wear a number of t-shirts that have some writing on them, and I certainly don’t expect anyone to consider my Grendel (the comic) t-shirt fashionable, but band t-shirts get the first exception in my t-shirt book.

  4. Anne

    Sorry, not lovin’ the double collar at all. Chalk it up to my being an old lady.
    However, having already read your later post about being pre-diabetic etc., I have to say you look WAY too thin and fit to be a candidate for type 2 diabetes. Huh. Health is such a weird game, isn’t it.


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