Name: Ramzy Kahhale
Class Year: 2015
Major: International Affairs and French
Hometown: Boston, MA
Name: Spencer Brooks
Class Year: 2015
Hometown: Silver Spring, MD
Her Campus: Where do you get your style inspiration?
Ramzy: Spencer Brooks.
Spencer: Exclusively from Ramzy.
Just kidding (partially; more on him later). I draw inspiration from a lot of sources. I like rugged American style. Steve McQueen, James Dean, Nick Wooster. I also love the bold, dandyish elements of Italian menswear. Unconstructed, aggressively tailored blazers and slim (but not skinny) pants. Bright colors. Lino Ieluzzi inspires me. He’s got a devil-may-care attitude. He takes risks and owns them. I admire that.
HC: What’s your favorite store to shop at?
Ramzy: Club Monaco. Thrift stores are also amazing.
Spencer: Money’s tight, so most of my wardrobe is secondhand. You would be amazed by what you can find in a thrift store. I have a genuine naval-issue pea coat from 1964 that I bought for nickels and dimes at a Goodwill in Berkeley, CA. You can get beautiful, well-made clothes for next to no money, especially if you live in or near a city.
When I do buy clothes new I like Club Monaco, Zara, and Massimo Dutti for casual clothing. For suiting I like the Dutch company Suitsupply. It’s famous (or infamous, depending on who you ask) for its risqué advertising campaigns and its playful suits.
HC: Any advice for guys who want to show off their style more?
Ramzy: In my experience, a lot of guys don’t show off their style for two reasons: (1) they think that being stylish is not “manly,” or (2) they’re afraid of being overdressed. To the first, girls are attracted to better dressed guys, plain and simple. To the second, if people think you’re overdressed, they’re jealous.
Spencer: Sure. Here are two suggestions:
Take risks. Push boundaries. Try new things. I think that’s good advice for life in general. Want to wear a suit without occasion? A strange hat? Pants printed with pineapples? Go for it. See what you think. You might be surprised by what you do and don’t like. More importantly, you’ll become comfortable looking different, and that’s invaluable.
Along those same lines: dress for yourself. Don’t get caught up in other people’s opinions. I can’t count the number of times someone has passed judgment on me based on the way I dress. It’s usually negative: “You shouldn’t dress up unless you have a reason.” “That looks stupid.” “You’re vain/self-obsessed/arrogant.” Last year a friend and I wore suits to a bar. When we left a group of guys followed us outside and down the block, shouting, “You look like fagg*ts.” Yikes. It’s not all criticism, of course. I’ve gotten plenty of compliments too. I try to take both good and bad in stride. I think style should be a reflection of your own tastes. If you dress for other people you miss the point.
HC: Do you get inspiration from one another?
Ramzy: Refer to question 1.
Spencer: Constantly. Ramzy will insist that he started dressing well because of me and that he doesn’t have his own sense of style. That’s bullsh*t. He’s sillier than I am. More lighthearted. He inspires me to wear more color and to have more fun. And when he wears a bowtie he looks like James Bond. That takes skill.
HC: Do you pride yourself on your fashion sense?
Ramzy: Not particularly. On the one hand, if you take the time to dress well, you’re showing a lot of respect for yourself and your peers. On the other hand, I don’t take it too seriously; I just try to have fun with it.
Spencer: Not really. I don’t think I place enough importance on fashion to let it affect my pride. Style is fun, but at the end of the day we’re talking about clothes. It’s easy to get caught up in looking good, especially in a society in which aesthetic beauty matters more than it should, but it pays to keep in mind that there are more important things in life. When I catch myself thinking too much about what I want to wear I take a step back and remember that the clothes don’t make the man (or woman). Cultivate passions, relationships, knowledge. Those are the things that matter, that stay with you. Style is a frivolity.
HC: And finally, if you could have any Disney prince’s outfit, whose would you choose?
Spencer: Prince Charming. Gotta love those shoulder tassels.