WHAT WE’RE WEARING: Who says fashion’s just for girls?

Micah Gill, Staff columnist

“What are you shopping for, basketball shoes?”

This is the response I receive when I tell my guy friends that I am going to the mall to shop for clothing.

For some odd reason, fashion is almost always associated with females. They get to do the shopping, the styling and the dressing.  But I’ll be the first one to tell you that at least at Shalhevet, fashion is as much for girls as it is for boys.

As many know, Shalhevet is a school with a dress code, but not a uniform. This means that we can wear what we want, but within certain parameters. It’s true that the girls of Shalhevet have to consider matching their skirt with their shirt.

But boys have just as much to deal with when getting dressed.

When looking through their closet each morning, several things go through the typical fashion-conscious boy’s head. First and foremost, he may ask himself, “What’s the weather like?”

Let’s say it’s a cold day out. First: the shirt. On a cold day I’ll most likely go for a buttondown shirt rather than a polo, which I prefer to wear on the beach or playing golf. In my humble opinion, while polo shirts are part of some dynamic outfits, they tend to be somewhat restricting.

After that he’s into his closet and must choose either jeans or khakis. Next he’ll pick out a cardigan or a sweater to prevent frostbite, due to the temperature at which some teachers keep their rooms. A cardigan will do the trick.

And finally, he’s on to shoes. I pick out my go-to dressy-casual pair – Clark’s desert boots – and some bright red socks to top it off.

Socks are very often overlooked, but they are an absolute staple at Shalhevet – a Firehawk trademark, even. For example, it’s hard to find a day at Shalhevet when Rabbi Schwarzberg and Reb Noam – beloved Judaic Studies Teacher and Principal, respectively – are not wearing two-toned, patterned socks.

Although it seems that socks are rarely seen, the opposite is true. Colorful socks with a fun design add a whole new aspect to any outfit. Socks are not supposed to match the outfit; they are supposed to pop.

Rabbi Schwarzberg is a walking example of top notch Shalhevet haberdashery and always looks put together while teaching Torah. Whether it’s his signature shoes with the red laces, light brown (though some would say orange) belt, Charles Trywhitt shirt — another staple among male faculty members — or worn out brown messenger bag slung over his shoulder, Rabbi Schwarzberg always dresses to impress.

He offered some keen clothing insight, male style.

“At Shalhevet, where individuality and independence is emphasized and encouraged, I really enjoy seeing students express themselves through their style and sense of fashion,” Rabbi Schwarzberg said.

“In an attempt to match the exquisite style of Shalhevet’s male teachers and rabbis, I have especially enjoyed the rise in men’s fashion over the last few years,” he gamely added. “While what’s on the inside can never be eclipsed by what’s on the outside, creating your own look can be a means of forging your own identity.”

And Rabbi Schwartzberg is right. Walk through the doors of Shalhevet and you will see a slew of well dressed, style-conscious students — both boys and girls.

Fashion is fashion, nothing more, nothing less, but if you pay attention, you’ll be surprised by what it can add to a high school’s environment.