UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Expert’s Got It

When Boston native Gretta Monahan is not managing her high-scale salons, boutiques and spas, she is busy co-hosting the second season of “Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style” on the Bravo network, launching her own footwear line, giving style tips on the “Rachel Ray” show, and hosting “Gretta’s Got It”, a regular fashion segment on the local Channel 7 News.

After both the Boston Globe and the New York Times profiled her, Gretta was kind enough to give Mass Media the scoop on how to dress for school.

Some people spend a lot of time and money picking out their outfits for the first day of school. Others choose to dress in their usual garb. Should students start out with a bang, or is it wiser to underwhelm?

The new school year is always an exciting time, so you probably want to have something a little more special than your usual getup, but don’t go overboard on day one. It’s always better to start off with one or two new pieces rather than a whole new wardrobe when beginning a new school year.

After a few weeks of meeting your professors, fellow students and making sense of your schedule, you will have a better idea, or vibe, of what your semester is going to look like.

What advice can you give students when they dress for a “first day,” whether it’s a new job, school, or an internship?

Be yourself! You never want to look like you are playing dress up or like you borrowed your parents’ clothing. Obviously, if you are trying to make a great first impression, it’s always better to stay a little more conservative and play it somewhat safe.

Both males and females can have a little fun with color and accessories. Once you’re a little more comfortable with the audience, you will have a better idea of either how much, or how little of a statement you would like to make.

What do you say to people who overdo the first day? For example, the students who go out and get a brand new wardrobe, and perhaps even a mini-personality makeover, for the occasion.

Dressing is a form of self-expression, so if those are the styles that represent the inner person, then I see no problem with it. The over-doer and the bold statement look might come on a bit strong, but if that is what they are trying to achieve, then go for it.

How about the students who make a conscience decision to underwhelm, or project nonchalance?

You certainly aren’t going to get noticed when dressing like a wallflower, but pushing beyond the comfort zone just might not be where the person is currently at, and that’s okay. I always remind people that fashion is supposed to be fun– so don’t work too hard at locking yourself into one look or label.

In your opinion, is dressing for college different from dressing for life?

In life, your specific line of work can dictate the way you dress (like required uniforms, scrubs, or suits). College is definitely a time of trying to figure out “what you want to be when you grow up,” so remember to keep an open mind to various trends and attitudes while you still can!

About the Contributor
Shira Kaminsky served as the following positions for The Mass Media the following years Editor-in-Chief: Spring 2012; 2012-2013 Managing Editor: Fall 2011 Arts Editor: Fall 2010