March Style: Rebuttal

My style column in the March 2015 Mankato Magazine calls out Grant Pladsen and Rhett Waldock for wardrobe-related failure to lift us out of winter.

I’m so sorry but it was true. The boys looked perfectly stylish and put-together the day I took their photo, without permission and on moments’ notice, but stylish was not what I was after. I was after explosions of color to warm our eyeballs and lift our wintry spirits.

I haven’t known Rhett for very long but I’ve known Grant just about forever. Like, since he asked to be driven home from a sleepover due to stomach discomfort. Sweet kid. Explained the situation and apologized for the inconvenience with so much eloquence, it was kind of startling. Grant’s been a well-put-together gent of substance since middle school. So if you’re not into color but rather you’re into neutrals and naturalness and casual post-preppy ease, you can feel free to toss my column aside and embrace Grant Pladsen as your new style icon.


“My style paradigm? Stolen. Or actually borrowed. This is Rhett’s.”

The pants too. “Sometimes I accidentally dry his stuff and then it’s too small and it’s mine.”


Now here is color. Color! Possible that I missed this the day I shot the incriminating photo. Doesn’t matter. This street-level pop of green wouldn’t have made Grant a fashion icon for that particular piece. However, this 2% whimsy in an otherwise conservative ensemble is noted and admired, especially because it’s mostly only visible to Grant himself and even he has to work for it by looking down and making sure his pants are out of the way. But then: Green! Hello.


I also appreciate that Grant lets his hair be his hair and that is that.


Also, I enjoy his art. The knife. The knife is Grant’s. Much like the small slice of whimsy on the shoes, you gotta work for this. It requires a little bit of thought to delight in the sad-face knife.


Thought, pauses, quietude, a shrunken cotton shirt, neutrality — these are your alternatives. Alternatives to screamy showy color signaling a kind of panic that winter won’t end. It always ends. My Mankato Magazine piece kind of suggests otherwise, and I’m sorry, you guys, I didn’t mean to incite panic. Everybody just calm down. Everybody put on some borrowed pants and whimsyshoes and patience and grace and trust that the soft browns and greens of spring will follow.


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