Sweater Weather

Now onto the other aspect of my blog that isn’t worrying about school: menswear and personal style. While I’m perfectly content in a pair of sweatpants (slim-fit joggers, mind you), there is something special about buttoning up a suit jacket or lacing up a pair of boots . As I mentioned previously, the white coat still needs some getting used to, but even that makes you feel different, more composed. You stand a little straighter, you hold your head up a little higher, you walk with a purpose (at least until a resident calls you a “shortcoat” which isn’t exactly a good thing). While I might feel uncomfortable in it now, I’m sure I’ll wear it like a second skin soon enough.

As for my layperson clothes, I’m on a strict grad student budget, so I try to get the most bang for my buck. On this site I hope to share my tips on dressing for certain occasions, secrets to snagging the best deals, and how to cultivate your overall personal style. I like to use style instead of fashion because I think it connotes a sense of personality and individuality that fashion does not. I admit, finding your own sense of style can be difficult. Barriers can come in the form of price, access, or general apprehension of trying something new. But if you follow a few simple rules, you too can put together a killer look that’s more than just the matching shirt/tie combo that comes from the same box. Here we go:

Rule 1 – Comfort

  • In my opinion, the first rule of style is that there are no real “rules.” For example, “no white after labor day” is probably one of the most well-known, yet absurd fashion rules that we follow. It’s an outdated custom from the upper-crust elite that should have died when they did. Nowadays, it’s more acceptable to wear year-round. When I say comfort, I mean more than physical comfort, I mean comfort with yourself and how you look. Yes, a look may be very popular and trendy, but if it doesn’t feel right, don’t wear it. That’s not to say you shouldn’t experiment and push your boundaries, but it’s important to find what you think looks best on you and what makes you happy. Everything else is extra.

Rule 2 – Fit

  • You might be wondering why I’m talking about fit when I just finished talking about being comfortable. Both are important, but fit is what elevates your outfit to the next level. It’s amazing what changes you can make to your look when you pay attention to how clothes drape your body. For men, that would be in your jacket, shirts, and trousers. Ideally, you don’t want to have a lot of billowing fabric around your waist, and this holds true even for some of the bigger guys. Just as in women’s fashion, the same holds true for menswear: hiding underneath a tent won’t make you seem smaller, you’ll only look bigger/sloppy/like you’re trying to hide. My personal style hero Dan Trepanier and his team at articlesofstyle put together some great guides for men of different body types, here’s one for the larger guys. I don’t plan on doing too many posts about dressing for your body type, but there is a lot of great information out there regarding that.

Rule 3 – Keep it simple

  • Style isn’t always about being the loudest one in the room. Most of the time, it’s about putting your best face forward and tackling the world while looking and feeling good af. Style is about building confidence, and the best way to do that is to not let your clothes speak for you. My best advice regarding that is to start off with a few key staple pieces that you can build your wardrobe around. Here are a few that are in constant rotation in my closet:
    • brown penny loafers and brown leather boots (and my trusty LL Bean boots)
    • dark denim, black denim (your go-to pants)
    • faded/vintage wash denim for the spring and summer
    • oxford cloth button downs in white and blue
    • a navy blazer, a lighter blazer (in gray or khaki)
    • a casual crewneck sweatshirt, a cardigan, and a denim trucker jacket

And those are your three simple rules for being pretty. Now go ahead and show the world who’s boss, (student) doctor’s orders.

– TS℞

White Coat Woes

“Hi, I’m student doctor James, nice to meet you. What brings you in today?”

I never really intended on blogging, but after starting a maybe-kinda-sorta-project on Instagram a few months ago, I decided to chronicle my adventures in medical school. I have no intentions of being famous from this, I just want to share my story (but with the way my student loans are looking, that actually wouldn’t be so bad). Though I initially intended my IG account to be a superficial collection of lifestyle posts, OOTDs, and awesome food, it soon became apparent that I needed to do more. While I believe my IG account will continue to stay as it is, I hope to use this to share more detail: thrift store hauls, style tips for the sartorially inclined, an awesome meal I’ve had, advice and fears about medical school for premeds and fellow medical students. I also hope you all can share with me, even if I only have 5 followers. So, let me start off with my first few months of medical school.

Like many of you premeds and med students out there, this is a goal that I’ve worked toward for the majority of my academic life. It’s interesting being back at square one, especially after being so laser-focused on getting into med school for over 10 years. It’s humbling (yet funny), going from knowing nothing to still knowing nothing, but about different stuff. I’m adjusting well both academically and socially, but to be honest, I’m still uncomfortable in my white coat. I just don’t feel like I’ve earned it yet.

Before my white coat ceremony I thought it was nice that my school waited until after our first exam to don us with the symbol of our profession (although if I had to change one thing, maybe it wouldn’t have been directly after our exam that morning). In contrast to some of my peers at other schools, I thought “yeah, I’ve earned the right to wear this.” I was right, kind of.

Since then, I’ve demonstrated proficiency on two exams in genetics, biochemistry, physiology and most undergraduate science majors combined and condensed into two months. I’ve had simulated office encounters on standardized patients and had the opportunity to become part of the healthcare team in our student-run free clinic. I’ve rotated through different departments in the hospital (OR, IM, Peds, OB/GYN, ICU, ED) and contributed my knowledge as a healthcare professional in laboratory medicine. And yet, I’m still unsure. Our professors tell us all the time how different our school is, how special our class is, how they wish they had received same the immersive, integrative training when they were in school. I try not to take this experience for granted, I’m in a special place after all. But, and I think this is the first time I’m admitting this, I’m actually terrified.

It’s amazing how quickly the nagging monsters of self-doubt come back to haunt you after you thought you’ve laid them to rest, especially when you’re caring for a real, live person. I just want to do good by them, by all of them. The ones I’ve seen and have yet to see. I just want to be a good doctor. I see the M3s and M4s walking into patient rooms, talking to them with confidence and assuredness, impressing the attendings and residents with their knowledge. Maybe I’m being too hard on myself, we’re only a few months into school after all. We’ll all get there soon, call me impatient.

WELL. Hopefully that wasn’t too much of a downer. I hope to keep this blog relatively light, but I don’t want to be afraid to tackle real issues if they come up. Thanks for reading, everyone.

Come back soon for your refill,

– TS℞

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