Sporting a colorful floral button-down shirt, Garrett Richie, Instructor in English, finishes his look off with cuffed pants and reflective sunglasses.
“A lot of times he says that he wears stuff just because he can; I think that’s super cool to have in a teacher. He’s willing to wear what he wants because it looks different, because it stands out. He’s always very clean-cut and impeccable in terms of his clothing, his hair as well,” said Jeffrey Kao ’19, one of Richie’s students.
As a high school student, Richie was not overly conscious of his fashion choices. According to Richie, he often wore unconventional pieces such as cargo shorts or camouflage pants.
“I think it was just a ton of trial and error. I just kept wearing things until people quit insulting me. I wore a Taylor Swift shirt to my first day at college, and everyone called me ‘Taylor Swift guy’ for like a month. That ruined my place in the social hierarchy, so I try to quit making those mistakes,” said Richie.
Richie’s style evolved as he took on his role as an English teacher at Andover. Defaulting to patterned button-down shirts and smooth-leather Timberlands instead of formal shirts and dress shoes, Richie brings a trendier flair to the classroom whilst maintaining his authority as a teacher.“I think sometimes [students will] be like, ‘Hey, there’s a teacher who wears Timberlands,’ which is fun for them. In a very conversational English class, I want a more approachable dynamic that still has an established hierarchy, but less cold. Not that someone wearing a shirt and tie would be cold, but it just helps me enter the group in a way where I’m comfortable,” said Richie.
While he does not always wear statement pieces, Richie finds joy in occasionally whipping out humorous or eye-catching pieces. According to Richie, it helps entertain his students and brighten their day.
“I wear loud, colorful stuff because I’m kind of loud as a person. If anything, if your shirt’s really obnoxiously loud, I think it’s fun. I have this one velour shirt that I think is weird to see on an adult that I wear very rarely. It’s just entertaining; if I were to wear something weird or funny, it just makes the day a little bit different for [students], and I think that’s good,” said Richie.
Currently, Richie cites Jake Gyllenhaal as a major style inspiration. He often uses social media or the Internet to search up images of Gyllenhaal, and provides barbers with photos of Gyllenhaal in hopes of imitating his hairstyle.
“I think God led me to Jake Gyllenhaal. His hair just looks so good all the time, like in ‘Nightcrawler,’ his hair is amazing. I always show barbers pictures of Jake Gyllenhaal and they never get it right. And my wife’s like, ‘You’re never going to look like Jake Gyllenhaal,’ and I just don’t listen to her,” said Richie.
In addition to Gyllenhaal, Richie also cites his upbringing as influences in his fashion style.
Even after living in New England, Richie has continued to reject preppy New England fashion in favor of his self-described “huntsman” aesthetic.
“Timberlands — I noticed them coming into play here in 2015, they hit New England — but they were always a thing in Detroit. It’s so brand-conscious here, especially at a place like Andover. It seems like the typical high school pressure scene, but like in fashion-sense-wise, but way higher standards. I’m glad I didn’t have to compete with that in high school; I had a hard enough time,” said Richie.