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Calvin Klein–Cal collaboration: Quantifiably critiquing Cal’s quirky couture

Am I really writing about fashion on a Cal Athletics blog? That’s weirder than you reading about fashion on a Cal Athletics blog.

Zoolander 2 : Paris Premiere At Gaumont Marignan Photo by Kristy Sparow/Getty Images For Paramount

Is it weird that the California Golden Bears are intermingling with fashion? Is it weird that this isn’t even the first time that Berkeley has intersected with high fashion? (I had a professor who doubled as a photographer and took time off [in the middle of the semester] to shoot Fashion Week.)

The extent to which we here—primarily coming together as fans of Cal Athletics—discuss fashion typically does not go beyond a group of mostly old, pot-bellied men declaring that we know what’s most alluring to a group of athletic young men and women who have yet to reach their quarter-life crises.

But today, Cal fashion goes beyond the offerings of the Student Store or Futura. Cal surpasses mere branding opportunities with Victoria Secret’s Pink or logo’d Dockers by entering a realm that would dazzle the sartorial sensibilities of Señor TwistNHook himself. Today, we tell the whole damn world what Blue (and Gold) Steel is all about.

Calvin Klein designer Raf Simons has selected Cal and Yale as two universities that will team up with the famed fashion house. (Wikipedia tells me that Calvin Klein is a fashion house and that “fashion house” is a phrase that real people use in the world.) The school selection is so spot-on—because the shared “Cal” and because Cal was founded by Yale alumni—that it’s fitting. (Get it? “Fitting” because it makes sense and because fashion is all about clothes and clothes fit and junk.)

The universities’ logos turned up on modified sweatshirts and oversize varsity jackets, as well as on leather handbags, and their crests were embroidered on the breast pockets of collegiate stripe blazers.

Vogue has 51 pictures of this line—which has been classified for as their Resort 2019 look, so don’t you dare wear these while vacationing to your summer home in Patagonia, Chile in 2020. But if you don’t have the time to peruse the images because you’re too busy polishing your Rolex Submariner, then I’ve got you covered with every Cal piece ranked using the time-tested and DBD-approved 19-point scale with the accompanying WNB/WB final word. Because I don’t have better things to do with my time.

The Friar’s Club jacket

I love this jacket... in theory. Why in God’s name is it so poorly-fitted? And is that striped thing actually part of the jacket or a layered second piece? And how does the rugged look of the cowboy hat fit in? And lastly, obligatory “boo red” for that skit.

1/19, WNB

The “something gold, something new, something borrowed, something blue” letterman’s jacket

Much like the previous entry, neither Calvin nor Klein know anything about how a jacket is supposed to fit. A classic example of having all the right pieces, but executing in a nonsensical fashion that’s so abhorrent, I fear the use of the word “fashion” earlier in this sentence so close to this monstrosity. As an old man, I understand the existential fear that grips us as the hands of time slowly nudge us closer and closer to frail, dusty irrelevance, but wearing an oversized jacket that makes you look like you’re swimming in your parent’s closet is not the answer.

2/19 WNB

The Berkeley Blue burrito

You know what? With all the #Pac12AfterDark and late-night football games, I’m actually all-in on this if you choose to rock it confidently. My only criticism is that the field of blue (with gold letters) doesn’t make the outfit pop as much as it should because look at this thing it’s basically corn since it was made to pop.

6/19 WNB

The pale pita of Putnam

Simons brilliantly pre-addressed my concerns with the Berkeley blue burrito, switching the color scheme to a subdued tan that is sure to draw all eyes to the logos proudly emblazoned on your chest. The blue diamonds are worth a solid two fire emojis. However, I have a sizable complaint that’s almost as large as the flaw in this piece itself—I love the walking bear icon, but the huge blue rectangle behind it is humiliatingly pedestrian.

8/19 undecided if WB or WNB

The pale pita of Pimentel

Here we are... at the pinnacle of the wrapped looks. The faint background makes the bold statement of the Cal logo even so much bolder that you’d think some Buffaloes were living inside you. And peep those blue and gold Xs up close and personal (and by the way, get used to things being up close and personal because everyone is going to be all up in your jazz with how good you’ll look wearing this). The asymmetrical sleeve is going to be as polarizing as the Kardashian’s slim-fit male romper. I’m going straight gaga over having the gold trim on one sleeve, the blue trim on the torso, and the blank other sleeve. I think the harsh transition to the blue diamonds is a bit much, but the harsh clash of that sleeve profoundly embodies the crazed nature of Berzerkeley

11/19 WB

The no. two pencil skirt

Now we’re getting into the regime of clothing that I genuinely think looks good (if you throw away the rest of the outfit, which makes me sound like a broken record of Rihanna’s Umbrella because it’s got me non-stop saying “ugh”). Underneath the eyesore of a green vest (black fleece or gtfo get carved up like a Thanksgiving turkey) and (yet another) oversized jacket is a nice, simple gold pencil skirt. Having a large logo at that location of that size is kind of weird, though.

14/19 WB

The “Justin Cobbs against #1 Arizona” clutch

So Calvin Klein not only fails to understand jacket sizing, but they apparently fail to understand the concept of jackets all together. And as much as I ding the outfit for that cardinal sin of a jacket (Take off that red jacket!), I’m going to look at just the purse in a vacuum because I adore it so dearly. You need this purse. I need this purse. I guess we’re making pizza because we’re just needing together.

16/19 WB

The Berkeley book bag

Again with the red? The only way to improve on the Justin Cobbs clutch is to make it even more Berkeley—use an Asian model and make it large enough to carry your textbooks for Chem 3A and your tablet (or whatever it is you students use to take notes these days). This bag could only be improved if it were simultaneously clear so we could all bring it on game days.

17/19 WB

This dress is Jahvid the Best

There is not a damn flaw in this dress, unless you got a sweet neck tat that you wanted to show off, I guess. It’s even being paired with football shoes because this is the perfect outfit for Memorial Stadium on (probably) a Saturday. Beauty, thy name is this dress. And my smile. Beauty, thy names are this dress and my smile.

19/19 WB

And there you have it. What was supposed to be a quick article on a new fashion line evolved on the spot to me reviewing nine articles of clothing when I really should be sleeping at the time of writing this. But hopefully you’ll find these clothes in a store of some sort near you. Or on the internet because we all just shop online.


Which Cal–Calvin Klein piece is your favorite?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    The Friar’s Club jacket
    (6 votes)
  • 19%
    The "something gold, something new, something borrowed, something blue" letterman’s jacket
    (51 votes)
  • 5%
    The Berkeley Blue burrito
    (14 votes)
  • 4%
    The pale pita of Putnam
    (11 votes)
  • 4%
    The pale pita of Pimentel
    (11 votes)
  • 5%
    The no. two pencil skirt
    (15 votes)
  • 8%
    The "Justin Cobbs against #1 Arizona" clutch
    (21 votes)
  • 12%
    The Berkeley book bag
    (31 votes)
  • 37%
    This dress is Jahvid the Best
    (97 votes)
257 votes total Vote Now