Courtesy of Amy Noon Free
Men slumming it to class in jeans and T-shirts is a fairly normal sight around campus. But imagine if it instead became the norm for those men to strut in khakis and bow ties.
That’s the aim of the creators of Southern Proper, a clothing company specializing in sophisticated, young menswear, as it brings its southern charm to Ohio State.
The company also sells polo shirts and headbands for women, and accessories such as iPhone cases and coozies.
The brand, which was founded in Atlanta in 2005, is expanding its reach by targeting college students through online campaigns.
Katie Blodgett, a second-year in microbiology, is Southern Proper’s campus ambassador at OSU.
“(Southern Proper) was based off the idea of dressing young gentlemen in nicer clothes,” Blodgett said. “It promotes guys wearing well-made and well-designed outfits. Guys don’t always dress the best, so the company promotes the importance of that.”
The cost of the clothing, however, has deterred some OSU students from buying it. The brand’s signature items, bow ties and ties, are priced at $60 and $75, respectively.
Long-sleeved button-down shirts are priced at $85 and shorts are $65.
Gabriel Ford, a first-year in architecture, was one student who said the brand is too steeply priced for college students.
“It looks nice, but $80 for a shirt is kind of expensive for someone who’s paying college tuition,” Ford said.
While some OSU students might question the affordability of the merchandise, Columbus is a target for Southern Proper promotions.
Blodgett said the company is focusing Internet sales and online promotions in cities such as Columbus, where the clothing is not sold at nearby retailers.
On Aug. 27, Blodgett created the Facebook page “Southern Proper- Ohio State,” where she offers students special discounts and giveaways. The page had amassed 125 fans by Tuesday night.
Blodgett said she thinks Southern Proper’s clothing will appeal to men at OSU because it is a “nice, classic brand.”
“I think that young gentlemen will look very put together,” Blodgett said. “Not only will they look good, but they’ll be buying a product that will last for many years.”
Cameron Bouchard, a second-year in microbiology, owns several pieces of Southern Proper clothing, including polo shirts and hats.
“You don’t have to be southern to wear it. I just know about it because I’m from the south,” Bouchard said of the brand. “It’s well-made stuff. It fits well and it looks good.”
Keegan Donnelly, a third-year in computer science, said he would consider buying the clothing, but not for everyday wear.
“I like wearing T-shirts personally, but I would maybe buy it if I was wearing it to a special event,” Donnelly said.