Adults, Ewww

manolo
I’m a junior in college, and for the past few weeks, I’ve been interning at a high school counseling office. The problem is that my supervisor just told me that I have to look like a “professional adult and not like a high school senior.”  I’m on a really tight budget. Can you help? — Olivia

Manolo says, oh, that the worst of the Manolo’s problems were that he looked too much like the high school senior. Indeed, the Manolo has always had the opposite problem, that even when he was in the junior high school, he looked like the little old man.

Perhaps it was not the wisest decision to always wear the three-piece suit and the fedora while others were wearing the blue jeans, puffer vests and puka shells, but, tossed about on the stormy sea of pubescence, the formality of the old man clothing was the life preserver for the young Manolo.

While all the other children were trading notes about the crushes and the grudges, the Manolo would hook his walking stick onto his arm, gallantly doff his hat and present his calling card. More than once the Manolo found himself on the receiving end of the noogie, or the wet willie, or the dreaded atomic swirly.

Still, despite the rudeness of others, the Manolo believes, then as now, that the old-fashioned etiquettes and social graces are still the best.

Here is the Diema from the Calvin Klein ($69, zappos.com), the sophisticated kitten heel that will see you through the transition to adulthood.

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Jennifer Barger · November 1, 2013