Taking Notes: Thought Catalog makes sartorial sense

In beginning our first column, we thought, who better to interview than Ryan O’Connell, founder, editor, and contributor to our well-loved website Thought Catalog.

By Emma Morrison

We know what we’re aiming for: a column about both the sartorial and satirical sides of our college community. But how do we get there? In beginning our first column, we thought, who better to interview than Ryan O’Connell, founder, editor, and contributor to our well-loved website Thought Catalog.

Lifestyle is as much about communication as it is about clothing, so why not start with talking to the man who provides cutting comments on the runway, relationships, and reality as he knows it?

If you don’t read Thought Catalog, we don’t know what you’re doing on your computer in class. The online journal—a digital homage to democracy, given that they publish pieces from anybody, so long as they’re interesting—is our go-to website for finding readable, humorous writing on just about any subject. We, at least, are fine with admitting we’ve spent what may be countless hours browsing Thought Catalog in class when feeling a little tired of, say, listening to a lecture on how to analyze texts “deploying” a postmodern critical technique while baking like potatoes under those harsh fluorescent classroom lights.

Anyway, as we sat down and put our heads together, wondering what to address for our first installment, we quickly came to the conclusion that there’s no better (slash other) way to get answers than by asking questions. Actually, to think of a subject worthy of Maroon readers—given U of C students’ intellect and tendency toward unsympathetic dismissal of others’ ideas—was a harder fish to fry than we had anticipated, given our obvious tendencies toward perfectionism and self-discipline. Then it dawned on us: If we were having issues thinking of what to say, why not ask our favorite columnist, our best-loved, most insightful Thought Catalog stalkee whose words had given us hours of entertainment, for advice? Here, for your benefit and appreciation, are the results of what may be 2011’s most important interview thus far. Are you in need of some fabulous? Take note—because we’re taking names.

Julia & Emma: Why Thought Catalog? What appeals to you about the forum?

Ryan O’Connell: TC is amazing because it’s so democratic. We give unknown writers a voice and don’t abide by a concrete editorial guideline. We publish anything so long as it’s interesting, which I find refreshing, especially in today’s blogosphere.

J & E: What do you think was your finest Thought Catalog article?

RO: Everyone ignores my “think” pieces, which kind of bums me out. I wrote a post called “Here’s To Getting Older,” and I like to think that’s one of my best pieces of writing. Most people read the ones about dating and getting drunk, but there’s some substantive pieces sandwiched in there. You just gotta look.

J & E: For the sartorial part of today’s column: What’s your biggest sartorial turnoff? Or, if you’re feeling extra vocal today, what are your top three?

RO: I hate open-toed sandals and ill-fitting jeans on men. On women, I hate the super trendy girls who think they’re really into fashion. They wear brown slouchy boots, a knitted cap and like a MILLION accessories and think that’s fashion. No, honey. That’s called Lauren Conrad from season one of The Hills.