Ah Croakies….the bastion of fratdaddies every where. What’s my take on it? Enjoy it while it lasts. When you’re an undergraduate party-all-night-to-hell-with-my-9am-lecture student, you are afforded guaranteed mistakes that must be avoidedwhen you get into Van Wilder’s age. I’m referring to all of that dorm room flair: Untucked OCBDs and backwards fitted caps. Boat shoes with high top athletic socks and your old soccer shorts. Fratshags and tank tops. And yes, croakies. Enjoy it while you’re still young boys. Because your grandkids will be laughing at you in a few decades when they ask what in the actual fuck were you wearing?
For those across the pond who are not familiar with southern frat culture in the US, you can think of croakies as “sunglass anchors”, preventing your shades from falling off your sweaty head. Originally intended for boaters and fishers, which are euphemisms for rednecks ( 🙂 )and good ol’ southern marsh boys, the practice of wearing croakies have spread from the dock to literally every occasion. It’s become a flag for the frat herd, to identify oneself as a fratter and not an uncool, Godforsaken, disgusting GDI, blah.
Which is precisely why I’ve already toned down my croakies use. Like you, I am reinventing myself for trad fashion and waving good bye to anything fratty. And since I’ll be entering my mid-20s soon, I’ll be retiring my croakies once I get out of school. Although there isn’t anything wrong with never wearing them to begin with (you’re a better man for it), if you have to subdue yourself to the sheep, then I’d stop wearing them as soon as you graduate, or at the latest before you turn 30. There’s nothing sadder than a grown man still wearing croakies. Be like your badass grandfather and do what he did: tuck them in your suit jacket or shirt pocket. There’s this guy who is in his 50s at my church who insists on acting young and wearing croakies over his tie during service. His girls are my age, and yet he wants to look like their twin brother. Unforgivable.
Cute for the kid, not so much for the father.
So to reiterate, what’s the number one rule when it comes to croakies? Don’t wear them past your final public hair growing in? Good, let’s move on.
You can wear croakies with most sunglasses, given the temple ends are small enough to fit on them. Referencing back to my sunglass article, another reason why I love my Persols is that you can classy-up a pair of croakies with something that Steve McQueen wore. Let your fellow fratters wear their Costas or Oakleys while you add a touch of chic with your Persols. And unlike those Costas, you can wear your Persols everywhere and not just on the boat. I am against Ray-Ban Wayfarers and Clubmasters for a differing reason (read my sunglass article) but Persols get my approval.
Same concept with the Original Pilots.
Some other ground rules with Croakies: don’t be one of those guys who wears it to your fraternity gala. We already get that you’re in college, so abide by some natural order and use your glasses for the setting sun adornment free. Why would you cheapen your formal wear with croakies around your suit jacket lapel? And same goes with your frat crew who wear croakies to the country bars after sunset. We. Get. It. You’re cool. Now leave your croakie and shades hanging from the rear view car mirror like your sorostitute girl friend and have drunken fun without worrying about Natty Light dripping on your frat goggles.
Where to buy your croakies? There’s been an explosion of unique designs, and if I were young again then I’d consider a seersucker or grosgrain pair, but with the same sentiment I have about motif belts, I’d get croakies that pertain to you. If you actually are in a fraternity, buy some cheap ones with your letters on it. I bought my only pair, as pictured, from GreekGear.com for 10 bucks. Or if you are one of those disgusting unpopular your-daddy-is-poor GDIs, get some from your favorite beach surf shop or an exposition you attended. If you’re gonna have something advertised on the back of your croakies, then it might as well be from an official sponsor and not free promotion of a brand.
I like wearing croakies when I’m out perusing for the better part of the day. Concerts, festivals, tanning at the beach. If I’m wearing an OCBD, I like to let the croakies rest on the outside of the collar if I know I’ll be taking my sunglasses off and on constantly, otherwise I tuck them in backwards with the croakies hanging down towards my chest. Similar to the styles in the title picture.
If you’re worried about having your expensive frames crushed during Spring Break at the cruise ship pool, buy some cheap frogskins and call it a day.
Me and my boat captain costume at a themed party. Glow in the dark frogskins and croakies.