BOSS Fashion Forecast Featuring Shams Ahmed & Jessie Litwin


Only four days until the masses strut down the BOSS Red Carpet with a cappella’s finest. Before you start brushing off your paisley cravats and velour platform heels, consider these fashion tips from our “Dress for Success”* instructor Shams Ahmed, with guest Jessie Litwin. Both Shams and Jessie have been members of the Nor’easters from Northeastern University, a group known not only for their talent, but for their spot-on fashion sense.

First off, who’s your personal style icon, male and female?

Jessie: Ryan Reynolds because anything he does is sexy. Rihanna when she’s not trashy. She’s edgy and chic and takes risks.

Shams: Jessie Litwin.

Who do you think looked the best at the Oscars this year?

J: Lupita, duh. I wish I had her body.

S: I didn’t watch the Oscars.

Why are you teaching a class on style?

J: Style is so important and so much fun, I’m happy to share my take on it with others!

S: Because it’s fun and is something people don’t place enough importance on.

Why does a cappella need this? What colors are hot for this year?

J: Your look can help define your sound. If you go out there and perform a killer ICCA set with dark music and cool tones, but you’re wearing pink frills and opaque lilac tights, you are asking the audience to be confused. You have to present your music with your body and your look. In terms of color, I’m all about the sleek, chic neutrals. Black, gray, white, and if I had to add a color I would choose maroon.

S: I think that a lot of groups could get better gigs if they presented themselves well from a visuals standpoint. And I agree Jessie on all the other stuff, too.

Red Carpet question time. Floor length or tea length for girls?

J: Depends. On stage? Not floor length, show your legs! Offstage, floor length can be fun!

S: I’m confused.

Bow ties or neckties?

J: Again, depends. On stage? Bow ties. Off stage, look sexy in a tie, please.

S: I say both for on stage but off stage please go for bow. Especially in a fun print or color! (But keep the shirt neutral and don’t get crazy.)

Vests for guys, yes/no?

J: Why not?

S: Vests are great, especially for boys who don’t own irons/boys in general.

What’s the best pattern/color for a tux?

J and S: Please no pattern. Black. Don’t mess it up.

What’s an absolute NO for the red carpet?

J: Nip slip. You don’t need to show too much skin. Show some cleavage OR some sexy back, one or the other. Leave the rest up to the imagination.

S: Wear something you feel good in from all angles! You never know if someone’s taking a secret selfie or a “candid” shot of you.

Must-have accessory for guys/girls?

J: For girls, it’s KILLER shoes.

S: ^Since when have shoes become accessories? For guys, it has to be a good tie.

Anything else you want to add?

J & S: Put yourself together every day. Don’t ever miss a day and slack off. You never know who you might meet at any moment; could be a future boss or a future husband or wife. Kill it.

Well, the fashion gurus have spoken. Get yourselves camera-ready, and we’ll see you on the red carpet!

* Dress For Success will be taught by Shams Ahmed and a panel of others on Saturday at 9AM. For the full workshop schedule, click here.