John Arnold stands in one of his sig­nature outfits in front of his apartment. Genevieve O’Gara | Col­legian

Q: How would you describe your style?

A: Effortless but respectable. My style tends to be on the casual side, so it looks like I don’t try, but I put a sig­nif­icant amount of energy into it. I like finding dif­ferent tex­tures and con­trasting pat­terns with block colors. I have this really fun pair of bright red plaid pants that I wear with a black hoodie and a green jacket. It’s one of my favorite looks.

Q: Do you have any style icons?

A: I love Janelle Monae. Every­thing she does is directed either at a certain type of message or a certain type of boundary that she’s trying to push. I think her fashion is a perfect extension of her per­son­ality, which is some­thing I always try to achieve.

Q: What’s your advice for someone trying to develop their own style?

A: I like to tell people that the bare neces­sities of your wardrobe really help set the tone for how you want to dress. For example, a lot of my close friends know that I have a per­sonal vendetta against khakis. I’ve come to believe that any pair of khakis can be replaced with a dif­ferent pair of pants in any outfit. I would chal­lenge someone to realize that you can up your game in little ways that make a big dif­ference.

Q: So what counts as a “bare necessity?”

A: A good jacket in Michigan is a necessity. I’m con­stantly looking for bigger and bigger jackets with each new winter.

Q: What did you wear during the polar vortex last year?

A: I put on two pairs of sweat­pants and slept until 1 p.m. I was not seen that day in public. I refused to go outside.

Q: Is there any­thing in your closet that you would never wear in public?

A: I have a pair of pale blue sweat­pants that have a big pocket in the front. They’re the most com­fortable pair of sweat­pants I own. I can put every­thing in them and do laundry or whatever. I got them from Zara.

Q: Do the clothes make the man?

A: It’s the other way around. If someone is wearing a Moschino 4XL t‑shirt with a teddy bear on the front and a Versace belt and Givenchy leg­gings, that’s not a good look. That person is trying too hard to make people think that they can afford whatever they want. That’s not style. You have to make sure that you’re wearing the clothes and the clothes aren’t wearing you.