Eight years ago, when I first interviewed Charlie Davidson of The Andover Shop about dressing Miles Davis, he used a simple but delightful phrase “my kinda clothes.” The phrase stuck with me and now, after all these years, I’m finally employing it as a new recurring feature. “My Kinda Clothes” will give Ivy Style readers the chance to share their favorite half-dozen or so items and how they come together to craft the man’s personal style.
We start with Al Castiel III who runs the site Regattas & Rep Ties, and whose summer is off to a charmed start. The Boston University student is presently living in New York and doing an internship in the custom department at Paul Stuart, where I met up with the precocious youngster last week. He’s staying in the NYU dorms where it’s safe to say he has more clothing than anybody else.
If you’d like to participate in the new series, use the contact button above and send me an email. — CC
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While my style of dress tends to lean more towards the English end of the spectrum and with some dandyish undertones, the base is very much rooted in classic American style. I tend to rely on having several of the same pieces in several different colors, utilizing them as my staple items. More often than not, most of the pieces in my wardrobe have their own unique stories.
Ray Ban aviators:
These pre-Luxottica shades are a testament to the longevity of a well made product. They were purchased by my father in 1982, back during his college days. He has since passed them down to me, and I break them out on every sunny day.
Alden tassel loafers:
Paired with suits, jeans, khakis, and even sockless with shorts, the Alden tassel loafers are the go-to shoe for me in almost any occasion, save black tie. Ever since lusting after a pair in high school, I knew I had to have a pair. My brown pair used to belong to John Tinseth of The Trad (coincidentally, his nephew and I attended prep school together). I got them from him my freshman year of college.
Silk knit ties:
I believe that the silk knit tie is one of the most versatile pieces of neckwear that a man can own. Women seem to love them as well, which is an added bonus. I have several from various makers, although this is rather irrelevant, as they’re all made by the same factories in Italy. They look equally at home with either button down or spread/cutaway collars. The more texture, the better.
Andover Shop suits and sportcoats:
I’ve been going to the legendary Charlie Davidson for my clothes since I arrived in Boston. Charlie and Larry’s English-inspired tastes align perfectly with mine, so it’s only natural that I’d use The Andover Shop as my primary tailors. I recently commissioned an Air Force blue summer suit with hacking pockets, ticket pocket, surgeon’s cuffs, side vents, and beltless trousers with side tabs. Since I never wear belts these days except for with khakis and jeans, I suppose you can call trousers with side tabs one of my signatures as well, which I credit Charlie for introducing me to. A gun club check tweed jacket was my first commission from Charlie.
While it’s clear that I’m a serious clotheshorse, I am also very interested in fine timepieces. I have one of the earliest Omega Seamaster Aqua-Terra models, and it features a see-through back. In addition to being a beautiful watch, it has a very strong sentimental value to me. It was a gift from my father for high school graduation, and I wear it proudly almost every day.
Oxford Cloth Button Down Shirts:
If I’m not wearing a suit or a Lacoste shirt, there’s a 99% chance you’ll see me in an oxford shirt. I usually stick to oxfords as my everyday casual shirts, wearing them to class, the bars, or on weekends with shorts or white Levis 501s. They’re also my go-to shirts to wear with sport coats, as the collar looks great tieless with an impeccable roll and a prominent pocket square to compliment it. Moreover, during my time working in sales at Brooks Brothers, I wore them quite regularly, as they were the quintessential Brooks item. In order to play with conventions and go against the grain, I’ll wear them with Hermes ties or hacking jackets. I’m a big fan of Sid Mashburn button downs, as well as those from J. Press and Brooks’ “new old” unlined model.
Cutaway Collar Shirts:
In “Dressing The Man,” Alan Flusser states that a gentleman with a narrow or oval-shaped face should opt for a collar with a wider spread. I take this to the extreme by wearing cutaway collar shirts that have the widest spread possible. I’m not afraid to show some of the tie on the shirt’s neckband, either. I usually tie four-in-hand knots when wearing them. I love the way they look with and without a tie, and sometimes wear them with jeans as well. I think they add a sense of flair and dandyism to a suit or sportcoat. — AL CASTIEL III