Recently I was asked to participate in a new side project from Christian Barker, my former editor at The Rake. Barker founded a site called Men’s Top Tens, part of which consists of style commandments from his colleagues in the menswear, media and luxury goods industries.
The piece gives me an opportunity to talk about style from a theoretical point of view, which, as I’ve mentioned before, interests me a lot more than tailoring minutiae. I explain my preferences for simplicity (my version of simplicity) and informality (relatively speaking). Take commandment #3, for example:
3. “One of the chief virtues of the Ivy/preppy/WASPy approach to dressing is the notion of being relatively dressed up for casual settings and relatively dressed down for formal ones. When wearing shorts, for example, the trad guy has on one of his buttondown-collar dress shirts, sleeves rolled up, and dress loafers, no socks — not a t-shirt and flip flops. Then when everyone’s dolled up in black tie, he’s got a pink buttondown under his dinner jacket, or something like that. I think it’s a solid approach to dressing regardless of whether or not you have a trust fund or Roman numeral after your name.”
The piece also required a fresh photo shoot. In this outfit I’m wearing my “Continental” jacket by Polo RL (natural shouldered 2-button in silk, with shortened double vents), club collar oxford shirt from Ratio, no-name brown club tie (swords piercing hearts), white handkerchief with gray trim from Paul Stuart, charcoal gabardines from O’Connell’s, alligator belt on engine-turned buckle from Brooks Brothers, brown and gray nailhead socks from Brooks Brothers, and brown bit loafers from Cole Haan. Hair and grooming from the Kon Tiki Expedition.
Photo by Yoshio Itagaki.