Friday, January 28, 2011

How to Dress Like a Gentleman and a Scholar

Greetings Readers!

I love featuring friends on this blog. What can I say- I have great friends, and I love bragging about them to the world. Today, it is my pleasure to introduce you all to my friend Eric. Eric is a public speaking instructor, graduate student, entrepreneur, gentleman, and the best dressed man in St. Louis (in my opinion).

Yesterday morning, I photographed Eric in his office and classroom and later interviewed him about his outfit, style, and his website. Here is the interview, followed by Eric's retail details:

Laura (me): First of all, you are one of the best dressed people who I know! How do you do it? (ie: Where do you get your inspiration? Where do you like to shop?)

Eric: Well thanks! I'm pretty simple when it comes to clothing, I put my pants on one leg at a time like everyone else. I just make sure those pants are Citizen's. To be totally honest, a lot of my inspiration comes from my sister. I had no fashion sense growing up and she took me under her wing and she still picks out a lot of stuff for me. So I've learned quite a bit from her. I typically shop at J. Crew, I get lots of shirts and sweaters from them. Jeans are typically from Nordstrom's, Citizen's are the only jeans I've found in a long time that are long enough for me, and I've got a thing for Cole Haan shoes.

L: How would you define your style? (This can be a few words, sentence/s, however long you chose to articulate this answer)

E: I think my style is pretty simple. I try to be pretty classic. I don't wear a lot of "trendy" stuff (no jeggings). The biggest thing with guys clothing is just wearing things that actually fit. I really don't feel like I put tons of effort into what I wear, I just make sure the stuff I buy is the right size. A proper fit and a little color go along way.

L: Does being a public speaking instructor influence your style? If so, how?

E: I think teaching plays a role in my wardrobe. I need clothes that I can teach in, but I can't afford to buy a whole separate closet full of "teacher" clothes. So over the last couple years I've combined my personal style with my work attire. Lots of button downs and sweaters.

L: What kind of story/narrative do you tell through your style? Through this outfit?

E: Hmmmm, I typically strive to convey a look that gets people to think, "Hey, he looks friendly and I bet he could find Monaco on a map".

L: Speaking of stories. . . tell me more about the website you recently launched ( Why is it important that airline passengers are able to have a place where they can voice their stories?

E: I think a lot of people have issues with pat-downs because they have to give up control in a sense. They don't have any power in the situation, so by creating a space that allows people to share their experiences, I hope that gives people a little bit of that power back. Maybe they can't do anything about it in the moment, but afterwards they have a place to speak their mind.

L: What advice would you give to other guys about style and fashion?

E: Wear clothing that fits. Don't be afraid of shirts that have color or patterns (that doesn't mean run out and buy some Tommy Bahama stuff) but try something other than a basic white dress shirt. Also, I usually like to have two layers, so if I have a button down I typically like a sweater, vest, or jacket over it. Also, invest in a decent pair of shoes. I think shoes say a lot about a person.

L: How do you find clothing that is long enough? I know that it's difficult for taller women to find clothing- what is the world of shopping like for a tall man?

E: Oh man, finding clothing that fits is a challenge. I tend to befriend places that do alterations. Brooks Brothers alters my shirts when I buy them, because typically to get them to fit in the arms they need to take in the waist. Jeans are even harder, when I find a jean style that fits I usually buy as many colors as I can at that time because I never know when I'll find a pair that fit again. Usually only happens every couple of years haha.

L: Is there anything else you would like to add?

E: Find good deals on clothes. I have expensive tastes, but I use sites like to get really good deals. I've purchases two pairs of Cole Haan's through them for over 50% off. You gotta be quick (like a few seconds after they go on sale), but the it's worth the effort to get a $200 pair of shoes for $95. Thanks Laura!

Retail Details:

Navy Blue Blazer: J. Crew
Blue Checked Shirt: Ralph Lauren
Jeans: Citizens of Humanity
Watch: Fossil
Shoes: Cole Haan
Shades: Mosely Tribes

Thanks for the interview Eric!

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