Javier is my male style counterpart. He's one of the few people I've met that share many of my views on fashion. The day I met him I was being interviewed for a job and he was one of the three people on the panel ready to drill me with questions and judge my worth. The second I saw him in his carefully crafted ensemble (which of course included a bow-tie) I just knew that everything would be a-ok! Needless to say, I got the job and we've been hanging out-critiquing each other's outfits ever since.**
Hey Javier! What advice do you have for men who are trying to step up their style game? Be Bold! But be yourself.
What (or who) inspires you most in terms of how you dress? Nature (a plant, for example), other men (I say, “I’ve got something similar, but pair it with . . . “), women’s fashion (not style, but colors).
How do you decide what to wear each day? It depends. Sometimes, I can plan a week in advance, or sometimes even, weeks in advance. I may have an idea of an item I want to wear on a given day (shirt, tie, vest); and use that as an anchor to build the rest of the outfit around it. Also, I may be inspired by a time of season (Fall, Christmas) or a specific day (Independence Day or St. Patrick’s Day, for example) and find clothes that reflect the occasion.
What’s your all-time fav outfit combination? Trick question? There are lots. Comments from others make certain combinations more memorable.
How has your style grown/changed/developed over the years? It’s gotten more colorful and bold. I’m far more willing to take chances as the years go by.
If your closet caught fire and you only had time to grab one thing, what would it be? Nothing! It’ll give me an opportunity to buy from the ground up.
Your top 3 places to shop? H&M. Macy’s. Vee Vintage, of course!! But of course!
What decade of style do you love most/wear most? Current, with splashes from other eras.
Anything else you'd like to say about your style? I love wearing hats and vests. I believe my style is eclectic. I love wearing “hand-me-downs” that other people would send for donation. I don’t know what is not my style, because I like to co-op other looks and make it mine. I get a lot of comments from total strangers on the elevator [at work], on the streets and even in a parking lot from people still in their cars, rolling down their windows to make a comment.
In the photos above Javier is modeling his own styled look wearing a burgundy velvet blazer, a black floral print dress shirt, white denim pants (who says you can't wear white after labor day!), black buckle dress shoes, and a black & white bow-tie and pocket square. A perfect look for winter months at the office.
**We also did a lip sync to Phantom of the Opera at our work Summer BBQ in 2015!
If you haven't yet watched the segment I did for New Day Northwest, check it out here. The tips below are an elaborated version of my talking points from my conversation on the show.
- Trend reversal. While I always encourage moving away from fly by night fashion trends, a good place to start incorporating vintage to your closet is to look at what’s trendy now and get the true vintage version of that. After all, today’s trends are usually just a re-run or spinoff from the past. The 70s are currently in, so start there.
- Accessories! Add a vintage necklace, handbag, scarf, hat, necktie, etc. Mix it with something simple and modern and you’ve just added a little fun (and piece history) to your look.
- Modernize the vintage piece. For example, remove those god forsaken monster size shoulder pads from that dress or shirt from the 80s. And, don’t wear both pieces of a two-piece suit at once. Wear them separately and pair them with something modern on the top or bottom.
- Fit is key to any look, vintage or modern. Vintage fit can be tricky though. Learn what decades of style fit with your body type. You can always have something altered if you need to. I don’t recommend buying vintage clothing online to start. Go into a shop to get a feel for what eras fit you best. When you have a real sense of what styles you love on your body, take your measurements and have them handy so that you can compare them to the measurements listed for items in online vintage shops.
- Get inspired! Follow bloggers or instagrammers (like yours truly). Watch old TV shows or movies- I loved watching Downton Abby for inspiration (so sad it's over!). Nerd out over vintage fashion magazines. Most of all, keep your eyes/mind open, inspiration is everywhere!
The photos above feature the outfit modeled in the New Day Northwest segment by model #3, the most beautiful Nhi Tran. I ran out of time to talk about the entire outfit so I thought I'd feature it in this post. Nhi is wearing this beautiful rust colored 1970s trench from Life Long Thrift Store in Capitol Hill where all proceeds support services to people living with HIV/Aids and other chronic illness. Under the jacket, I paired a modern fitted tee with a pleated skirt from the 70s, boots inspired by the early 1900s, and a 1960s gold necklace. A perfect way to add some vintage style to your wardrobe.