[L]iving within your means is the most liberating stance you can take in the evolution of your style, but to live within your means doesn’t mean settling for what is cheapest, it means having less but having better. A single great cigar, once a month, with one great meal is better than a hundred cheap smokes. Likewise with clothing, to be ‘cheap’ often does you more disservice in the way you treat your own things. If you have two great pairs of shoes and three well cut suits, all of which you treat with something like reverence for the joy they bring you to wear, you will always look sharp. So, for myself at least, after many years dealing with all things classic menswear, I have come to this conclusion - cheap is always just cheap. Less, but better, is the path of the quality man.

The master’s touch - style and laughs provided by my friend #ethandesu

Ascot Chang
Linen trousers by Orazio
RTW blazer Liverano (not pictured)
Drakes braces
Carmina loafers (not pictured)
Of course watch (not pictured) 1981 explorer ii orange hand

Photo credit: echan


Real People: Finding Your “Voice”

Ethan Newton of The Armoury recently wrote a nice piece about finding one’s “voice” when it comes style, and it reminded me of Niyi in New York. Niyi is a bold dresser, often wearing things I’d never wear, and using them in a ways I’d never consider, but he’s also often pulling off looks that I admire. 

Above are two good examples. In the first photo, he’s wearing a tie I also happen to own. It’s a striped burgundy raw silk from Drake’s, which they sold a couple of years ago. When I wear mine, I pair it with a simple, light-blue, striped shirt and a conservative solid-tan sport coat. Niyi, on the other hand, is wearing his here with a dotted lime green shirt (!) and a more attention grabbing seersucker suit. 

In the second photo, he’s in a more somber, solid navy suit, but has enlivened the look with his choice in a tie and pocket square. The tie is actually from his own accessories line. It’s a navy cotton that’s been treated to a process called adire, a kind of hand-dyeing treatment developed by the Yoruba people of Nigeria. Niyi himself is of Yoruba descent, and his men’s accessories line heavily reflects his heritage. You can check it out at his website and (soon) Sid Mashburn

I’ve always believed that you don’t have to share other people’s choices in clothing in order to appreciate their style. Niyi’s bold sense of dress reflects his personality as much as my conservative sensibilities reflect mine. It’s this diversity of dress, and pursuit to find one’s own “voice” as Ethan puts it, that makes dressing personal, social, and fun.