Details, GQ and Esquire magazine are, in my humble opinion, the trifecta of men’s fashion magazines. I look to them for style inspiration, as I feel these three publications encompass my personal style tastes. Unfortunately, a lot of men would rather read Sports Illustrated than about “Spring’s Hottest Trends” in a fashion magazine. Being well-dressed and ha ving a strong sense of personal style should not be something reserved for women. Fashion is about expressing individuality and conveying to the world who you are. The ancient Greek philosopher Epictetus once said, “Know first who you are, and then adorn yourself accordingly.” The idea of utilizing fashion as a form of self-expression is not a novel concept. So, let’s step it up, ramblers. I doubt torn jeans and a high school track hoodie accurately convey the suave and debonair gent you really are.
One particularly dapper guy is our very own TW Baker. I wanted to sit down with this fine fellow and learn more about his style, what advice he has to offer men who tend to lack in the fashion department.
Drew Reidenbach: Who/what are you wearing?
TW Baker: Sunglasses by Cole Haan, jacket from H&M, scarf by Coach, American Apparel sweater, J. Crew shirt, pants from H&M and boots by Clark’s.
DR: How would you describe your overall style/aesthetic?
TB: I’m originally from Virginia but have lived in Florida since I was 12 and now go to school in Chicago, so my style is a mix of southern preppy and urban chic. I definitely change it up for where I am. For example, if I’m home in Tampa, I wear lots of pastels, embroidered pants and Sperry Top-Siders. On the other hand, when I’m in Chicago, I dress for the weather but try to accessorize more with scarves and hats. No matter where I am I try to squeeze a pop of color into my outfits and I always try to look polished.
DR: What do you think your style says about who you are?
TB: I definitely use fashion to express myself. Fashion is one of my instant mood-boosters. I truly believe the saying, “If all else fails, at least you look good.” I think my style says I care about myself because I care about my appearance.
DR: From what sources do you draw your fashion inspiration?
TB: I don’t really have a singular person or publication I get my in- spiration from, but I definitely pay attention to what’s happening in men’s fashion via magazines such as Details and GQ and blogs like Refinery 29’s new men’s section.
DR: Where do you shop?
TB: I shop at a variety of plac- es including H&M, J. Crew, Zara, TopMan, Urban Outfitters, Brooks Brothers and Nordstrom, to name a few. From those stores I hardly buy anything full price. I even get some pieces from thrift stores. It’s always nice to score a good deal.
DR: What’s your most prized (fashion) possession?
TB: My most prized possession has to be my Burberry scarf. I’ve had it for a few years now, and it never goes out of style because the Burberry print is so classic. It goes with pretty much anything.
DR: What is your favorite thing about men’s fashion?
TB: My favorite thing about men’s fashion is that you can really make it your own. Women’s fashion seems to have more rules and trends you ha ve to follow. I feel like men’s fashion is about branching out and trying new things. I used to worry what people would think if I wore coral pants or crazy shoes, but I’ve embraced that fashion is about taking risks and wearing something because you like it, not to appease someone else.
DR: What advice do you have for your fellow male Ramblers on how to look dapper?
TB: Be mindful of the fact that not everything you try will work, but when it does, stick to it. I would also say not to match things exactly off of color print. Matching works in moderation, but it doesn’t look good to be too “matchy-matchy.”
Until next time Ramblers, stay dapper.