So I realize that you’re not actually a librarian, but still... you don’t dress like the typical librarian.
Funny you should mention it, but I actually am a bonafide librarian. I received my master’s degree in Information and Library Science from Pratt Institute in New York. I even taught there as an adjunct professor.
Tell me a bit about your style.
It’s hard for me to describe my style, because I think I dress pretty differently from most men out there. When I was a child and teenager, my mom always talked me out of wearing whatever was hot or trendy. And thus my style was born: the words smart (hopefully), eclectic, colorful and classic come to mind. Keep in mind when I use the word “classic” I don’t just mean traditional – I think the word classic refers to lines, shapes and also to items that are so far out they’ll always feel current. I love bright colors and patterns, and I love mixing them all together. I also prefer natural fabrics that breathe; most of my wardrobe is made of cotton or wool.
Is this a work outfit for you, or is it going out attire?
This is a work ensemble if I have to go to a meeting, or if I’m feeling in the mood to dress up more. My work uniform is usually a patterned shirt and tie. Sometimes I’ll swap out a cardigan for a jacket in the winter; my favorite is a bright orange one that I’ve been wearing for years. My looks are usually day-to-night, although if I have a formal event I sometimes swap out casual pants for dressier ones.
Where do you like to shop?
My favorite designers are Marc Jacobs and Paul & Joe. Everything Marc Jacobs designs always fits me pretty much perfectly, whether it’s the col- lection or the second line. This blazer is a Marc by Marc Jacobs that I got at Bloomingdale’s in New York. Paul & Joe is my favorite place to shop for patterned dress shirts. I usually stock up when I’m overseas in London or Paris, and they also have an outpost in Los Angeles. I also like patterned socks. I tend to get those all over, but Topman sells great inexpensive socks with fun patterns.
I notice you pay a lot of attention to the accents.
It’s funny, I actually purchased all of these items separately, so I’m always amazed at how it goes together. I always look for a common thread in the elements – whether it’s a specific color or pattern motif. I try to steer clear of being too matchy-matchy, but at the same time I’m aiming to create a coherent look. I also strive for balance with patterns and solids. Sometimes a solid belt can be the connector between two disparate patterns. That said, I also have several basic accessories that I feel go with anything: a pair of classic patent leather loafers in black or brown, a studded brown belt, etc. And then sometimes there’s that great accessory that is so far out that it goes with anything.
What kind of fit do you look for?
Fit is essential, and I’ve passed up many items that I’ve pined over the pattern or color because they didn’t fit properly. Being vertically chal- lenged, I tend to aim for things that fit snugly but comfortably and not too tight. Most pants and jackets are made for taller men, so I usually end up tailoring whatever I buy. Pants can be the hardest to find, and when I find a pair that fit well (slim but not too slim), I usually stick with that one brand and style and then purchase two or more pairs.
And now, a word about shoes...
I have a few opinions on shoes. I sometimes think they should disappear, and then sometimes I think they should stand out. They should always complement the overall look. My shoe collection varies from more classic styles to the ones I’m wearing in the photo. There’s nothing like a clean, shiny loafer to pull together a look, and I wear those often. I also wear more colorful ones like the blue ones in the picture. I think it’s safe to say those are my only blue suede shoes.