Traditional Menswear with a Twist feat. Whit Smith
July 22nd, 2013
Nashville native Whitfield Smith (as previously featured here) is a pro when it comes to blending traditional menswear with eclectic personal style.
On paper he’s a conservative dresser, but he has a knack for using imaginative accessories to make the classics his own.
Here’s three examples of his day-to-day summer style.
1. Safety First
Whit embodies “personal style” in the way we try to write about it.
He’s a relatively traditional dresser who gravitates toward menswear staples, like blue blazers, khaki chinos, and horsebit loafers. That said, he always puts a unique spin on his looks with unexpected accessories that reveal his eclectic personality.
For example, to replace the lost button on this Brooks Brothers DB blazer, he uses a brass safety pin.
From his first Articles of Style feature “Thrift Trad & Indie Ornaments featuring Whit Smith“:
” I collect vintage pins and pin-back buttons and affix them to almost all of the items I wear. It’s a homage to my roots listening to punk/metal, and a nod to the still thriving underground/indie scene here in Nashville. I have about one hundred and fifty buttons at this point, with very few that I wouldn’t wear.”
The reason Whit can pull-off quirky details like statement pins and a tucked-in tie: he completely owns it.
This last image made me think of a rarely-mentioned advantage of tapered trousers; you don’t have to roll up your hem to avoid your bicycle chain. Since I’ve started experimenting with fuller-cut trousers, I’ve learned this lesson the hard way…greased up an awesome pair of pleated khakis pretty badly, actually.
Whit just handles his full break with a clean roll.
2. Shirt & Tie
Yes, it’s possible to dress-down an office shirt and tie. As usual, Whit has his own way of doing this.
It involves a fastened collar, untucked shirt, and a hand-carved “Joy Face” bolo tie he found in Seoul Korea.
What can I say? The man’s got soul.
In 1936 George Henry Bass’ shoe company G.H. Bass introduced an adaptation of a Norwegian fishing moccasin called the “Weejun”. They were quickly dubbed “penny loafers” because of the slit “pocket” on the vamp – where you could store a penny should you need it in a pinch.
Perhaps they should update the slot to fit a folded up $20?
3. Summer Grillin’
We’ve had some gold teeth, but this officially marks the first time a grill has been featured on Articles of Style.
And Whit did it in true Southern style, with a seersucker shirt, red chinos, and penny loafers!
“My now-wife bought me this grill about a week before we got engaged.
It’s an 8-tooth set with her middle name, ‘JUNE’, engraved on the front four teeth. It was my college graduation gift.”
You have to look closely to fully appreciate the charm of Whit’s outfits, like the detailing on this custom hand-tooled leather belt.
The super-slim, no-break trouser isn’t Whit’s style.
He proves that things can be a little sloppy in a good way.
Thanks, as always, for reading and special thanks to Whit for participating!
Yours in style,
Articles of Style