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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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  • Blue Striped Dress Shirt by Brooks Brothers ·
  • Navy DB Blazer by Jos. A Banks ·
  • Red Missionary Rep Tie by vintage ·
  • White Floral Pocket Sq by Vintage ·
  • Watch by Timex ·
  • Cotton boll belt from McClellans in Knoxville (my dad’s from the 80s)
  • · Khaki Chinos by Lands End

Khaki Cotton Trouser

2. Shirt & Tie

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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.

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What can I say? The man’s got soul.

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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?

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  • 5 panel cap by City Hunter ·
  • Pale Lavender Dress Shirt by Brooks Brothers ·
  • Pin back button from One Less Car ·
  • Brown Bolo Tie from Seoul ·
  • Mahogany Penny Loafers by Johnston & Murphy
  • · Navy Chinos by Target

Royal Cotton Trouser

3. Summer Grillin’

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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!

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“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.”

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You have to look closely to fully appreciate the charm of Whit’s outfits, like the detailing on this custom hand-tooled leather belt.

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The super-slim, no-break trouser isn’t Whit’s style.

He proves that things can be a little sloppy in a good way.

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  • Silver Fronts by Treasurez ·
  • Blu and White Seersucker Shirt by Brooks Brothers ·
  • Brown Bolo Tie from Seoul ·
  • Custom Brown Leather Belt by some guy in South Pittsburg, TN ·
  • Red Chinos by Lands End ·
  • Mahogany Penny Loafers by Johnston & Murphy

Thanks, as always, for reading and special thanks to Whit for participating!

Yours in style,

Articles of Style

 

Photography by Alex Crawford & Andrew White.