Homage to Heritage feat. Ouigi Theodore

June 5th, 2013

Of all the people we’ve featured on Articles of Style, Ouigi “The Bearded Man” Theodore (as previously featured here), has probably the most iconic and recognizable personal style.

He’s been wearing (and collecting) vintage clothing since long before vintage clothing was “mainstream” and he basically trademarked the beard + neckerchief combo.

His southwestern-inspired, urban-entrepreuneur style has served as the foundation for his work as brand ambassador, creative director, and founder of The Brooklyn Circus.

Here the Brooklyn native of Haitian heritage gives us a taste of what he’s been wearing day-to-day as he continues to grow his business and career.

    1. Style in Subtlety


    Ouigi is a meticulous collector with very specific taste. You really have to look closely at his pieces to fully appreciate their subtle details and “perfectly imperfect” state.


    This pencil-striped western chambray shirt, for example, has a 3/4 placket and bib-front cut on the horizontal bias.

    He off-set its textured with a vintage silk neckerchief and paired it with a beat-up rope belt, faintly paint-splattered chinos and some expertly curated vintage jewelry.


    Not to mention these badass two-tone kiltie monks!

    …the kiltie is officially having a moment.


    2. Brooklyn Businessman


    Even in swagger-based entrepreneurship, a businessman needs a good suit.

    As the founder and creative director of the BKC, Ouigi knows more than a thing or two about tailoring. This wide-herringbone linen DB is proof that he knows exactly what he’s doing.


    Again, the beauty of his looks are in the subtle details.

    Check out his pattern-mixing here: subtle herringbone stripe, bold bengal stripe, and polka dot pocket square.


    He creates contrast with a sharp new suit and old-world accessories.


    Even in the Spring, style enthusiasts stay suited & booted.

    …and these Parisian two-tone button-up beauties are no joke.


    • Vintage pocket Square
    • Vintage Watch by Movado
    • Vintage Turquoise Rings
    • Oxblood Boots by Aubercy Paris

    3. Vintage Everything


    Ouigi appreciates things that have history and authentically worn-in character. Some of his pieces are down right beat-up…and they look awesome.

    Like this vintage American made t-shirt from the 50s and these marine military uniform pants (that he had tailored).


    He believes that clothing is functional first and shouldn’t be treated delicately (hence the ripped tee and crushed-up hat)

    Like men themselves, menswear tends to look better with age and character.

    We couldn’t agree more.


    Ouigi is also a lover of travel and culture.

    He’s picked up some of the most interesting pieces from all over the world. These German work boots are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to his artfully curated collection of…just about everything.

    Check out the BKC shop in Boerum Hill Brooklyn for a lesson in aesthetics, branding and merchandising.


    • Vintage 50’s White Cotton Tshirt
    • Blue Tailored Merchant Marine military issued Pants
    • Blue Vintage Neckerchief
    • Vintage Red Baseball Cap
    • Vintage Turquoise Rings
    • Vintage Imprägniert Wasserdicht Boots

    Thanks for reading, and special thanks to Ouigi for participating!

    Yours in style,

    Dan Trepanier


    Photography by Alex Crawford

    • Alexander

      Shout out to Brooklyn! I have met this guy before, very inspiring and their store on Nevins is awesome! You guys should definitely check it out. Good work StyleBlogger keep it up..

    • Brent Kuz

      Wear uniform pants 5 days a week and tell me you love them. Stripes should be earned.

      • Mistahkelly

        When ppl where military clothing, it’s to pay homage. It’s admiration. Ouigi actually had this open discussion on his blog a couple years ago. I think that comment breeds separation and it talks down to the ppl who didnt serve and just want to show patriotism and respect for the armed forces. And this is style, which is art. You can’t come here to be inspired by style then ask for limits.

        • Brent Kuz

          I guess you have to be apart of it to fully understand.

          • Jeramiah Dow

            Agreeing with Brent Kuz:
            You should never, and I repeat never, wear the service dress of a branch of the military. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS. And you should definitely never wear a USMC dress uniform, as that is EARNED, and the opportunities to wear this uniform are limited. Funerals are one of these sacred times, so have a little respect. That red stripe is also earned. If you you want to wear camouflage in the name of fashion, go for it, but so help God me if I ever come across someone wearing the dress uniform in the name of cool. I am a combat veteran, and my sacrifices are minimal compared to some of my brothers and sisters. This is the ultimate disrespect; the first time I saw something like this on television I refused to believe that something like this could be legal. Please remove this photo.

            DOW, JERAMIAH NEAL

    • Mistahkelly

      The Breat Bearded Man Mr Theodore. I’m a Brooklyn Circus fanboy. I own the majority of their pieces and I’d like to say that you MUST check them out. I consider Ouigi a style guru and his company has been at the pulse of the return of menswear. I discovered the styleblogger.com through his association with the BKc. Good job guys!

    • http://dapperadvisor.tumblr.com Akil M.

      I love the second look and his choice of footwear in all three. I remember growing up in Brooklyn and visting the BKC when they specialized in streetwear clothing. However since I have matured and changed my style exponentially over the years I appreciate the stores new direction and Ouigi sense of style even more now. Once again, great feature guys.

    • http://anorexicescapades.com BougieHippie

      Killer shoes in pics 1, Well fitted suit in 2, a little on the fence about pics 3 but that’s only because its not my personal aesthetic.

      However, his beard is the main feature and ultimate fashion accessory.

      Great style and nice choice on the feature.


    • Lothar

      Look 3…those are Han Solo’s pants. Ouigi should give them back before Chewbacca gets angry.

      • TO

        Haha. Your comment made me Google image search Han. Forgot how dude’s kit was on point! Lol

    • Rory

      ‘Artfully Curated’? I think most of the fashion on here is pretty good and I’ve been checking out the blog since its early stages, but you all seem to be ramping up the pretentious nonsense and self-adulation a bit much recently. Your rise has happened pretty quickly and for good reason, but I think the attention may be going to everyone’s heads. Your responses to criticism have been professional, but barely because there isn’t much of it and most comments are sycophantic praise. Don’t be afraid of criticism. I’m beginning to feel alienated, unlike when you humbly began and were giving helpful tailoring tips.

      • http://tsbmen.com Alex Crawford

        We have been moving in a more feature heavy direction as we grow, which has resulted in less posts of Dan and more diversity in the outfits you see on the site. Our aim is to show you stylish men (and a few women) whose personal aesthetic may inspire you to try new things with your own wardrobe. That being said, the core of TSBmen is, and will always be, an educational site that strives to make men feel more confident in their clothing.

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Hi Rory. Thanks for reading, and for your comment.

        Do you not like the title of Ouigi’s post? What would you suggest instead?

        Other the past year or so I’ve personally made an effort to step back from the camera and seek out other stylish individuals to share with our readers, in order to offer a wider variety of perspectives…since style is personal and all. I’m surprised that this move strikes you as pretentious and “self-adulation”. Perhaps you can clarify as to why you feel this way?

        As always, we try our best to respond to all comments, positive or negative. I’m sorry if you feel alienated because we haven’t personally responded to you…we have been very busy with a handful of web development projects to bring you a better site. Stay tuned for some awesome upgrades!


      • alej

        I dont ever post on here, but man you need stop taking this so seriously…this is a great site which provides really great posts on interesting people from all over, with all kinds of styles. Not sure where you are getting this “pretentious nonsense” from.
        Great work tsb. I particularly enjoy the background scenery of most pictures…provides me with hope of soon graduating and moving away from the deep south to somewhere with style and culture haha…

        • Toby

          I can sort of see what he’s getting at, although pretencious is a bit far. what i’d suggest you do is put in a better system for linking between article’s, as im a new reader and find it hard to find older articles that present less excentric veiw on fashion. maybe a poooling system that puts articles, items from the shop, links to sites and different selected items, affordable and features on people that have that look all under a title such as holiday,sort of like advancing your current style guide section into somthing more like pinnterest.

    • Perry Sinatra

      Undisputed hands down….unique, clean, and he owns it….love the style because it fits him, and its not a trend that I see in my city. Its a few, but we are still far behind in the south….ATLANTA,GA that is. Semper FI baby, love the blood stripes.

    • Jack

      Not exactly related to this post, but I wanted to congratulate you on the blog, specifically on your interaction with readers. The list of blogs on my reading list has dwindled over the years as seemingly pleasant people have revealed themselves to be absolute reprobates. I don’t know if you’re all a bunch of pricks in person, but you certainly conduct yourselves well online, so keep doing what you’re doing.

      • http://tsbmen.com Alex Crawford

        Thanks Jack!

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Thanks Jack. Appreciate your support. If we ever meet in person, beers on me.

    • Joe

      Killer looks and very inspirational. His looks are very much his own and tell a story, but they’re not looks that can be directly appropriated, though they certainly inspire. That chambray shirt in look 1 is excellent – amazing attention to detail. And that herringbone linen is just gorgeous.

      I kind of wondered whether there might be some blow back from the Marine pants. Military wear is constantly being recycled into fashion (trench coats, peacoats, fatigue jackets, etc.), but it seems like when some things are very specific, it’s possible to hit a nerve.

      I’m not feeling the kiltie movement. Then again, I grew up around them in Texas, they were prevalent in lacer boots and work boots and I always hated them. Maybe it’s me.

    • Don Pierre

      This gentleman lead the new age of fashionable independent boutique owners. Truly inspiring to gentlemen like myself.#TSBMEN #TimelessLuxury

    • David

      Great outfits, but I don’t like him wearing those pants. He definitely didn’t earn those blood stripes.

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        I feel you, but I also know Ouigi means no disrespect.

        • jerry feinstein

          He may mean no disrespect, but it’s still disrespectful. It’s a very specific piece of military dress and to wear that casually is insulting to those who have dedicated their life to serving our country.

    • Sean

      Great looks, really. As a Marine, I’m not too keen on people wearing uniform items. I had work pretty hard for that blood stripe, which represents a lot of Marines that made the ultimate sacrifice. That said, at least they don’t look sloppy.

      • Shawn

        I agree with my Marine brother (not Merchant Marine…totally different animal) – wearing Marine Dress Blue trousers is over the line. There are just certain things that are off limits and this is one of them. Respect the men and women in uniform and respect the history and culture that the dress uniforms represent…especially the Marine uniform. You didn’t earn the right to wear it (and if you did, shame on you for disgracing it).

        • http://tsbmen.com Alex Crawford

          I can see where you both are coming from, and having not served in the military myself I understand that I don’t necessarily deserve an opinion on the matter, but that being said it’s hard for me to see a difference between wearing uniform dress pants and any other clothing item that is based on, or indeed is, military uniform (i.e. camo, pea coats, fatigues, military jackets, etc.).

          • Shawn

            Hi Alex,
            Thanks for your comments. You certainly deserve an opinion – that is why we served. :)
            I think the answer to your question is partially revealed in your statement ‘based on…military uniforms’. I have and wear a great many items based on military uniform, but I would never disrespect my military heritage by wearing my ACTUAL uniform. Further, dress uniforms have particular meaning – especially the Marine Dress Blues. The Blood Stripe on the trousers represent the Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers who died in the battle of Chapultepec (http://www.marines.com/history-heritage/timeline?articleId=TIMELINE_INNOVATIONS_1776_DRESS_BLUES). In short, the uniform isn’t just clothing, it is a living memorial to those who have served, are serving and will serve. Hopefully that makes sense…
            I appreciate the dialogue, Alex. You guys are a class act and I really enjoy your site! Keep up the good work.

            Semper Fi!


            • http://tsbmen.com Alex Crawford

              Great reply, thanks Shawn.

          • Sean

            Hi Alex,

            There are some uniform items that are authorized to be worn with civilian attire (pea coats, footwear, belts, etc.) Some are not. Junior Marines wear those blue trousers with no stripe, it has to be earned. People can wear whatever they like, but just because they don’t mean disrespect does not mean that they are not being disrespectful. Of course, some will do it out of spite. IMO

          • Khalid

            I respect that some Marines are hard working, honorable people who sometimes engage in important work. But let’s throw a couple of other interesting facts into the mix… :-)

            One, the Marines played a negative, “sometimes brutal” role in occupying Haiti to ensure American bankers’ dominance over Haiti. From the Wikipedia: “In 1915 the United States, responding to complaints to President Woodrow Wilson from American banks to which Haiti was deeply in debt, occupied the country. The occupation of Haiti lasted until 1934. The US occupation was self-interested, sometimes brutal, and caused problems that lasted past its lifetime. … Despite the large sums due to overseas banks, this economic decision ignored the interests of the majority of the Haitian population and froze the economic growth the country needed. For the next nineteen years, advisers of the United States governed the country, enforced by the United States Marine Corps. … Racial attitudes towards the Haitian people by the American occupation forces were blatant and arguably widespread. The NAACP secretary Herbert J. Seligman in the July 10th, 1920 NATION, wrote: “Military camps have been built throughout the island. The property of natives has been taken for military use. Haitians carrying a gun were for a time shot on sight. Machine guns have been turned on crowds of unarmed natives, and United States marines have, by accounts which several of them gave me in casual conversation, not troubled to investigate how many were killed or wounded.” Along with Haitian figures, the NAACP sent James Weldon Johnson,[22] an African American, to Haiti to discover the real situation because it was depicted as a mission to progress and pacify the country in the United States. Nevertheless, Johnson’s trip results in him exposing the harsh truths of the Occupation in several articles in the magazine The Nation. In one of his articles, “Self-Determining Haiti” [23] he talks about how the marines demoralized the people through their racist views and the slave-like system they imposed in building the great road from Port-au-Prince to Cap-Haïtien. ”

            Two, the military also appropriates cultural symbols that some find offensive. As Chomsky notes: “We still name our military helicopter gunships after victims of genocide. Nobody bats an eyelash about that: Blackhawk. Apache. And Comanche. If the Luftwaffe named its military helicopters Jew and Gypsy, I suppose people would notice.”

            So, to a people who suffered at the hands of those Marines, those red-striped pants have a different meaning. In a way, it’s kinda cool to see a Haitian-American appropriate them… it’s a kind of redemption and reconciliation of sorts. :-)

            • Shawn

              That is possibly the most ignorant comment I’ve seen on here.

              One, Marines don’t determine foreign policy – they follow orders. Two, in the Haitian conflict Marine’s were hired by the Haitian government to be officers of Haitian military men. Perhaps your beef is with the Haitian government and not Marines who were following orders.

              Finally, the naming of helicopters has to do with ‘warrior cultures’, not some triumphant genocidal celebration.

              But hey, spin it in a way that makes you feel good about your liberal worldview while simultaneously living under the security that I and others like me have provided, so you can worry about the trivial things in life…like clothes. If it weren’t for people like Marines, you would likely be a slave in Nazi Germany, the Japanese Empire or the USSR.

              I will take your ignorance as a thank you…and you’re welcome. Freedom isn’t free and neither is ignorance…obviously.

              Semper Fi

              • Khalid

                You shouldn’t be offended by my comment. As I said, I “respect that some Marines are hard working, honorable people who sometimes engage in important work.” There are times, as in WW2, when Marines and other soldiers are downright heroic and make the ultimate sacrifice in a just cause, from which many of us benefit. Those men and women, I am grateful for, and wholeheartedly salute. If that’s the mindset with which you serve, my hat’s off to you. Thank you.

                At the same time, the military is not always used for self-defence or “security”. Sometimes it is used to suppress democracy and oppress other people. Haiti is one of those cases of imperialism; the occupation served the interests of American bankers, not the Haitian or even the American people. “Just following orders” is not always a valid excuse when this happens; Marines and other military folk should conscientiously object when their government sends them to risk their blood or shed the blood of others unjustly. If they don’t, then just why should we respect them? Maybe they joined the military for less-than-noble reasons – ultranationalism, career possibilities, enjoyment of killing — and don’t care about the ethics of what they are doing. Pat Tillman is a good example of a noble warrior, not just because of his willingness to serve for the right reasons, but also his willingness to question the war when he learned what it was really about.

                Bad foreign policy aside, it is not uncommon for soldiers (of any nationality) to be racist towards the locals of a country they are occupying, especially 100 years ago when racist attitudes were far worse than they are today. Unsurprisingly, that general racism regularly takes the form of atrocity. This happened in Haiti. It happened in Iraq (Haditha, Abu Ghraib, etc.), Afghanistan (the “Kill team”), Vietnam, and in the US itself when it was beating back its natives. (All of these cases went beyond “a few bad apples”.) Obviously, we can’t except anyone mindful of this history to venerate the military as if they are unambiguously a force for good. The reality is: sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t. So naturally there is going to be some ambiguity with regards to the symbolism. As such, I’m willing to grant a variety of perspectives towards these trousers validity, including yours.

                “Finally, the naming of helicopters has to do with ‘warrior cultures’, not some triumphant genocidal celebration.”

                Well, the wearing of red-striped blue pants also may simply have something to do with “warrior culture” and not a thumbing of noses. As Mistahkelly says above, “it’s to pay homage. It’s admiration.” Yet you find it disrespectful. Similarly, many Native Americans find the military’s use of their cultural identities disrespectful, even if you don’t think it is. Some are mindful of the military’s role in helping to wipe out their cultures, and they are uneasy with the fact that their names are associated with gadgets that bring faceless death and misery to natives (often innocent civilians — 4 out of 5 deaths) in other lands. See: http://www.honorearth.org/news/winona-laduke-explores-militarization-indian-country-geronimo-bin-laden

                I offer all of the above simply as sensitizing food for thought. I’m Canadian, but if I were American, I would indeed think carefully about the context in which I wear these pants. Certainly, I wouldn’t wear them with the rest of the uniform or with official insignia; there I’d probably agree with you. I think though that the pants by themselves are a “generic” enough design (in trademark terms) to wear in other contexts, and that there’s space for a number of interpretations of their meaning.

                Best regards.

    • John B

      That suit is awesome and I definitely didn’t expect spat boots!

    • Angel Ramos

      Love Ouigi’s style. The collection of pieces he owns are EPIC. Proud to know Brooklyn has such a great store.

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier


    • MS

      Always have mass amounts of respect for this dude. True gentleman and captures a kind of iconic masculinity that can’t be manufactured.

      That being said, hope dude never leaves Brooklyn. Wouldn’t be caught dead wearing those Marine pants in Kansas. Actual Marines wouldn’t take too kindly to that.

    • Ann

      Jesus. He is always absolutely exquisite.

    • AK

      Look 2 is incredible, but all the looks are very inspirational. Somehow he manages to strike the perfect balance between masculine and eccentric. The flashier parts of his outfit (which are pretty darn flashy, i.e. the buttons on those shoes!) are grounded wonderfully. The colors are vibrant and the mixing is perfect. Fit couldn’t be better. Really fantastic work.

      Definitely inspires me to try something new and daring (and I’m wearing electric blue pants today, HAH!).

    • BF

      Damn it I love those marine pants…

    • http://undefined LouCaves

      I hate the beard…really, I love it! Mine has hit terminal length and I, sometimes, get jealous. Beard-envy, man. What can I say? :)

      Those button-up shoes are unrivaled!

      All looks are nice. Personally couldn’t do Look 3 but he can and does.

      Thanks, TSB.

    • Alex

      Was so very happy to see Ouigi featured today on TSBMen. Without a doubt, as a young Shopkeeper in the retail industry in NYC, The Brooklyn Circus is my favorite place to go for, as Dan said, “a lesson in aesthetics, branding and merchandising”. I would add to that a lesson in craft and service, as the product is amazing but the staff is warm and generous and humble….many a time in a crowded BKC you’d have no idea that the Creative Director is standing right next to you, finding a pair of PF flyers in your size…Anyway, all three looks amazing, but the double breasted linen and those boots.. Wow. Respect.

    • TO

      Linen herringbone? Never seen that before! And Mr. Theodore kills it in that suit! Great variety, inspiring.

      Love the Marine pants. I worked at an old British Fort one summer and we wore replica 1867 “thin red line” uniforms- they were of amazing quality and I would have loved to have kept a pair of pants (and gotten them tailored too, of course)- it was said new ordered uniforms cost them north of a grand, a testament to old world craftsmanship.

    • Sergio

      The Linen DB suit is extremely nice!