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Re-Designing Thrift feat. Baxter Hussung

October 21st, 2013

Alex has a very unique and stylish group of friends from his days spent in Nashville, TN (check out Whit, Chip and Gooch).

Recently we’ve been hanging with Baxter, a soft spoken down-to-earth musician who loves fixing things with his hands, from homemaking instruments to designing wooden coffee table to re-cutting vintage trousers.

“I met Bax through some mutual friends in the music scene. He’s an amazing musician, I’m pretty sure he can play any instrument. We became close friends, going to shows together and playing Bike Polo in Nashville.” -Alex

Baxter’s style caught my eye immediately since everything he wears is one-of-a-kind due to some type of Do-It-Yourself modification. It’s a fantastic (and inspiring) way to build a wardrobe on the super-cheap and to create a look that is truly representative of the person wearing the clothes.

“When It comes to personal style I find myself doing a lot of modifications, whether that means just changing some buttons or completely taking apart a pair of pants and tailoring them to my size.

I always have a project in the works and new ones coming to me. Old clothing in my possession will most likely end up getting to know the scissors and sewing needles long before it sees the light of day… Having a bit of creative power over what I put on makes me feel as though my clothes are a part of who I am and gives me a greater appreciation for each individual piece.”

1. Trash to Treasure


“Searching through local vintage and thrift stores is a process that I really dislike. It always gives me a weird feeling and I often find myself in a rush to leave the store as soon as I walk through the door…

To deal with this I began a sort of hybridized process of shopping & designing/tailoring – it’s been a learning process and a journey full of trial and error.”


“The colors and patterns were the selling point on this shirt… I wasn’t too fond of the shape of the collar so I cut it off, which really changed the look and feel of the shirt.”


“Last time I was visitig home in Nashville, I met a local Amish fellow who was selling these handmade straw hats at a farmers market and I couldn’t resist.

I put it on for the first time and right in front of me, on the grass by the side walk, was a feather… I stuck in in my hat and called it macaroni.”


“I often collect little trinkets and build my on jewelry. All the jewelry here was either given to me or found on the ground (the earring is actually an old zipper from another project).”


2. DIY Alterations


“These cords were the perfect example of finding something at the local Goodwill that’s exactly what you came looking for, but the size is all wrong… I’m not one that stops there.

I bought them, took them completely apart, sized the waist, narrowed the legs, re-hemmed the cuff and added buttons for braces.”

We often receive questions about DIY alterations… I will be putting together a series of posts on alts that you can handle yourself (and alts that you probably shouldn’t try at home). More on that later.


“The trench coat was too long so I cut it down and resized it as well.”


“This earring was my first jewelry project. I carved a bird (though it looks like fish) from a peace of drift wood I found in Malaysia.”

Nice Fall color play with the olive corduroys, faded orange socks and roughed-up brown boots.


3. Rockstar Artist


“This leather was a birthday present last year. It’s one of my favorite jackets, but after a couple months I grew tired of the basic look. I needed to work with my hands on making it into something more unique and representative of me/my aesthetic.

The studs were actually tacks that I found on an abandoned couch near my apartment, and the paint I used on the back is gold nail polish. The main zipper didn’t work when I found it either, so I added buttons and buttonholes.

It really doesn’t take much to make something generic into something cool and unique. A little thought, some creative resources and a smidge of elbow grease can go a long way.”


“I only have one pair of jeans. They’ve seen farms, festivals, camping trips, house renovations, cliff faces, countless music venues (on and off the road)… They’ve been patched and repaired countless times but haven’t complained once.”

This might also be the first time I’ve ever seen a DIY convertible collar (Baxter sewed a button on the underside of the right collar, so he can close the button-down in a standing position).


There is a pretty deep significance to Baxter’s leather jacket artwork…can you figure it out?


“The crystal necklace was made by local CA artist Visions of Threes…they make all of their pieces from recycled materials, which I’m really into.”

Rip in the old denim shirt? Nothing a safety pin and a couple staples can’t fix…


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

Yours in style,

Dan Trepanier


Photography by Alex Crawford

  • Chris Piane

    DAMN!!!! Baxter is freakin’ amazing!!! Holy cow!

    This may be the sales/marketing guy in me, but I think he needs to start his own clothing line. I know. That would totally be selling out and sucking the soul out of his imaginative, one-of-a-kind pieces. Perhaps an art show, displaying some of his creations, at the very least?

    • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

      Haha, we actually talked about this with Bax.

      He plans on opening an Etsy store soon, where he can sell some of his one-of-a-kind vintage pieces as well as his crafts (jewelry, furniture, etc)…

      We’ll make an announcement about this once it’s up and running!

      Thx for reading.

    • Baxter

      Thanks Chris!

      I have been working on my online store like a mad man and it should be up and running within the week. So look out!

  • Jen

    Original content! TSB you make my day! He owns every look…literally and there is an explanation for every detail! One of my fav post to date! BOOM!

  • http://undefined Jeanscuffed

    I feel the whole Indie style, esp Baxter’s. Look #3 with the jacket is raw. Great post Dan!

  • Rob —

    Let’s be clear — I am not “hating,” “talking ish,” or “throwing salt” with this comment. But I think there is something to be said for how this site seems to celebrate the more worn-in items.

    I think there is a line between “worn-in” and “worn-out,” and this site often straddles it. A few scuffs on shoes? Understandable. Wearing said shoes until the few scuffs are more than a few? OK too. But wearing said shoes until the heels are falling off and it’s instantly visible? Wearing gaping holes into jeans because you only own one pair? …There is a line, and we too often cross it in the name of “Style.”

    I happen to like this guy’s DIY Alterations, and I think he has heaploads of personal style. In some ways, it clashes with mine… You’ll seldom find me in items THIS worn-out, though I see it works for him. I don’t see this kind of fashion as the pinnacle of style though… I know that style is very subjective, and the last thing I want to do is appear to be hating.

    But my point is that just because you’ve had an article of clothing a long time, it doesn’t automatically make it cooler or more stylish. And that’s the message that I take from some of the posts I read here.

    • BF

      That’s just how hipsters roll..

    • Alex

      Too many quotes, brah. Sorta agree though.

  • Ryan

    There are so many posts on this site that are creative and inspiring, regardless of whether or not it matches somebody’s style. Baxter’s outfits are so far away from my personal style, but I loved reading the article for the simple fact that his style is so personal to him. To all the critics, these articles really prove that you guys have developed something so much more than a site telling you what you should wear.

  • Philip

    I really liked these – especially look #2. Lots of little bits of individuality that really come together. More from Baxter, please.

  • Dave

    This guy might just be the coolest dude I’ve seen on this website.

  • jack

    I love the one pair of jeans thing… it speaks to my minimalist self

  • Jacob

    The gold paint is a pun: “Brain over Brahman.” The brain is visually arranged over the symbol which appears to be a modified Brahman symbol out of Hindu tradition.

    Brahman is a Hindu idea referring to a greater, unchanging reality beyond the transitive world we see.

  • Sammy C.

    A little series on alterations would be great. I’d like to start doing my own alterations; I thrift a lot of my wardrobe and I’d like to be less restricted by sizes and cuts “as they are”.

    I know Dan and Wes do a lot of their own work (the rest of you are probably the same), and I’d love to hear the sort of alterations that you started with, and what you wish you’d learned to do earlier on.

    Y’all are great – stay classy, cats.

    • Baxter


      definitely the most valuable information I learned along the way was getting to know fabrics and stitches. once you get to know more of the behind the scenes craft of making/altering clothes your options are much more vast.

      hope this helps you on your quest for knowledge!

  • Kyle Leon Norville

    This… this post was so different. But I like it. I like it ALOT.

  • TO

    Big fan of look #3. Pretty great modifications! Dan, is a “convertible collar” already a thing? Never seen it before if so, DIY or otherwise… but now I may have to try it!

  • Gavin

    There is something to be said about someone who can thrift and then take the pieces apart and put them back together to fit their style.

    The first look was cool.