Blending Genres feat. Brandon Murphy

January 13th, 2014

Most guys have a uniform. Whether it’s literal (like a lab coat or coveralls) or a more subtle psychological pattern they follow when getting dressed. Creating boundaries and guidelines is an efficient way to streamline the process of getting dressed. It also helps create a consistent sense of identity.

On the other hand, some guys (usually visually creative and expressive guys) use style as an opportunity to reinvent themselves on a daily basis. They purposefully create a new image and story through their unpredictable styling choices, revealing a little bit about their personality and current state of mind.

Fashion designer and stylist Brandon Murphy is one of those people. You never know what he’s going to wear but you know he’s going to make a statement. It’s going to be something unexpected, but true to his aesthetic. And of course, it’s going to look cool.

“I look at getting dressed as an opportunity to reinvent myself every time I walk out the door… I find that my style is consistent in an inconsistent way that reflects my emotions… I just have fun with it and let visual nature take its course.”

We met up with Brandon in NYC to get a small taste of his big day-to-day style.

    1. Cartoon Collegiate


    “Some days I’m inspired by an era or dated style moment… This look with the brown newsboy cap was reminiscent of a cliché black school boy in the 70s – with my own personal twist, of course.”


    I like the “quirky-collegiate”/”nerdy chic” look of the varsity jacket, newsboy, chunky frames and shiny oxfords. It’s a very interesting mix of pieces, but Brandon really makes it work.

    Speaking of eBay finds, how about a clever, light-hearted twist with a vintage Mickey sweater.


    This post reminded me that Suit Supply has a nice selection of shoes at affordable prices (around $250 for a range of sleek designs).

    They’re made in Spain of pretty good quality leather for the price. If you’re looking for something sharp that’s not a go-to workhorse, Suit Supply could be an inexpensive way to boost the variety in your footwear repertoire.


    • Brown Newsboy cap-Bergdorf Goodman
    • Grey Mickey Mouse sweater-Vintage (eBay find)
    • Burgundy Varsity Jacket-Club Monaco
    • Glasses- Lanvin
    • Blue Jeans-Levi 501
    • Bag- Jack Spade

    2. Worlds Colliding


    “I often try to amalgamate different styles together…like an outdoorsy wide brim hat with a conservative double-breasted jacket, with a liberal Levi’s denim trucker and a sporty pair of Nike Mayfly’s.”


    As far as developing your own style goes, Brandon offers two pieces of advice:

    “1) Never give a damn about what people think about your style because people don’t think. Express your fresh.

    2) Style is meant to be effortless. When it’s over thought it becomes a trend.”


    I think Brandon’s advice above is important. If you’re looking to express a unique perspective through style, the most important thing is doing so with confidence and completely owning it.

    Would I recommend a vintage denim jacket over a DB blazer? Probably not. But Brandon rocks it well because he does it with conviction and casual nonchalance.


    • Brown Hat – Reiss London
    • Blue Denim Jacket- Club Monaco for Levi’s
    • Blue Shoes – Nike

    3. Rude Boy


    “Some days when I feel like breaking necks, I wear an outfit that has an obvious focal point… like one of my favorite garments in my closet: a Margiela faux fur coat that is an absolute necessity to brave the rude winters in NYC.”

    Something about a large fur coat is so Bossy. It feels like a giant middle finger to the cold, and to society in general, I think.


    He didn’t want to go “full pimp” (although I really wanted him to) so he chose a preppy baseball cap rather than a wide brim felt hat (which he often wears). Like we said, he’s all about the unexpected blending of genres.

    If you’re a slim guy wearing a thin sweater under a suit, consider tucking it in to keep the tailored lines consistent.


    As you might already know, we’re real suckers for blending lush textures and fabrics.

    I’m loving the play between the wild beast coat, the waffle knit sweater, the sharkskin texture of the suit fabric, the subtle fair isle socks, and the soft suede loafs.

    Nicely played, player.


    • Brown Faux Fur Coat by Maison Martin Margiela for H&M
    • Navy Sweater- GAP
    • Blue Hat- The Saturdays x Gap curated by GQ magazine


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

    Yours in style,

    Articles of Style


    Photography by Westley Dimagiba.

    • Zach

      The first look is too cool. I was inspired to try layering a Mickey Mouse sweater myself.

    • Jakob

      The first outfit is so good! I love that mickey mouse sweater. The frames are also very cool.

    • Marcus Forlan

      Great post guys. Posts like these inspire me to have some fun and venture out of my comfort zone while staying true to my “core” look.

      Quick comment on look #2 which has some people commenting about the denim jacket over a db jacket …. I think it works well – the whole look is casual and drapes well because the db jacket looks breezy and unstructured.

      One of these days I hope to grow a pair and rock a fur coat like that!

    • http://undefined Big Jon

      These outfits are necessarily something I’d where myself but they definitely make a statement. I really like the first one though. There’s a lot of charm and the elements compliment each other. I like the emphasis of having one article of clothing as the focal point.

    • Owen

      I really like look #1. It’s cohesive, it oozes personality, and shows Brandon’s playful side.

      I’m not really feeling look #2. The denim jacket hides what I guess is a well fitted jacket. I think the DB jacket, utility cords, and trainers are a bold enough statement in themselves.

      Same story with look #3 really. That fur coat is epic, and I love the loafers/socks combo. The hat just has no place with this outfit – bad hair day?

      It’s like watching Masterchef where the chefs add one too many ingredients in an effort to impress, and spoil the whole dish.

      All IMO ofcourse ;-)

      • Anonymous

        I think the cap plays, it shouldn’t and makes no sense, but the cap plays. It looks good when there’s no good reason that it should.

      • Daniel

        Agreed. Look one is great, but two and three are one step too far. Clashing genres, rather than blending genres. I really like the first pic in look two, where the DB jacket isn’t as apparent. And although I’m not wild about the third look in general, the hat seems so unnecessary. You’re already wearing a huge fur coat! Let that do the talking.

        I don’t know what “because people don’t think. Express your fresh” means, but I think (ha) that Brandon’s two last looks would benefit from the truism of taking one thing off before leaving the house. The shoes, hat, and cargos in the second look are really cool, but instead all the focus is on the (imo over-thought, thus breaking his other rule) DB jacket-and-denim combo. It detracts from the outfit. But apparently people don’t think, so…

    • cam

      unsure about this…feel like he’s breaking his own rule #2

      • Olerud_4_Life

        Exactly. Dont know how the second look would be comfortable. Unless the fit of the jacket in the second look (the gray jacket) is perfectly tailored to not be too bulky at the shoulders (while wearing the jean jacket on top) plus the fabric is legit, then i can see it being comfortable. But suit supply does have legit blazers. The look just looks like it would be too tight to lift the arms or bend or something.

    • http://undefined Jeanscuffed

      I dig all 3 looks, esp Look #1. Like he said it’s quirky and his uniqueness helps it pull together. I’m kinda wishing he had a longer spread to offer more looks.

    • Olerud_4_Life

      Dont understand the second look. the jacket underneath the jean jacket just looks weird. Walking around with your jacket underneath longer than the jean jacket just doesnt look right. Also the coat in the third look kinda ruins a the nice suit underneath. Trying to think of a scenario where the coat and the suit make sense color wise or just style wise in general. And hat just makes it seem like a whole bunch of non gelling/matching items were put together to make a unique look. 2nd and 3rd looks are kinda forced.

      • http://undefined Jeanscuffed

        Style doesn’t need to make sense to others when it’s not yours to own in the 1st place. What I mean is if that’s his PERSONAL style, it really isn’t your place to say what has to make sense or not.

        • Olerud_4_Life

          Well one part of style is that its saying something to someone else. And Im pretty sure hes wearing it to elicit a response from people. My response is that i feel it doesnt make sense. For me. This isnt Nazi Germany or mussolinis italy; he can do as he please. But as for the aspect of fashion where you are wearing something to impress or make a subjective statement to someone, i am saying that i dont feel the style. Just my opinion that it seems kinda forced. If you could sit here and stick to the mantra that you care about fashion so much and have a unique style but dont care how others see you, you are lying and bsing yourself.

        • http://undefined Robert

          Then comments should be disabled for this post and for all others, if someone is not allowed to share their opinion.

          • http://undefined Jeanscuffed

            Robert: I’m not saying his opinion isn’t valued. I’m saying I can’t come up to a person and say “So and so on you doesn’t make sense..” Well who’s to say for someone who doesn’t know me say that what I’m wearing “doesn’t make sense” if it’s my personal style. Saying you don’t understand something and saying something doesn’t make sense are 2 different things if you think in depth. Plus the article is called BLENDING genres. It’s a mash up of styles so its supposed to be quirky, different, out of the box, not easy to comprehend, it’s a style that makes one think How and Why??

            • Olerud_4_Life

              When i said the outfit doesnt make sense to ME, im saying i just dont agree with it. Its not an insult to them its merely my opinion. And why would someones personal style make sense to me right away if its there personal style. Its their style, hence, the word personal. Style is subjective, which is the beauty of it. People gotta stop taking peoples opinions to heart, especially when they put themselves out there. This is why Miley Cyrus is still allowed to make music in public with no recourse. I digress, but i think blending styles can be done in many ways without doing too much, which is what i think hes. doing

            • Owen

              Style is subjective so I can’t say he is not stylish, but I can say with conviction that it doesn’t make sense. The basic rules of menswear have developed not only through style, but through function too.

              One basic rule is that your topcoat should be longer than your suit blazer. Why? To protect your (more delicate) blazer from rain, snow etc. And so that the blazer doesn’t hang out below the topcoat creating a horizontal ‘feature’ around your midrift that will widen your appearance.

              Rules of menswear weren’t made on a whim. Yes the rules can be broken and i applaud anyone who has the confidence to do it. Doesn’t mean we all have to agree with it.

            • http://undefined Robert

              No offense, “understanding” and “make sense of” are synonyms. Therefore, they are not different. However, there is subjectivity in terms of personal style and “rules of style.” The problem with that, is you open yourself up for critisicm and debate. All opinions good or bad become valid based on ones perspective. It goes back to the one mans trash is another mans treasure theory.

              As for Brandon’s personal style, while it’s not my cup of tea, I appreciate that he dresses to suit himself and not based on the confines of the views of others personal persectives. It is people like Brandon, that have confidence in themselves that make themselves successful in everything they do in life. Tip of the cap to that.

              One last thing, I bet Jeanscuffed, you have an opinion on how Lady Gaga has dressed in the past, correct?

    • Vincent

      That Margiela x H&M coat is a killer.

      You’re owning the floor if you wear that thing out and about. Bravo.