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A Broken-In Summer feat. Chad Davis

July 10th, 2013

You’ve heard us say this before: good menswear gets better with age. That’s why investing in the right pieces and breaking-’em-in over time is a key element of great natural style.

Chad Davis gets it. The freelance photographer and art director from Nashville has a love for vintage clothing and design that inspires both his artwork and personal style. Most of what he wears is old and beat-up, and it looks awesome.

Here he gives us a taste of his lived-in summer style.

    1. High Waist, Wide Leg


    What I love about this outfit, and Chad’s style, is that he’s wearing a simple t-shirt and chinos, but he doesn’t look anything like an everyday boring schlub wearing a simple t-shirt and chinos.

    Minuscule (but thoughtful) modifications to the silhouette (like a slimmer tee, longer rise, and wider leg) along with some simple styling touches (hat, tucked in t-shirt, and rolled hem) can make a world of difference in the overall appeal of an outfit/person.


    With all the skinny pants running around today, it’s refreshing to see an old-school full leg.

    Not to mention, in the summer heat this shape of pant is much more comfortable.


    Adding some family history and sentimental value is always a nice touch:

    “The ID bracelet was a gift from my grandmother to my grandfather in the early 40s. It’s engraved with his name ‘Roy’ and on the back ‘With All My Love – Erline’.”


    • Olive Green Cotton Plus Tee by Imogene + Willie
    • Khaki Chinos by RRL Vintage
    • Brown Leather Boots by Billy Reid
    • Brown Felt Hat by Vintage

    2. Pop-Over & Faded Denim


    Firstly, the hat makes the look. Start experimenting with wider brims.

    A band collar shirt, one of Wes’ go-tos, is a smart and versatile piece for summer. Chad’s rustic pinstripe version is a pop-over with a 3/4 placket and subtle bib front.


    You can always tell a beginner from a style veteran by his choice in jewelry.

    Chad keeps it minimal and masculine with a couple vintage rings and an awesome homemade necklace.


    Washed jeans always look better when they’re authentically worn-in and faded over time, rather than “pre-distressed” in a factory…

    Rather than going sockless in his bucks, Chad finishes off the look with a subtle tipped ankle sock.


    • Beige Wide Brimmed Straw Hat by Vintage
    • White Striped Cotton Pop-over shirt by Ralph Lauren
    • Homemade Necklace
    • Blue bright sky straight Leg Denim Jeans by RRL
    • Brown Suede Bucks by J.Crew

    3. Selvedge Cap


    I’m more of a flat-brim (or slightly curved-brim) fitted cap kind of guy; a carry-over from my hoops days. So when I see a beat-up lid like this worn with style, I have to show respect.


    Another example of the slim tee + wide leg chinos look.

    There’s something about a full-cut pant that is so manly and rugged. With the beard it’s a very cohesive look.


    Hard to find a summer outfit that doesn’t work with a fresh pair of low-top white canvas sneakers.

    Don’t worry, they too get better with age (so don’t worry about dirtying them up!).


    • Blue Denim Cap by RRL
    • White and Red Striped Tshirt by Club Monaco
    • Blue Wide Legged Chinos by RRL
    • White Sneakers by Pro Keds

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

    Yours in style,

    Articles of Style


    Photography by Alex Crawford

    • FishChop

      The boots are awesome!

    • LouCaves

      Morty Seinfeld: “Fashion is cyclical.”

      IMO this means stuff comes and goes based on what people are latching on to these days. Trust me, we’ll see square toe shoes again in the future. But wing-tip brogues have consistently been in the display shelves

      Style, which this site promotes, will remain in force and is personal. A cardigan I have from my grandfather’s closet does not look “vintage” when I wear it today. Pieces that looked good ten years ago will still look good today (of course, if it’s been washed…ha!).

      Keep up the great work TSB. I enjoy looking at the features that I can pull off AND the posts that I can’t (or haven’t upped the courage to do so…yet).

      Just one man’s thought.

      Blackhawks rule!

    • http://www.waywardgents.net Johnny

      I doubt I could ever pull off this style, but this is one site that has begun to make me want to step out of my “comfort zone” with my own fashion. Fun post.

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Tis what we do :)

    • Deacon

      What’s crazy about some of the more negative comments is that much of what this gentleman is wearing has been mad appropriated by the fashion set. If you been paying attention, high-low and vintage inspired have been influencing fashion for a while now. If you look at Pitti-pics and streetstyle people are wearing rope belts, ethnic prints, damaged destressed denim & leather. Native American, boho, and all kind of variations of this look. I love it personally and glad neapolitan-tailored suits and style has stopped being forced fed as a trend. I think that personal style is definitely on it’s way back. Thanks.

    • Bob

      Very relevant post for Austin. Thanks guys.

      Also, is that a unicorn tattoo?

    • MS

      My sense is that some of these comments underly why people like me dipped a toe in working in fashion and then immediately high-tailed it out. There’s a real “in-group” “out-group” mentality that exists with clothes in general. Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinions but I find it somewhat distressing how closed-minded people are capable of being. Not to be overly reiterating, as I know the SB crew has had to say this with some frequency over the last 5 years or so, but this site would get extremely BORING (see: most other men’s fashion/street-photog sites) if EVERY post was a guy in a well-tailored suit with $800 shoes.

      tl:dr – What makes TSB stand out from other websites is its investment in fashion, not a catalogue of “things we like” and/or clothing pornography; but a quasi-intellectual relationship with clothing in which there is an attempt to understand fashion in a broader way.

      Keep up the good work, all.


      • John Crossley

        Thanks Marcus!

      • AK

        Very well said. TSB understands that style is something very malleable and fluent. Although I’ve seen posts on here featuring guests whose style doesn’t really float my boat, I almost always leave feeling inspired in some way.

        For example, with this post, I couldn’t really rock the looks this guy is pulling off, but I see the appeal. When I first saw the first look I thought “hmmm…not so much.” But the more I looked at it, the more I realized its simple beauty. Muted earth tones, laid-back fit, stark symbolism with the +, and all the lines flow together to form a consistent and masculine aesthetic. Really, what’s not to love?

        • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

          NAILED IT!!

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Well said Marcus, thanks for the kind words. You really understand what we’re trying to do.

        Style is personal, and therefore different for everybody depending on their lifestyle, personality, etc. It’s less about “fashion” and more about people, and the perception/presentation of them.

        Cheers brother,

    • http://topbuttononly.tumblr.com Levi G

      Those hating – this site is The Style Blogger. I think the name in itself is license enough to post all types of style, which is exactly what the TSB team are doing. No, Chad isn’t wearing a suit, but I think we should keep in mind the site isn’t called The Suit Blogger.

      Very unique looks and he strikes me as an interesting guy.

    • Rasheed

      Thought that was Justin Vernon from Bov Iver for a second. You can’t tell me they don’t look exactly alike!

    • John

      The chinos and the belt are just great. Actually it’s the fit of the chinos that’s really so good. Hipster? I think not. If it was hipster chinos they’d be squeezing his junk (and you’d see it) from being 3 sizes too small.

      That being said, I can’t resist..


    • http://wacavenue.blogspot.com Theguybehindthelens

      Love all the wide brimmed hats. His sense of personal style isn’t for everyone but he pulls it off for sure. I am so glad you guys are showing such a wide variety of style.

    • Changingman

      You know , reading TSBmen is like taking an online menswear course. After you do the menswear basic 101, you go into advanced stuff. This post would be like “Finding Your Own Voice”. Its easy to study and wear the basic menswear suits, shoes, ties, etc. But it seems that we spend so much time on our work/office gear, that we lose our sense of personal style , and we show up to work on summer Fridays in oversized polos and big droopy jeans. So posts like this help give an inspiration or ideas about how you may find your off the clock style.
      Being that Chad is an artist, that creativity will spill over to all aspects , not just his work. I mean , if your creative…your creative, its not a job , its who you are. accountants stop being accountants at the end of the day.

    • Gary

      Wow, these are such hipster looks, i.e., I don’t like them.
      “Variety of personal style”? Smooth. We’ll let you get away with it this time. ;)

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Everybody’s style is different, as is everyone’s opinion on style.

        It’s impossible to please everybody with every post.

        • Gary

          Of course. I was merely expressing my opinion, in a snarky way. Apologies for the snark but not for having an opinion, even if it is outright dislike. I have enjoyed 90 percent of what is posted on TSB. I don’t expect to like it all. This is merely part of the 10 percent I don’t like.

      • MS

        Gary, have you ever heard the idiom, “Opinions are like as-holes…”? Seemed relevant here.

        • Gary

          So… that means I CAN have an opinion, right? Or is that not allowed on a style blog? Scratching head… .

    • Rich

      First look, second paragraph reads: “Chad Davis gets is.” Should read “gets ‘it.'”

      Enjoying the mix of preppy / vintage / individualised features. Great site for great, unique content.

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Good catch. Fixed.

        Thanks for the kind words Rich!

    • http://www.vincentnappi.com/ Vincent

      I really don’t get the hate…A person’s style is a person’s style. Just like an opinion, everyone has got one, but you can always tell when someone is informed as opposed to someone who doesn’t have a clue!

      These are all nice looks, and all of them work for the season. I dig the variety you guys show on here, Dan. A person has got to have a well rounded clothing vocabulary to draw on when making their own way, and TSB makes sure a guy gets that.

    • Sosa

      Not my cup of tea but he wears it confidently.. and I have to give you mad props Dan..You are not afraid to give a lens to anyone who is willing to showcase their confidence in their style no matter how much against the style grain it goes..I don’t see anyone out there except maybe for the Satorialist that does this and I think that’s awesome. It shows an openness to embrace all aspects of fashion and style. I honestly would not wear anything that he has on because its not my steeze. However he has a particular look and he owns it. I can respect that on so many different layers. Much respect!

    • http://undefined the black jew

      you guys are getting messy (aka hipster) with the latest post please go being being sharp dressers.mix people like me cant wear this stuff.


      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        We try to show a variety of personal style, to appeal to men from all walks of life.

        We have some very SHARP posts coming up.

        Thanks player.

    • Brent Kuz

      Oh and I have never thought a tucked in T shirt has ever ever ever looked good.

    • Brent Kuz

      I don’t really see wide leg in his pants more a straight fit. I like the patch pocket on the last blue chinos. Def has some personal style I did expect his white canvas sneakers to be more dirty grungy and yellow! Love the boots in the first post.

    • John B

      The pants aren’t my cup of tea, but his style is great. I wish I had a similar popover.

      Moving to L.A.? That definitely sounds interesting!

      • http://undefined Steven

        Moving to LA? WHAT?!

        • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

          Yea man! We’ll be back and forth, and traveling plenty… More on all that soon.

    • cam

      very nice personal style indeed…i am a bit confused on “most of what he wears is old and beat up”…none of this is vintage…i’m quit sure billy reid, rrl, and imogene and willie have all been around for less than 10 years…either way, i like

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        There are several vintage pieces here, but what I meant was he wears his clothes often and isn’t afraid to break them in.

        Thanks for reading Cam! We have a potential event coming up for our most loyal readers/commenters and we’d like to get you involved. It would be great to meet you and get some feedback about the future of TSB (which is about to undergo some MAJOR changes). More on that soon…


        • cam

          it would be great to meet you guys as well…depending on the event/location etc i would like to make that happen

    • Harvey

      Great article as usual. Again, not my style of pants, but loving the boots.

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Thanks Harvey!

    • Steve

      …I can hear the grumblings now…
      Me personally, I like the looks in this post.

      However, to your original statement, “Most of what he wears is old and beat-up,” I don’t see it. Most of what he is wearing is newer and meant to look beat up. I don’t think you can classify anything RRL makes as vintage.

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Grumblings are a good thing!

        I was referring more to the frequency of the wears, and his choices of items that will look better over time.


    • BF

      Pennsylvania Dutch amish hipster?

      Wicker park Homeless person?

      Bearded Old spice Manly Man???


      • Aleksi

        Give this guy a f””n medal.

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        All of the above.

        • Andres Herrera

          Ding Ding Ding!

    • Alex

      Great post! This looks like summer. And I couldn’t agree more: start experimenting with wide brims. It creates a great frame.

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Thanks Alex!