Going to school in Manhattan this semester has been a pretty interesting experience for me and it's beginning to influence my personal style. Now that I'm graduating from school, I'm sort of moving away from the scholarly look of OCBDs, repp ties, and chinos. Between classes, I spend my free time traipsing the streets of SoHo, the L.E.S., and any other part of town I wish to explore. On these short trips, I've seen a lot of unique styles in person that I never really considered wearable before. What I've found is that there are certain things that only a few people can pull off, and I think that part of finding your personal style is finding what you can pull off and what best reflects you, your influences, and your interests.
I stayed up watching Taxi Driver last night starring Robert DeNiro, and he pretty much had just two or three outfits he wore throughout the film; varying plaid work shirts, a white dress shirt, a tacky tie, chinos, a red velvet sportcoat, and a military jacket from the Vietnam War. I was really surprised at just how well he was able to pull off outfits that I'd have thought no one could look good in. The fact that he had such a small, simple wardrobe but interesting and attractive outfits, made me realize that maybe I don't need several different sportcoats; just one could be enough if it has all the right elements. DeNiro's red sportcoat has become a grail piece for me. The red is not too bold that he stands out, and the velvet texture softens the overall appearance for a more casual look.
While I don't know of anyone that makes such a sportcoat these days, I applied the same principles to today's look. All of the items below have strong character, yet are versatile enough to go with just about anything you already have in your wardrobe. How you wear it is up to you, and you could wear all of these pieces together for a simple yet attractive look. These items also relate to me in the sense that most of them are made in USA or sold in New York, with the exception of the Temple of Jawnz varsity jacket. While Temple of Jawnz isn't sold in NY, they have a strong following on the internet and among my friends, and they're one of the brands I endorse for their excellent cost/quality ratio.
— Velva Sheen crew-neck sweatshirt in oatmeal heather at the Hickoree's outpost in the J.Crew Men's Shop: 484 Broadway
— Temple of Jawnz winter varsity jacket 2010 in navy/caramel (via e-mail)
— Left Field one-wash tweed denim in regular fit at Blue in Green: 8 Greene Street
— The Hill-side for Ace Hotel selvedge heavy chambray pocket square in indigo x indigo at the Ace Hotel: 20 West 29th Street
— MAKR canvas & HR farm rucksack at Assembly: 174 Ludlow Street
— Uniqlo heattech grandrelle yarn socks at Uniqlo: 546 Broadway
— Alden snuff suede flex-welt chukka boot at Epaulet: 144 Orchard Street