Thrift Trad feat. Whit Smith

April 29th, 2013

Personal style is just that; personal. It represents you as an individual – your experiences, your personality, your lifestyle, etc.

For that reason, it’s difficult to give “style advice” to a mass audience.What we try to do at Articles of Style, rather, is showcase a range of individuals who have unique personal style, and ask them to describe their clothing choices.

Like most of Alex’s Southern friends, Nashville Tennessee native Whit Smith is a unique character full of personality. And, as you would expect, so are his outfits. Here Whit tells us about the evolution of his eclectic, thrift-heavy Southern style, and his clever use of unusual accessories to create a persona that is as interesting as he is.

1. Old School, My Way

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“I have few routines in my life and one of them is going to work. ‘Business attire’ is mandatory at my job, which is delightful because I enjoy wearing a silly strip of cloth around my neck, truly. I even wipe my face with my long ties, which is why they were invented in the first place.”

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“I also collect vintage pins and pin-back buttons and affix them to almost all of the items I wear. It’s a homage to my roots listening to punk/metal, and a nod to the still thriving underground/indie scene here in Nashville. I have about one hundred and fifty buttons at this point, with very few that I wouldn’t wear.”

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“The tie clip is a silver-colored bar with an tiny reverse engraving of a naked Marilyn Monroe, encapsuled in polyeurethane. My wife bought it for me at a antique store in Dyersburg, TN.

The top button I bought at Little Hamilton Collective, a sort of catch-all anarcho-crust punk music venue that unfortunately closed down a few months ago. It pictures a dilapidated wall and boarded-up window that could have come straight from the side-scrolling beat ’em up games of yesteryear (see: Streets of Rage 2). The significance of this button to me is that although I spent many years as a child submerged in a false idea of the ‘urban’ or ‘marginalized’, I now know these places to exist and to be real in themselves as they are. It also serves as a reminder to the undesirable places in the world that most people forget to remember.

The upside-down tie-dye peace sign signifies a rejection of modern New Age hippiedom; and it’s a nice reminder of the vestiments of the Catholic priests in my parish.”

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  • Mustard jacket Thrifted ·
  • White club collar shirt by Brooks Brothers ·
  • Green Thrifted TN State Tie ·
  • Vintage Marilyn Monroe Tie Clip ·
  • Watch by Timex ·
  • Antique hand-engraved pipe ·
  • “Brogue Ranger” boots by Red Wing
  • · Navy chinos from Target

Royal Cotton Trouser

2. Like Father, Like Son

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“I’ve always been oppositionally defiant. As I’ve gotten older, though, I have mellowed my style from a neo-hiphop glamour kid to a more subtle style via my father. My father is a self-described ‘clotheshorse’ who worked at a men’s clothing store through college in order to afford a respectable wardrobe. I finally conceded that I was turning into my father about three years ago, and have started to dress accordingly.

I have a full time job with the state government and have recently gotten married, so gone are the days of pseudo-avante-garde ‘clothes as art’ feebleness that I attempted before I stopped drinking. Now my laziness is truly rewarded: I only buy clothes that compliment eachother – so I can minimize decisions in the closet.”

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“My jacket was a darling find at the local Goodwill store. Being a University of Tennessee fan, I first noticed the color; a sort of singed orange. Upon checking the interior lining, however, I was dismayed to find that it said ‘The Clemson University Blazer’. I have only told a few of its official designation, and have decided that I like this shade better than Tennessee orange.

My button says ‘I CAME TO FREAK’ which is an homage to the Freakin’ Weekend, an annual garage/punk/indie festival put on by the good people at Nashville’s Dead. Plus, I always ‘come to freak’ in any situation.”

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“I’m wearing my father’s late 80s alligator Cole Haan’s that I found tucked away in his closet, covered in a thick layer of dust.”

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  • Straw boater hat by DelMonico Hatters ·
  • Orange Vintage “Clemson Blazer” ·
  • White club collar shirt by Brooks Brothers ·
  • Thrifted belt ·
  • Vintage Ralph Lauren green cords ·
  • Vintage alligator skin loafers by Cole Hann

3. My Two Cents

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“I’m wearing a vintage Bill Cosby button on this thrifted green blazer because firstly, I like Bill Cosby, and secondly, he’s suavely holding his jacket over his shoulder and looks like a badass.”

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“This bow tie was recently gifted to me by my friend who was gifted the tie by an ex-girlfriend, and in light of a new relationship, decided it was time to clean house.”

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“The Tennessee belt is from Volunteer Traditions, a southeastern/TN-themed clothing manufacturer.”

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“I rarely wear socks with my loafers because I grew up watching my father do the same.

As soon as I got these loafers, I walked to the bank and asked for their two shiniest pennies. The teller looked up and said, ‘do you have your bank account number handy?’ We laughed as I withdrew two cents.”

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  • Green jacket Thrifted ·
  • Red bengal stripe shirt by Brooks Brothers ·
  • Tie Vintage ·
  • Vintage Bill Cosby pin ·
  • TN state flag belt from Volunteers Traditions ·
  • Mahogany Penny loafers by Johnston & Murphy
  • · Khaki trousers by Jos. A Bank

Camel Worsted Trouser

 

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

Yours in style,

Dan Trepanier

 

Photography by Alex Crawford