Crocodiles, Alligators, Oh My!

July 8th, 2013

As menswear enthusiasts and collectors, we’re always on the hunt to step up our game.

It doesn’t get any bossier than exotic leather. Crocodile and alligator are lifelong investments that represent the pinnacle of luxury.

Here, Alex and I share some of our favorite exotic pieces.

1. Serious Business

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The first alligator piece I ever purchased was the brown belt in this look; a used Ralph Lauren Purple Label number I found on eBay for a steal. I’ve had it for years and still wear it several times a week.

After I picked up my Montblanc Timewalker (also used from eBay) I tracked down alligator watch bands in several colors (brown, black, tan), along with a spring bar tool to easily swap them.

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This beautiful briefcase was handmade by Frank Clegg. It’s one of those legendary pieces that has the potential to instantly become a family heirloom.

On a separate note, a linen suit with gator skin seems like a perfect fit for summer. The combo has a very “southern luxury” feel.

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If you’re considering investing in some exotic skin for the first time, a captoe lace-up is a wise choice. It’s an elegant and classic footwear shape that will never go “out of style”.

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Sand Linen Suit

  • Blue cotton shirt ·
  • Navy rep stripe tie Vintage ·
  • Watch by Montblanc Timewalker Automatic ·
  • Brown alligator watch band by Montblanc ·
  • Brown alligator belt and silver buckle by Ralph Lauren Purple Label ·
  • Crocodile captoe lace-ups by Scarpe di Bianco ·
  • Brown American Alligator brief handmade by Frank Clegg Leatherworks
  • · Natural 100% linen suit

2. Family Heirlooms

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“As you’ve probably picked up by now, I get most of my favorite clothing items from my father. Every time I got back to Texas to visit I take a peek into my dad’s closet and try to find the coolest items with the most dust on them.

On my last trip home it was these crocodile lace-ups. As my father begrudgingly handed the shoes over to me he mentioned that these were his favorite shoes for a very long time and he made me promise to take good care of them. Honestly the thing I love the most about the shoes is how much they meant to my father, and how beautifully broken-in they are. As soon as I put them on they felt like I’d been wearing them for years. I went sockless to a wedding the first time I wore them and I didn’t get a single blister; that’s magic right there.”

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“The belt is also a hand-me-down from my father. It matches the shoes perfectly.”

The durability of alligator leather makes it perfect for a wallet, like this bifold, too.

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“These pants were from Dan’s MAB collection that he designed a couple years ago. They were a little long for me so I had them hemmed and cuffed, just short enough to show off the shoes.”

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Essential Light Gray Trouser



White Broadcloth Shirt

  • Brown American Alligator bifold wallet handmade by Frank Clegg Leatherworks ·
  • Blue Suit Jacket ·
  • Yellow Tie by Vintage ·
  • Yellow Lace Pocket Square by Vintage ·
  • Vintage Watch with Crocodile Band by Rolex ·
  • Brown Crocodile Belt by Vintage ·
  • Brown Crocodile Shoes by Vintage (my Dad’s closet)
  • · White Dress Shirt
  • · Grey Hopsack Trousers

3. Luxury Casual

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Exotic skin is inherently dressy, but it can be worn casually as well.

A pair of loafers and a duffle bag, for example, can be dressed-up or down, and both perfect for traveling in style.

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Here’s an easy recipe for a sharp casual look this summer: lose the tie and swap out the suit trousers for a pair of slim white jeans.

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Bill White, founder of Scarpe di Bianco, was the one who convinced me to invest in my first croc footwear.

They were expensive, but every time I wear these custom-made beauties I feel like a million bucks.

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Light Gray Essential Suit

  • Grey tortoise shades by Matsuda ·
  • Teal linen shirt by Ermenegildo Zegna (vintage) ·
  • Brown suede Ring belt by Brooks Brothers ·
  • White denim jeans by Helmut Lang ·
  • Custom crocodile skin loafers by Scarpe di Bianco ·
  • American Alligator duffle bag handmade by Frank Clegg Leatherworks
  • · Light grey wool suit jacket

Thanks, as always, for reading.

Yours in style,

Articles of Style

 

Photography by Alex Crawford