Borrowing from Her Closet feat. Christian McDuffey

May 23rd, 2014

Long time Articles of Style reader Christian McDuffey, aka “jeanscuffed”, has had my back in the comments section for over a year now. I’ve always enjoyed reading his commentary, so I thought to myself; I wonder if this guy has style? I wonder if the Articles of Style effect is really working on these loyal readers?

So I reached out to “jeanscuffed” to see if he could share a bit of his style journey and potentially shoot his own feature. Turns out he’s a really fresh young man, and his girlfriend knows her way around a camera. She’s also very fly herself. So fly, in fact, that sometimes he borrows pieces from her side of the closet…

“I’m a 27 year old recruiter in the Scientific Division at Aerotek. I’m in front of young professionals all day; going on client meetings and interviewing potential contractors, so it’s important that I look sharp, savvy, and professional. Even though dressing-up is cool and all, I love to loosen the tie and get down to some funky streetwear. As someone once said on Articles of Style; suiting up is easy, it’s putting it together every day that adds respect.

Living in the south all my life I have adapted the ‘Southern Gentleman’ role quite well, but not in such a typical ‘dandy’ manner. I went through a back-to-basics ‘classic’ period, but lately I’ve been experimenting and having fun with trend pieces like hatsfrayed jeans, and ethnic prints. Ultimately, whatever I’m wearing, it all comes down to fit… Tailoring can take you from looking like you have a police record to looking like the man with the plan.

Take it from me; it’s going to feel weird at first… Going from baggy bootcuts to slim-fits took some time, patience, and an attitude of forgetting what other people think…but now I’ve never felt better or more confident.”

1. Little Black Suit

From her closet: the pashmina scarf

“This thing came out of nowhere. My gf said she got it at a Christmas party where they were exchanging ‘secret santa’ gifts – luckily she had the last pick so nobody could swoop it… Ever since she brought it home I’ve had my eye on it. The morning of the shoot it was exceptionally cool out, so I figured I would break this out for Articles of Style. It’s 100% cashmere, super warm, and the pattern brings some life to a simple outfit. “

2. Modern Retro Casual

From her closet: the leather pants

“Funny story… We went to Nordstrom Rack for a random visit. I find nothing (of course) and she finds a cart full of things (of course), including these leather pants. They’re just simple, straight to the point leather pants with no frills or thrills… She’s a bit curvy (ass and hips) so she struggled a bit to get them on in the fitting room. That’s when I knew I had a chance to wear these things, but I had never tried…

Then the day after Dan mentioned he wanted to feature me, I got the courage to try them on along with this tribal shirt while my lady wasn’t home. Suddenly I heard her coming up the stairs unannounced and I freaked, trying to take them off quickly but quietly (not an ideal situation for leather pants). She walked in and immediately asked if I had tried on her pants… I had to say yes as I frowned lol. After 4 years of being together, has our relationship come to this, where she catches her man trying on her clothes? Going forward I’ll be man enough to admit that if I find something fly on her side of the closet that fits me, I’m not going to act like I don’t want to rock it.”

3. Classic Southern Gentleman

“I remember when I first stumbled upon Articles of Style. It was before my recruiting position at Aerotek, when I was working as a teller at a local bank in Dallas. We didn’t get that much foot traffic then, so there I was, cruising viciously through the site. I was instantly addicted. I was so glad you had been writing since 2009, because I had SO much content to catch up on. To this day I look for editorials every morning and get mad when I don’t see something new (I know you’re a busy man, but damnit Dan! lol). It’s had a MAJOR impact on the way I dress and the way I look at menswear. More than anything, I think it’s important that you show your readers different perspectives on menswear and that everyone can (and should) have their own voice.

Being a part of this website now is definitely an honor. It’s not even about the exposure. It’s about being let it on something big…and the fact that you actually trust your regular readers to produce their own content. That feels very real. It’s like saying; why don’t we have the fans pick who should be drafted instead of the coaches and board.”

4. Blue Suede Kickin’ It

From her closet: the printed shirt (blouse?)

“I believe she thrifted this shirt during one of her random visits to the local Goodwill. As soon as I saw the pattern I wanted to try it on (this was way before the leather pants fiasco and actually the first time I suggested that I wear her clothes). You can imagine how awkward (and beautiful) of a moment that was for us. It’s a little flowy on her small frame, but actually fits me quite well… I wear this one more than she does, to the point where I’m getting used to the buttons being on the other side (the easiest way to tell if a garment is womenswear – for all you go-hard thrifters out there).”

“Some last thoughts on style… Shallow or not, a person is often judged by their physical appearance first – so play it to your advantage! Ladies notice…and ladies talk. Suddenly you’re known as ‘the guy who can dress’. Also, tailoring to my size (I’m 5’8”/ 155lbs) quickly made me stand-out and be taken more seriously both in business and social situations.

I call it ‘style’ over ‘fashion’ because as humans we can call bullshit very easily. We can see what is genuine and what is forced. Developing a comfortable style creates value from within and tells the outside world; “YO, I have a story to tell!”… I saw a quote somewhere that always stuck with me: ‘The better you dress, the worse you can behave’. And from my experience it’s very true… So I guess that means Dan and crew must be really acting a fool behind the scenes!”

Thanks, as always, for reading.

Yours in style,

Articles of Style