Category Archives: Everyday Style

Orange is the new Black

Style Session #1: Carson Elrod

Wolf + Panther knows that the best way to lead is by example.
We’ve selected seven of our favorite stylish New Yorkers and created a photo shoot of them wearing their own favorite pieces.  The guys range from a Kung-Fu trained Bartender to a PR guru for the NBA who should really be on Dancing with the Stars.
First up in the Style Session Series is stage and film actor Carson Elrod. Carson is known for his comedic timing, dynamic physical acting, and, as we saw him do as a blue painted native in “The Explorers Club” for creating true depth in a character that could have been just comic relief.  The lesser know fact is that Carson is as committed and thoughtful with fashion and music as he is with his acting.
W+P: Describe your job?
I’m an actor.  At this point, I work primarily in the theatre.  I generally learn lines and collaborate with other actors and a director on an agreed upon framework for how we’re going to tell a story together.  And if we’re lucky enough to be part of a good project, then we share a daily recreated living story with an audience that hopefully lets people in on the secret of life. That secret, of course, is that no one is alone and that we’re all in it together.  I love my job.
W+P: When did your style become your own?
I feel like I’ve always had a stylistic point of view on how I present myself to the world.  I would say that I started to take authorship of my style in my early teenage years. I look back at pictures of what I was wearing and it’s interesting.  I was a kid growing up in Topeka, Kansas, but I can see so many influences on what I was experimenting with stylisticly.  My hair, in retrospect, was influenced by the Southern California skateboarders. And my clothes were a hodge podge of stylings.  Around fourteen, I considered myself “punk” in the way I dressed. Torn rock t-shirts, pants, and Docs with an oversized tweed topcoat was a uniform for a long time.  But, I also found myself in patterned rayon shirts and purple pants too. In some pictures I looked a lot like Duckie from Pretty In Pink.  So… the short answer is that I started to curate the way that I looked as a teenager.
W+P: Who are your favorite designers?
Well, now as an adult, I find myself gravitating toward traditional looks with a slim and fashion-forward bent to them.  I really enjoy what Thom Browne is doing with his own line and with the Brooks Brothers Black Fleece collection.  But, I have to admit, I pay more attention to the way people on the street in New York dress or to what certain stores are stocking more than particular designers.  For instance I will find myself spending lot of time checking out Unionmade Goods, Context Clothing, American Rag, and all my neighbors on the L train for ideas and inspiration.
W+P: Who are your style icons?
My style icons have always been people who kind of peacock.  I love people who take a brave, fun, and distinctly personal approach to fashion.  I recently worked with choreographer Chase Brock at The Public Theatre and was floored daily by how incredibly he dressed.  One day he came to work in a two piece suit that was a camouflage print with three or four versions of bright blue and green.  He proceeded to teach us all an intricate dance, wearing a suit and not breaking a sweat.  He became a style icon for me instantly.  Andre Benjamin of OutKast has an absurdly wonderful and distinctive style that I love.  Along the way I’ve had some people who really inspired me to find my own fashion sense just in how they dressed.  Belinda Macabee, who was the sexiest punk rock girl in the state of Kansas in 1989 was a big inspiration.  As were rock icons like Johnny Rotten, Peter Murphy, and Siouxsie Sioux.  Now, my style icons are usually my friends who know how to dress. Like Eric Peterson, who I worked on Peter And The Starcatcher with.  It’s not that Eric was dudded up in the most expensive couture pieces all the time. He just knew how to take pieces from a variety of places and put them together into outfits that just rocked. He showed me daily how easy it was to look good with just a little bit of thought put into how pieces go together.  Again, my style icons are usually my fellow New Yorkers.
W+P: It’s awards season, tell us who you would vote for in the category “Best dressed man on the red carpet?”
I think Russell Brand and Bruno Mars both show up on their on terms and I like that.  I think red carpets are hard places for men to convey their sense of style.  So often, it just has to be a version of a tux or a suit and everyone begins to turn into the same good looking fashion-robot.  But Bruno and Russell have the confidence to show up in materials or with looks that are distinct, unique, and full of personality.
W+P: Bruno Mars is pretty great.  What songs are on your play list to get you hyped for a night out?
Talking Heads ”This Must Be The Place-”
The Pixies ”Where Is My Mind?”
MGMT ”Time To Pretend”
Robyn ”Hang With Me”
W+P: What is your style philosophy?
At the moment, I’ve come around to what the French have always done, which is to emphasize quality over quantity.  A French closet may only have twenty things in it, but they are all very classy, timeless, and versatile.  So now, my closet is more sparse than it’s been in years past. But, it has more of what I would call “heirloom pieces” in it now.  So I have a pair of Red Wing boots that I pretty much wear every day and since Red Wing will always repair them, I plan to have them for the rest of my life.  The Mackintosh coat I used in the shoot is a new piece, but it’s also made for life.  So, that’s what I’m trying to do.  I’m trying to strip down the closet to some bare essentials, but what remains is what’s important, timeless, classy, and in some cases, for life.  So my style philosophy is starting to emulate my own personal philosophy.  I want to strip away all the extra bullshit and noise in my life too and get down to the high quality things that make life worth living.  So…my fashion sense is a mirror of that journey.
Wardrobe Credits:
Jeans: Momotaro x Naked And Famous Skinny Guy CutRed/White/Blue Shirt: Black Fleece by Thom Browne for Brooks Brothers Trucker Jacket: Levis x Filson Oiled Tin Cloth Chambray Jacket: J.Crew x Billy Reid Ludlow Cut Pocket Square: Fine and Dandy Shop NYC Patterned Tie: Tommy Hilfiger Denim Tie: Levis made in Brooklyn Belt: Tanner Goods Natural Belt Buckle: Gift from mother found in her father’s’ house after his passing Shoes: Allen Edmonds Manhattan Oxford Socks: Happy Feet Key Chain: Brass Hardware from Home Depot Raincoat: Mackintosh x Doyle Mueser
Follow Carson on twitter @wanderingcde
And check out his blog The New Myth
focused

JJ Hat Center: Hats Off, Swag On

A hat is a next level accessory.  You don’t need one, so it’s a deliberate move and clear statement if you choose to rock one.  ”It’s the cherry atop the sundae”  according to Marc Williamson, the sharply dressed manager of NYC’s oldest (open since 1911) and illest hat shop, JJ Hat Center.

W +P asked the question what kind of a guy wears a hat?   Marc’s answer was “a confident guy.”  Marc is specific, making the point that he wouldn’t say it is a “well dressed guy” since “well” is a matter of taste.  Marc builds upon his distinction that a “man who dresses” is someone who thinks about their clothing as opposed to the majority of guys whom Marc says “don’t dress at all.”

Today wearing a fedora or stingy brim is considered the edgier fashion choice, a stark contrast of when a man wouldn’t be caught dead without a proper hat.  JJ Hat center has been around that entire time.  What changed?  Marc points to the Flower Power revolution of the 60′s which was an anti-establishment rejection of the trappings of tradition – the formality of suits, ties, and hats were given over to casual ease of jeans, beards, and t-shirts.

Marc is the kind of person that makes you want to buy a hat, his style is effortlessly cool and hats look straight up fly on him.  He’s owns over 30 and when asked how he finds the right one ”the mirror is the best salesmen in the house… It’s that nod of approval that you give yourself.”

When asked where his swagger came up Marc answered: “I grew up in the hip hop culture of Queens.  Baggy pants, one leg up, spotless Tim’s, gaudy gold jewelry… breaking out of that came with time.  I admired it when I wasn’t doing it, but it wasn’t until, number one: having the call, and two: I didn’t want to do it temporarily.  Dress one way one day, than back to the other the rest.  I wanted to wait until I could do it all the way.  Not wear the clothes until I had a closet full of them.”  He says one’s fashion game comes up “when life calls for it.”

Once life calls for it there are some details to learn.  Here is Marc’s advice on headgear wear and care:

Seasonality: “Traditionally it’s felt in winter, straw in summer.  Me? I’ve been wearing my felt all year.  It’s great to have tradition.  Tradition teaches and it trains you to not be traditional, so it’s good to have both.”

Care:  ”Treat a hat like a pair of shoes, don’t wear it in a torrential downpour, if it’s worn in light drizzle let it dry away from heat.  For straw hats don’t grab the pinch, even felt hats get worn out at the pinch.  Use a lint roller or packing tape to get the dust off the surface and a horse hair paintbrush to keep it fresh by brushing it counter clockwise.”

Etiquette:  ”It has gotten a little looser than it was 50-60 years ago.  If you’re in a restaurant take off your hat.  If you’re in a bar, no.  If you’re sitting at the bar in a restaurant, no.  I don’t think you have to take your hat off if you’re in an elevator with a lady.  If you know enough about fashion to be wearing a hat you should just know in your heart when you should take it off.”

Do you have to be dressed up to wear a hat?  ”I’m a believer that the hat you get you should be able to dress it up or dress it down and that’s for stingy brim or wide brim.  I’ll wear the same hat with a blazer or with cargo pants and a denim shirt.  Historically that’s been the case.  You had farmers or construction workers wearing a fedora with their coveralls and then wear the same hat with a suit to church on Sundays.”

JJ Hat Center also owns Pork Pie Hatters.  Check them both out here.

He said:  Hats, like all traditional fashion pieces, were originally created as performance gear.  A straw hat keeps the sun off you in the summertime and felt keeps you warm in the winter and I find hats quite effective in this role.

She Said:  There are few things sexier than a man who knows how to wear a hat.  It takes style and confidence to add that as the final accessory. Personally, I prefer wearing mens hats with my own outfits.  It adds sex appeal to any wearer.

 

Just a man and his kicks.

Everday Style: Terrance Wilson

A great thing about the style of our generation is the freedom of drawing inspiration from any source. And a perfect expression of that artistic freedom, in clothing and in life, is the sharply dressed Terrance Wilson.  The man has created comic books, animated short films, directed TV shows, built theatrical sets, and produced large technical productions. But the most amazing thing he has created is his own life.  A natural born artist, he parlayed his talent into the post of Creative Director of Trinity Church in Miami and well as co-creating his own company COOL Creative Inc.  Wolf + Panther came through the Aventura loft Terrance shares with his wife Johanne, their dog CoCo, and the complete 90′s TMNT series on DVD. One of the hallmarks of Terrance’s signature style is his bold use of color.  Terrance’s looks exudes swagger, from going all out with suede burgundy Cole Haan’s and pink socks or streamlining with an all black ensemble.  His cohesive style is punctuated with fearless use of accessories (both a pocket square and a lapel flower in a sports coat or chains with a buttoned-up collar) and an overall artistic sensibility that brings his outfits together with the snap of a well composed graphic novel. Terrance painted the sick-ass mural in the entrance way and the portrait of Jordan that adds a whole other level of respect to his collection of J’s.  His studio is tastefully ordained with such highlights as an Optimus Prime Helmet and a full wall of art theory books.  The man truly lives a well designed life at every level.  Trust him to stay fly. Check out his blog at: ThatsCoolBlog.com His company at: CoolCreativeinc.com

And of course Twitter/Instagram at: @TerranceWilson