So we just emerged from the most historical and hope-generating election of our time…I am beyond thrilled that Obama is our President-Elect. That being said, it isn’t only because he is a Democrat or that he is going to be our first African-American President, but I was really moved to see a dramatic shift in our country away from partisan politics and the old Red versus Blue mentality. Americans came together like never before to support change and to demonstrate what it really means to be an American!
That being said, I have a new "low" fashion love (OK "low-ish"), Billy Reid, a great brand that not only epitomizes Americana, but that originated in the deep South…yes, from one of the reddest of Red states, Louisiana, with its headquarters in an even redder state, Alabama. It may just be time for liberal New Yorkers to embrace Southern culture and truly celebrate the Obama victory and all that it stands for.
Billy Reid, launched by William Reid in 1998 recently opened its first store in New York City. It is located on one of my favorite emerging fashion streets, Bond Street, in the up-and-coming and oh-so-hot Bowery area. The store interior is comprised of re-claimed materials such as pre-Civil War heart pine flooring timbers from an old cotton gin and apothecary cabinets from the Mississippi Delta. If history and architecture are not enough of a draw for you, the store itself is just a welcoming and interesting place to shop and the Southern gentleman-inspired clothes are well priced, chic, masculine and stylish…
I absolutely fell for their sportcoats. My favorite jacket is a subtle plaid that retails for $575, but is now 40% off. It is the perfect piece to update your wardrobe! Most of my clients have very basic sportcoats in their closets…the quintessential navy blazer, of which I am a fan and maybe some version of a subtle tweed. A subdued plaid not only will make you look more interesting, but it will also make you look refined and honestly quite dashing. Wear it with dark denim, a great solid shirt or small patterned shirt and the perfect wing-tip shoes or pair it will a modern-fitting flat front pant, a shirt and a v-neck sweater in a color that picks up the accent color in the plaid. I of course love the way Billy Reid styled it, but I know that pattern mixing and bow ties might be a bit daunting for some of you…
If you just can’t get into pattern (yet) their corduroy jackets are also really great. I like corduroy as a replacement for velvet, which made it way into most closets over the last few years. Keep your velvet jacket, as it will never go out of style completely…retire it for a while and try something with some texture instead. The Billy Reid corduroy jacket is perfect for evening or just a weekend casual tee shirt and jeans look.
Although, some of my favorite Billy Reid pieces are jackets, they also have beautiful hand-tailored and made-to-measure suits, great shirts (under $200, also on sale), selvedge denim, and handmade shoes and leather accessories. It is really one-stop shopping for a man who has a real American sensibility, but who also understands and covets a little international flair. To me…true Southern style represents a combination of restrained conservatism and a little bit of British flair mixed in…Billy Reid truly embodies this!
So…continue to celebrate true Americana…a mix of Red and Blue…a cultural and racial melting pot…a place where not only Americans can unite, but where the world can unite…a time when American fashion is more relevant then ever…a time when brands like Billy Reid should become a style-go-to!!!
~Written for StyleWhipped.com