Style philosophy from three Des Moines guys who dress like men
For our men's style cover story in this week's Juice, I asked three of Des Moines' best dressed dudes a question: What's your philosophy on style?
SEAN WILSON, 36, chef
At work, I basically wear pajamas: Chef's pants. Chef's coat. But I do have a life outside the kitchen. So when I buy clothes, I buy options, things that can go with multiple different uses.
I got my act together in my early 20s, when I worked in the corporate world in New York City and Boston. I really made it a point to not just have my monkey suit for work and clothes for not work; the two were interchangeable.
It seems narcissistic, but when you're in a larger metropolitan area — I'm living in Boston at 22 years old — when you go out it's not like Des Moines, where it's very casual. It's all higher end. So if you're talking to girls or whatever, they're not looking for the guy in jeans and a t-shirt.
When you start dressing this way or, as they say on "How I Met Your Mother," "suit up," it's that mentality. But then you start you see your own sense of style, what you like or don't like in a realm.
My clothes doesn't have to be name brand, but they do fit what I like. Some people just look at a bottle of wine and say, "It's $5? That's a crap wine." But one of the best wines I've ever had in my life was $5. If it's expensive, it's either supply and demand and great branding, or it is handmade with care and they don't make a lot of it.
For me, when I look at clothes or food, clothes don't make the man. But when I dress I want them to see how I feel. It projects. You walk taller. You project more of who you are.
What he wears: Billy Reid, Todd Snyder, Eton. J.Crew. Gap.
Where he shops: Badowers,Target, Banana Republic, J. Crew, Von Maur
LOGAN CLEMENT, 24, photographer
The first day I moved to Des Moines was the time I decided to dress way nicer every day than I did in college. It was two years ago. Running my own photography business, I've always wanted to present myself as a little more professional and just took every day a little more serious.
Dressing nice plays to the idea that you're more successful and have things going for you. And also I never know out and about in Des Moines when I'm going to meet my next client or a bride and groom who is going to book me for their next wedding. I want to look nice, not liek a schmuck.
And as an artistic guy, It's nice to have my own style and grow interested in more and more. If I get excited about something, I'm going to dive fully in and learn all I can about it. And almost all my interests lie in something that is either handmade or takes artisanal practice to get good at it. Coffee, beer, whiskey, photography — I nerd out about all those things.
What he wears: Todd Snyder, J. Crew, Imogene and Willie, Red Wing
Where he shops: Back Country Outfitters, J. Crew, Badowers
JOEY LEAMING, 32, multimedia producer
I started caring about clothes in the mid-'90s, when I started borrowing my older brother's clothes that were way to big for me. Without asking. Eventually, I got sick of having to buy a new wardrobe every season. I was buying the stuff on sale or chasing a trend and wanting to look like the coolest thing, right then, that season.
Since then, I've always aimed for the classic side. I'd like to wear something I could see my grandpa wearing when he was my age, and also what my grandchildren could also wear.
Versatility in a wardrobe is really important. A good button shirt can be untucked with shorts or cutoffs. You can step it up with jeans and leather boots. You tuck it in with a tie, that's another level higher.
I moved away from labels, too. I don't want to advertise a clothing brand. I will wear my $200 Baldwins with a $10 Merino shirt from Target and it just looks good and feels good.
What he wears: Gap, J. Crew, Baldwin, Clark's
Where he shops: Gap, J. Crew, Badowers, Target