I’ve always liked David Beckwith’s sense of style. He’s a top-end wine consultant in NYC, helping wine enthusiasts know which bottles they should buy and sell, managing their inventories, and at times, organizing their private tastings. You can hear an interview with him at the wine podcast I’ll Drink to That.
Since David works for himself, he sets his own dress codes. Most of the time, that means sport coats – often tweeds – with casual pants. “Ninety-five percent of the time, I’m in jeans, although I also wear chinos, cords, and moleskins,” he says. “I like things with a lot of texture.” In keeping with that theme, he also relies a lot on light-blue oxford-cloth button-down shirts and suede shoes (everything from monkstraps to derbys, although his favorites are a pair of Chelsea boots). And to keep things simple, he usually skips things such as ties and pocket squares. “I find they look a little forced with jeans and cords, although I wear them with dressier combinations – such as blazers and gray flannels.”
There are times when David gets a bit more dressed up. For certain business meetings, or attending fancy restaurants or shows, he wears suits and ties (the suits are from Steed, a tailor we share, while the ties are typically navy foulards from E. Marinella or Howard Yount). And for more casual settings, he usually gets things from J. Crew, J. Press, and LL Bean. “I rarely wear sport coats in the summer cause it’s just too hot,” he says. “For those days, I’m usually in linen pants and casual button-down shirts, although sometimes I’ll even just wear a polo shirt and some shorts.”
A lot of readers tell me that they like the look of tailored clothes, but don’t know if suits and sport coats necessarily work for their lifestyle. And it’s true – in 2015, when just tucking in your shirt can make you look dressed-up, wearing a tailored jacket might not be for everyone. At the same time, David shows how you can incorporate tailored clothing into your wardrobe without making things look out-of-place or even dandified. “It sounds cliché, but just get clothes that fit well and are made from good materials,” says David. “You may have to take some risks in the beginning, but over time, things naturally fall into place – you figure out what works best for you.”
Of course, it’s easy to look great when you have a beautiful wife and three lovely daughters, but we can’t help you with that.