Timeless Aesthetic: How My Dad Became My Style Icon
Photography by Brie Bergman • Written by Jamie Etheridge
Tell us a little bit about your background. What do you do at Knot Standard?
I’m the Senior Manager of Business Development and Sales Operations. The easy way to put that into layman’s terms is basically making sure the quality of our product, as we get bigger and bigger, stays the same and only gets better with time.
“My dad has been a huge influence in my style. Not necessarily right now and how I dress right now, but in having a passion for putting your best foot forward. Which is a huge part of dressing well. “
Was it an interest in menswear that made you join Knot Standard?
When I joined Knot Standard my interest in menswear was everything. I always worked at advertising agencies here in Manhattan, and on the side had a huge passion for menswear. I knew I had to put something down on paper. During evenings after work and on weekends I took courses at FIT in menswear. After taking initial courses, my passion was as strong as ever.
What are your biggest influences in your style today?
The biggest influences on my style today are movies and film. There are so many menswear blogs out there that I absolutely follow and love, but most of them are focused are on the style of today. Its film, movies and costume designers that get things so right and so perfect and its always rooted in basics that will always hold true forever. I pull a lot of inspiration from them.
“He didn’t necessarily walk into a law firm and wear sock-less loafers like I may today, but it’s more so that my dad is always very well dressed, showered and groomed for the day and I take that”
Would you say your dad has been a huge influence in your style?
My dad has been a huge influence in my style. Not necessarily right now and how I dress right now, but in having a passion for putting your best foot forward. Which is a huge part of dressing well. Throughout the years, my dad was a lawyer and a US ambassador working for the state department. Throughout all that, he had to wear suits, 5 days a week if not 6 or 7. He never had a big sit down or told me about the ways of dressing. It was through his example that I always knew dressing well and putting your best foot forward was really important in this world.
Would you say your dad’s workday style has influenced how you dress for the office?
He didn’t necessarily walk into a law firm and wear sock-less loafers like I may today, but it’s more so that my dad is always very well dressed, showered and groomed for the day and I take that, whilst my style may be different from this way or that, the actual approach and professionalism that I take is absolutely influenced from my father.
Has your dad’s style evolved as he’s gotten older?
His style has absolutely not evolved. He definitely has an awesome formula and template to how he dresses and styles himself. It’s tasseled loafers with a nice cut Paul Stuart suit and a set of ties that are in no way stingy or conservative, but not screaming across the room. That’s been his style all the way along and I don’t see it changing anytime soon.
How does your dad differentiate his office wear to his casual wear?
He certainly has the same theme with both looks. I grew up in Annapolis, Maryland and my parents still live there today. In Annapolis, its kind of the perfect combination of two things. There is an underlining preppy style there which feeds into dressing well with suits etcetera. But there is also an awesome casualness there. You will see people in really nice polos and boat shoes but they will also have some dirty shorts that will have some grease on them from working on a sail boat or something.
“There is still a bit of my dad in how I look and also everything that I have come to appreciate and how I dress and style myself today.”
Have you added some pieces from your dad’s wardrobe into your own collection?
I think he’s still unaware of the total inventory lost. He has all these great ties, pocket squares and boat shoes that I have stolen from underneath his nose and used today. I was back for Christmas, helping my parents clean out their attic and I found this suitcase that was filled with 50 to 70 ties that were my dad’s from the last 30 or 40 years. It was an absolute treasure trove of ties that were really awesome in the 70’s and 80’s but were out of style in the 90’s. Today, when I look at them now, I can wear almost three fourths of them with great style and get great compliments from them.
What would you say were the biggest differences between your style and your father’s style?
Back in the day my father and mostly everyone else saw the suit as something that was more conservative and for formal occasions. Today, the lid has been blown off with how we look at a suit and all the different ways we can wear it. On certain days when I can be a little more casual in the office, I will have black jeans, Jack Purcell shoes, I’ll go sock-less which my dad never did, A knot Standard jacket and one of my dad’s ties. There is still a bit of my dad in how I look and also everything that I have come to appreciate and how I dress and style myself today.
What dis you get your dad for father’s day?
My dad, who has his profile down for custom dress shirts (loves his last one), went through some of our shirting fabrics in our NYC showroom. I surprised him with a couple that I know he spent a couple of extra seconds on. It was a great father’s day present.
To make a styling appointment with Russ Lowder please head to knotstandard.com/russ