Style Talk: David Cox (@arakeinprogress) from Washington, D.C.
Hello! Welcome to 51 Label Style Talk. In our exclusive series of Style Talk, we bring you menswear aficionados from around the world to share with us their take on menswear and specifically pairing outfits with quality footwear.
Every feature in Style Talk has been crafted in the featured individual's tone of voice and own words. Completely authentic, completely original.
In this feature, we have David Cox from Washington D.C. in the United States of America. David carries an appealing style that we really like - a blend between sartorial character and corporate professionalism. It's a classic and timeless style that is so adaptable that it could transit from the boardroom to an evening party with a cocktail in his hand.
Read on to find out more!
1) Could you please give us a brief introduction of yourself?
My name is David, and I live in Washington, D.C. Like many men, my passion for tailoring began at work, but I quickly learned that not many men think of suiting as anything other than an unfortunate necessity and those that do, have highly questionable tastes. In search of inspiration, I turned to the online menswear community for inspiration and found a vibrant community of fellow enthusiasts. Along the way I started my Instagram account and even eventually a blog, both titled A Rake In Progress. I don’t consider myself an expert by far, but I think I've learned a few things along the way.
2) What is your style philosophy?
This question is a bit tricky, as I feel my style is always evolving. I would place my style within the broader classic menswear milieu, or at the very least, this is where I draw my inspiration. Like more than a few others, I’d say I prefer Italian cuts in British fabrics, and I’m often drawn to interesting fabrics with a bit of texture or striking colour patterns. I prefer jackets with classic proportions, but without too much extra room throughout the chest and back with subtle, yet noticeable narrowing at the waist. I aim for nonchalant elegance in my dress and occasionally meet this lofty goal.
3) What are your menswear pet-peeves?
Do I have to limit it to just one? The garishness of accessory choices by enthusiastic amateurs comes to mind quickly. Particularly showing an immense portion of pocket square, with no real fold. Or the truly unforgivable sin: a square in the exact same fabric as your tie. The other thing that bothers me would be wardrobes several decades out of date. It seems many men in D.C. bought a few suits when they started their career and have refused to update since. I routinely see men wearing jackets without vents and extra-wide trousers with ¾ inch cuffs that spool at their ankles and it boggles my mind every time.
4) With our chocolate Chase Cap Toe Oxford shoes, how would you pair them with 3 outfits of your choice?
Outfit #1: Brown Base with Blue on Top
I wanted to keep the colours simple, so I started with a brown base layer and added the blue sport coat and tie on top. The rich brown of my Chase cap-toe oxfords fits perfectly into this colour scheme.
So much brown in an outfit can create an informal air, but the sleek, stitch-less design of my Chase oxfords reinforced the formality in the outfit. A brogued oxford by contrast, would have made the outfit seem much more casual, which was what I wanted to avoid.
Outfit #2: Safari Jacket and Linen Gurkhas
This is a very casual outfit and the overall color scheme would suggest black shoes, but that would have left the jacket on its own without any other piece in its color family and it would be hard to distinguish the trousers from the shoes.
My brown Chase oxfords provide a nice pop of contrast at the bottom of the outfit that allow the trousers, the element I’m trying to emphasize, to stand out.
Outfit #3: All Out Suit
This textured light grey suit looks great with simple accessories and I always enjoy pairing it with brown. It’s a three-piece suit, so it demands a pair of formal shoes.
The sleek lines of my Chase oxfords fit that mould and their lack of ornamentation allows the focus to remain on the suit and avoid the problem of too many pieces with too much visual interest - a problem that can occur quickly with a suit this textured.
5) Final thoughts about our chocolate Chase Cap-Toe Oxford shoes
Every man working in a professional environment should own a pair of brown cap-toes. The clean lines of the Chase oxfords make them right at home in a business wardrobe and also let them stand out compared to stitched cap-toe oxfords.