Derek Oxford Feature - One Man. Of Style.
At CPS and in the community, you are known as someone that dresses professionally and stylish. How would you describe your style?
If I had to describe my personal style, I would say I’m modern classic. I always like to dress my best both in the workplace and socially because I never know when I’m going to meet a great contact or see one of my clients around town. Timeless pieces never go out of style, and if you invest the right way with the right pieces, you can really create a dynamic wardrobe that can last a long time. I have to wear suits for work, but not everyone always wears a jacket. I’ll sometimes wear a jacket, a vest, or both!
What is your favorite staple wardrobe item?
My staple item has to be shoes. It seems like a boring answer, but shoes are that subtle statement piece people notice. A great quality shoe can last over a decade with proper care and maintenance. Keeping them clean and neat allows them to accent your whole outfit even if what you’re wearing may seem boring.
If someone wants to purchase a few key pieces for their professional wardrobe, where should they go?
I have different spots I will frequent for different types of clothing and at different price points. For good quality business-casual wardrobe items without flashy logos and crazy patterns (harder to match with anything else), I love Uniqlo. It’s a Japanese company selling quality goods at low prices.
For a bit more refined wear, my go-to is Banana Republic. They often have deals where your shopping spree won’t break the bank, and a simple trip to a local seamstress can make an off-the-rack piece feel more tailored.
Taking it up a notch higher, is my clothier, Tim Hunt with Tom James. Custom clothing is where the best fit is created, not altered. I started using TJ for custom vests where it was too formal to wear a coat, but a great vest makes me far more polished looking than just a button up and tie.
Spring season is here! Do you a specific professional wardrobe for spring?
When someone asks me about seasons, my first thought is color. If we weren’t in sunny Florida, maybe my first thought would be layers! For spring, I definitely think about the colors of my suits, shirts and ties. A lighter color suit bodes well with outdoor meetings and open café lunches in the cool afternoons. At the same time, I choose shirts a bit more pastel and playful-like such as powder pink and baby blue versus your traditional white or Oxford blue. This goes the same for the tie (if you wear ties). The old adage, that your tie should match your shirt, is not the whole truth. Those two pieces most definitely do not have to match, but they should be a compliment to one another. For spring, think Kentucky Derby, Easter colors or Southern charm for a color palate that might suit you. Patterns like gingham, sear-sucker stripes and soft checkered shirts do well in spring. Have fun with it.
Anything else you might want to add that can give us more insight into your professional image?
Your wardrobe should be a reflection of you both internally and externally. Internally, I’m a true introvert. Externally, I’m outgoing and will talk to any stranger willing to strike up a conversation. My clothing helps me become that external person I need to be to do my job. At the same time, be comfortable with what you have now. Men don’t need to spend lots of money on clothes to look and feel put-together. Finding that affordable seamstress in your area is key! For whatever body type someone has whether athletic or not, your wardrobe can fit properly so that it looks polished regardless of what size the tag says on the inside. We should feel confident wearing size 28, 32, or 38 waistlines. Whatever the size is; make it yours! If you need some professional assistance, call Nyrka Riskin!