Welcome to another installment of Signature Style! I’m excited to feature Mr. Jeremy Branch today.
For you Tumblr folk, you may know him as Uncle Beebo.
I first discovered Jeremy while browsing through the Tumblrverse, seeing how people are putting together patterns and colors.
What drew me in to his Tumblr is the way he incorporates little twists (using color, pattern, and details) into a very classic style of dress.
Basically, it’s the exact style I love to follow, and the same style I always encourage you to pursue.
Why do I encourage you to adopt a classic style?
Well, because you don’t want to be a trend victim and see a photo of yourself 20 years from now, and shake your head in shame.
Also, because buying classic (i.e. modern clothing that is classically styled) ensures your clothing has a lower chance of appearing dated, and you can wear these items in five, ten, twenty years from now, as long as you stay the same size and take care of your clothing.
Dress for your shape, not for someone else’s
Another thing, Jeremy is a real man, with a real man’s body. He doesn’t have a waif-like, pre-pubescent stature like a runway model. He’s also not super jacked like a professional body builder.
His build is more or less standard, yet he understands his shape and knows how to dress his body appropriately, with layers that all fit correctly.
He also seems to have an affinity for tassel loafers, something I’ve been wanting to get for a couple months now.
Here are Uncle Beebo’s As to my Qs! Enjoy.
EG: In 3-5 words, describe your personal style.
UB: Study-Abroad Prep. Prep/Ivy Style is the backbone of how I dress due to being raised in a family of educators and being immersed in a collegiate environment for the last 10 years of my life, but I also am quite inspired by Italian and British modes of dress as well.
EG: Who or what influences / inspires your style the most, and why?
UB: My father was really the major reason why I developed a love for the Scholastic Prep look because of how he dressed going to school every day to teach.
More recent inspirations include Ethan Newton, Mark Cho, Alan See, and Jake Cade of The Armoury and a variety of other WIWT (what I wore today) bloggers that I follow.
You really can learn how to get the most out of your wardrobe from WIWT blogs, so I am always inspired by others to think about how I can use different pieces in new ways to keep things fresh.
EG: What’s your favorite piece in your closet?
UB: Without a doubt my Alden Light Brown Suede Tassel Loafers. I wish I owned 20 pairs.
EG: What’s one essential item of clothing every guy should own, and why?
UB: As boring as it sounds, a nice fitting Navy Blazer with notch lapels. It can be dressed up and dressed down and is always appropriate.
EG: One piece of advice for those still trying to find their own personal style?
UB: Take your time. Building your personal style is a marathon, not a race.
I know from personal experience that it is easy to get swept up by all that menswear has to offer once you begin to care about it.
But rushing to build your wardrobe will wind up being more of a frustrating and costly experience than a rewarding and lasting one.
Also, take time to think about your life, and how clothes fit into it. Do you work in an office or a more casual environment? Are you still a student, but graduation is right around the corner? Do you need eight suits, or just two, or just one? That is what has helped me.
For instance, I stopped spending money on Jordans and Air Maxs once I discovered that I have to wear a jacket and tie seven days a week. My future purchases were then influenced by that fact.
Now when I shop, I make sure that the majority of items I buy can be used for work and for play, thus allowing me to get the most out of my wardrobe.
(Editor’s note: Since Jeremy works in college admissions, I had to ask him specifically about presentation and the overly casual college environment. You’ll find some tidbits that are useful whether you’re in college now, or you graduated 10 years ago.)
EG: In admissions, you interact with college-aged kids on a daily basis. As an adult on the other side of the table, how important is it for them to care about how they present themselves?
UB: It is extremely important. 90% of all human communication is non verbal, and you can say a lot about how seriously you take yourself or the opportunity in front of you by how you present yourself through your speech or even your clothing.
“Take time to think about your life, and how clothes fit into it.”
When a student arrives in my office for a college visit who is well spoken, polite, and well dressed, I can’t help but think about that as I am deliberating over their application.
The opposite is true if a student does not present himself well.
I recently met with a student you arrived on campus for an interview with me wearing basketball shorts, a wrinkled tee shirt, and a hat. His casual dress was a precursor to his very casual (and inappropriate) attitude.
Let’s just say it did not reflect well for him as I made my final decision.
EG: What are some things young guys can add to or change about their daily wardrobe that will help polish their image, while still keeping things appropriate for their age and lifestyle? Most college-aged kids I hear from want to dress better, but don’t want to stick out like a sore thumb among their peers.
UB: To me, I would start with a few button down shirts, two pairs of well fitting khakis, two pairs of jeans, and a pair of canvas Vans Authentics.
Like you said, a college kid doesn’t want to stick out like a sore thumb, they have to fit in with their environment comfortably. But comfort doesn’t have to mean sloppy, which it unfortunately is often confused for.
If I had the chance to do it all over again, I personally would start with the items I mentioned above. They are basics, no doubt about it, but if they fit well, you will easily stand out in the right way while not coming off like a pretentious jerk.
Thanks for the thoughtful answers, Jeremy!
Have any questions for Uncle Beebo?
[all photos courtesy of unclebeebo.tumblr.com]