ON A PERSONAL NOTE | “AND THE REST WILL FOLLOW” BY PAUL TRIBLE

Editor’s Note: This is part of a series on The Sig Other, “On A Personal Note”, where men of all ages write about their thoughts —good, bad, ugly, humorous or otherwise—on their personal style. Feel free to contact me about it if you’d like to contribute.
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I once had a girlfriend who was always embarrassed because I “dressed like a professor.” Then a few years ago, “dressing like a professor” became cool, and I somehow ended up with a clothing company. I am pretty certain that this trend – like most – will pass, and I will go back to embarrassing my girlfriend. But in the meantime, I am wearing tweed and herringbone with pride.

I have always loved clothes, and I am not sure quite who to blame for that. Maybe my grandfather who wore a seersucker suit every Sunday in the summer or my father who wore a tie to dinner every night of my childhood. As a kid, I remember getting my first suit. I was 10 years old, and the suit was tan and double breasted. It made me feel like a mobster, and at 10, that was a very good thing.

Flash-forward to high school, and like many people who end up in the clothing business, I spent a lot of time in thrift stores. I had a tailor at 16 and would take clothes to him to be altered and then wear them to school the next day. Let me tell you, a camel hair blazer, moleskin pants and shoulder-length hair made quite a statement against a backdrop of throwback jerseys in the high school halls of the 90’s.

Fifteen years later this strange affinity for clothing had me passing up more lucrative pursuits and going to work for a tailor on Jermyn Street in London. At a lunch one day, he looked at me and laid out the key to the clothing business: “Be the best, make the best and the rest will follow. Style and trends will pass, but quality and craftsmanship will last a lifetime.”

At a lunch one day, he looked at me and laid out the key to the clothing business: “Be the best, make the best and the rest will follow. Style and trends will pass, but quality and craftsmanship will last a lifetime.”

It’s a pretty basic concept, but one that we certainly apply to our business and that I try to incorporate into the way I dress. I have a few very well-made pieces in my closet. They are classic in style and simple in construction, because things are made simply tend to last a long time.

When I get dressed, I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about what works. I am a guy and most importantly I want my clothes to fit well, last and be comfortable. When people look at how I am dressed, I don’t want them to say “what a great outfit,” I want them to think that guy “dresses well.”

I think there are very few rules in dressing, if any. Maybe, only wear sunglasses when sunny, and always wear a blazer on a plane. The latter holds true, as many pockets are a must, and I have found that if you look like you belong in first class, you can sometimes find yourself there.

But that is about it. In the end, I think a man’s clothes should fit well, last a long time and not embarrass his significant other. On a good day, I can hit two out of three.

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Paul Trible is the CEO and Designer behind Ledbury, a men’s shirting company based in Richmond, Virginia. Learn more about his story here.

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