Joshua Crown was a picture of vintage chic outside the Savory House in Hampden, where he was checking out a performance by the rockabilly band Deke Dickerson and the Eccophonics. The decorative carpenter says his work keeps his style low-key, and low-budget, which suits him just fine. And where did his retro sense of style come from? The 28-year-old Hampden resident says it's "pretty much self-inflicted." But, he admits that home schooling and Norman Rockwell each may have played a part.
Job:: Decorative carpenter
Self-described style: : "Traditional-slash-retro"
The Look: : Brown-and-white plaid Bronco Western cowboy shirt with pearl snaps. Levi 511 jeans with rolled cuffs. Brown leather belt with brass Tiffany jaguar belt buckle. Steel wallet chain. Brown leather Brass Boot slip-on shoes. Brown Savinelli pipe. Sterling silver cuff links with red and blue enamel and mother of pearl insets, worn as earrings.
Where it came from: : He found his vintage shirt and belt at Woodwards in Hampden, and his shoes at Goodwill. His jeans came from the Inner Harbor Levi's store. His cufflink/earrings "probably came from a flea market or a yard sale."
It's more about self-expression than following the trends: : "Fashion is organic to me, a natural output of who I am. So, it's not so much a matter of importance to me as much as being an automatic reflection of my interests, passions and hang-ups. That said, I hate to wear something that does not accurately reflect my tastes."
But, even self-expression has its "do's" and "don'ts": : "I am a carpenter, so I am definitely better dressed when I go out in the evening than while I am cutting wood all day. But even at work, there are things I never wear. Like relaxed-fit jeans, loose T-shirts, logos ... I don't wear anything advertising a brand name. I hate most tennis shoes and rarely wear the pair I have. Form before function."
He finds inspiration from the past: : "I was home-schooled and very sheltered as a boy, which gave me a freedom to develop creatively in ways I might not have otherwise (albeit sometimes strange and very out of touch with current reality). Somehow I have always, always had a fascination with old things. ... I know, it's pretty unoriginal, [but my fashion icons are] James Dean and Marlon Brando (the early years obviously)."
He generally shops off the beaten path: : "Well, I always have my eyes open, because it seems rare that I do find something to wear that I am really thrilled about. I shop mostly vintage. For shirts and shoes: thrift stores (though I haven't found any good ones lately), vintage boutiques, yard sales. For pants: outlets, sale racks and, occasionally, I am able to find a good pair of vintage pants. I try not to wear vintage pants and vintage shirts at the same time."
He goes easy on the pocketbook and the look: : "I don't have the money or desire to spend a lot of it, so I am definitely a bargain hunter. ... I never look for whole outfits. Generally, I look for simple [things]. Which [items will] always work together; tops and bottoms. I prefer to rely on accessories to speak to detail rather than the main clothing."