WHY I STOPPED: Most days, I wonder what's more inspiring? The incredible style that I get to capture, or the person that's behind the style. With people like Xavier, the answer is both. I met Xavier as I was finishing up coffee down in the Loop. It was one of those he's-walking-in-as-I'm-walking-out-so-I-turn-around-like-a-crazy-person type of moments. Thankfully he didn't pick up on the crazy part. We'll get into his style here in a second, but it turns out that Xavier is the Senior Assistant Director of the Office of Civic Engagement for the University of Chicago. Ya, its a mouthful. So here's the shorter version: he's an incredible human being. Day in and day out, Xavier (or professorecks, per his Insta) engages students at one of America's top universities on issues of social justice, racial reconciliation, and civic engagement. His Instagram account alone is worth the follow. Suffice it to say, when you're talking with Xavier, it's probably best to just shut up and listen.
WHAT WE CAN talk about here is Xavier's incredible fall style. There's so much I want highlight here. First, this is another fantastic example of taking an informal summer garment and dressing it up with a more formal fall piece. Xavier pairs a gorgeous but simple blue v-neck shirt with a mid-brown blazer to create an incredibly simple and incredibly stylish fall top. Sure, brown blazers usually scream university professor, but by pairing together these garments in an unexpected way, Xavier elevates the look from classroom cliché to street couture. The brown/tan lace-ups pick up the brown from the blazer, and the clean, fitted blue jeans provide a neutral counterpoint to the blue v-neck on top.
While the v-neck with blazer might work on it's own, what really knocks this look out of the park (don't blame me for the analogy...Cubs fever is all around Chicago right now) is Xavier's choice of scarf and pocket square. The scarf adds that necessary height across the neck, adds in a pop of subtle red/orange (a complimentary color for anything blue), and drives home the fact that this is a fall look.
Lastly, A blue pocket square would have overwhelmed, but the blue stitching around the border of a cream-white scarf adds the perfect amount of subtle visual interest to this effortlessly-stylish look. Whether dealing with some of the most serious issues in life or more casual issues of fall style, we would all do well to spend some time taking notes from Xavier.
STYLE TIP CHALLENGE: Instead of automatically reaching for your oxford button-up when you put on a blazer this fall, try pairing it with a simple, lightweight garment (a v-neck or graphic tee could work) and a scarf. As long as your colors coordinate, you'll look just a fabulous as our dapper professor.
SHOP SIMILAR LOOK: H&M Textured Wool Blazer ($129); H&M V-Neck T-Shirt ($6.99); Zara Rustic Scarf ($25.90); The Tie Bar Solid Pocket Square with Border ($10); UNIQLO Men's Stretch Selvedge Jeans ($39.90)