You know this guy, we all do. He’s handsome and well-dressed with just the right amount of flash. He has pitch-perfect social etiquette and–above all–an effortless cool. And he’s been cool like that since high school, since birth even maybe. I wouldn’t doubt it at all.
I kind of suspect that everyone knows a guy like this but I’m also pretty sure that none of those guys have the wit, heart and style of my friend, Steve Basilone. I love that Steve–like all my showbiz pals–is often taking meetings and pitching things, which has worked out really nicely for him: he is a freelance editor for the LA Times, and a staff writer for the new FOX show, “Breaking In.”
We go way back to a shared hometown (Go Steelers!) and he is a stand-up guy in all regards. Currently he is also my go-to dude for all things LA style. In my continued attempt to upend stereotypes about the land of Ed Hardy chaos, I asked Steve if he’d answer some questions about formalwear, the land of milk and honey, and the possible death of glamor. Additionally I said: hey, could you send me a bunch of candid, private shots of you + yours to put on the internet? He, gentleman that he is, kindly obliged.
Steve dancing with his excellent ladyfriend, Lauren Morelli
How would you characterize LA fashion?
I kind of dig it, mostly because of its lack of pretense. There’s a feeling here that anyone could have just made two million over breakfast and subsequently you rarely have judgments being made about wearing shitty Cons to a nice restaurant. I guess it’s also tied into the idea that everyone is trying to remain youthful for entirely too long, so that can go awry and get embarrassing rather quickly, but overall I like how casual it is.
It’s not nearly as fashionable of a city as New York, but it also doesn’t feel like it’s trying as hard. And selfishly, at least in the circles I run in, it’s much easier to stand out as a relatively fashionable gent because you’re not being bombarded by hipsters or socialites in the way you are in other big cities.
- (One of the only people I know who can actually pull of a bow tie)
Many people have difficult gauging how to dress up without over/under doing it but you always look spot on. What’s the secret to looking good formally?
I think the secret is just being comfortable. For example, I don’t even own any dress shoes. I recently bought a pair of Sperrys
and some white leather numbers, but in general I’m always in sneakers; even with a nice suit. I think that allows me to feel comfortable and somehow a little dressed down/casual even when I’m in something like a bow tie. I like wearing solid colored ties with a pattern shirt.
And beyond that, it’s just good to have clothes that fit well. The threads can be dope, but if they’re baggy or not flattering, who cares.
- With Ms. Morelli, in a suit + vans!
Do you have a style hero?
I kind of like JT, but I suppose that’s just more of a man crush and less about him being stylish. He is a well put together dude.
Where do you spend most of your clothing-allotted cash?
gets the majority of my business these days. For t-shirts and hoodies I’ll hit up American Apparel
. Jeans are really the only thing that I don’t skimp on because I wear them every day. For denim, I generally go to the Barneys Co-Op
. I’ll drop more cash there, but it’s worth it because a good pair of jeans can be dressed up, down or whatever. They’ll work just as well at a Speakeasy as a matinee.
Steve, with pipe (!) and the fantastic Annie Mebane Rocheleau
Is glamor dead? If so, how do we bring it back? If not, how do we find it?
Glam is not dead. I mean just go to Williamsburg or Oakland or Echo Park and you can see some pretty dedicated followers of fashion. Gaga and Rhianna are pretty effectively taking the reigns from David Bowie, Madonna, et. al. Outside of straight ‘glam’ I think glamour is still around. Maybe it’s just because my peers and I are getting older, but there are rites of passage popping up seemingly every other day and it feels like there’s more and more occasions to break out that bow tie, those white leather shoes, that awesome J. Lindeberg suit.
Can’t get enough of this guy? Follow him @sbasilone won’t you?