District Fray: What D.C. style means to you
Chris Clayton: D.C. style is having the savvy to navigate various social circles and doing so in a way that is authentic to your persona. Being able to show up and show off your personal style at a business meeting to brunch to [sitting] in balcony seats at the Kennedy Center to bouncing around Broccoli City Fest is the embodiment of D.C. style.
Style icon and/or inspiration
My paternal grandfather is my premier style icon. His style evolved with the times — from emulating the jazz greats of the early to mid-20th century to embracing the rise of ‘80s era sportswear. In terms of celebrity [icons], Lenny Kravitz is my go-to. Lenny inspired me to take the leap to women’s denim in my early 20’s. I purchased a pair of DKNY stretch bootcut jeans in 2004 and have been shopping women’s collections ever since. Also, his ability to accessorize effortlessly has [made] a huge impact on my style. I’m nowhere close to doing it how he does it, but hopefully, like Lenny, my style will get better with time.
Brogues. That goes for any and everyone. The versatility of a well-made brogues with a leather sole is worth the investment. I recently picked up a cognac pair from Soulier in Georgetown right on Wisconsin Avenue — [definitely] go see Hamid and his team. [They offer] incredible customer service to match the outstanding selection of fine Italian-made shoes.
It’s like a paella — lots of interesting flavors, colors and textures. Spending time as a kid in Philadelphia, growing up in Miami and living a good deal of my adult life in D.C., I have come to incorporate those experiences into my style identity. There’s the splash of street with a nice dose of dapper [and] a sprinkle of rakish here and there. Add a hint of rock star stirred up with a healthy serving of classic Americana, and boom! That’s my style.