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SN style: 'Urban cowboy' flaunts old American style across campus

December 4, 2008

“It’s a big thing with me — saving money,” interdisciplinary studies junior Devin Brent says about his vintage sport coat and graphic T-shirt from TJ Maxx. He also wears a yellow hooded sweatshirt from American Apparel and ankle-high leather boots.

Photo by Jeana-Dee Allen | The State News

Interdisciplinary studies in social science and health studies and prenursing junior Devin Brent makes his classmates feel underdressed when he dons his uniquely stylish dark fitted blazers and cowboy boots.

The State News caught up with Brent to talk about what inspires his chic urban cowboy style and why it’s important to look beyond gender standards when shopping for clothes.

The State News: How would you describe your style?

Devin Brent: I try to maintain casual with sophistication at the same time. The urban cowboy theme sometimes, depending on how I’m feeling.

SN: Do you have any signature pieces?

DB: I wear a lot of suit coats and blazers, especially during the winter. Double-breasted blazers because they’re warm with a hoodie. That’s what I’ve had people remark on.

SN: Where do you get most of your clothing?

DB: A lot of thrift shops, second-hand stores and vintage stores because they’re cheap.

SN: What catches your eye when you’re shopping?

DB: I like a lot of hard lines, cool patterns and bright colors. Things that are a little different and a little more risk-taking.

SN: Has your style changed since you’ve been in college?

DB: Yeah, it has evolved for sure. In high school I was friends with the skater punk kids, so I wore band T-shirts. Before that everyone wore American Eagle (Outfitters) and I didn’t care to.

SN: What inspires your style?

DB: I get some inspiration out of Asian styles. They’re really into layering and wearing four layers isn’t a weird thing. That in part and older American styles with the blazers. I went to a pretty conservative high school and I didn’t really vibe with that mentality, so I started to experiment with setting myself apart in a way.

SN: Is being individualistic with your style now important to you?

DB: It’s not really important to me, but I wear what I’m attracted to. I’ve become more practical, especially lately. I’ve discovered shoes as a way of self expression. You can show a lot by what kind of shoes you’re wearing, it’s kind of shallow.

SN: What pair of shoes show a lot about you?

DB: They’re ankle boots. People call them Beatle boots. They come to the ankle, they’re usually made out of leather, even though I have problems with wearing animals. I don’t know, shoes are kind of a different story.

SN: What would you like to have in your ideal closet?

DB: Cooler shoes, for sure. Definitely more zip-up hoodies because I don’t have enough and they’re just comfortable. That’s a big thing with all the stuff, comfort is really important to me. I mean it’s not a difficult look to pull off, but people notice it. I don’t know if people noticing it is a big interest for me, but it does get noticed, I guess.

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I wish I had more hats. I recently discovered fedoras and they’re cool. I noticed that economic depression kind of predicts men’s fashion in culture.

SN: What advice would you give someone trying to find an individual style?

DB: What you look good in and what you feel comfortable in has nothing to do with what’s between your legs. People should not think about things that girls wear and things that boys wear or whatever. It’s pretty important not to think of clothing as gendered, metro or categorized.

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