Finishing School

A Crash Course in Men’s Fashion

Pay attention, gentlemen. There will be a quiz.

By Peter Holley August 1, 2013 Published in the August 2013 issue of Houstonia Magazine

1. Custom “Houston” cap by Ebbets Field Flannels in collaboration with Tanner Goods, $65. 2. and 3. Cotton and rayon buttondowns by Vanishing Elephant, $114. 3. Jeans by Rogue Territory, $210. Click to enlarge.

For a long time, we could blame Houston’s lack of stylish men on that bearded guy from The Men’s Wearhouse commercials. But now that he’s been banished—and now that newcomers to the “menswear movement” can take a crash course in fashion at The Class Room in Rice Village—our men have no excuse. The store, which Houston natives Jon “Cabby” Caballero and Alan Javillonar opened in 2011, comes complete with a wooden desk in the window.

“We were tired of hearing people say, ‘Houston sucks!’” says Caballero, 28, of the duo’s decision to open up shop.  “We wanted to bring to Houston things that we liked in other cities.”

Not that they’re importing style directly, the guys insist: what works in SoHo or Silver Lake doesn’t necessarily fly here. “I think we’re a little bit more relaxed due to our climate,” says Caballero, himself a former sneakerhead who traded his Jordans for a pair of PF Flyers after college. But sweaty temperatures don’t mean you have to dress down. “We don’t try so hard to be super-fashionable, but we try to present ourselves in a well-dressed, but comfortable manner.” At The Class Room, that means clothing brands such as Vanishing Elephant, Rogue Territory, and Our Legacy, along with, naturally, PF Flyers. 

This year men will wear lighter layers and short sleeves well into the fall, predicts Javillonar, 30, the store’s style director. Expect to see polka dots for one more season, a smattering of subdued camo, and lots of indigo. Eye-catching socks, the guys say, are back in after a few years of rolled-up pants and bare ankles. Look for leather bracelets, rings, watches, and handkerchiefs, and you can’t go wrong with a pair of Shwood Govy sunglasses.

But sticking to the basics will always earn you a passing grade, at least in the Bayou City. “If nothing else,” Javillonar says, “you can almost always throw on a nice T-shirt and still look good when you live in Houston.” 

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