Style Icon: Father’s Day Edition


Davis, left, wears Brooks Brothers no-iron slim fit shirt, Peter-Blair tie, & flat-front navy Jos A. Bank trousers. On Jim, right: Robert Talbott shirt, Samuelsohn pants, Harrison Limited tie & Martin Dingman belt.

Jim & Davis Priester

Written and styled by Tracy James   

Photographed by Chuck St. John

 

“A man should look as if he has bought his clothes with intelligence, put them on with care, and then forgotten all about them,” said Sir Hardy Amies, the late British fashion designer and authority on men’s fashion. Is that not the image of a southern gentleman? Tastefully appointed, but not fussy or stuffy. This, too, could describe the father/son duo of Jim and Davis Priester.

Jim, 56, a partner at the law firm of Maynard, Cooper & Gale, and his only son, Davis (a triplet), 23, a financial adviser trainee at Sterne Agee, both wear suits to the office every day (which this stylist finds refreshing in these times of rampant business-casual dress code policy abuse), each embracing an old school style while still managing to look current. “Conservative, with the tie doing the heavy lifting, depending on the setting,” is how Jim describes his personal style, explaining that his colorful and/or patterned ties are for out-of-court only. This litigator keeps his tie palette subdued when in front of the bench. “Davis’s youth allows him to wear ties that are a bit more playful,” he notes. Indeed, Davis enjoys the novelty printed ties by Peter-Blair and Vineyard Vines.

Interestingly, the style details now en vogue, like flat-front trousers and double-vent sport coats, are actually classic features. (Just check out the Rat Pack or Mad Men.) This fact is not lost on Jim, who confesses, “I came to the pleated party late and am happy to be coming back home.” Robert Hill Tailors downtown has facilitated his return; for $60, the tailor will convert pleated trousers to flat-front, so Jim is gradually making his way through his suit collection.

At 23, Davis can still get away with wearing youthful-inspired novelty ties. On left: Richmond, Virginia based Peter-Blair shotgun shell tie. Center and right: ties from Vineyard Vines.

Because Davis is in the process of building his professional wardrobe, he wisely favors traditional designs from the likes of Brooks Brothers and Jos A. Bank. “Davis has the physique I never had, so he can wears things more fitted,” says Jim. Davis is trying to convince his dad to slim down the cuts of his clothing, as well as occasionally shed his black shoes with dark suits for brown. Davis has a favorite pair of saddle brown Cole Haan loafers that he wears with navy and grey, and a pair of Allen Edmonds light brown lace-up oxfords are on his wish list. “I see this look all the time in magazines,” his dad says. “But cordovan is about as ‘out there’ as I’ll go.” Baby steps.

“Like father, like son” is their shared desire to keep it local. Jim counts on Scott Pyburn at Harrison Ltd. to assist with his attire, whether Samuelsohn suits; Robert Talbott and Bruli shirts; Alden shoes; Breuer, Robert Jensen, and Harrison’s private label ties; or Scott Barber and Bill’s Khaki’s for casual. “I take my suits to Harrison Ltd. every season, lay out what I wore the year before, and invite them to beat what I already have,” Jim says. “That gives variety, and longevity, to my wardrobe,” he explains.

For his favorite accessory, the watch, Jim turns to Ricky Bromberg at Bromberg’s in Mountain Brook Village, declaring that every man needs both a gold and silver watch as well as a brown-banded and black-banded watch. In addition, Tony at Trilogy Leather in Homewood has crafted some nice crocodile wallets and belts for Jim, who admits he likes to match his belt and his watch band, “even though my friends give me hell for it.”

Enjoying a backyard father/son chat, Jim wears a Bruli shirt, Scott Barber slacks, belt by Charleston-based Ben Silver, Louis Erard watch & Alden loafers (not pictured). Davis wears a Polo Ralph Lauren shirt, Saddlebred slacks, Guy Harvey belt, Tissot watch & Cole Haan loafers (not pictured).

Jim wears a Bruli shirt, Scott Barber slacks, belt by Charleston-based Ben Silver, & Louis Erard watch. Davis wears a Polo Ralph Lauren shirt, Saddlebred slacks, Guy Harvey belt, &Tissot watch.

“I wish I had my dad’s watch collection,” Davis says, who is slowly but surely building his own. He bought a Tissot watch from Barton Clay after his junior year internship with Sterne, and his Wagner with a black rubber band and large face serves as his more casual watch. Davis likes to shop at Mobley and Sons, where Hunt Mobley is always available and able to answer all of his style questions. The Pants Store in Crestline is a great resource for Davis’s weekend wardrobe.

Do the Priester men read fashion publications to stay on top of the trends? Perhaps inadvertently. “Surprisingly, the Wall Street Journal runs plenty of stories on men’s fashion,” Jim reveals. “Any national magazines I skim just confirm to me that we dress more conservatively in the South than in other places.” Conservative or not, whether playing golf at the Birmingham Country Club, hunting at their farm in Maplesville, or meeting for a drink at Dram, both father and son are bound to look sharp.

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