Matt Fox and Enrique Crame opened accessories shop Fine & Dandy in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan in 2012. Known as modern-day dandies, the duo was included in Nathaniel Adams’ book, I am Dandy.Why do you dress up?
Matt Fox: Dressing is how you present yourself to the world. It’s your way of saying to people that you have enough respect for them, and for yourself, to take the time and energy to put yourself together.
Enrique Crame: We have this terrific old advertisement in the shop that says “Dress Well and Succeed.” It’s become our unofficial motto.
Do you follow any rules for dressing up?
Crame: I love the idea that you should learn the rules before you break them, but I’m always amused by magazines that dictate rules for dressing. Why do they want to put us all in the same box? Wear what you like!
Who are your style icons? Who taught you how to dress?
Fox: Definitely classic Hollywood: Fred Astaire, Cary Grant, Gene Kelly, Gary Cooper, Rudolph Valentino. All of those leading men created a visual record of how men dressed at that time. I also credit my grandfather. He was a farmer, but was always well dressed. I have this amazing photo of him with his sheep at the state fair. He was dressed in the whitest of white work clothes with a big black bow tie.
Tell us about buying your first suit.
Fox: Growing up, my family showed dogs. When I was finally old enough to show, my parents began to discuss getting my first suit. That was right at the height of Miami Vice. My parents thought it would be cute to dress me up as Don Johnson so my first “suit” was actually separates (shockingly fluorescent separates).
How can we get more American men to dress up?
Crame: It’s already happening! I like to think that after several decades of gradual decline in formality and in the way men dressed, we hit rock bottom a couple of years ago. There was no place to go but up! We get customers from all over the country, small-town, middle-America who come into the shop to buy bow ties and pocket squares for their teenagers. At first we were shocked, but now it happens all the time.
See our other Well Dressed Men from the June 2014 issue: David Hart, Mitsu Tsuchiya, Elliot Aronow and Jace Lipstein.