Charleston Style Essentials: The Stars of Southern Charm Spill

It doesn’t take much to get us totally hooked on a Bravo show. Needless to say, the network’s latest creation, Southern Charm, won us over completely. For the uninitiated, the series follows a handful of dapper bachelors navigating the society scene in Charleston, South Carolina. At the center of it all, and often providing the laughs, are the show’s two youngest gents, Craig Conover and Shep Rose. We caught up with them to chat about their newfound fashion fame and what you need to get by (other than charm) in sunny Charleston.

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Rue La La: How would you describe your personal style?
Craig Conover: My style is paying attention to the small little things like matching socks and the tie. I think it’s the subtle nuances that get you a lot of points.

Shep Rose: I’m trying to become a little progressive, but I’ll always be a prep. I am also a huge advocate of party pants.

RLL: What are the Charleston style essentials?
CC: You definitely need a seersucker jacket, and maybe what the rest of the country would consider “Easter” ties, or a bow tie. My essentials would be nice loafers, bright pants, and bright belts.

SR: It’s a lot easier to say what are not the essentials. Charleston is more progressive than any city within a 200-mile radius, but Jenna and Whitney, being edgier, stuck out like sore thumbs. You’re definitely going to get the collared shirts and khakis more often than not.

RLL: Craig, you just started working at a law firm full-time. How do you make the shift from work to play?
CC: Working at the firm gave me an excuse to wear a suit more frequently. I’ll never wear a tie to the bars, but I’ll wear my suit with maybe a white button-up underneath. Throw on a pocket square, and I’m ready to go out.

RLL: Have either of you gone through a totally embarrassing fashion phase?
CC: I went through a phase of wearing colored crewneck undershirts with my button-downs.

SR: If anything, it’s that I was under-dressed. When I look in the mirror, if I think my friends will make fun of what I’m wearing, I take the damn thing off. I try to stay very far away from what I think is silly.

RLL: Jenna is known to be crazier on the fashion front. What do you think of her look? Are you preferential to a particular style on women?
SR: I like the hippie look on girls. Flowing skirts, leaving something to the imagination. Though, I think my mom might faint if I brought home a girl that had a crazy dress on and spiky hair or something.

RLL: Regardless of location, what would you say are the must-haves for every man?
CC: You have to have a custom-tailored suit. If you can’t spend on that, then a tightly fitted jacket. Guys should also have at least two white button-downs, a tailored black suit, a black tie, and black shoes. Then you can make an outfit to impress.

Is your closet lacking these wardrobe essentials? Our Road Trip Across America: Men’s Charleston Style opens Wednesday, July 16, at 11AM ET.

By Alexandra Tighe, Contributor

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July 16, 2014