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#HowTheyDoDapper: Brett White

by Priya Pappu |

Brett wears the Vodka tie (which is unfortunately, completely sold out. We suggest the Persephone tie for similar vibes.) 

Everyone, meet Brett! Upon connecting with Brett online and getting to know him a little better, we quickly realized that he may be THE person we had in mind when dreaming up Clifton+Leopold. Of course, we make accessories for dapper humans everywhere, but when we launched, we somehow knew there was a Brett out there we were dying to meet. 

Brett is a writer and clothes horse who is living his best life in NYC, but hails from Nashville originally (just like us!) We put so much thought into crafting the stories that accompany each piece, that to have someone describe their style by saying "Every outfit tells a story" had us dancing around to a little Carly Rae Jepsen...who we are also huge fans of. 

And with 2+ years and dozens of ties under our belt, we love that Brett selected one of our very first ties, Vodka, to remind us how far Clifton+Leopold has come.

Read on and get to know our friend, Brett!


Name, pronouns: Brett White (he/him)

Find them looking dapper in: New York City

Tell us a little bit about the story you're writing in your Clifton+Leopold: 

Outfits tell a story. I write for a living, so I put as much thought into what I wear as I do any pop culture thinkpiece or TV review. I dress to celebrate my gay forefathers, or to show off just how fun and expressive masculinity can be. I really love that Clifton+Leopold was born in Nashville — just like me. I can get behind a Southern pride that involves kerchiefs and floral prints.

Complete this sentence: I love the C+L ___________ because _________: 

I love the C + L Vodka necktie because the print looks like it's from an educational children's coloring book from 1973, which is very much an aesthetic I covet.   

What is currently atop your C+L wishlist? 
C + L is one of the few places I've found that carries bow ties of the correct size: huge. And all of the kerchiefs. Give me a loud piece of fabric to tie around my neck and I'm good to go.

It's a Saturday! What are you doing?

I get up early and knock out a few hours of working on my book (a biography of I Dream of Jeannie's Hayden Rorke, an underrated gay — and style! — icon). A summer Saturday in the age of COVID means I'll slip on a speedo and sunglasses and turn my building's roof lounge into a Palm Springs getaway (this involves a lot of imagination). If I'm feeling my vaxxed and boosted oats, I'll meet up with friends in Central Park. 

Your ultimate dapper icon: 

Bob Newhart and Robert Wagner, two men who exemplify the kind of casually flashy style of 1970s and 1980s menswear that I admire. I wear a signet ring and ID bracelet because of these men. 

It's quitting time on any given day. What are you sipping on?

A Diet Dr. Pepper. If there's a Zoom hang, I'll add lemon juice and literally whatever liquor has been sent to me by a streaming service. 

A dance party is not complete without (song or artist): 

Robyn, Carly Rae Jepsen, the B-52's — and any killer Drag Race lip sync song.

Tell us, what makes you feel dapper?

I never feel better than when I am in full masculine "drag": full suit, bold neckwear, fab pocket square, gold jewelry, a pair of sheer socks, and bit loafers. It took me a very long time to find a version of masculinity that felt right on me; I've never sincerely shouted "Go Vols" in my life. But lordy do I love taking the classic, dandy, dapper of menswear of the past and wearing it in the present.

Where can we find you on the internet? 

@brettwhite on Twitter and Instagram, and at Decider where I write about Marvel, Star Wars, Drag Race, and the gays of TV history 

(We have to add in Brett's latest endeavor, Barb Hardly, the "groovy new drag queen" - follow along on Instagram!


Thank you, Brett! We love what you said about the Vodka tie, as this is exactly the reason we gravitated towards the fabric as well. Also, any dapper fella that recognizes the "correct" size of a bow is huge is a friend of ours. We also commend you on your pursuit of one of our favorite art forms - drag. We'll be following along with Barb and cheering you on!

Interested in being featured here? Do you have a dapper friend we need to meet? Get in touch:

Click here for more #HowTheyDoDapper! 

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