We know its been awhile since our last Blogger Series interview but we wanted to make sure we came out the gates strong and boy did we ever! For our first HFL Blogger Series interview of 2017, we speak with Travis White a.k.a Unkept Gentleman. We know what you are thinking, “What is an Unkept Gentleman?”
Below Travis shares, with us, the answer as well delves into the reason behind starting his blog. Which is an intriguing one given that he prefers to help men become better versions of themselves by writing about the behavioral psychology of style and presentation.
It is that desire to educate others which led to him organizing the Instagram panel taking place at next month Men’s StyleCon. Which our team will be participating on along with, Blake Scott, Arian Ney, and George Laboda aka @atlasandmason. We hope that you enjoy learning about Travis inspirations, passions, and vision for men’s fashion….
HFL: Who is Travis White and what makes you an “Unkept Gentleman”?
Unkept Gentleman: I’m just a regular guy from Texas who followed the system (high school, college, 9-5) and quickly discovered that I hated it. So, I quit. I started a style blog about a year before quitting, and it had grown considerably. I still couldn’t fully support myself financially – so I went to work for Antonio Centeno at Real Men Real Style – and he has become a mentor to me in building my business.
I would say Unkept Gentleman isn’t a definition of any one person, but more of a symbol of a man on a journey. You could say the “Unkept” part describes anyone who is striving to do something but has failed or feels like he’s fighting an uphill battle… And “Gentleman” is the part of him that doesn’t quit, that keeps striving for progress, which has a plan. Almost like a Yin & Yang (Chaos & Order) metaphor.
When you’re balanced between the two, you find the most fulfillment. I’d say it’s something bigger than me, something that most guys can relate to.
HFL: What is your personal sense of style?
Unkept Gentleman: I’d say I’m classic & minimal with an edge of trend. Whenever there are new trends, I’m not the first one on the bandwagon. I pick and choose which trends could work for my personal taste & body type, and if I like them – I incorporate them. But I tend to lean to a classic & timeless wardrobe that focuses heavily on fit & quality.
HFL: Your blog is focused on growth from a mental, physical, and social perspective. How has your sense of style helped improve your personal confidence?
Unkept Gentleman: I think everyone has a certain symbolism that they attribute to different pieces of clothing.
Suit = Power
Doctor’s Coat = Competence
Jordans = Rare & high-status (at least for younger kids)
But it’s different for everyone. I try to tell people to dress for their perception of success – whatever that may be. A fitness trainer will dress differently than a wall street banker. But when you can wear something that you perceive as successful it does wonders to your mental game. So, whenever I wear something – I make sure my perception of that piece is attributed with confidence & success.
Then – when I step out of the house – I feel confident. And when I feel confident, I socialize better, which leads to relationships forming & opportunities that may have never presented themselves. Nonverbal presence is just as important as your verbal presence.
That’s why I try and focus on inner & outer growth on my blog. Because as much as people hate to admit it – appearance matters just as much as your character.
HFL: You recently moved to Austin from Houston. What are the differences in style between the two Texas cities?
Unkept Gentleman: Austin = Much more relaxed … Houston = Commercial & Corporate
Austin has the crowd that’s into nature, hiking, fitness and I love all of that. Usually, I’ll wear boots, ripped jeans, and a fitted T-shirt around the city. Houston has a more commercial business casual vibe, which I enjoy dressing in as well. I guess it depends on the mood I am in.
HFL: You are one of the hosts of the forthcoming StyleCon this February in Atlanta. How did you get affiliated with the conference and what is your favorite memory from previous years?
Unkept Gentleman: I became affiliated with StyleCon because my boss & mentor (Antonio) is the founder of the conference. Last year when I attended it was unbelievable. I’d say my favorite part was forming incredible relationships. When you’re in a room with hundreds of guys with the same success mindset as you, who want to help build you up and not tear you down, you want to make those guys your friends for life.
I’m excited for this year and the new crowds that are coming out because I can’t wait to pay it forward. Many men have helped me – I want to help the new guys.
HFL: Why do you think it would be beneficial for someone to attend this year’s conference?
Unkept Gentleman: Because you are shaking hands with men who have already built the 7-figure lifestyle entrepreneurship business that you want to build. Men who have happiness, health, & wealth and can help guide you and give you advice. They are friendly, approachable, and willing to talk to you.
I’ve never seen anything like that in another conference. Most conferences I attend feel uncomfortable. Like you’re not sure who you can approach or talk to. At StyleCon everyone shares a drink, dresses well, talks about what it takes to build a business and then asks what you need help with. It’s basically a giant weekend party with successful people, and worth every penny.
HFL: You recently released an eBook, “Man’s Ultimate Guide to Dressing for Your Body Type.” What is one quick tip from your book that you can share?
Unkept Gentleman: I would say that your body type needs to take precedence over everything. I see so many guys look at pictures of male models wearing the latest trends thinking it looks awesome. Then they try and replicate it, and it doesn’t look good. Chances are your body type & proportions are different.
The skinny jean trend he’s rockin’ may work for him, but if you have a little weight in the midsection, the skinnies will throw your outfit off balance.
That’s something I had to come to terms with. I loved the ripped knees denim trend, but my thighs are thick, and it threw off the balance and appearance. I had thick thighs above the rip and skinny calves below the rip cutting my legs into two unbalanced halves, whereas when I wear jeans without a rip, it elongates my legs and gives it one fluid look. So, choose body type over trends. Always think about making your outfit proportionate to your shape.
And if you need to know how to do that, I go into extreme detail about shirts, pants, jackets, accessories, colors, and patterns for each body type in my free eBook. (http://www.unkeptgentleman.com/free-ebook/)
HFL: Who are three of your style icons?
Unkept Gentleman: David Beckham, Steve McQueen, and Cary Grant!
They each represent three parts of the style triangle that make up my own style. David is rugged, Steve in minimal, and Cary is refined. I try to incorporate all of those into my personal style.
HFL: Finish this sentence. Style is…
Unkept Gentleman: Your message to the world.
We would like to thank Travis for taking the time to speak with us and discussing his joruney as a blogger. You can follow him on Instagram @trav_white_ In addition to that we encourage all of you to join Travis and the High Fashion Living team at Men’s StyleCon in Atlanta, February 3-4th.
Written by: Evan Marshall @Its_what_ev