Some businesses are started through careful planning. Others are born by fluke.
William Wilson knows plenty about the latter.
Up until 2008 he worked as a construction executive. But when clients began saying they liked his suits and asking him for fashion advice, William Wilson Clothing was born.
Wilson, who gives his age as 30-plus, designs clothing for private clients.
Here, now, are his Style Essentials:
Describe your personal style:
I call it “conservative chic” — a balanced mix of professional and fashionable, blended with my own personal touch.
Who or what inspires your look?
A mix of gentlemen I have seen and admired over the years, both on TV and in person.
Do you enjoy shopping?
No! When I know what I want, show it to me and I’ll take it and move on. I very rarely just look around. I don’t have that kind of time.
Where is your favorite place to shop?
William Wilson Clothing. I only wear my own clothes. The only thing I wear that isn’t made by WWC are jeans and T-shirts.
Your favorite designers are?
My clients. I’m not impressed by mass-production garments. My clients create garments that surprise me all the time, because they are designed with their needs in mind. And they are so personal.
You look your best in…?
I think suits. But I get a lot of compliments in jeans and a button-down. I guess it depends on what you see me in the most.
What’s your favorite color and why?
Purple. I don’t know why. I always liked it. Its many shades allow for so much versatility. From the royal and formal feel of purple to the fresh and fashionable lilac, to the fit in anywhere lavender; I just love purple.
Every well-dressed man should own…?
Four suits, eight shirts, four pair of cufflinks, 12 ties, a pair of black and brown shoes, and a very nice watch. And a pocket square if you want to really step it up.
When I’m not working I wear…?
It depends. I play a lot of golf, so golf attire is pretty normal. Otherwise, jeans and a button-down or T-shirt are pretty normal.
What’s your favorite accessory?
Without a doubt, it would be my watches. A man’s attention to detail and commitment to truly being well dressed is defined by his watch.
I never leave home without…?
My earrings and a nice watch.
Jewelry or no jewelry?
It depends on the environment. But for me, definitely jewelry. For me, it’s my earrings. They are kind of a trademark, because they are so big (4 carats each).
What’s your signature piece of clothing?
Wow! I would say my watches and earrings, and maybe the pocket squares. I always wear a pocket square, even if I don’t wear a tie.
I wouldn’t be caught wearing…?
Skinny jeans, sagging jeans, a button-down collar with a tie or another brand of suit other than mine.
What’s your latest splurge?
My watch. It’s a Breitling Bentley I had custom made. And a condo uptown.
What’s your favorite cologne?
I don’t have one. I wear about six to 12 different fragrances.
What grooming products do you use?
Aveeno facial wash, Motions shampoo, Pantene (for women of color) conditioner, Jergens lotion.
Complete the following sentence:
If I wasn’t a… private /designer clothier…I’d be a…political strategist, probably. HAHAHA.
Style Advice to others:
Understand your personal style and see how it correlates to the impression you want to present to your audience. If you can afford it, buy custom. Armani, Gucci, Prada and all the rest of them are just overly priced off the rack suits. If you want to really get the most out of your wardrobe, and to be in the most control of your wardrobe, you have to have it custom made.