All of you who read my column know one thing about me: when it comes to men’s fashion I love color.  I am especially fond of men who embrace that philosophy as well.  

Needless to say, there are many bespoke and snappy dressers in Williamson County. In my estimation, Ed Underwood tops the list! It’s been an honor to serve on more than one board of directors with Ed. He’s a good man, a good friend with a great sense of humor and one who daily embraces color in his wardrobe. So, as we enter the last half of the year, I thought it would be good to sit down with this local fashion icon and get his mid-year thoughts on what hot and what’s not in the world of men’s clothing.

JT:  Color – What is your black OR favorite color for 2017?

EU: Blue.

JT:  What’s the biggest no-no fashion pitfall men make? 

EU: Wearing cheap fabrics such as synthetics.

JT:  Pleats/no pleats?  Double breasted/single button jacket? 

EU:  Yes, pleats are fine.  Double breasted jacket I would say no.

I do like a nice two button jacket.

JT:  What’s your take on men wearing white?

EU:  I love a crisp white shirt for either dressy or casual occasions. A white jacket is also nice for festive or special occasions. Also, I like white pants. They are a good option for certain events.  

JT:  Skinny legs still “in?”

EU:  No, I don’t believe so. Most men have more muscular, thicker legs and the skinny look is too tight and uncomfortable. I believe we should stick with the classic styles, not the latest men’s fashion.  

JT:  Your favorite shoes?  What’s hot and what’s not?

EU:  I have a wide variety of shoes. Some slip on, some lace up, bucks (white) and colored. Boat shoes are a great option for casual wear. I recommend sticking with the classic styles, again not the latest fashion. Some shoes look like they are being made for elves, not men.

JT:  Is it OK to mix patterns with ties, shirts and slacks?

EU:  Yes, the right mix of patterns looks classy.  Bright colors are great.  Most men think they look good, but don’t have the imagination or confidence to wear them.

JT:  Are French cuffs in or out?

EU:  Yes, some French cuffs are good, but not for the main attire.  French cuffs look great for those special, dressy occasions.

JT:  What three things can really pull together a great look?

EU:  Colorful, style and quality. Colorful pants and shirt, paired with a jacket are always in style.

JT:  What are the three looks for summer?

EU:  Linen, seersucker and dressy shorts.  

JT:  Are trends more casual or elevated this year?

EU:  Definitely casual.

JT:  What is the one biggest mistake men make when buying clothes?

EU:  Men tend to be too bland when choosing a wardrobe color, often purchasing items made using cheap materials. Always opt for cotton, wool and linen…NOT synthetics.

JT:  What one piece of clothing every man must have?

EU:  A navy sport coat.

As always, I love to hear from our readers.  You may contact me at  Until next time, and I know Ed agrees with me, if you can’t be brilliant, be bright!


J.T. Thompson is the Executive Director of the Lotz House Civil War museum (located at 1111 Columbia Avenue) in Franklin and is an active member in the preservation community in Middle Tennessee. 

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