The newlyweds met while they were both undergrads at Boston College (they tied the knot in October 2011). “She was my senior and in one of my classes,” says Brian, who dons a J.Crew collared shirt beneath a Loft & Brownstone sweater that he inherited from his grandfather. “At the time, the whole Ashton-Demi thing was really big, so I found me an older girl, and we’ve been together ever since.” Nicole wears a dress picked up from 10 Ft. Single by Stella Dallas. “I gravitate toward fabrics and prints, and rarely go into a store looking for something,” she notes.
Brian cinches his A.P.C. jeans with a leather belt made by Ad Hoc owner Austin Davila. “It was an amazing last-minute find because I needed a new belt to wear at our wedding,” he recalls.
These L.L. Bean moccasins were a Christmas present from when Brian was 12 years old. “They’re about three sizes smaller than what they should be but they’ve naturally stretched over time,” he says. “My grandfather got me hooked on moccasins at an early age; I’ve haven’t turned back since.”
Nicole breaks up the graphic print of her dress with a fringed necklace from now-closed store Sir Brooklyn and a braided belt from vintage shop the Garment District (garmentdistrict.com) in Cambridge, MA. “It’s held together with masking tape, which is a little embarrassing, but I always find use for it,” she says.
A wristband makes carrying this oversize vintage clutch from Old Hollywood(99 Franklin St between Greenpoint Ave and Milton St, Greenpoint, Brooklyn; 718-389-0837 • 250 Broome St between Ludlow and Orchard Sts, 646-454-0166 • oldhollywoodmoxie.com) easier to carry. “I slide it up to my bicep for optimum hands-free movement,” notes Nicole.
“Everything is better in suede,” declares Nicole of her Marc Jacobs heels. “Somehow I’ve managed to take good care of these for more than four years. They have been through city slush, beach sand—everything. I enjoy their little turned-up noses.” She wears them with Wolford tights originally purchased for her rehearsal dinner. “I vowed to keep them run-free for at least a year to justify their price,” she says.
Although she sports her Satomi Kawakita wedding band from Catbird(219 Bedford Ave between North 4th and 5th Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-599-3457, catbirdnyc.com), her engagement ring from McTeigue & McClelland (mc2jewels.com) in Great Barrington, MA, and a dainty leather bracelet that was a gift from a friend, Nicole says she isn’t normally so adorned. “I wear very little jewelry on my hands and wrists because I’m so often cooking,” she explains.
Nicole pairs faux-turquoise studs with a Blanca Monrós Gómez (blancamonrosgomez.com) gold pair that was a birthday gift from Brian. “One earring has a teeny-tiny black diamond in it,” she points out.
“I try to get the most out of my clothes by wearing them year-round,” says Nicole, who wears an ikat-print skirt from Odd Twin Trading Company (164 Fifth Ave at DeGraw St, Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-633-8946, oddtwin.com). “It doubles as a strapless dress in the summer.” She wears it as a bottom here by pairing it with a J.Crew sweater.
“Another one of my obsessions is corduroy,” says Brian, who wears the material from head (a plaid-accented Beefeater button-down from Beacon’s Closet) to toe (Trovata pants scored on Gilt). “I bought them while I was gathering stuff I could potentially wear at our wedding,” says Brian of his trousers. “They didn’t make the cut but are great everyday pants.” He balances out the ribbed textile with a Masters by Ralph Lauren polo and a Relwen blazer purchased at Bird(220 Smith St at Butler St, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn; 718-797-3774 • 203 Grand St between Bedford and Driggs Aves, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-388-1655 • 316 Fifth Ave between 2nd and 3rd Sts, Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-768-4940 • shopbird.com).
Brian’s parents picked up this Paul & Shark (paulshark.it) webbed belt for him while traveling a few years ago. “It was so long I could wrap it around my waist twice,” he recalls. “Eventually, I whipped out scissors and a sewing kit to rectify the situation on my own. It’s been one of my mainstays ever since.”
When the laces on these Clarks (clarks.com) boots broke, Brian didn’t know where to purchase replacements. “I checked out what I had in my bag of ropes and found these colorful sail ties from when I was a kid,” he says. “They’re essentially unbreakable.”
A skinny belt scored from the sale rack at Urban Outfitters(locations throughout the city; visit urbanoutfitters.com) and a similarly hued Prada saddle bag tie Nicole’s outfit together. “Believe it or not, [this bag] was nearly sacrificed to the Salvation Army by my very stylish friend,” says Nicole. “She gave me this and a pile of other delightful pieces before she and her husband left Brooklyn last October.”
Essie’s Geranium nail polish pops against neutral-colored Chloé wedge sandals. “I’ve had them resoled at least twice,” says Nicole. “If I pay top dollar for something, I make sure to give it extra love—visits to Leather Spa(10 W 55th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves; 212-262-4823, leatherspa.com) are important.”
“I purchased this in the middle of a day-drinking bonanza last summer,” recalls Nicole of this statement necklace from Smith + Butler(225 Smith St at Butler St, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn; 718-855-4295, smithbutler.com). “It was dead quiet in the store, and they gave me a great deal on it. It’s a great outfit finisher.”
“We’re definitely very different fashionwise, although our styles weirdly complement each other,” says Brian. “I’m like a mid-’80s Saab, and she’s more like that car in Ferris Bueller. It works well: You’ve got a great ride to pick up the family Christmas tree, but you’ve also got the cool, sporty weekend car to get ice cream in.”
Brian offsets classic J.Crew khakis with a whimsical Shirlee sailboat sweater discovered at Beacon’s Closet. “I’m pretty sure it’s meant for a 10-year-old, but I think it’s rad,” he says. “This was one of those times when Nicole tried to stop me but I couldn’t resist.” He tops it with a Duckster windbreaker that belonged to his dad. “He has a plethora of gems he had gotten from golf courses all over during the ’80s,” explains Brian.
“This is another item stolen from my dad’s closet,” says Brian. “The label says ‘Made in Scotland for Trader Vics—Nassau, Bahamas,’ but I don’t get it at all. This scarf in the Bahamas?”
Brian shows off his Bittersweets NY (bittersweetsny.com) wedding band purchased from Catbird. “I went in there thinking I would get any old gold ring and found this gem,” he says. “I am not big on jewelry, so it felt pretty good to find something I really liked.”
This chunky beaded necklace was “another purchase under the influence” from a now-closed West Village vintage store. “The clasp broke almost immediately, and I hold it together with a safety pin,” notes Nicole. “It never stays in my repair pile because I wear it so often.”
Nicole scored these Theory sandals from the same friend who gave her the Prada satchel. “Both are reliable favorites right now,” she says.
“I’m a little more serious about fashion than he is,” says Nicole of how her style differs from Brian’s. “He washes his Japanese denim, I do not. However, my dress-down look is eerily similar to Brian’s. Maybe that happens after eight years of being together.”
Brian swaps in another windbreaker from his father’s extensive collection. “He once showed me a Tupperware container in our basement filled with unopened freebies from random golf-outings in the ’80s,” he recalls. “These shirts, sweaters and jackets have carried me through high school, college and the present.” He layers an L.L. Bean sweater over a vintage Penney’s Towncraft button-up from 10 Ft. Single by Stella Dallas. “It fits me really well and has this early-’90s Wall Street vibe I kind of dig,” he says of the latter garment.
Nicole pairs a vintage Yves Saint Laurent ruffled blouse from Malin Landaeus with Ann Demeulemeester wool pants scored at the Neiman Marcus outlet in Naples, FL, for a simple yet sophisticated look. She carries a vintage Bottega Veneta satchel from Amarcord that’s a little worse for wear. “I had a few rips repaired right away, but I use the cross-body strap so much while biking that it needs another mending,” she admits.
These Yves Saint Laurent heels were another discovery from the Neiman Marcus outlet in Naples, FL. “I’m on my feet all the time in the kitchen, making deliveries and rarely sitting down, so when I wear heels, I want them to be substantial,” she says. “You won’t find a kitten heel in my closet.”
Nicole’s personal style: “Feminine and eclectic.”
Brian’s personal style: “Ocean-side early retirement.”
Nicole’s inspirations: “Nicolas Roeg films, Tilda Swinton in I Am Love, fabric swatches, Grey Gardens and my fellow straphangers on the G and L. I like to think a little Rita Hayworth sneaks in sometimes as well.”
Brian’s inspirations: “1960s California, 1980s New England, my dad and my grandfather.”
Nicole’s favorite stores: “10 Ft. Single by Stella Dallas (285 North 6th St between Havemeyer St and Meeker Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-486-9482) has a fantastic mix of inexpensive thrift and select vintage pieces. I shop by looking for prints and fabrics, and never leave empty-handed. Shopping at Amarcord(223 Bedford Ave between North 4th and 5th Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-963-4001, amarcordvintagefashion.com) is like hunting through your favorite great-aunt’s closet. Everything looks like it was owned by someone fabulous and maybe a little eccentric. In God We Trust(265 Lafayette St between Prince and Spring Sts, 212-966-9010 • 129 Bedford Ave between North 9th and 10th Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-384-0700 • 70 Greenpoint Ave at Franklin St, Greenpoint, Brooklyn; 718-389-3545 • ingodwetrustnyc.com) has a collection of its own designs plus vintage and indie labels. Bonus: It carries men’s clothing, so Brian will tolerate my shopping for a few extra minutes. Whatever I buy at Steven Alan(locations throughout the city; visit stevenalan.com) ends up in the favorites pile—it sells new clothes with a vintage feel. And I like Malin Landaeus (155 North 6th St between Bedford and Driggs Aves, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 646-361-0261, malinlandaeus.com) for its thoughtfully curated vintage. On a nice day, you can’t walk by without going in—the owner always has beautiful dresses billowing on racks outside.”
Brian’s favorite stores: “Ad Hoc (135 Wythe Ave between North 8th and 9th Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-302-2462, adhocnyc.com) has great belts made right in the store, not to mention a very well-curated selection of old-school American menswear—lots of Gant Rugger plus genuine vintage pieces. In God We Trust has a great tie selection. They pick their own fabrics and send away for them to be made. I got the majority of my groomsmen ties there, all in different floral prints. Raised by Wolves(174 Franklin St between Java and Kent Sts, Greenpoint, Brooklyn; 646-272-8776, rbwnyc.com) is a beautiful space with everything from books to dog collars. I recently picked up a pair of awesome pants from a designer called Vanishing Elephant (vanishingelephant.com).”
Nicole’s favorite salon: “Woodley & Bunny(196 North 10th St at Driggs Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-218-6588, woodleyandbunny.com). I go to Sasha Alekseyeva, and I think she has finally broken my habit of promiscuous salon-hopping. She’s super efficient, makes great conversation, and I leave looking like a much better version of myself.”
Brian’s favorite salons: “I used to go to Erin Drakeford at Tomcats Barbershop(135 India St between Manhattan Ave and Franklin St, Greenpoint, Brooklyn; 718-349-9666, tomcatsbarbershop.com), but I don’t know where she disappeared to! Jill McArthur over at the Parlour Brooklyn (72 Greenpoint Ave between Franklin and West Sts, Greenpoint, Brooklyn; 347-294 0444, theparlourbrooklyn.com) cuts my hair these days. Nicole and her sister lovingly refer to my hair as ‘the wig.’ ”
Nicole’s signature item: “My hair, whether it’s in a top knot, slightly wild, or air-dried and similar in look and texture to a horse’s mane. I felt a little like Samson when I went for a bob a few years ago.”
Brian’s signature item: “The midweight jacket. I love coats in general, but these tend to be more colorful and diverse. It may very well be that these jackets are associated with my absolute favorite weather—not too hot, not too cold, plus a good breeze off the East River.”
Nicole’s favorite designers: “I like Rachel Comey (rachelcomey.com) and [Sophie Buhai and Lisa Mayock of] Vena Cava (venacava.com). I love designers that take a vintage sensibility to make a modern piece of clothing. Each has her unique point of view, but they all offer vibrant prints, use natural fabrics, and play with dimension and proportion in surprising ways. Alexander Wang (alexanderwang.com) is another favorite. His clothes are sensual without being overtly sexual, which is a beautiful thing.”
Brian’s favorite designers: “It’s hard to say because I’m such a sucker for the old-dog American brands, such as Woolrich (woolrich.com), L.L. Bean (llbean.com), Pendleton (pendleton-usa.com) and Gant (gant.com). All of them are doing a great job of revamping their fits and keeping things classic.”
How Nicole describes New York style: “Extremely self-aware playing nonchalant.”
How Brian describes New York style: “Well-fitting and sometimes weathered.”
How Nicole’s style has evolved: “I no longer follow the ‘what’s hot and what’s not’ lists. I buy for keeps, so the trendy stuff rarely makes it into my shopping bag. I’d rather look like the polished 80-year-old than the precocious 16-year-old.”
How Brian’s style has evolved: “Right now, I’m almost a clone of what I wore in high school—everything just fits much better. In college, I strayed off into the preppy abyss a little too far. But I think I found a good balance between the two phases. I’m also barefoot a lot less since moving to NYC, which is definitely something I miss.”