Most stylish New Yorkers: Charley Hendee

The multitasking scientist seamlessly blends Edwardian accents with Southern flair.

0

Comments

Add +
  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    "This is the sort of outfit that I wear to work on any given day," notes...

    "This is the sort of outfit that I wear to work on any given day," notes Hendee. "Lots of layers, and comfortable pants with the cuffs rolled up so as to keep them out of my bike chain."

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    Hendee rocks a deep-blue version of his signature accessory "to complement the...

    Hendee rocks a deep-blue version of his signature accessory "to complement the colors of the rest of the outfit."

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    This hand-embroidered pocket square was made by Brooklyn artist Amanda...

    This hand-embroidered pocket square was made by Brooklyn artist Amanda Cartagena exclusively for Snowy Wilderness. The lapel pin just above it is the work of another Brooklyn designer, Rosario Arteaga. "I own two of them---one with an erect penis and one without," explains Hendee. "I chose [to wear] the sans-penis pin for professional reasons."

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    "I rather like small rubber bands as rings," muses Hendee, referring to the one...

    "I rather like small rubber bands as rings," muses Hendee, referring to the one wrapped around his pinkie. "They allow me to switch fingers willy-nilly."

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    Hendee keeps his various keys fastened on a carabiner that's hooked onto his...

    Hendee keeps his various keys fastened on a carabiner that's hooked onto his belt loop. "Being part owner of two companies and working a full-time job---not to mention owning a couple of bike locks and a car---my key collection has gotten to be a size that makes storing them in my pocket problematic," he explains. "It also helps me not forget them. I am rather forgetful, so having my keys clanking by my side as a constant soundtrack makes noticing their absence quite easy."

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    These beat-up-looking Converse sneakers are hand-me-downs from Hendee's oldest...

    These beat-up-looking Converse sneakers are hand-me-downs from Hendee's oldest brother. "I got them from him sometime in the mid-'90s," he says. "They are still rocking, unlike my newer Cons, which generally last about six to nine months."

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    Hendee scored these specs from Zenni Optical (zennioptical.com) for $25. "I...

    Hendee scored these specs from Zenni Optical (zennioptical.com) for $25. "I rather dug the purple and pink accents on the edges," he says.

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    "Here comes the Easter egg," jokes Hendee of his lilac button-down shirt...

    "Here comes the Easter egg," jokes Hendee of his lilac button-down shirt balanced by a deep-purple velvet blazer. "It's a fun party outfit, to be sure."

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    Hendee received this hat as a gift from a friend "basically as a replacement...

    Hendee received this hat as a gift from a friend "basically as a replacement for some hats that were stolen at an all-too-epic party," he says. "It is a paper hat, so one has to be careful not to let it get wet."

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    Hendee switches up his neckwear with a paisley-print ascot. "Part of my...

    Hendee switches up his neckwear with a paisley-print ascot. "Part of my appreciation for Old English style," he notes.

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    "I get more compliments on these shoes than nearly anything else in my...

    "I get more compliments on these shoes than nearly anything else in my wardrobe," Hendee admits of his plaid kicks from British footwear brand ShoeLab (shoelab.co.uk).

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    These whimsical robot socks are part of a lighthearted collection that Hendee's...

    These whimsical robot socks are part of a lighthearted collection that Hendee's girlfriend recently gave him. "Pirates, mustaches, zombies, lightning bolts...so much fun in these socks," he reflects. "Having fun accents that are generally not seen by others---an interesting lining to a blazer, fun socks, colorful braces under a vest---give an outfit soul."

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    "This is a generally wonderful summer barbecue outfit," says Hendee of his...

    "This is a generally wonderful summer barbecue outfit," says Hendee of his linen shirt and shorts, worn with a sunny yellow button-up shirt.

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    Hendee purchased these woven leather sandals on a trip to Panama. "Sturdy...

    Hendee purchased these woven leather sandals on a trip to Panama. "Sturdy construction, secure footing, cool and breezy," he enthuses. "Plus, they go with almost any summer outfit, and they look pretty sharp."

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    This ankle tattoo was designed by artist Chris Casby and inked at Red Dragon...

    This ankle tattoo was designed by artist Chris Casby and inked at Red Dragon Tattoo (reddragontattoorva.com) in Richmond, Virginia. "It is significant because dinosaurs ruled the world, and now I do," says Hendee. "They also get hungry from time to time, and so do I; I am basically an adorable dinosaur."

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    Hendee gets dapper in a semituxedo with black flat-front pants. "I generally...

    Hendee gets dapper in a semituxedo with black flat-front pants. "I generally loathe pleats," he laments.

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    "I have taken to making pocket squares out of whatever material might make an...

    "I have taken to making pocket squares out of whatever material might make an interesting accent," says Hendee, who fashioned this one out of a large patch he discovered at Bluestockings (172 Allen St at Stanton St; 212-777-6028, bluestockings.com). "In fact, this one has an accent of some of my blood, which came from a random beating I took back in October. Apparently, my sense of style is not terribly appreciated in the South Bronx."

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    This fleur-de-lis--adorned bow tie from David Owens Vintage Clothing is one of...

    This fleur-de-lis--adorned bow tie from David Owens Vintage Clothing is one of the trickier items in Hendee's wardrobe. "One thing's for sure, learning to tie a bow tie is not for everyone---I still never get it quite right," he concedes. "The first time I tied one a few years back, it took me a good hour and a half."

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    "Ah, Herman," declares Hendee, nodding to his rabbit-head-topped walking stick...

    "Ah, Herman," declares Hendee, nodding to his rabbit-head-topped walking stick. "A friend purchased him for me to replace an inferior and soulless stick that she had inadvertently bifurcated. He is not simply a decoration; he is a welcome companion whenever an ankle or knee becomes disgruntled. He is a fine conversationalist as well."

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    Hendee tugs at his pants leg to show off his Stacy Adams (stacyadams.com) dress...

    Hendee tugs at his pants leg to show off his Stacy Adams (stacyadams.com) dress boots. "I don't shine them often enough, but they wear wonderfully," he declares. "Also, the high-tops provide fantastic ankle support, which is great for someone like myself who has unhappy ankles."

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    "One must wear braces, or suspenders, on occasion," asserts Hendee. "I rather...

    "One must wear braces, or suspenders, on occasion," asserts Hendee. "I rather enjoy colorful braces rather than matching; I feel more playful and happy that way."

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    Hendee gets into character by accessorizing with a pocket watch attached to a...

    Hendee gets into character by accessorizing with a pocket watch attached to a fob he picked up at a small antiques store in Camdenton, Missouri. "If I am going for a period-styled outfit, a smartphone is really not the most appropriate prop," he points out. "A pocket watch is utilitarian with just a little bit of theater."

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    "This is the Jules Verne," says Hendee, who ascribes this sepia-toned outfit to...

    "This is the Jules Verne," says Hendee, who ascribes this sepia-toned outfit to the French science-fiction writer. "I generally feel like doing some gentlemanly exploring or science when I wear this ensemble, thus the Vernean moniker."

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    Hendee dons another ascot, this one from David Owens Vintage Clothing. "Ascots...

    Hendee dons another ascot, this one from David Owens Vintage Clothing. "Ascots are wonderful in the summer: light and cool, yet still proper," he reflects. "Unlike a tie or bow tie, which can become stuffy."

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    This leather belt boasts barbed-wire details and was a gift from Hendee's...

    This leather belt boasts barbed-wire details and was a gift from Hendee's mother.

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    "The best feature of these shoes is the embossed pirate on the treads," notes...

    "The best feature of these shoes is the embossed pirate on the treads," notes Hendee of his Steve Madden loafers. "Few ever see or notice them, but they are there, and I know it!"

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    This houndstooth topper is Hendee's "nearly everyday hat. My cats like to sit...

    This houndstooth topper is Hendee's "nearly everyday hat. My cats like to sit on it, so it's often sort of crunched up, but always pops back into shape."

Photograph: Zenith Richards

"This is the sort of outfit that I wear to work on any given day," notes...

"This is the sort of outfit that I wear to work on any given day," notes Hendee. "Lots of layers, and comfortable pants with the cuffs rolled up so as to keep them out of my bike chain."

Charley Hendee, 31, research scientist and co-owner of Snowy Wilderness Vintage (snowywild.com); Fort Greene, Brooklyn

His personal style: "It's a series of unfortunate—or fortunate, depending on your perspective—accidents. I buy things I like and wear them in varying combinations until someone provides positive feedback. After receiving approval from the crowd, that outfit becomes a standard with various modifications: different socks, a different neck piece, perhaps different braces and watch fobs. That is to say, my sense of style is sort of crowd-sourced."

His inspirations: "My childhood on a farm in southern Missouri plays a subtle but significant role, and you'll often find me wearing bandannas or handkerchiefs around my neck and occasional 'cowboy' or 'western' accents. Secondly, being a bit of an Anglophile, I am enraptured by the formal dress of Edwardian English gentlemen. When dressing formally, I try to emulate what a gentleman of that time period would wear without being a terrible pedant. I gather what articles are easily obtained with an effort to avoid looking like I have recently emerged from a costume shop."

Favorite stores: "I am rather fond of MooShoes (78 Orchard St between Broome and Grand Sts; 212-254-6512, mooshoes.com). It is a lovely place to procure new vegan shoes that are well designed and reasonably priced. One of my favorite vintage stores is Odd Twin Trading Company (164 Fifth Ave at DeGraw St, Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-633-8946, oddtwin.com). I picked up several waistcoats and hats from that shop; it has a lovely collection of men's and women's clothing and accessories. There is also David Owens Vintage Clothing (154 Orchard St between Rivington and Stanton Sts, 212-677-3301). The staff is super friendly, and the store has a great selection of unique vintage pieces for men and women."

His signature accessory: "Neckerchiefs and bandannas; I have probably twenty different colors and styles. I first started wearing bandannas after my uncle Bill was caught in a horrific gas explosion, resulting in severe burns. After that, he took to wearing bandannas around his neck to shield his skin from the sun and to hide the scars. Thus, the bandannas are partially an homage to him as well as an homage to my heritage. They are also fantastic for sprucing up an otherwise simple outfit."

Favorite designers: "For men's clothing, I don't really have any. The majority of my clothing is vintage or secondhand, though I rather like An Ren (315 E 9th St between First and Second Aves, 212-388-9486) for women's clothing. The cuts are clearly based on a sort of 1950s aesthetic but with modern accents and fantastic color palettes."

How he describes New York style: "Verbose? I mean, it is all over the place. Out-of-this-world avant-garde, super-conservative Goldman Sachs, extreme trad, ho-hum American standards. It's New York. For every personal aesthetic, there is a subculture in which it works. All of the tribes are represented."

How his style has evolved through the years: "When I was in high school, I started styling myself—which was unfortunate. You see, I am red-green color blind. I didn't know that at the time, so I put together some less-than-commonly accepted color combinations. It didn't help that I did not yet have a well-formed sense of self, thus I did not have a well-formed sense of style. In college, I started wearing secondhand clothing, mostly because it was cheap. When I moved to New York, I felt out of place and poorly dressed. As I became more self-confident here, I started wearing whatever suited me. I made sure that my style was as utilitarian as possible: rolled cuffs for bike riding, bandannas to keep my neck warm in the winter, comfortable shoes for miles of walking on the concrete. Eventually I started to just have fun with certain outfits for special occasions. I began buying little things such as cuff links, ascots and suspenders. And I started naming my outfits so I could remember the general color scheme—I need tricks for that sort of thing, being color blind and all."

See more Most stylish New Yorkers

More in Shopping + Style

Users say