Street fashion: The L train

We scoured the platforms at Union Square and Bedford Avenue for funky subterranean style.

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  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Mr. Reed, 25; designer, tailor and musician; Williamsburg, Brooklyn When we...

    Mr. Reed, 25; designer, tailor and musician; Williamsburg, Brooklyn
    When we spotted Mr. Reed waiting for the L train at Union Square, he seemed to have stepped out of a bygone era. That, of course, is the look he was going for. "I've dressed the way that I dress since I was a small child," he explains. "I am inspired by the Edwardian era---the early 1900s into the teens. Obviously, I also love the jazz age and that era up through the 1960s." His long, leather trench is dead stock from the 1970s that was supplied by his stylist, the proprietor of Stephen's Vintage Clothing in Binghamton, New York.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    He picked up his topper from the city's oldest hat shop, J.J. Hat Center (310...

    He picked up his topper from the city's oldest hat shop, J.J. Hat Center (310 Fifth Ave at 32nd St; 212-239-4368, jjhatcenter.com), and seems to know a thing or two about the subject. "My hat is called a fedora. It may be classified as a New York fedora. If you see more of a skinny brim it may be considered a Sinatra-style fedora," he begins. "My fedoras are extended. Usually you may have a fedora [whose brim] is between an inch and a half and three inches to match the length of the man's leg cuff. Different groups and cultures of people will have longer brims. Me, I'm kind of inspired by many of the Hasidic Jews here in New York City, who often have longer brims. Mine is about three and half inches."

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    His colorful bow tie came from a shop near Broadway. Styling his looks from a...

    His colorful bow tie came from a shop near Broadway. Styling his looks from a young age, Mr. Reed learned the art of tying a bow tie when he was a teenager. "I've been buying my own clothes since I was a child," he says. "I've worked since I was eight."

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    The lime-green hue of this 1940s tailored button-down, another score from his...

    The lime-green hue of this 1940s tailored button-down, another score from his stylist, may go unnoticed by its wearer. "I am color blind," Mr. Reed admits. "I see things usually in shades different than most people would normally see them. So the way I usually get a color right is by other people telling me I was wrong." Despite his trouble distinguishing some shades, he certainly has opinions about what pairs well together. "Brown pinstripes go very well with greens and golds," he declares, demonstrating the look with this brown pinstripe suit. He can't remember where he picked it up, but he assures us it was somewhere off the beaten path. "I tend to like my suits handmade or from places other people wouldn't be able to find them," he says.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    His brown cowhide leather bag was a gift from his mother. He describes the...

    His brown cowhide leather bag was a gift from his mother. He describes the durable satchel as a lawyer's carrier bag from the 1920s.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    "I have been buying these same shoes for close to 15 years," Mr. Reed says of...

    "I have been buying these same shoes for close to 15 years," Mr. Reed says of his leather loafers. "When I first got them they were $150 a pair, and all these years they have kept selling them and the price keeps dropping. Now I buy them in bulk for $15 a pair. The name of the shop escapes me, fortunately." Determined to keep the location of his wingtip steals a secret, he will only divulge that the shop is near Broadway.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Ms. Fitz, 27; fashion editor; Bushwick, Brooklyn When exiting the L train at...

    Ms. Fitz, 27; fashion editor; Bushwick, Brooklyn
    When exiting the L train at the Bedford Street station, a very colorful Ms. Fitz caught our eye immediately. "I just wear everything that I like," she says. "I don't pull anything back. I like to not match. Chaos and anarchy in clothing is what I am all about."

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Her hair is a DIY job, which is practical considering that she changes it every...

    Her hair is a DIY job, which is practical considering that she changes it every week. Today's purplish-pink shade is her favorite of the six or so that she chooses from. "I just put [the dye] in my shampoo so it has this really faded out, grungy feel to it," she explains. Her shell shades are what she calls "cheapies," a pair she picked up in Amsterdam.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Not everything on Ms. Fitz is a statement---some things are simply put on for...

    Not everything on Ms. Fitz is a statement---some things are simply put on for safekeeping. "I was on set and I had a spare safety pin, so I stuck it in my ear, and I forgot about it," she says.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    She snagged her kelly-green bag at River Island in Amsterdam (riverisland.com),...

    She snagged her kelly-green bag at River Island in Amsterdam (riverisland.com), a European chain similar to H&M.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    The teal shag coat she wears came all the way from her native country. "My...

    The teal shag coat she wears came all the way from her native country. "My mother sent it over in a care parcel from Australia," Ms. Fitz says. She sports a long polka-dot button-down shirt, letting it flow open. "It's silk. I think it was part of a nice pantsuit. It had big billowing pants to go with it." Finally, her color-splotch dress came from an Australian designer. "I like to support Australian designers, but I like to support any up-and-coming designer," she says.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    On her feet she wears suede blue shoes by Underground Original...

    On her feet she wears suede blue shoes by Underground Original (underground-england.co.uk), a company that designs British rock & roll footwear for those looking for something different.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Liaam James, 27, model and designer, Hell's Kitchen James's fashion agenda is...

    Liaam James, 27, model and designer, Hell's Kitchen
    James's fashion agenda is to stand apart from the masses. "I don't want what everyone has right now. I want to be older or newer. That is my obsession," he says. "Like bringing in the cut of an older jean---you can't have it, but I have it."

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    "I actually just cut it off," James says of his 'do, which he crimps to achieve...

    "I actually just cut it off," James says of his 'do, which he crimps to achieve the desired volume. "It was past my waist. I decided I needed a change so I walked out of the bathroom with two fistfuls of hair and I was like, 'How does it look?'"

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    His Lanvin shades (lanvin.com) are equal parts fashionable and functional. "Big...

    His Lanvin shades (lanvin.com) are equal parts fashionable and functional. "Big glasses help when you are hung over," James says.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    One way to ensure a unique piece is to make it yourself. James's thick necklace...

    One way to ensure a unique piece is to make it yourself. James's thick necklace is his own design, created from vintage chains. He wears it along with a black H&M hoodie (hm.com) and a tight V-neck tee from American Apparel (americanapparel.net).

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    James wraps his wrist in two Fashion Week entry necklaces, mementos of the...

    James wraps his wrist in two Fashion Week entry necklaces, mementos of the runway shows he attended this year, and several silver bracelets he's picked up along the way.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    His carryall is an original Gucci (gucci.com) with a little of his own flair...

    His carryall is an original Gucci (gucci.com) with a little of his own flair added to it. "It was originally a duffel with square sides," he explains. "I ripped the sides out."

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    James's Loomstate jeans (loomstate.org) are nonstretch, organic and worn low on...

    James's Loomstate jeans (loomstate.org) are nonstretch, organic and worn low on the waist and tight to the legs. His Harley-Davidson boots (harley-davidson.com) were a gift. "These big old clodhoppers? My grandma bought them for me," James says.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Maxime Giordani, 35; bartender; Williamsburg, Brooklyn When we spotted Giordani...

    Maxime Giordani, 35; bartender; Williamsburg, Brooklyn
    When we spotted Giordani waiting for the L train, he was on his way to practice flamenco guitar.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Giordani goes incognito in a Kangol hat (kangol.com) and sporty...

    Giordani goes incognito in a Kangol hat (kangol.com) and sporty yellow-and-green sunglasses.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    The guitarist says he rarely shops and that most of his clothing is old. When...

    The guitarist says he rarely shops and that most of his clothing is old. When he does go looking for something new, he prefers digging at vintage spots like Beacon's Closet (88 North 11th St between Berry St and Wythe Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-486-0816, beaconscloset.com). His colorful flannel came from a thrift store, and he scored this fringe-covered number in Atlanta when he was a teenager.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    If he does shop in newer stores, Giordani prefers Uniqlo (546 Broadway between...

    If he does shop in newer stores, Giordani prefers Uniqlo (546 Broadway between Prince and Spring Sts; 212-237-8800, uniqlo.com), where he grabbed these dark corduroys. His shoes are comfy Adidas (adidas.com), perfect for schlepping through the subway.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Morgan Willey, 25; bartender; Williamsburg, Brooklyn A transplant from Vermont...

    Morgan Willey, 25; bartender; Williamsburg, Brooklyn
    A transplant from Vermont via Boston, Willey turns up her nose at the head-to-toe black attire that seems to dominate most New Yorker's closets. "I want to be bright. I want to stand out," she says. "I don't want to wear black like all the other girls in New York."

  • Willey scours Kings County shops and flea markets in search of unique gold...

    Willey scours Kings County shops and flea markets in search of unique gold jewelry. Her latest find was this pair of mismatched dinosaur earrings at a small Brooklyn boutique. "It's Sarah and Littlefoot from The Land Before Time," she says.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Her (functioning) harmonica necklace was snagged from a shop in Park Slope,...

    Her (functioning) harmonica necklace was snagged from a shop in Park Slope, while her gold necklace was a gift from a friend in Italy.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Willey's classic gold Tiffany's band (tiffany.com) and H&M script ring (hm.com)...

    Willey's classic gold Tiffany's band (tiffany.com) and H&M script ring (hm.com) go nicely with her bright tangerine nail polish.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    She picked up her shimmery floral bag at LF in Boston (lfstores.com). The wear...

    She picked up her shimmery floral bag at LF in Boston (lfstores.com). The wear and tear of the city won't deter her from carrying the flashy tote. "It is really sparkly," she says. "All the sparkles have worn off on one side."

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    You will almost always find Willey in cowboy boots because they are the most...

    You will almost always find Willey in cowboy boots because they are the most comfortable things you can put on your feet, according to the urban cowgirl. She scored these beat-up gems in Arizona. "There are a bunch of cowboys there, so they have the best boots there too," she explains. Her neon-accented socks are by Solmate (socklady.com). "My friend's mom makes them!"

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Niki Cutler, 37; owner of DITC Inc and assistant manager of inventory at...

    Niki Cutler, 37; owner of DITC Inc and assistant manager of inventory at American Apparel; Ridgewood, Brooklyn
    It seems that the owner, designer and president of DITC Inc, a "lesbian-dyke" clothing company, as she describes it, knows a thing or two about clothes. "I think fashion is a big representation of yourself, so I like to feel really good about what I am wearing before I walk out the door," she says. "I own really solid pieces of clothing."

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Cutler's straight-rimmed baseball cap, worn to the side, cost $5.99 at her...

    Cutler's straight-rimmed baseball cap, worn to the side, cost $5.99 at her local dollar store on Myrtle Avenue. Her ears and labret piercings are the only ones she has.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    She picked up her coat in Italy eight years ago, but the durable leather has...

    She picked up her coat in Italy eight years ago, but the durable leather has stayed in great shape. Her zip-up hoodie and undershirt both come from American Apparel (americanapparel.net). a company Cutler not only wears, but works for.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Cutler describes her style as basic, nothing elaborate. There is nothing more...

    Cutler describes her style as basic, nothing elaborate. There is nothing more basic than a pair of Levi's (us.levi.com). Both her jeans and kicks are by the classic American brand.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Tobi Aremu, 18; student; Williamsburg, Brooklyn Not only does this 18-year-old...

    Tobi Aremu, 18; student; Williamsburg, Brooklyn
    Not only does this 18-year-old have great taste, but his parents do too. His canvas Urbanears headphones (urbanears.com) were a present. "I got them as a Christmas gift from my parents---which was a good choice by them," Aremu says. They are designed to minimize outside noise, which would explain why he couldn't hear us for the first 30 seconds. The white was a conscious decision. "I like white. I think it makes things stand out," he says. "You have to take better care of them because of the odds of getting them dirty, but I like them."

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Aremu's "Chinatown knockoff" shades only cost him $5

    Aremu's "Chinatown knockoff" shades only cost him $5.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    His white enamel watch is by G-shock (gshock.com). The durable, waterproof...

    His white enamel watch is by G-shock (gshock.com). The durable, waterproof timepiece was a much-deserved present. "It was a graduation gift," Aremu says. "They are the best watches."

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    He carries around all his books in a backpack he picked up at Urban Outfitters...

    He carries around all his books in a backpack he picked up at Urban Outfitters (urbanoutfitters.com).

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Aremu's jeans are Levi's (us.levi.com) and his shoes are classic Nikes...

    Aremu's jeans are Levi's (us.levi.com) and his shoes are classic Nikes (nike.com).

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Opal Dillard, 20; student and specialist at Apple; Los Angeles Dillard was on...

    Opal Dillard, 20; student and specialist at Apple; Los Angeles
    Dillard was on her way to brunch flaunting her New York best, despite the fact that she lives in Los Angeles. "I always say New York is more fashion, L.A. is more trendy," she says. "In L.A., if it's not in style it's not cool, but in New York it's cool if you like it. And I like that better."

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    A flea-market and thrift-store hound, Dillard describes her way of dressing as...

    A flea-market and thrift-store hound, Dillard describes her way of dressing as "functional." She snagged her cable-knit sweater at a thrift store in Williamsburg, while her patterned scarf came from a kiosk in L.A. where a variety of Indian-inspired pashminas were being sold for five bucks a pop. It's her cut-off jean shorts that were the best steal, however. She scooped them up at a booth in Washington, D.C. that was selling three items for $1.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Dillard's classic Ray-Ban shades (ray-ban.com) are one of the only things she...

    Dillard's classic Ray-Ban shades (ray-ban.com) are one of the only things she didn't pick up secondhand. She found her dark frames at Nordstrom (shop.nordstrom.com).

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Her coral and turquoise bracelet was borrowed from her big sister, whom she...

    Her coral and turquoise bracelet was borrowed from her big sister, whom she stays with when visiting Brooklyn. The only ring she dons is from an ex-boyfriend. "I wear it because it is a nice ring," she swears. "I went through a whole other relationship with it on, but it's a nice ring, so that is my excuse."

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Her dark-clad legs contrast with the bright white of her laceless Native kicks...

    Her dark-clad legs contrast with the bright white of her laceless Native kicks (nativeshoes.com). The lightweight footwear was certainly worth the wait for Dillard. "I saw them on a Japanese girl and thought they were so cool," she remembers. "For the longest time, they didn't make them for girls and finally they did. They are like Crocs. They massage your feet as you walk."

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Ryann Robinson, 25; unemployed cook; New Haven, CT Robinson chose gray as her...

    Ryann Robinson, 25; unemployed cook; New Haven, CT
    Robinson chose gray as her color for the season. "Usually I wear a lot of black, but it is springtime!" she says. Her simple American Apparel cardigan (americanapparel.net) is worn over suspenders by DITC Inc (ditc.net).

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Adding a flash of color to her ensemble is a sea-foam scarf, a bonus from...

    Adding a flash of color to her ensemble is a sea-foam scarf, a bonus from spring cleaning. "We were cleaning out my boyfriend's house, and I found this in one of his drawers and stole it," she says. "I have been wearing it every day since I found it."

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    "For the last five years I have had some version of a mullet or a mohawk,"...

    "For the last five years I have had some version of a mullet or a mohawk," Robinson says of her haircut.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    She cropped these H&M jeans (hm.com) to suit her taste. Her loafers were a find...

    She cropped these H&M jeans (hm.com) to suit her taste. Her loafers were a find at Goodwill (goodwill.org).

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Mr. Reed, 25; designer, tailor and musician; Williamsburg, Brooklyn When we...

Mr. Reed, 25; designer, tailor and musician; Williamsburg, Brooklyn
When we spotted Mr. Reed waiting for the L train at Union Square, he seemed to have stepped out of a bygone era. That, of course, is the look he was going for. "I've dressed the way that I dress since I was a small child," he explains. "I am inspired by the Edwardian era---the early 1900s into the teens. Obviously, I also love the jazz age and that era up through the 1960s." His long, leather trench is dead stock from the 1970s that was supplied by his stylist, the proprietor of Stephen's Vintage Clothing in Binghamton, New York.

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