Monday, May 19, 2008

Style Profile…Michael Arenella

Michael Arenella

Musician, Singer, Orchestra Leader

Best Sartorial advice from your parents?
I went to Catholic School as a young boy, and on the “Out Of Uniform Day”, my mom did me up right. She was very imaginative and tasteful, and showed me that color and panache could work on boys, too, and at no sacrifice to their toughness.

Style icons
Max Linder
(French silent film actor, 1883 – 1925, known as “The Man In The Silk Hat”)
Harlem musicians in the ’30s
Cary Grant

Describe your personal style
Jazz Age through French Resistance

I build my daily look around?
Where I’m playing that day or evening.

Personal Style quirk
I wear sock garters

Favorite designers
I?m into old stuff.

Most cherished item
My 1925 Studebaker

I feel best wearing?
Cap, goggles, gloves and a linen duster

I never break this fashion rule.
Tuck in your shirt

Never caught wearing?

Most underrated item in menswear/ womenswear?
Menswear- the hat
Women – the dress

Dress to impress who?

Shine your own shoes?


Favorite stores?
Flea Markets and EBay

Your next “must have” purchase?
3-piece cream linen bespoke suit

I only buy __________ in Europe.
Cuban cigars

I splurge on…..
Dry cleaning

Favorite item of clothing
Straw Boater with a Chartreuse band

Guilty pleasure
Afternoon drinks

Cologne, skincare?
Bay Rum cologne, any brand

When I was high school I wore?
Khakis, Oxford shirts, canvas shoes

Favorite fashion magazine?
Apparel Arts
(Apparel Artists the de facto magazine of record for men’s clothing in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s)

Favorite vacation spot?
Canoeing the New York Harbor (really)

Favorite neighborhood restaurant?
Sam?s Restaurant and Pizzeria
238 Court St, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn
(between Baltic and Kane Sts, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn)


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  1. Anonymous

    May 19, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    Umm, is he married? This interview makes him sound like my dream man.

  2. carrot

    May 19, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    Sounds like my dream man, too. Does anyone have his email? I’d like to send him a link to my profile.


  3. meva

    May 19, 2008 at 7:21 pm

    He’s livin’ in the past, man.

    (Which these days, is a very good idea.)

  4. Quack esq.

    May 19, 2008 at 7:25 pm

    He seems like a man of modest means. A true inspiration to broke kids like me who want to be fashionable on a budget.

  5. Label Ho

    May 19, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    I love that one of his style icons is Cary Grant. Instant cool in my book!

  6. Anonymous

    May 19, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    i liked this style profile because he wasn’t pretentious at all. and that is why he seems like my dream man too! swoon!
    i appreciate the fact that he’s into fashion not because it’s faaashion but, because even though others claim it is is too, for him fashion is obviously a big part of his lifestyle and he doesn’t even work in the industry!
    i want to see more stylish “outsiders” like him!!!

  7. Anonymous

    May 19, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    Excellent! It is good to see a many with a great eye for style!
    You are an inspiration.

  8. Anonymous

    May 19, 2008 at 9:51 pm

    i was about to comment but anon. 8.08pm has said exactly what i was going to say – i like Mr Arenella’s lack of pretention but obvious dedication to his dress and style, a follower of his heart. And yes, more ‘outsiders’ because only you, Sart, seem to know where to find them. Thanks for another interesting profile.

  9. aef

    May 19, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    seriously…if i gave my potential husband this questionnaire I’d want him to give the same answers.
    Apparel Arts? I think it’s love.

  10. darci

    May 19, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    Exactly what I was thinking–dreamy!!

  11. hayley

    May 19, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    Ohhh… Back off other anonymous ladies, I’ve got dibs on this one.

    What a beautiful man with beautiful style.

  12. Anonymous

    May 20, 2008 at 12:34 am

    Badass panache. That is all.

  13. Anonymous

    May 20, 2008 at 12:49 am

    ohhh i like him

  14. citizen

    May 20, 2008 at 1:07 am

    Old school sophistication, with plenty of colour. Very cool. :)

  15. Nathan

    May 20, 2008 at 1:16 am

    Wow! That man looks very tough for what he’s wearing. He even makes that bari sax look tiny, geez. I wonder when he gets the chance to wear the goggles though…

  16. Erin

    May 20, 2008 at 1:44 am

    Seriously, he looks incredible and perfectly understated…like he just walked out of an old time movie. Can you say “Debonaire?” Kudos for this profile…he’s a dream! Anymore like him at home?

  17. pika

    May 20, 2008 at 3:31 am

    i think i’m in love. i’m a sucker for old skool charm and style. even though the era he looks back to is way before my time i really like the way he come off…. and he likes colour!

  18. Anonymous

    May 20, 2008 at 3:52 am

    I love this sort of interviews…more! more!

  19. catherine

    May 20, 2008 at 8:09 am

    i love the look, and i also like that without the straw boater he could totally be any of the older gentlemen i see in paris…old school class should have more representatives like him in the states!

  20. Caterina

    May 20, 2008 at 8:15 am

    He´s great!

  21. Montoya

    May 20, 2008 at 8:16 am

    As a french, living in Paris, this is typically what I think looks great from the US! Heritage, dressy with a twist of casual ! Keep up the good work.

  22. Anonymous

    May 20, 2008 at 8:26 am

    Sorry to be the one with a contrasting opinion today, but this seems a little costume-like to me. I can see the spectators or the boater, but sock garters? Seriously…

    Maybe he’s just an old soul and I’m trying to be too modern.

  23. Pandora

    May 20, 2008 at 9:52 am

    Makes the world a kinder and gentler place. Does he have CD’s? Couldn’t find reference to any on his site.

  24. tj

    May 20, 2008 at 11:06 am

    It may be shtick, but it seems to come from his heart. And, he does it well. So, you go, Michael. Good on ya!

  25. Kate G.

    May 20, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    Trust a musician to at one with personal style. It seems he knows when to mute and when to blast. Canoe in the harbor? Buckets of moonlight to Mr. Arenella.

  26. Anonymous

    May 20, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    Yes, he has a brilliant CD..and even better, you can catch him playing live at this year’s version of the event featured in the photo: a free 1920s-inspired hot jazz picnic on Governors Island June 7 & 8. For more info, see the calendar section of his website, …
    He’s infusing the entire weekend with a lot of the vintage elements he loves, including his music..(dance too, 1920s cars, a vintage bathing suit parade, period games, and dance classes in Charleston and Peabody; pie recipe contest..). Fun…! PS: he’s also an incredibly nice and friendly person. Heidi

  27. Miriam Parkman

    May 20, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    Oh if only a few more men could dress like that.
    Classic but imaginative style, with a colorsense that’s rear these days.
    I love his hat and shoes!

  28. Anonymous

    May 20, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    Awesome.This is true aunthenticity.

  29. Erin

    May 20, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    Forgot to say – Love the Shoes!!

  30. Robin

    May 20, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    What fun! I enjoyed the interview. Nice picture. Quick and easy-to-read. But the comments and swooning girls/guys (can’t tell!) really adds to the fun. I love the shoes, but I’m not sure about them with overall blue/gray of the rest of the outfit. I can see the “costume” element of one critique, but you can’t say that’s out of place for a performer. Plus, everyday American standards for men’s dress are just SO LOW. Men dress like junior high boys — who didn’t go to Catholic school or have mother’s who told them you can still be manly and dress with a little panache!

  31. Thomas

    May 20, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    Still my favourite Sartorialist addition – the questions are so spot on.

    Been trying to gather the courage to photograph people – you are a wonder, sir.

  32. Will

    May 20, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    Fantastic. A man after my own heart.

    And I love the fact that he referenced Apparel Arts.

  33. Anonymous

    May 20, 2008 at 4:48 pm

    Max Linder’s a style icon for someone born past 1919? LOL…never thought I’d see that anywhere like here, but Max is a great choice for teens and 20s style. That guy was very snazzy both on an offscreen (Chaplin was offscreen too). He showed that very short men could also wear clothes well.

    Forget the ’25 Studebaker, what about a Stutz?

    I have to give it to you Sart, when you find a character, you really hit pay dirt!

  34. Anonymous

    May 20, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    I love the fact that he’s the ONLY person interviewed so far who shines his shoes. How do people expect to look good w/ scuffed kicks?

  35. Matt Fisher

    May 20, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    Thank you for the shoutout for Sam’s Pizzeria. I live around thecorner and this place is so often over looked. They also make a great bowl of spaghetti with scungili.

  36. Runaway Gallery

    May 21, 2008 at 12:19 am

    i love how you are expanding your posts and still staying true to your website. well done. i hope to run into you one day. hopefully i will be dressed to impress!

  37. AnnieC

    May 21, 2008 at 9:17 pm

    Gorgeous! He’d be an interesting candidate to undergo a past-life regression, no?

  38. theo

    May 23, 2008 at 12:33 am

    i actually really like his outfit and a lot of the stuff he talks about, but i can’t help feeling that it all seems a bit contrived…
    reading back it doesn’t seem so absurd, but still, just like, “cap and goggles etc”
    i know it’s convoluted etc but i just want to be like, “IT’S THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY!!!”

  39. Anonymous

    May 23, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    “Guilty pleasure
    Afternoon drinks”
    mmm.. i wish i could afford that.
    and it does seem as if time had stopped in his presence. sounds lovely.

  40. Jacqueline Cantwell

    May 24, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    He does sound wonderful (though my dream man is Robert Mitchum in Out of the Past). Perhaps, we women who find him attractive should meet. We should all dress appropriately (according to our fantasy). It would be interesting to see if any men would be brave enough to approach us.

  41. Violet Harrington Pickles

    May 29, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    A man in spats makes my heart skip a beat…
    Add a straw boater and a pocket hanky, plumed just so .. and I am lost.

  42. Los Feliz Pete

    September 3, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    He doesn’t say anything about cuff-links. I’ve never really met a cuff link I didn’t like. Even the giant,hub-cap-size “rat pack” ones can look good on a women’s simple white blouse. There’s a famous Horst pic of Fulco d’Verdura (the jewlery designer) that’s all about the cuff links. I have a pair just like ‘em.

  43. Kingpin

    February 1, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Another boater!! And linen too! With corespondent shoes!! A double Hazzah!!


  44. Manuel Bonanno

    July 19, 2012 at 4:42 am

    Very nicely put together. Kool runnings!

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