Adriana Green originally hails from sunny Los Angeles, but now resides in the East Bay as a photographer and is the mastermind behind the menswear style blog Trig & Polished (T&P). For the past 4 years, Adriana has hit the streets of San Francisco and the East Bay documenting dapperly dressed men with impeccable sense of personal style, and has gained quite the following from it — even beyond the Bay Area. And I am forever jealous that I didn’t come up with the idea to do it first! Though she mainly focuses on the Bay Area, she hopes to one day do a cross country trip to do a T&P itinerary guide for menswear as designers from as far as New York and Tennessee have contacted her in hopes to get exposure through T&P.
Being a follower of T&P since the beginning, I already knew Adriana had a good eye for men’s fashion, but what of her own? I was curious to find out more about the woman behind the scenes and learn what her take on fashion is and where she seeks inspiration from. I recently had the chance to chat with Adriana in Oakland’s Temescal Alley, and upon meeting her, you can tell she has a keen eye for fashion as she effortlessly paired a floral scarf with a classic polka dotted dress, and a black motorcycle jacket together. She also gives some tips on where she likes to shop not just for herself, but her male friends too. So ladies and gents, take some notes for your significant others, male besties, and brothers!
WYV: Under the “About” section of T&P, you mentioned that your own style is feminine. Since starting the blog, has menswear had any influence on your own personal style?
AG: Yes, I’ve definitely adopted some menswear items. I’ve sent my chelsea boots to the shoe repair man twice already. I’m drawn to oxfords and work boot type shoes such as vintage Justins and I’ve learned about unisex or womens clothing from the mostly menswear brands. I’m a huge fan of utility jackets and usually when I hear about a menswear company from some of the T&P men that I feature, I check out the sites or stores and see what they offer for women. I like men’s jackets in general, but look to see if they have the same jackets in women’s cuts so that they are a more flattering fit. I’ve also been drawn to traditionally “menswear fabrics” such as houndstooth and herringbone and the colors that are most offered in the menswear palettes such as olive greens and navy blues.
WYV: Other than using the word feminine, how would you describe your personal style?
AG: Old lady with a modern fit. I like skinny jeans paired with old lady sweaters and silky floral handkerchiefs. Basically I like vintage but have trouble with the vintage cuts. Sometimes the sizes are too small or a cute sweater might be too boxy or have Dorothy Zbornak [from The Golden Girls] style shoulder pads. I usually have to pass on those or else cut out the shoulder pads and balance the shape out with some skinny jeans. I also love wearing those blouses from Latin America…peasant blouses…white or cream colored with a simple colorful embroidery. But I’m picky about fit. I don’t really like billowy. If it’s a long tunic, I prefer short sleeves. Not into the pirate look. Although, I have owned a few pirate shirts in my youth. It’s hard to describe my personal style in one category though. I guess I just like to deviate a bit from the mainstream trends. Sure, I’ll try on and buy things that are from the latest season, but I’m kinda strange in that I don’t like looking like everybody else. I do appreciate the value in being the only person in the room with that dress or that scarf. Basics I buy off the rack, but I like to add my personal accents in the way of accessories.
WYV: Where are some of your favorite places to spot a T&P man?
AG: There are always stylish men near Union Square or the Ferry Building. I’ve also had great luck in Hayes Valley and the Mission District. Oakland has its share of fashionable men. I’ve definitely noticed more stylish men in the East Bay over the past couple of years. Temescal Alley, Fourth Street and the Alameda Antique Vintage Faire are great places in the East Bay to spot T&P men.
WYV: Since you mentioned on your blog that one of the inspirations for starting T&P was from male friends asking you for fashion advice, what are some of your favorite local places to help them go shopping?
WYV: What are some of your favorite local places to go shopping for yourself?
AG: I’ve scored some cool things at Jeremys, Crossroads, and the Alameda Point Antique Faire. I also like finding new local designers. One of my good friends, Gillian makes some awesome jewelry which she sells at her Etsy store, Painted Bird, BellJar in San Francisco are my style. I’ve also seen great stuff at Urban Air Market when they had a market at Uptown last month. Treasure Island Flea Market has some good stuff. Rare Bird and Neighbor on Piedmont Ave in Oakland are both fun places to shop. [holding up the necklace she’s wearing] This is another favorite thing. I got it at the Oakland White Elephant Sale. It’s a yearly warehouse sale that’s put on by the Oakland Museum of California. It happens in the spring, but it’s basically this huge warehouse and people donate things throughout the year and they just have everything – jewelry, vintage clothing, art. That’s definitely a place I would refer to shop local and find good things.
WYV: Do you have any style icons that you look up to for fashion inspiration?
AG: I’d say I get a lot of my inspiration from foreign films or photographs from the 70’s or earlier. I love Anouk Aimée’s look in the movie A Man and A Woman. Faye Dunaway’s look in Bonnie & Clyde is so gorgeous. Isabelle Adjani in Queen Margot. Grace Farrell in Annie with her sophisticated silk tops and pearls. Helena Christensen was my favorite model when I was a kid. Natalie Wood, Liv Tyler, Carmen Miranda were influences growing up. I adore the style in the movie Amelie. I also love pictures of Angelica Houston from the 60’s. I admire women that have unique looks and just own it.
One of my biggest fashion influences is my mom when I was a kid. She always dressed up. I look at old photographs and she really had it going on. She instilled the importance of dressing up when going out. I remember being a young girl and her making me wear dresses to other kid’s birthday parties while other kids would be wearing jeans and sneakers. She’s from Nicaragua where she grew up in a culture where it’s very important to look your best when you go out. She’d dress us up when we’d go out to restaurants. She’d even dress us up to go to the airport. She had a really hard time when I went through my grunge phase. She equates dressing up with respect. For her, attending someone’s birthday party as if you rolled out of bed is such a sign of disrespect, not only to the party host but also self respect. Basically, the concept of “trying too hard” is irrelevant to her. If you are invited to something or are attending a fancy event such as a play or ballet, you better show up looking your best. Also, the concept of “being overdressed” is another unfathomable idea. To be the best looking person in the group as a cause for concern? Her nightmare would be to be the “ most underdressed” person. That idea has definitely rubbed off on me. Yeah, I’ll try to make practical dressing decisions for the occasion, such as not wearing heels if I’m going to be walking a lot, but I still put thought into my outfit if I’m going to go hiking.
WYV: What are 3 closet staples that you think every man and woman should have in their closet?
AG: Types of accessories. Hats, nice shoes and a jewelry piece (necklace, ring, watch…even a nice pair of glasses or sunglasses) Basically have pieces that you are proud of and can be worn with whatever the modern day trends are.
WYV: Do you have any tips for men who are newbies at being trig & polished?
AG: I think the first step to figuring out your style is to search magazines, the internet, or even men in the streets who have similar body types and the style that you feel comfortable pulling off. Some guys might feel like suits and bow ties would be too dramatic of a change for their comfort levels. If a man is an outdoorsy type, a tuxedo won’t be a practical piece in their wardrobe, but that doesn’t mean he has to get ill fitting cargo pants or sweat pants. There are outdoorsy brands that cater to fashionable men. Basically pick what genre of style you feel comfortable with and look for men that have nailed that specific look and be inspired by them. Besides style, fit is a huge factor in what makes you look good. I can’t recommend Pinterest enough for style guides and inspiration. Trig & Polished has many boards that show different kinds of styles as well as cheat sheets that help men see what cuts work best for their body type.
WYV: You mentioned that style is a craft on T&P. When do you think you honed in on your own style craft?
AG: I can’t give a time frame because I always thought I knew what I was doing at the time, but then I look at old pictures and think to myself, “ What the hell was I thinking?” I think it’s been a culmination after many trials of hit and misses, observations of people in the real world and in photographs and realizing which styles I was attracted to and what the similarities are in those images, having a mother who is lovingly honest when I ask how something looks, coupled with the feedback collected over the years in regards to what colors and styles people compliment me most on. It’s also always evolving. With each decade of my life, I imagine that what appeals to me will adjust as I mature.
WYV: Women seem to have a lot of options when it comes to clothes and accessories, but do you think men put just as much effort and thought when it comes to creating an ensemble?
AG: Definitely. There are both men and women that will throw on the only clean thing in their bedroom and then there are men and woman that will have a decision making fashion show before stepping out into the real world. I’ve known men to spend over an hour in a shoe store and especially with all the options now in menswear there is more to choose from. A fashion conscious man will put just as much effort as a fashion conscious woman. They weigh different options, but still have to spend effort in deciding what looks the best for them.
Adriana’s outfit details:
Scarf – Vintage from Alameda Point Antique Faire
Necklace – Vintage from Oakland Museum White Elephant Sale
Dress – Xhilaration from Target
Shoes – Jeffrey Campbell from Crossroads
Jacket – Doma Leather bought at San Mateo Marshalls
Purse – Vintage by Sven Design, handmade in Berkeley
To keep up with Adriana on her photography and the fashionable men she captures on the streets, be sure to follow her work on the following sites: