BOYS OF SUMMER
by: jonathan urbina
Built for the pages of magazines, there is no question as to why I chose Tyler Ales to be the next guy to take center stage in my BOYS OF SUMMER series. He's cool, he's young and he's never taken a bad photo. I first met him on the set of this shoot after my photographer, Randy Schmidt, insisted we get Ales' in front of the camera. Luckily for Schmidt, it didn't take long after meeting Ales for me to realize what he meant. Not only does his bushy brows and chiseled jaw scream Gucci campaign, but his body is fit to make wearing even a trash bag look good (a stylist wet-dream if you ask me). So, when it came to dressing Ales for the big day I went with the clothes that best complimented his personality: confident, playful and timeless. With a little help from some of New Orlean's best boutiques and Schmidt behind the camera, the shoot took on a life of its own and produced photos worthy of some major insta-likes.
How did your personal style develop? Who helped influence your style over the years? At what point in your life did you start taking your clothing seriously?
I would say my style began to develop when I started college. Before college I typically followed whatever was popular among my peers. However, in college I was given the chance to become an individual and was given the chance to express myself more freely. My best friend was also an apparel design major and she kind of pushed me to enhance and embrace my personal style.
Describe your personal style in five words.
Classic. Clean. Trendy. Timeless. Dapper.
Who is your biggest style inspiration?
I would say my best friend, Brittany Bourgeois. Her style is so forward and so bold. She pushes me to be bolder in my style choices, while encouraging me to think beyond just what is popular. I typically look to her for fashion advice because she knows me so well. Having her in my life has blessed me with the best personal stylist.
What clothing item do you own the most of (example: mine would be black jeans)? How many do you own?
I own a ton of Calvin Klein underwear. It’s probably the one brand that I am extremely dedicated to. I feel like you can never have too many pairs of Calvins. I like to dance in #mycavlins.
What has been your biggest fashion splurge?
I recently purchased a pair of krewe du optic sunglasses, the Conti Black 24K, and they are probably my favorite item that I own right now. They are so simple but so bold at the same time.
What is a purchase that is currently on your fashion wish list?
I really want a Burberry camel colored coat. Living in New Orleans you hardly ever get to wear a coat, but I love jackets, blazers and coats. In my opinion, they always make an outfit looks better. I believe that owning a nice coat is a necessary purchase and worthy purchase no matter where you live. Burberry is timeless and never goes out of style. A Burberry coat is a classic and it would be the perfect addiction to my wardrobe.
If you had to wear one outfit everyday for the rest of your life, what would it be (consider this your go-to-uniform)?
I would wear my Luca Falcone suit for sure. It’s such a special item of mine and I love the way I feel when I wear it. It brings out my confidence, my charm, and my best attributes. I feel like my true self when I wear it. A suit opens the door too so many opportunities. Suits are very distinguished and help set you apart. You can be serious in a suit but also have fun.
What is one item of clothing all men should have in their wardrobe?
All men should have a finely tailored suit in their wardrobe. Last year I purchased a suit that was built specifically for me and it is probably my most prized item in my closet. A suit helps bring out your best self I believe. It’s the most reliable item a guy can own.
What do you think is the biggest style mistake men are making? What style tips do you have for men trying to look cool in the summer heat without looking sloppy?
The best thing a guy can do in these hot times is finding a reliable, nice pair of shorts. I like J.Crew for shorts. They look very nice and fall to a reasonable length. This leads me to the biggest style mistake men are making, short shorts. I’m all for exposing the thigh but no man should wear shorts shorter than 6’ inches in my opinion.
Why should men care about developing a strong sense of personal style?
I believe that your personal style is such a great way to express yourself. Your style is a reflection of who you are and is often the first impression that a person will get of you. I think having a sense of personal style gives you confidence and helps set you apart. Your style should be for you and no one else. I feel like people often dress for others, making choices based on what others will think of them. It’s important to wear things that make you happy and not someone else. Once you embrace your personal style, more people, the right people, will be interested in you.
How have you seen your style evolve of the last few years? Where do you hope to see your style go in the future?
My style has evolved immensely over the last few years. I feel that each year that I become older and get to know myself better my style becomes more together and more dynamic. I was a mess when a started college but I began to find a sense of myself. Creative individuals who influenced my style and allowed me to feel confident in my personal style surrounded me. I hope to see my style trend toward a more professional look. I want to wear suits everyday and be able to achieve a very dapper, well-groomed look.
Check out the full spread from our photoshoot with Tyler: