If you’re not already acquainted, it’s high time you get to know blogger Justin Livingston of Scout Sixteen. A trailblazer in the realm of man-bloggers, Justin discovered his fashion obsession when he won an internship with Teen Vogue—and he hasn’t looked back. On his site, you can find the Mississippi native showcasing his “classic with a twist” outfits, all chronicled with stunningly sharp photography. His adorable cocked smile, humble demeanor and Southern twang will also make you melt right into the ground—we only wish he could read this story aloud to you.
We caught up with Justin, who kept us laughing while dishing on his must-haves and the ultimate fashion no-no.
What inspired you to start Scout Sixteen?
I was in a creative slump at work, and my friend was like, “You should start a blog or something.” So I started one mostly for myself. I thought, “I’m not writing this for anybody else but me; this is my personal journal. But I know I can’t really keep it a secret, so if people do start reading it, then awesome.”
Friends were always asking me, “Where did you get the shirt you were wearing the other day?” So I just started taking snaps of myself and putting them on the blog. Then if they wanted to know more about what I was wearing, I would just reply “Go to scoutsixteen.com!”
Who are your style icons?
Oh my. That’s a tough one! I’m really inspired by people who don’t give a shit—that attitude of someone who doesn’t necessarily care about fashion but likes to feel good. I’m also inspired by people who are very comfortable and confident in what they’re wearing. They’re not necessarily trying to flaunt it, and there’s that certain glint in their eyes. To me, fashion is more of an expression of your personality than anything else.
Do you have any favorite fashion photographers?
I really, really love Herb Ritts’ early photos. I like that overexposed, black and white quality because I think it tells a very romantic story. I also have such an appreciation for street style and I love Tommy Ton. I think he has such an amazing eye for detail. He is always there for the quickest snap; he knows what to look for.
What’s the best fashion advice you’ve ever received?
It’s one of two things. First, my grandfather was a very dapper dresser and he always wore wingtips. Even to this day, he’s old and not at his healthiest, but he will still wear a nice vest and suit pants, tie and tie clip. He always told me, “No matter how you dress, the accessories make the man.” So I always wear a watch; I feel weirdly naked without one. Second, my old boss told me to always carry a Tide To Go pen, which is so essential because I am so messy. In every bag that I own, I have a Tide pen. It’s become a lifesaver.
Fill in the blank: I’d never be caught dead wearing ______?
Anybody who knows me very well knows I have a vendetta against Crocs. I think they’re the ugliest, most hideous things I’ve ever seen.
We’ve been told women look at a guy’s shoes first. Why is stylish footwear so important for men?
I think men have very few options to accessorize—we’re limited to the style of a watch or style of a shoe. But I think that with shoes you can be a little bit louder than with the rest of your outfit. You can wear classic tan pants and blazer and really knock it out of the park with a crazy colorful pair of New Balances. Shoes are like a guy’s mood ring. That’s what I always say about shoes. My mood is really reflected in the shoes that I’m wearing. If I’m wearing white Keds, that means I’m having a casual day. If I’m wearing something a little bit dresser, then I’m feeling pretty confident and cool.
What’s one item that every man needs in his closet?
My advice would always be to have a really great slim-cut pair of khakis. Not enough guys own khakis. They are used to seeing jeans dressed up, but I think there are a lot of instances when that doesn’t really work. You just need a really nice—not expensive, maybe tailored—pair of khakis.
We hear you collect tattoos, can you tell us about your most recent ink?
If I had to sum up my style, I would say nautical. I feel I’m pretty classic—classic with a twist—and nautical fits into that. I got a trident on my left wrist. I’m left handed and it’s on my left hand—it’s sort of there to be my spear. I really love it. I’ve wanted it for so long and I finally got it about a year ago.
Then I have an anchor on my right wrist, and I’m a Taurus so I have a bull on my thigh. I also have the word “passion” on my ankle except everyone think’s it says “fashion” and I’m like, “I am not that weird!”
If you were accidentally locked in Barneys overnight, what would we find you wearing in the morning?