Smashing! Lexington designer Thomas Birkman likes to mix luxe and low

Herald-Leader fashion writerJanuary 24, 2014 

  • Smashing! is a new twice-monthly feature where we go inside the closets of stylish Central Kentuckians. Do you know a style maven we should feature? Maybe it's even you. Let us know by sending us a photo of the fashionista dressed to the nines on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook with the tag #smashinglex.

As a designer, Thomas Birkman's days can range from hanging art to unloading limestone slabs, so for work "I can't wear anything too precious," he says.

A favorite brand for the owner-operator of Circa Home and Kimbrel/Birkman Interior Design on Short Street is the Britain-based All Saints.

"I like English tailoring a lot because it's snug and trim, like me," he says, laughing.

The wardrobe for Birkman — who is 37 and lives in Lexington with his daughter, Piper, 5 — is a mix of affordable pieces and luxe brands.

"Some of my favorite go-to everyday oxford cloth button-downs are from the Japanese retailer called Uniqlo," he said of the stores that in the United States are generally in large cities. "They're like $30 button-downs, but they fit well and I wear them over stuff that I've gotten that's custom tailored. I think that you wear what you're comfortable in."

We caught up with Birkman on a snowy Tuesday morning before he headed out to a design job.

What he wore

Scarf: Psycho Bunny from Stuart Mercer Gentleman's Shoppe in Lexington.

Jacket: All Saints

Sweater: Cashmere with shawl collar from Saks Fifth Avenue house label.

Pants: Cords from All Saints

Bracelet: Chan Luu wrap bracelet from Você in Lexington.

Shoes: "The shoes I got at Barneys about five years ago or so. They're a co-op of Barneys and Timberland. They're really like kind of old-school logging boots that they reimagined."

Harriett Hendren: (859) 231-3324. Twitter: @harrietthendren.

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