Smashing! Lexington architect's wardrobe: black and white, with "funky silver shoes"

Herald-Leader fashion writerMarch 7, 2014 

Who among us has not stared into the abyss of a bedroom closet, frozen by the cacophony of patterns, colors and shapes, and thought, "I have nothing to wear"? That's where the genius of Lexington architect Haviland Argo's philosophy comes in: He dresses only in black and white.

"It's almost a uniform: white shirt and dark pants and funky silver shoes, usually," said Argo, who is the owner's representative and assistant project manager for 21c Museum Hotels. "It allows me to wake up in the morning and know what I'm going to wear."

"It's never just in between, so I like that idea. It can be both formal or informal, and it can go from the job site to dinner," said Argo, who on Sunday morning wore a white shirt from Japanese retailer Uniqlo, dark denim from 20 Jeans and silver Nike IDs.

He was preparing for a drive to New York, a trip later canceled because of another winter storm.

Trips to New York are frequent — at least four times a year, and as many as eight, he says. Favorite stores there include Comme des Garçons and Dover Street Market.

Many of his shirts come from Uniqlo, known for its affordable basics. The chain is based in Japan but can be found in major U.S. cities.

"Uniqlo has this thinner silhouette, and I can get away with wearing a large that isn't bulky," says Argo, who is 6-foot-5.

One of his favorite things to do is shop at art fairs with 21c co-founders Steve Wilson and Laura Lee Brown and the hotel's chief curator, Alice Gray Stites. The museums and hotels, which are based in Louisville and are preparing to open a location in Lexington, are known for their contemporary art collections.

From construction sites to shopping for fine art, a classic wardrobe serves Argo well. "I don't know if there's such a thing as overdressing," said Argo, who names Tom Ford, the designer known for his elegant style, as an inspiration. "I would feel uncomfortable if I showed up to a nice dinner and didn't feel like I was dressed appropriately."

What he wore

Shirt: Uniqlo, "I think I have 19 of this exact same shirt in white, and I have another 10 in black."

Jeans: 20 Jeans. Designed in Los Angeles and starting at just $65.

Shoes: Nike ID, custom colors and designs at This pair, in Argo's signature silver, feature his monogram.

Watch: Military watch by Marathon.

Favorite body products: Malin + Goetz, a New York-based apothecary known for its natural moisturizers and soaps. Available at 21c shops and at

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 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.

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