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How I Got My UPS (Unique Personal Style): Eugene Tong

Long before Eugene Tong became a trusted confidante and stylist for designers including Public School, Billy Reid and John Elliott, he was an aspiring sneakerhead and mall habitué in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. After college, he worked at “FHM,” “Cargo” magazine and the late “Details” magazine, where, as its style director, he became a street style star. Today, the independent fashion consultant’s look—often snapped during Fashion Week in Milan, Paris, Tokyo and New York—inspires menswear fans around the globe. Here, he shares how he discovered the elements that compose his unique sartorial DNA. 

When I was a kid, I really liked graphic T-shirts from brands like Mossimo and Stussy. I layered them over an undershirt to extend their lives. When I got to New York and started working, I layered everything—especially in the winter. The more I experimented, the more I found that I love the utility of layering since I am constantly running around the city, but also that I love the textures that can be created. I like looks where the different textures complement one another, like a topcoat in wool or cashmere over a technical jacket. 

Eugene wears our Ludlow topcoat in Italian wool-cashmereWallace & Barnes MA-1 bomber jacketslim broken-in T-shirtBowery slim pant in woolEbbets Field Flannels® ball cap and Adidas® Gazelle® sneakersShop all coats, jackets, T-shirts, pants, hats and sneakers.


Once I found certain styles and silhouettes that worked for me, like crewneck sweaters and sweatshirts or a white T-shirt, I started looking for the best versions of those things. So these days my closet consists of multiple versions of the same things. You might see what, from far away, looks like a stack of the same black crewneck sweaters, but if you look closely, there’s merino and cashmere; a grey sweatshirt in cotton and Egyptian cotton; or a French terry cloth lining. 


I grew up in an era where what you wore on your feet mattered, and sneakers are still a way that I add my personality to a look. Same for hats. I always wore hats growing up—a baseball cap or a beanie. And then when I became an adult, both became a way to make an outfit my own and more interesting. For beanies, I like ones from the Army-Navy store and the cashmere ones from J.Crew. I’m fortunate to work in an industry where this kind of look is acceptable. 

I enjoy having a uniform. It makes getting dressed easier. And part of that uniform is the color story. My colors are black, white, grey and navy, primarily. I have tried and do own other colors and patterns, but I just always find myself going back to these four. And it's really simplified my life. Guys look their best when they are wearing what makes them comfortable; you can always spot someone who is unsure in their clothes. 

Photographs by Clément Pascal.

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TAGS: mens, style, nyc, unique personal style