After dealing with his younger sister constantly scrutinizing his fashion choices, Weinberg sophomore Xander Shepherd sharpened up his style, swapping stripes-on-stripes for subtle striped socks—something little sis would surely approve of. North by Northwestern talked with this New York City native about why he’s not a hipster, what he wears to parties and why he is a self-proclaimed “sock person.”
Where do you shop?
There’s only like two brands that are kind of like my Achilles heel, like when I see it, I’m always drawn to it — Ben Sherman and Rugby. But beyond that, I don’t have a set style in the sense of, this is where I shop because they make clothes that I like. If I find something cool, I’ll buy it. A lot of people here label me unfairly as a hipster, but the funny thing is, I’m just as comfortable in really tight skinny jeans as I am in like, seersucker and a polo. I don’t have a certain style as much as if something fits well, I’m open to really wearing anything.
When did style become important to you?
I’ve come to realize that style became important at the end of eighth grade, beginning of high school. And it’s weird to admit this, but my style is really a product of my sister, who’s four years younger than me. I would take her to school in the morning and I would come out of my room and she’d say things like, “Xander, you have to go change your shirt,” and I’d be like, “Why?” and she’d say, “You can’t wear horizontal stripes with vertical striped pants,” and so I’d go and I’d change and I feel like that happened enough times for me to start to get a sense of what looked good with what, and I kinda went from there.
Where do you get your style inspiration?
I just like clothes that fit well. That’s really the first criteria. I was always really scrawny when I was little and the problem would be that I could never find clothing that fit. It always kinda looked like I was drowning in my own clothes. So I guess the real inspiration is if it fits well, that’s really what I look for. I like stripes a lot. It just sort of happens though. I get up in the morning and grab whatever I see and I hope that when I put it on, it’s going to look fine.
What is your favorite style item?
Socks. I’m a big sock person. It’s actually kind of a new thing. I used to wear regular socks every day, then I realized that socks are a very important part because you can either wear really boring white socks or you can spice it up. People don’t really see your socks that often, but you know you have nice socks and if people see it for a second, it’s just sort of like a touch that “oh. He thought enough to put on cool socks rather than like, a pair of Champion white socks.” So I have a pretty funny sock collection. My friends all kind of make fun of me for it.
Let’s say you’re going to a party, what do you wear?
I go for a button-down, sometimes I throw on a cardigan, and I like skinny jeans and beat-up Converse. So like flannel, skinny jeans, beat-up Converse.