When someone tells me that “men should wear fur scarves and purple metallic shoes” or “I love luxe things that are really in decay, kind of like Miss Havisham and Little Edie,” I grab that person and push him forth into our weekly Instagram style spotlight. Every week we search Instagram for stylish and interesting locals, and this week we landed a whopper with 31-year-old Burlington resident Jake Christian (www.instagram.com/mejakeme). He loves to dress traditionally, but with a subversive twist. For years he’s been eagerly tearing pages from magazines, searching for inspiration. He now has them bound into books. Lately he’s been shopping vintage — from the decades of clothes in his own closet. He’s a recent arrival from Wisconsin, so please be kind.
Q. What kind of influence did growing up in Wisconsin have on your style? You appear, at least in photographs, to be more New England than Midwestern.
A. The great thing about magazines and online shopping is that I’ve never been limited to a particular region. I feel very New England lately. There’s a great nautical-prep thing going on here that doesn’t exist the same way elsewhere. I’ll always be Wisconsin at heart though. I think that moccasins from the farm supply store are insanely chic.
Q. Do you apply the Little Edie/Miss Havisham approach to your wardrobe or home décor at all? Bonus points if you tell me that you have a house full of cats.
A. Sadly, I’m allergic to cats. However, I do believe in repurposing clothes and wearing things until they fall apart. I’m still wearing a pair of Prada loafers that I bought in 2003. When I really can’t wear them anymore, I’ll probably have them bronzed and use them as a doorstop. Good things get better with age.
Q. Because you sound like a colorful gentleman with real flair, I’m wondering if you’ve had to make wardrobe compromises for work?
A. I mainly work from home, so I can dress as I please. When I travel for work I do have to stick to slightly more traditional business attire. Most of the people I work with are used to me by now. They probably say “Oh, that’s just Jake,” when I show up with purple shoes on.
Q. When you flip through your old magazine inspiration books, do you ever find any pages that surprise you or make you cringe? Any of those inspiration moments that you were able to achieve?
A. I love looking back and cringing. How I feel about my fauxhawk and guyliner days is probably how I’ll feel about my current look someday. Personal style is just about having fun. It’s dangerous to take yourself too seriously.
Q. What has been the biggest culture shock in moving from Madison to Boston?
A. I learned just how Midwestern I actually am. I’ve had to break myself of the habit of saying “Hi” to everyone.
Q. Choose your icon: Barbara Stanwyck, Dirk Bogarde, Ronnie Spector, or Diana Rigg.
A. Dirk Bogarde. I’m still trying to achieve his perfect matinee idol hair.