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On Austin Style

Author Sara Lieberman Illustration Joanna Wilkinson

whattowearBorn and raised in the Lone Star State, Joah Spearman is a true Texas hustler.

He’s been a social media consultant for Fortune 500 companies, a political speechwriter in Washington, D.C., the founder of a pop-up sneaker store and the host of official fashion events for SXSW. Now, the 31-year-old is focusing on the travel app he co-founded, Localeur, which shares a local’s favorite spots in his or her own city. Here, the Austin “street sophisticate” shares a few picks of his own, as well as his take on dressing in Texas.

How would you describe style in Austin?
It’s always been country-casual, but now it’s kind of like a hipster-casual. You can attribute that to all the transplants moving here from other cities. Every eighth person is in a band, so they’ll have that musician’s look of faded jeans and a T-shirt.

What about your look?
I would say I hover between street and sophistication. I wear a lot of sneakers, but I also do suspenders and vests and ties.

Thoughts on cowboy boots?
They’re not my personal style, but people do wear them. Maybe not as often as someone would think for Texas, but there are definitely places where you can get amazing boots, like Allens on South Congress.

What are your favorite shops in Austin?
For me, it’s about shopping locally. Service Menswear and Stag are places I can go for jeans, a button-down or some socks. They curate from top designers and make it so that you don’t have to leave Austin to get things you’d normally go to New York or LA to find.

Tell us about today’s look.
My shirt is from a menswear brand called Publish, and the pants are Zanerobe, an Australian line. The shoes are Nike Roshe Runs, perfect for experiencing on foot all the cities I visit. I used to own a sneaker boutique, so I have to make sure my feet look right.

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