Though the outfit Leo Phillips is wearing in this issue of Style Sense is more “normcore” (unisex fashion that airs on the side of unpretentious or average looking but in a statement-making kind of way), he’s known to don looks similar to the kids in the movie Explorers. His expressive hair and glasses add a sense of humor to all his outfits. A little Brooks Brothers, a hint of Savers, a dash of estate sale—Leo’s style is all his own.
Where did you find those glasses?
I found these glasses in the old stock drawer of my favorite optometrist in downtown San Francisco. I worked next door at a little French cafe that had the stinkiest tuna salad. We hooked them up with a discount, so they hooked us up also. Long after working at the French cafe with the stinky tuna, I eventually became friends with the owner and his family. I still get all my eyewear from them! I call them my Christmas Guccis.
You spent a number of years on the west coast and now you’re back in Toledo. What prompted your return?
San Francisco has changed a lot. Some for the good but mostly for the annoying. My rent when I moved there in 2002 was $1600 for a delightful three-bedroom Victorian apartment. That same apartment now rents for $4000 and that’s considered a ‘good deal.’ I rarely visited Toledo in the winter. I would always come back for the Old West End Festival. I fell in love with the excitement, with the houses and the trees and the lack of pretentiousness. When you get older, your priorities change. For me, Toledo has more to offer me now than when I left. I think everyone should leave once though. You’ll come back a better person. Hopefully I can do my part to help compliment Toledo’s already awesome music and art scene.
How has your time away from the 419 influenced your style?
My picture should explain that in visual evidence.
How would you define Toledo’s style?
My take on Toledo’s current style is laidback. Easy and effortless, yet distinctive. I think we all shop at Savers, so there’s that style. Estate sales are also amazing – I grabbed some Brooks Brothers wool sweaters and WinterSilks underwear just the other day. I think I spent $30 on clothes that would have cost me about $600 retail, so there’s that.