Matthew Breen and Brian Trunzo
What does one do when being a lawyer isn’t cutting it? When instead of mergers and acquisitions, your mind is filled with glen plaids and double monkstraps? If you’re anything like Brian Trunzo and Matthew Breen, you quit your law job and open a style haven for other like-minded guys. After months spent toiling away over a business plan in the evenings and using vacation days for buying trips in Europe, this unlikely duo set out to create a men’s shopping experience unique in NYC. Named after the street where they lived during law school, Carson Street Clothiers provides a beautifully curated selection of business-casual pieces from both established and emerging designers, with an excellent in-house line of clothing and accessories. As they celebrated the shop’s one-year anniversary and spring stock hit the shelves, the guys sat down to answer our Style Questionnaire.
Names: Brian M. Trunzo and Matthew Breen
Current residences: Brooklyn and Manhattan, NYC
Hometowns: Staten Island, NY, and New Hope, PA
Occupation: Co-founders, Carson Street Clothiers
Describe your style in three words.
Brian Trunzo: Style over fashion.
Matthew Breen: Confident. Relaxed. Sophisticated.
Are there any style combinations you dislike?
Brian: Point collars and ties, nylon puffer coats with suits, and obnoxious socks with any pair of shoes. However, part of developing great personal style is overcoming sartorial norms to find an individual voice. There are many people out there rockin’ combinations that I myself dislike, but they do it in a way that’s fun and unique to them.
Matthew: I’m not a fan of the new streetwear movement. Too many guys are trying to follow the trend and don’t look comfortable in their own skin. Like any style, if you have confidence it works (and looks) a whole lot better.
Who had the biggest influence on your style?
Brian: It might sound strange, but Wes Anderson. When The Royal Tenenbaums came out, I was a senior in high school, wearing greasy, loud late-’90s streetwear, such as Moschino, Versace, French Connection and Diesel, and that movie really struck a chord with me. It showed me that there was an idiosyncratic, lighthearted way to wear more casually tailored clothing.
Matthew: Billy Reid, hands down. I admire him for fighting the trends to cultivate a lifestyle and look he believes is perfect.
If you could reclaim one piece of clothing from you childhood, what would it be?
Brian: I once owned a Moschino graphic tee that had a Krylon can on it spraying out random phrases across the chest. It was so obnoxious, but I just loved that thing. It makes me sad to even think about it—I just hope it has a good home, wherever it ended up.
Matthew: I have a great varsity jacket from high school, which I still have to this day. Red wool body with black leather sleeves. It’s as killer now as it was the day I got it.
What’s one thing you always remember when getting dressed?
Brian: Accessories. I can’t leave the house with a blazer but without a pocket square, or with a down vest but no scarf.
Matthew: My watch and wedding ring. If I leave home without either one of them I feel naked all day.
“It’s all about the fit. A guy can crush almost any look if the fit is impeccable.”
Name a celebrity whose style you admire.
Brian: Christoph Waltz has been killing it. For such an unassuming guy, he’s just so smooth and polished.
Matthew: Daniel Craig. I can’t tell you whether I’m subconsciously conflating Daniel Craig and James Bond, but he always kills it; both casually and on the red carpet.
What are three pieces every man should have in his closet?
Brian: A great pair of raw denim, a standout navy blazer and a workhorse pair of longwings.
Matthew: The three basics of any wardrobe are a navy blazer, a great pair of raw denim and a basic, clean sneaker.
What’s one thing every guy can do to improve his style?
Brian: Just take more care to explore and find out what’s out there. Visit shops, read blogs and magazines, aspire to something—it’s very difficult to improve one’s own style without inspiration.
Matthew: It’s all about the fit. A guy can crush almost any look if the fit is impeccable. There are very few garments that actually fit a guy off the rack, so you should always be prepared to get your items tailored to your body.
What stores or websites do you frequent?
Brian: I love to pop into shops while on buying trips abroad. Some of my favorites include Al Bazar, 10 Corso Como and Antonia in Milan, Tie Your Tie (aka Frasi), WP Lavori and Happy Jack in Florence, and Merci and Broken Arm in Paris. I’ve been reading a ton of Simon Crompton’s archives at A Permanent Style. He has an amazing point of view and is one of the most educated journalists in the business.
Matthew: I’m a bit biased on this, but I think we run a pretty good shop down here in Soho. Outside of us: WP Lavori in Florence, Italy; Al Bazar and Eral 55 in Milan, Italy; and AMI and Melinda Gloss in Paris.
“The guy who wears all black every day, year round, drives me nuts.”
What’s one thing that’s always worth splurging on?
Brian: Vacations, especially when you work so much that they are exceedingly difficult to come by.
Matthew: A great vintage watch. They are timeless and generally hold their value over time. Plus, it’s always nice to have something to pass down.
What trend would you like to see disappear?
Brian: Capes, drape and anything that looks like it comes from Star Wars.
Matthew: The guy who wears all black every day, year round, drives me nuts. I would love to see that trend disappear.
When you want to make a good impression, what do you wear?
Brian: With more creative types, I feel as though I can wear anything I own. With more business types, a shirt and tie always helps. It’s more important to assess the situation you find yourself in and then dress accordingly.
Matthew: I never plan what I’m going to wear. It depends on my mood that morning. I would say that regardless of my mood. I’ll always wear something that fits perfectly. To me, that’s most important anyway.
Visit Carson Street Clothiers at carsonstreetclothiers.com.