Secrets of Style: Ed Edney

A Philadelphia native, Edney moved here to attend UW Law School. He lives and works downtown as an elections trainer and lawyer with the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board. The self-proclaimed “Madison’s favorite socialite” admits he has a packed schedule: “It’s pretty intense! It’s getting to the point that it’s crazy. Every weekend I’m booked, but I enjoy it because it keeps me busy. You get to meet people and hang out and build relationships.”

Growing up what was your style, and how has it evolved?

It’s not evolved. I’ve always dressed like a young gentleman. I was influenced by how my father and grandfather dressed. I remember going to the tailor at two and three years old and getting suits tailored for me. I’ve stayed consistent with that idea of a classic look, stuff you’d see in the old Hollywood movies—like Paul Newman, Steve McQueen and those ’40s and ’50s jazz musicians that always wore jackets and were well kept.

Where are your favorite places to shop locally and nationally?

My favorite place, believe or not, is Macy’s. I’m a department store kind of guy—you get that variety. I also like Context; I think they have cool stuff there.

I also like Target! I’m a believer that you can achieve your look in any kind of store as long as you have a sense of your style. I like St. Vinny’s. They’ve got cool accessories, ties and vintage stuff. You can get some great pieces for great prices.

Elsewhere, I love New York. The thrift stores alone are amazing. It’s my favorite place to shop, hands down.

What is your favorite splurge and favorite steal?

I love my Ray-Bans; they are a staple of my wardrobe. I can wear them at the supermarket, the farmers’ market or at a night at the opera. I think they’re such a classic look.

I’m into accessories. You can be creative in your accessories—your ties, handkerchiefs, watches and small staple items. I’m also into rosaries. They just add a different kind of look to your wardrobe. I love handkerchiefs, and you can pick them up for two or three dollars.

What are fashion dos and don’ts for men and women?

Faux pas for men: shoes that don’t match the belt; for women: too much makeup.

I love folks taking risks. I like to see people who are different. You know when you walk into a party and you spot someone that doesn’t look like anyone else? I like that in men and women—someone who stands out.

Credits: Fedora, glasses, shirt and shoes, Edney’s own. Kenneth Cole vest from Macy’s and Gitman Brothers Vintage tie and Nudie Regular “Alf” dry selvage jeans, both from Context.

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