“As a kid, I loved comic books and the kind of outfits—uniforms, really—worn by the superheroes,” says Daren Bascome, founder of the Proverb branding agency, who now has his own uniform of skinny-silhouetted suits with dapper ties and pocket squares. “I had a rough time in high school, and clothes created a kind of protective armor. They allowed me to shift the narrative about who I was expected to be.”
His look in a few words: Given that I’m 6-foot-5 and thin, my body type is probably the first thing you’d notice about me. I like clothes that express my varied interests—travel, craftsmanship, design and certain kinds of tradition. I’m really busy and I’m kind of rough on clothes, so I also want clothes that stand up to the variety of environments I travel through. In summary, I guess you could say my signature look is: Tall. Varied. Well-crafted.
Early influence: I grew up in a really small place, a small island—Bermuda—where I’m a “Bascome” before I’m “Daren.” So there were preconceived notions about who I was. I realized early on that clothes were a way of sending a message that I’m not necessarily what people expect. I don’t have to fit a certain mold.
Sartorial epiphany: I had a transformational experience about 15 years ago. I’d basically stopped shopping because my girls were babies and they threw up on everything. But I was in Back Bay and on a whim I walked into Alan Bilzerian. After trying on three shirts that didn’t fit, the salesman asked me my measurements. And when I told him, he said, “No one makes that size.” Then he says, “Why don’t you let me make a shirt for you?” It was the first shirt that ever fit me. It was life-changing. There’s nothing like custom.
Number of pieces in his wardrobe: More than your average monk but far less than Imelda Marcos.
Style philosophy: I want to see myself in what I wear, and I think I’m true to that. There’s nothing more personal on a daily basis than what we wrap our bodies in.