Left, Cindy Wall’s impressive collection of Billy Reid Oxford cloth shirts; right, the author, in her favorite white shirt, a fine French scarf, and her favorite watch. Photos by Andrea Behrends
The Well Worn series gives our friends the chance to share the back-story of their special attachment to a favorite Billy Reid design. This week, Nashville communications guru Cindy Wall talks about her collection of Oxford shirts from our men’s collection.
I like variety and unpredictability in almost everything - in friends and vistas, film and art, what I listen to, what I read, and what I eat. I fancy myself a tangential thinker and do-er, always curious and usually open to the weird. Except when it comes to what I wear…
Lots of women say they’re striving for a uniform. “Simple” is the term I like better. Not fussy, not frilly, never of-the-moment fashionable. But always beautifully designed, well sewn, and made to last. I’m drawn to what I can wear everyday — simple and entirely predictable.
My Billy Reid shirts are among my wardrobe pole stars. I wear them, and wear them (and wear them). They keep company with other favorite constants: a good French scarf with a storied history, a fine pair of boots, and a gorgeous old-school watch. (The watch in these photos? One of my most treasured. I’d grab it first in a household fire.) I’ve had a closet full of Billy Reid shirts for so long I can’t remember which one came first. I wear them in all seasons, pack them for travels near and far, put them under sweaters and down vests and over t-shirts — and sometimes, wear them starched and ironed with many strands of lady-like pearls.
I love them all. But first among equals? Always, the white Oxford. It’s my “aspirational” shirt — when I’m aspiring to a mash-up of Katherine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Georgia O’Keefe, Carolina Herrera, James Dean, Harper Lee and Julia Child. On last count, I have about a half dozen of Billy Reid’s white Oxfords from the men’s collection. They’re perfectly made, and so perfectly suited for a French scarf or a mess o’pearls when you pop the collar. They never shout, “I’m wearing [insert Brand X here].” Those shirts, a stack of my favorite scarves, a couple of sweaters, a watch and a bangle, and some lovely jeans and boots — and I feel ready to forget my wardrobe and concentrate on what’s far more interesting in the world at large.