With a background in PR and marketing, Ben Meents has transitioned into media/analyst relations for Wolters Kluwer Financial Services. Ben and his fiancé, Chet, live in St. Louis Park with their three kids (Emma, 12, Sophia, 9, and Dominic, 5). A blended family, as the children are from previous relationships, Ben jokes that his family is like a mini-gay Brady Bunch. Ben is also a part of the “The Network”, a collective of young professional creative influencers who are passionate about design, fashion, and the arts, who serve as an advisory council for the Frank & Oak brand through their work on special projects and events.
How would you describe your style?
I guess would describe my style as “modern gay dad casual”. I have a typical hectic family lifestyle and my fashion sense reflects that. I like finding inspiration in new things, and I have enough confidence to take some risks – and by risks I mean going out in public in a white v-neck undershirt sometimes. I tend to adapt my look a lot and it’s not so much to stay in tune with what is trendy as it is to adjust to changes in my life. The older I get the more I realize it is important to keep it simple, stay true to what I really like, and have some fun. I have never thought of myself as preoccupied with trends or labels, but I do love beautiful things that are well made. To me, fit and function are the most important things. No matter what you are wearing you have to make sure it fits well.
Who are your style icons or whose style has influenced your own?
As a kid I was in love with the New York depicted in old Woody Allen movies. Everyone was so smart and smart looking, if a bit neurotic, living in these incredible New York lofts filled with books and jazz records. No one’s style was too neat or refined, everything had a great organic quality and maybe a certain level of messiness. I love the style/look of Tom Ford. David Beckham. Justin Timberlake. Johnny Depp. I follow these style blogs which are great discovery agents for those with an appreciation of quality, style and provenance: MrPorter.com, GetKempt.com, ContemporaryStandard.com, AContinuousLean.com, and tres-bien.com.
What are some of your favorite brands/designers?
Tom Ford. Moods of Norway. Han Kjobenhavn. Scotch and Soda. Theory. GStar. H&M. Oh, and Hanes.
What are your go-to stores and boutiques in the Twin Cities area?
One of the great benefits of men being much more fashion-forward these days is that there are a ton of great fashion resources in the Cities now. MartinPatrick3 is a men’s fashion and lifestyle mecca and a must for any shopping trip. Nearby Arrow is great for upscale, modern stuff and I love Askov Finlayson. They have built a great unique, if offbeat, selection. All three of these have their own style and are great boutique stores that are an awesome source of inspiration depending on your individual style. Also, I love Moods of Norway at the Mall of America. Motto in Uptown and BlackBlue in St. Paul. Finally, I love Heimes Haberdashery, which is a Twin Cities landmark yet very relevant today. The thing I love most about each of these places is that they are all very approachable and have knowledgeable and friendly staff members who share a passion for good design and fit, so regardless of your style you can find something that will make you look killer.
When you need “work” done, what salons do you frequent?
I am a “grow what God gave you” kinda guy but I do appreciate an eyebrow/ear waxing once in a while to keep things under control (European Wax Center is awesome) and my favorite salon is Bespoke Artisans in Edina (Jessica Zeinstra is my go-to girl for hair).
You feel your best when wearing…?
A white Hanes V-neck t-shirt. I live in them.
Where are you most visually inspired?
The Walker Art Center, the lakes, the gateway trail, and walking around neighborhoods all over the city. I love graffiti art and love coming across new work in unexpected places.
You always make time for…?
Never leave the house without?
Face cream and lip balm.
Never caught wearing…?
Your number one fashion rule?
Make sure the fit is right. Develop an intimate relationship with a good tailor. Otherwise, I am a pretty down-to-earth guy, and, more than anything, I just try to be true to myself and what I like. I like to be a little playful and have fun. Life is too short to always play by the rules.
How do you approach getting dressed?
I try to anticipate how sweaty I am going to get throughout the day and pick my clothes accordingly.
How has your style evolved the most?
I have become more comfortable stepping out of my comfort zone and not always playing it safe. I would say I have become more relaxed in general. Life is hectic for everyone these days, so with the chaos that goes along with having kids and pets and all the other things making us all busy in today’s world, you have to adjust your style so it works for you.
What is your one fashion splurge or most expensive thing in your closet?
My kids are the most expensive thing, we always splurge on them and they are probably messing around with clothes in my closet right now.