Michael Pollack, 48
Dentist and Pyramid Atlantic Art Center board member.
What he’s wearing: J. Crew V-neck tee, vintage Gerard Perregaux watch, Levi’s boots from a thrift store, brown leather L&N belt, and a vintage fedora with tie trimming.
This outfit looks lived in, and that’s precisely what we love about it. Tell us the story behind some of the pieces.
“The watch was a gift from my wife. She bought it from an estate jeweler on Connecticut Avenue. It’s a 1940s Gerard Perregaux, and it’s my favorite watch. I changed the strap from the original flashy gold band to a vintage leather one from the ’70s that I found at the now-defunct 26th Street flea market in New York. I bought three of the watchbands (they were $5 apiece) to keep as replacements. The shoes are old Levi’s boots that I bought at least ten years ago from the same place. They’re probably from the ’70s, and I’ve had to resole them twice. My hat brings back childhood memories of my father—he wore a hat every day for 45 years on his way to and from work. He’s retired now but can still rock the look. I own three or four of this type and countless baseball caps, skull caps, and other hats that I’ve accumulated over the years.”
You also score major points for daring to wear the V-neck—in purple, no less!—in a city full of Friday-night crew collars and button-downs. Why did you choose it?
“I didn’t give too much thought to the color of the shirt except that sometimes I like to change it up from the standard white. I wear V-necks during the summer because they’re not as confining and a little cooler than a regular T-shirt. I like this tee because the V isn’t too low and it fits me right. I don’t shop much, so if I find something I like I’ll buy it in multiples. I probably bought half a dozen of these from J. Crew a few years back. I can just take one from the top of the pile and go.”
We found you on the way to an exhibition of work by local art-school graduates at Conner Contemporary Art Gallery. Any special reason for checking it out?
“I was there to show my support for the gallery—the owner, Leigh Conner, is a personal friend—and also to see the work of a few artists I’m considering nominating for inclusion in the next Transformer fall auction. I recently curated my first exhibition, and I’m currently working on researching the next one, so I’m always on the lookout for new talent, and this show was a great resource for that. The opening was followed by an after-party for the artists at the Pug on H Street, Northeast.”
How do you see the Washington arts and style scenes intermingling?
“Washington gets a bad rap as far as style goes, but it’s actually not so bad. Walk 14th Street, Northwest, on a Saturday from Columbia Heights down to Logan Circle, and you’ll see everything from preps to hipsters to parents pushing a stroller to hip-hop kids. It all seems to mix pretty well in this town. The new administration is attracting more creative people to this city, and there are times when I feel the energy here rivals even that of New York. The arts scene has become incredibly more relevant and we’re attracting more major artists to our local galleries.”
What are your favorite places to spend a summer night in Washington?
“I can honestly say Washington has become cool—too bad it didn’t happen when I was 25. As far as bars go, I really like Marvin on Monday nights because the DJ, Jemal, is one of the best in town, and I’m not too old to listen. The Gibson next door is a great place to go for real conversations and old-school cocktails. As far as I’m concerned, the best place to have a drink is the enormous rooftop terrace at my friend Phillipa Hughes’s condo. Phillipa runs the Pink Line Project art blog and regularly throws very cool parties with great food and drinks, along with one of the best mixes of people in town.”
Three things caught our eye about Michael: the pastel V, coordinating hat, and a Derek Shepherd salt-and-pepper beard. He toughens up the outfit with rugged brown leather accessories, and the old-school fedora gives everything an urban edge. If you’re getting bored with the khakis-and-collared-shirt combo, we highly recommend looking to this Washington native for inspiration. He’s dressed for a night out without looking like he just left the office, and the T-shirt will keep him cool while wandering the humid August streets.