Xavier Layton is a 20-year-old student from Texas who is truly obsessed with the 1800s.
So much so, that he is rarely seen without his Victorian attire – top hat and all.
Having started dressing formally at a young age, Xavier feels dressing this way is normal for him. However, the choice doesn’t come cheap, with his most expensive outfit costing almost £900.
‘My family call me an old man on a regular basis, but I don’t mind because it’s true,’ Xavier said.
‘My parents are my biggest supporters, they help me find clothes and buy items for me for my birthday and at Christmas.
‘They have supported my fashion taste since I was a child, they would let me choose my own clothes to wear from a young age, they are the kind of parents who stopped buying what they wanted me to wear and let me decide.
‘I may be a Gen Z but mentally I am a 70-year-old.
He continued: ‘I started dressing this way from 2018, when I was around 16 years old. It has just become so normal to me now.
‘I do think people look at me when they see me out. I think they tend to try and not look, or they will look really quickly and then carry on walking.
‘When I do get comments, usually people think I am an actor on on a film set or from a play.
‘People will also stop me and tell me they love my outfit, or hey that’s a nice hat.’
Because of the high temperatures in Texas during summer months, Xavier is often unable to don the full attire.
‘It does get quite warm in Texas, so I don’t always wear the whole outfit and as a lot of is is wool, it can be too warm,’ he said.
‘If I was dressing the whole outfit, I would wear a linen shirt as my base and that would also be considered as my underwear too.
‘On top of that would be an high waisted pants held up with braces, usually made of wool or linen, and then over the shirt and pants would be a wool vest with a collar.
‘I would then finish it off with a silk cravat, and if it isn’t too warm, my wool frock coat over the top.
‘Oh and not forgetting my fur felt top hat, that was handmade in UK from rabbit fur. Some days I will have a “normal” day but I will still be formal, this usually consists of a linen or silk button down shirt, trousers and a blazer.
‘I have a job in a suit shop so I would wear clothes from there, so I am always quite smart.’
Xavier notes that he has a particular interest in history and this has inspired his style preference.
‘Charles Dickens is one of my favourite people so I think that’s why I like the 1840’s so much,’ he added.
‘When I’m not studying or working, I spend my days working on my social media profiles and creating new content. I have also tried my hand at making some clothes too.
‘These items can get quite expensive as they’re not the kind of thing you would buy all at once, they’re more investments.
‘My top hat is my most prized item, it was custom made in England by a lady who makes them in her home.
‘The only other items I get from England are my shirt collars, but everything else I can find easily in the US.’
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