Creating Signature Style With Stylishly Rugged And Akubra Campdraft
Eric Rodriguez is a 50-something New York based fashion blogger who wants you to feel more confident about your personal style no matter what your age is. On his blog (stylishlyrugged.com), he discusses how he changed his look to increase his self-esteem and how he learned to stop being insecure about his shorter-than-most stature.
When I had a look on his Instagram page, not only was I instantly drawn to his style tips, but also his frank discussions on confidence and feeling comfortable in your own skin. His Instagram (@ericnycstyle) features casual and formal looks for men that he has styled, and a blog about how he dresses to stand out in the hustle of New York City.
At 5’3 (160 cm), Eric Rodriguez is definitely a someone that I would describe as ‘hip’. He dresses like a gentleman and finds a way to look both comfortable and sophisticated in whatever he wears. Eric’s personal style is influenced by people like George Clooney, Johnny Depp and Alessandro Manfredini.
He writes about how he developed his own confidence despite his feelings about his own height. Eric says that “Confidence is not something many men would admit they’re lacking in. For the shorter man, that feeling at least doubles. Although there are many ways to develop confidence, I’ve discovered that the most effective way is to focus on your personal style.”
In one of his blog posts about ‘What is Personal Style’ he says “For me, style is not just about the latest trends or designers. It’s about how you want the world to see you. It gives you the power to let people see who you are, what you think and what you want to do.”
We recently came across Eric when he bought an Akubra Campdraft to shape into his own custom hat. The Campdraft, known in the states as the Bushman, is a style that is popular globally with hat collectors like Eric, because it features an open crown. Open Crown refers to a hat shape that has not yet been formed, allowing you to put your own personal crease into the crown. In the early 19th Century, most hats were sold as ‘open crown’ hats, with the pre-creased styles we know today gaining popularity after World War II.
Fedora fans on popular forums such as Fedora Lounge (thefedoralounge.com), love the quality of the hat and share the ways they have customised the hat to suit their own style. Shapable hats have been making a comeback in recent years. People not only are wearing more hats, but they also want one that’s custom to their own vibe and style.
On Eric’s blog (stylishlyrugged.com) and Instagram story, he featured his custom work in shaping and styling several Campdraft hats, including the latest one he received from us. With his first Campdraft, in Fawn, Eric decided to go with a teardrop crease. He uses a clothing steamer to soften the hats to change the hat’s shape. You can read Eric’s blog about the steaming and shaping process and what he recommends wearing with a heritage hat like this here.
For the second custom Campdraft, sold in America as the Akubra Bushman in Moonstone, Eric went for a more western look with an eye-catching Tom Horne crease. You can see Erics styling recommendations for this style of hat here.
Finally, for Erics latest Campdraft that we sent him, Eric decided on a Diamond crease. The diamond crease has two points on the side and when seen from above, has a diamond shape like a kite. The pinched front is a classic crease style that is said to accentuate a narrow jawline and make your face look thinner.
To give this hat some colour he added a bright red and gold fabric as the band and added a large and a small pheasant feather. Finally, he added a red braided leather cord as a finishing touch. Eric has styled his customised hat with similar colours to Bluegrass green, pairing it with tan tones, such as coffee suede brogues and tan chinos. He says that “of all the accessories a man can wear nowadays, a hat is by far the most stylish.” You can read Erics full blog about his latest Campdraft here.
What’s Eric’s secret to being ‘stylishly rugged’ at his age?
“Confidence is a powerful thing. It allows you to see possibilities you couldn’t see before. And as you continue to grow your confidence, my hope is you remember that change starts with you.”
We can’t wait to see the other ways he can customise his hats. If you’d like to learn more, follow his Instagram at @ericnycstyle to see how he makes his hats his own.