Dressing The White Stripes is just one of the things Ten Car Pile Up owner Shane Gullivan can cross off of his likely hypothetical yet very specific bucket list. He once dressed the duo when their tour brought them to the Recher Theatre, then just across the street from the York Road establishment. It’s not surprising that a band with such style cred would want to purchase a piece or two from a shop that caters to the “tragically hip.”
The store is filled to the brim (we mean that literally—there’s clothes hanging from the ceiling) with clothing of all sorts and styles: formal dresses, thigh-high boots, leather jackets, and hats galore. Not to mention the wall of costume jewelry. We stopped by the Towson spot to get Gullivan’s take on trends, Taylor Swift, and his unique guilty pleasure.
1. Describe your boutique in one sentence.
SG: Clothing for the tragically hip.
2. If you could have one super power, what would it be?
SG: To read people’s minds. I would probably get people in a lot of trouble.
3. Who’s your style inspiration?
SG: You know I don’t have one, but when I buy clothing for the shop I look at distinct personalities. Musicians are a strong portion of it . . . If I’m buying a cool jacket or shirt I kind of always have that in mind: Would it look good on a stage? Can a drummer play drums in it?
4. What’s your favorite item currently in your collection?
SG: We have a West Point jacket. I really don’t have favorites of clothing because it’s too interchangeable, but [the jacket] is one of the items that gets the most response so I’ve never even taken down.
Photo: Cowan’s Auctions
5. What’s the most embarrassing fashion trend you used to love?
SG: I never loved it, but I sold it really well this year and last year The ’80s trend—high-waisted shorts, high-waisted pants. A very small population of women can knock that silhouette off. You know the only one I’ve seen: Taylor Swift. She’s one of the few women that can handle that silhouette.
Photo: GabboT on Flickr.
6. What is your guilty pleasure?
SG: When I buy an estate. You’re looking into the most personal aspects of [a person’s] life and, chances are, there’s more than just a few years worth of clothing. It could be as many as four or five decades worth of clothing.
7. How did you get the name for your boutique?
SG: Five kids, more than a few ex-wives, and me in the most stable of professions.
8. Do you have a go-to saying or motto?
SG: Fashion: you can’t kill ’em with it. The worst you can be accused of is dressing them in bad taste.
9. No outfit is complete without…
SG: I’m a big fan of minimalism. If it’s a cool piece, it doesn’t have to be doctored up. I’m not into jewelry, I’m not into tattoos, I’m not into body piercings.
10. Current favorite and least favorite trends?
SG: I’ve always been a big fan of combat boots and plaid skirts. It’s got a smoldering sensuality about it. My least favorite trend is still high-waisted. I just can’t stand that.
Our top three picks:
(South West Wool Coat, $75.00; Mustard Suede Skirt, $29.99; Red Dotted Poly Shirt, $18.00)