Poplar Hall Creator Gregory Shelton Talks Signature Style

Gregory Shelton's distinctive style suits his Newark homestead.

Fashion approach:

My style is deeply rooted in history and handcrafted pieces that reflect my love of adventure and a proud celebration of my English and Ukrainian heritage.

Prized possession:

My 1960s-era Belstaff Trialmaster coat. I purchased it from a gentleman who’d had it since he was a kid; it came with a motorcycle his parents purchased for him. It never left the closet because he was too young to wear it. I hand-stitched several personal patches on it that define me.

Favorite fashion era:

I prefer the midcentury modern era. The ’50s were a great time for men, who wore sharply dignified suits and hats in simple, subdued colors, and the ’60s for reckless motorcyclists, equestrians and adventurers. And, of course, the style of the Modernists. Then, the early ’70s for the true rock ’n’ roll style that will always stand the test of time.

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Secondhand shopper:

Vintage clothing, when designed well, has sharper lines and a battle-tested style that’s rarely seen today.

Outerwear affair:

Jacket and coats. I love motorcycle-riding coats, field coats for caring for the horses and farm, and suit jackets. I have a collection of Belstaff (new and vintage) jackets and coats. I own 15 pieces. They are some of the most timeless pieces of clothing, and the designs are made for on and off the motorcycle.

Not big on bling:

I believe a person mustn’t rely on extra baubles to define who they are. Attention should be on your eyes and face—the rest is just needless things that misdirect from the soul.

Irksome trend:

Clothing with large logos and branding emblazoned on the garments. I absolutely hate it. Style isn’t about a huge logo. It’s about the look you create for yourself to be comfortable, confident and true to who you are.

English adoration:

Martin Cooper from his time at Burberry and Belstaff. Both are heritage English brands that blend classic forms with a perfect glimpse of modernity. I’m also happy to call him a friend.

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Gregory Shelton
Poplar Hall designer/creator Gregory Shelton. Photo by Joe Del Tufo

Dressing for the occasion:

As the designer/creator of the Poplar Hall Christmas Parade of Horses and Market, it’s important for me to represent the style that inspires the day. A great deal of the riders in the event are in the elegant English equestrians, foxhunting, dressage and eventing disciplines—to name a few—so you could easily find me wearing a tweed baker boy hat with a tailored wool coat and cashmere scarf.

Style icon:

David Bowie. I have an affinity for enjoying and feeling comfortable in many different styles. He was the king of change, and I believe cha-cha-cha-cha-changes are good.

Best winter accessory:

A scarf. I can’t stand to be cold!

Ensemble for a night out:

A sweater with a collared shirt, simple black jeans, Chelsea boots, my leather jacket with a wraparound scarf, and my short handmade leather motorcycle gloves. Done.

A well-dressed person…

Wears a correctly fitted, subdued, paletted outfit—with some minor intentional risks—and presents themselves confidently with style. I firmly believe in fashion simplicity.

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The Poplar Hall Christmas Parade of Horses and Market starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 9, in Chesapeake City, Maryland. Visit poplarhall.life/home.

Related: Indigo Gruswitz Dishes on Retro Goth Style in Arden

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