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Bringing style to casual

Photo by Christopher Huang.

Tim Love waits patiently for sales at high-end clothing stores, such as Louis Boston and Barneys New York.

But when prices drop, he doesn’t purchase fancy suits and sport coats. Instead, he pays to look good in casual wear, or, as he likes to put it, “socks, a shirt and a nice pair of pants.”

The self-proclaimed “most casually dressed man in the room” was recently named one of The Boston Globe’s Top 25 Most Stylish Bostonians of 2011.

Love, an associate professor of architecture in the College of Arts, Media and Design and the founding principal at the Boston design firm Utile, dresses down in the classroom and for client meetings. “I’m very careful not to be seen as the consultant in the blue blazer,” he says. “Sometimes that works in my favor.”

On a brisk Monday afternoon on campus, Love is wearing a pair of blue cotton pants, a white dress shirt with a charcoal grid and a pair of gray suede boots from Louis. His “groovy” messenger bag by Freitag is made with recycled silver-toned truck tarps.

Does he tuck or un-tuck his dress shirts? “Two-thirds of the time I tuck,” he says. “Depends on the shirt.”

Love, who could not stand to part with his pair of black Vans, does not pledge allegiance to a particular brand or fashion designer. “I pay attention to the quality of clothing when I am shopping,” he says. “I like more off-beat stuff and tend to shy away from big-name designers.”

His fashion sense reflects his architectural sense, which he imparts to his students.

This fall, he and a group of more than a dozen graduate students are exploring some of Boston’s best multi-functional interior spaces, such as the State Room at the top of 60 State St. In the spring, his students will design a series of “great rooms.”

“Architects are interested in the quality of materials and their construction,” Love says, adding, “Many of them are understated in terms of their style of dress.”

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