If you've attended Charleston's cultural events with any regularity, chances are you've seen Terry Fox. He's the guy with the shock of silver hair, thick-rimmed glasses, and cowboy boots, most likely posted up in the middle of the action. Fox is a major player in the Holy City arts community, serving on the boards of the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art and PURE Theatre. He's also a founding member of Parliament. Way before that, the UNC grad was one of the first bartenders at the fabled King Street Garden and Gun Club, and he also worked in a psychiatric hospital and a drug treatment program before going into college administration. Whatever his role, Charleston wouldn't look the same without him.
NEAT FREAK. When Fox was a senior in high school, he got slapped with not one but two superlatives: Neatest and Most Polite. "Probably the two most lame-assed 'honors' possible in the small town North Carolina high school set," he laughs. "However, I must sadly cop to having fit the bill. I was crew-cut and bespectacled and hot as hell — for a teenager. Kidding!" These days, he'll leave the labelling to others — though he says he's far from being Most Polite.
BACK TO BASICS. Fox's wardrobe is quite simple, with plenty of jeans, well-tailored blazers, and brightly patterned oxford shirts. "In truth, a personal style is barely discernible, at least to me," Fox says. "I am by-and-large a jeans kind of guy and have dressed essentially the same way for so long that I hardly recognize any true style in myself — other than easy. Let's just say classic without being hyper-preppy."
OLD HABITS DIE HARD. Fox admits to being a "clothes whore" from middle school onward. "My true coming-of-age style-wise certainly occurred following my move to the Holy and reached its zenith when I discovered AJ Davis, the best mens' clothing store this city has ever had and likely will ever have," he says, referring to the King Street store that closed in the '90s. "I also happened to fall in love with Alan and Sally Davis, the uber-charming and talented husband and wife team who bought and operated the store. I still confidently wear suits, sweaters, and everything else which I purchased from them 20-plus years ago. They are retail geniuses and much missed as drivers of the Charleston fashion scene for men."
IDEAL OUTFIT? "That would be full formal drag or jeans, boots, and either a jacket or sweater, probably purchased from AJ Davis," he says. "I will rock a tie from time to time and have a great array of collectible ties by Fornasetti, which are currently too wide to wear. Undoubtedly, the width will come around again. Men's styles always cycle back. I cannot recall a single piece of clothing which I have ever owned which I do not still regret having given up."