Arts & Culture

Exploring Charleston in Style

Look your best while discovering the Holy City’s local hotspots


Spending his early adulthood in large metropolises such as Atlanta and New York, Dr. Eddie Irions never intended to call Charleston, South Carolina, home. But during his last leg of medical school, the Tennessee-raised gastroenterologist fell hard for the Holy City’s easy elegance and laid-back sophistication. Charleston’s busy social scene and acclaimed dining and drinking landscape also appealed to the urbanite. These days, if Irions is headed out on the town, he reaches for his custom made-to-measure Hart Schaffner Marx black “New York fit” suit. The American menswear brand—established in Chicago in 1887—still makes all of its suiting on U.S. soil. With a relaxed cosmopolitan aesthetic, Irion’s Chicago-stitched suit is the perfect sartorial match for his coastal city. Tag along with Irions as he takes us on a stylish tour of his adopted hometown.

Dr. Irions at Basic Kitchen.

If it’s style you’re after, start your Charleston excursion with lunch at Basic Kitchen. The only thing more beautiful (or more often Instagramed) than the interiors at this bright neighborhood restaurant—open for brunch, lunch, and dinner—is the food. The rainbow bowl (sweet potato noodles piled with colorful shaved veggies, fragrant herbs, and peanut sauce) is a house signature. Take your time.

Touring the Gibbes Museum of Art.

And when you’ve had your fill, walk off the calories exploring the city’s vibrant art scene. Charleston has more than forty galleries and a world-class art museum, and there’s more content than you can tackle in a week of afternoons. But an introductory tour should include a trip to the Gibbes Museum of Art. The Beaux Arts grande dame reopened in 2016 after a massive $17 million renovation and sits on the edge of Charleston’s gallery-thick French Quarter. State Street, one of the city’s most scenic walks, is a popular art-heavy thoroughfare, where you’ll find Horton Hayes Fine Art—a must-visit gallery. Local tip: The neighborhood’s tiny Washington Square park still feels like a secret in a city with few left and makes for a quiet place to rest your legs before setting out for predinner drinks at the Dewberry hotel’s brand-new rooftop bar, the Citrus Club, where bartenders are pouring updated takes on traditional tiki recipes. For dinner, book a booth at Tradd’s. Opened in October by veteran restaurateurs Tradd and Weesie Newton, the swanky East Bay Street restaurant delivers modern American classics—lump crab cocktail, oysters on the half shell, and wood-fire grilled steaks with your sauce of choice (order the Madeira veal reduction). And toast the evening with a glass of bubbly at the champagne bar. Before you call it a night, walk to Charleston Grill, one of the few restaurants in town with regular live music, for a little light jazz—and one last nightcap.

Dressed in his custom made-to-measure HSM suit, Irions flawlessly makes the transition from lunch to last call.


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