Dr. Avi Markowitz, a professor in the department of Internal Medicine, division of Hematology/Oncology at the University of Texas Medical Branch, was a fashionable guy even before he went to medical school. He was voted best-dressed as a high school student in New Jersey and rocked out in the requisite hippie attire at Woodstock in 1969.
He’s toned it down these days, but not entirely. For work, Markowitz would rather dress in a tailored suit with a twist than a pair of scrubs. It’s an ode to the patients, whom he said enjoy seeing what pair of crazy socks he decided to wear that day.
“They’re sick,” Markowitz said. “The least you can do is be presentable.”
Q: How would you describe your personal style?
A: I have a colorful, casual style. I want to wear clothes I feel good in.
Q: Who are your favorite designers?
A: Kiton, an Italian designer, and Solsona, which makes leather goods and furs in Barcelona, Spain. I buy an awful lot of my clothes when I travel.
Q: You do a lot of traveling. What are some must-have items for travel?
A: Right now my favorite suitcase is an orange, Globe-Trotter roll-aboard, which I always carry on with me. My patented alligator loafers with rubber soles are the best airport shoes in the world because they can be dressed up with a suit or dressed down to go with jeans. One of my favorite travel jackets is a reversible brown houndstooth and leather coat by Kiton.
Q: Do you and your wife Margo share a closet?
A: No. We each have too much to fit in one closet. So now I have the California closet and she has another.
Q: What do you shop for?
A: I have the shopping gene, but I wait for the sales. My favorite four-letter word is S-A-L-E. I get to know the high-end men’s shops, especially the clerks who work there, because they save me time and money. They’ll call me when an item I like goes on sale and reserve one in my size until I can come in and buy it. I also get great discounts on high-end fashion items at www.vente-privee.com.
Q: What’s your advice for people who want to step up their fashion game but don’t know where to start?
A: Buy quality materials that’ll last a long time. If you go classic, it’ll live forever, and timeless people stand out. Find the brand that works for you and stick with it. Find something that fits you and makes you feel good.
Q: What are your rules for the care and keeping of clothes?
A: Dry clean your suits and jackets to keep them pressed, launder your shirts and find someone who’s good at alterations. Keep your closet organized and don’t forget to have a good mirror so you can see what you look like.
Q: What fashion items do you have the most of in your wardrobe?
A: I probably have close to 500 ties.
Q: What are your thoughts on accessories?
A: They allow you to make a simple statement.
I accessorize with socks, ties, watches, different colored shoelaces, cufflinks and pens that match the outfit. Take five minutes while you’re getting dressed and change your laces. Small things like that can make all the difference in the world. You have to figure out your personality. If you’re uncomfortable wearing colored laces, then it’s not for you. If you’re a banker and always dressed in dark navy or black suits, maybe try a fun tie.
Q: What are your favorite local shops?
A: Cruz Cortez Clothiers, 2227 Postoffice St., in Galveston; Designworks, 2119 Postoffice St.; and Vic’s Estate and Fine Jewelry, 2413 Market St.