My Style is a new series targeting fashionable people working and living in Indianapolis. For the April My Style, we sat down with Peter Walts, MD – Cardiac Surgeon, St. Vincent Heart Center.
What’s a typical day at work like for you?
I would say in general its demanding, but it varies a lot. I know if I’ll be in the operating room or office, but you have to adjust your plan based on emergencies. I usually get up and have meetings in the morning. I’m usually in the OR from 7:30AM to 5PM, but sometimes later depending on the case.
Is there any thought given to fashion around the hospital?
In general, there is not as much thought to style for the medical profession. I’m in scrubs 90% of the time, but I never wear scrubs outside of the hospital. Generally, surgeons are conservative. For the most part, doctors wear slacks, a nice shirt, and maybe a tie. I want to look professional, and I never wear any jewelry.
How would you describe your style?
Professional. I like sharp lines, clothes that fit right, nothing loose or baggy. I like things that look clean and give you a sense of confidence without arrogance. It’s not a tailored look, and I don’t buy specially-made clothing, but it has to fit right.
What clothing do you wear least?
I rarely wear sweats, unless I’m going to the gym. I personally would never wear sweats anywhere else. I prefer jeans and a nice shirt.
What should every man have in his closet?
A nice jacket, probably navy blue, something that’s versatile. And it has to be fitted.
Where do you buy your clothes?
The vast majority I buy at Nordstrom. I get almost everything I need there. They have a great men’s department, and a nice selection of shoes. You gotta have a good belt and socks. I use a personal shopper, which is nice. I go in and get everything I need for the season.
I find that most men rarely discuss clothing and style. Do you talk to people about your fashion sense?
I mean, not very much. I’m comfortable talking about it right now, but it’s certainly not a common theme to most of my discussions. It depends on if I can tell whether the other person is interested in talking clothes or style. But typically, no.
One item in your closet you can’t live without?
The obvious answer is jeans. They’re my go-to. Every non-work night I’m in jeans. I like Seven, True Religion, and AG. Ten years ago I had a few pairs of Levis, and now I have 8 pairs from different brands. They just fit better.
If you could pick one outfit that would be forever identified as your look, what would that be?
In my mind: a pair of jeans with a nice Hugo Boss trim-fit shirt, tucked in with a nice belt and a pair of boots. But my look as described by most people would probably be a collared shirt and slacks.
Is a watch part of your look?
I have a nice watch, but I usually don’t wear it to work. It’s not a good environment for a nice watch. I would always be taking it off when I’m scrubbing in, plus I don’t like to look too flashy when I’m with patients.
What about hair and face products, is that something that’s important to you?
I do go to a salon. I used to just go to the barber shop and just make it simple — give me the #2 guard and just shave it. Now, I go to my wife’s Aveda salon once every 6 weeks. I do use face lotion for dry skin, but I don’t use too many other products.
If you are getting ready to go out and your significant other gives you the thumbs down on an item of clothing, but you like it, do you still wear it?
Usually not. I trust my wife.
How would you describe the fashion of Indianapolis?
Indy is kind of Midwestern conservative. You don’t see a lot of real flash. If you are going out, you will see jeans and shirts; basically, that is Indy’s style. I don’t see too much extravagance, but it’s not a stifled place, either. We don’t get enough credit; people are aware in Indy. I’m very impressed with the cultural awareness of our city.
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