After having dressed country stars like Blake Shelton, Vince Gill and Josh Turner for years, stylist Trish Townsend, 54, decided it was time to offer her sartorial expertise to the rest of Music City. “There weren’t many men’s boutiques in Nashville,” she says of opening Townsend Style, located in the posh Brentwood area, in April. And for guys like Shelton, who has a taller-than-average 48 long build, Townsend has made it a priority to stock the shelves with hard-to-find fits and high-end brands like John Varvatos, Ted Baker and Nikki Lund (“Blake wears her Western shirts all the time”) that Nashville residents haven’t had much access to.
The store, which is accented with reclaimed wood, also has a vintage bar where Townsend serves up bourbon and whiskey to customers. “It eases the tension and makes shopping feel like a party,” the Nashville native says. And the masculine decor isn’t without a few feminine touches — there’s a pink walk-in closet accessorized with a fluffy rug and chandelier where guys can pick up items for wives and girlfriends, like leather and pearl Vincent Peach jewelry (a favorite of her client Carrie Underwood). “I encourage men to give gifts all year long — not just for an occasion,” says Townsend. “When it’s unexpected, it means more.”
Thoughtfulness is at the core of Townsend’s approach to styling too; she prides herself on learning customers’ “wardrobe DNA.” Shelton, for example, hates formal suit pants, so Townsend always has a pair of well-tailored denim on-hand. “Even for his wedding, we did the look around jeans,” she recalls. Adds Shelton, “She makes me feel comfortable and has a great understanding of who I am, and the image I like onstage. I’m so proud of her for finally opening the store.”
And while Townsend isn’t giving up styling anytime soon, she’s enjoying this new role. “You give up your life when you’re on the road 180 days a year,” she says. “I know where I’m going to be every day now, so this is kind of like a vacation.”
–Cheryl Brody Franklin