Jeffrey Lee does not like to pigeonhole his style, and he prizes form over embellishment. He strongly preferred Daniel V.'s designs to Santino's on Project Runway this season. About his own style, he says, "I just put things together."

PATENT-LEATHER SPECTATOR SHOES by Dior Homme, $525 at Christian Dior Boutique (21 E 57th St, New York, 212-931-2950).

"I'm all about the feet," says Lee. He has more than 60 pairs of shoes, but these spectators with waxed cotton shoelaces hold a special place in his closet, and from what he says, they wear like slippers. Lee only wears actual slippers at home, unlike Abraham Lincoln, who was known to wear slippers to meetings because boots were uncomfortable for his large feet (size 14). According to Ask Me Anything About the Presidents by Louis Phillips, Warren G. Harding had size 14 feet as well, and Washington had size 13. The book does not disclose George W. Bush's foot size, and an extensive Google search doesn't turn it up either, but it does point to a report in the Washington Post that Cheney's feet swelled to a size 10EEE in 2004, due to heart problems.

METAL HOOPS, $60 at Laughing Buddha Tattoo & Body Piercing (The Alley Mall, 219 Broadway E, second floor, 329-8274).

Some Buddhist traditions believe that the Buddha's mother passed away at his birth. Others believe she passed away a few days later.

SILK TIE by Kenneth Cole, $70 at Kenneth Cole (520 Pike Tower, 520 Pike St, 382-1680).

CHAIN NECKLACE, gift.

Dangling from it is a Hamsa hand amulet used for protection against the evil eye and a silver band that Lee's mother brought back for him from a Hawaiian vacation. It is draped rakishly over the tie. A "rake" is a dissolute man in fashionable society, also sometimes called a roué or a rip.

SECOND CHAIN NECKLACE, gift, from H&M (731 Lexington Ave, New York, 212-935-6781).

This is H&M's rip-off of John Galliano's bone-and-skull necklace. John Galliano, in addition to being a fashion designer, is a hiphop artist who's name-checked in a song by Gwen Stefani. The lyrics go: "Let's not forget about John Galliano (no)/Flipped the landscape when Nigo made A Bathing Ape." Nigo is another fashionista whose label is called BAPE, based on the Japanese expression "To bathe in lukewarm water."

COTTON SHIRT by United Colors of Benetton, $35 at United Colors of Benetton (Pacific Place, 600 Pine St, third floor, 340-1206).

There are eight letters in Benetton. PBS says that children aged 8 are interested in outer space and the past.

VEST by H&M, $24.90 at H&M.

The shell is 63 percent polyester, 35 percent rayon, and 2 percent spandex; the lining is 65 percent cotton and 35 percent polyester.

WOOL-AND-COTTON-BLEND PANTS, $90 at Zara (750 Lexington Ave, New York, 212-754-1120).

Zara is an international fashion company that opened branches in Japan in 1997, the year that a yakuza member was caught smuggling four kilograms of heroin into Canada. The yakuza are Japanese gangsters. They get tattoos that cover their entire torsos. They cut off their own fingertips, starting with the left pinky, when it comes time to pay penance or apologize. "Unlike other organized-crime groups around the world, the yakuza have no interest in keeping a low profile," according to www.crimelibrary.com. "In most Japanese cities, yakuza social clubs and gang headquarters are clearly marked."

WHITE LEATHER BELT by Kenneth Cole, $80 at Kenneth Cole.

GRAY-BLACK SOCKS WITH PINK TRIM by Paul Smith (obscured), $35 at Barneys New York (City Centre, 1420 Fifth Ave, 622-6300).

The oversized striped bowties worn by filmmakers Nick Park and Steve Box at the podium when they picked up their Oscars last month for Best Animated Feature for Wallace and Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit were also made by Smith. Barneys is a reliable supplier of Smith's designs, and it is Lee's place of employment until he decides whether he wants to attend fashion school in Manhattan. As a denim consultant there, Lee's advice is: buy Japanese. "You don't want to take them off," he says. "It's like the Cristal of jeans."