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Style Unlocked: Inherent Style
The Lytles embrace fashion and philanthropy across the generations
Catie Richman | Contributing Writer
It’s rare to find one thing three generations so readily agree upon. But when asked, “Who’s the most stylish Lytle?” — without missing a beat — Zach and Larry point to Ben, who chuckles and says, “Yup, it’s me.”
The patriarch earned the title of “most fashionable” thanks to his vibrant and sizable wardrobe, curated during his frequent travels to Italy. “You wouldn’t know this from my closet, but I hate shopping. I buy when I’m in Italy. I go every year or so. I just like the clothes there and the style,” Ben said.
Ben’s personal style can be summed up in one word — Mediterranean. The brilliant dashes of color and sleek lines, perfectly coordinated details, open collars and sharp blazers are indicative of the refined Italian nonchalance he acquired on his many trips. There is a seasoned finesse to his look, exemplified by perfectly fitted Armani suits that only custom tailoring can provide.
Larry shares his father’s penchant for finely tailored clothes, preferring custom suits via his tailor from Asia, who fits him a couple of times a year. Larry defines his style as “more traditional, with a bit of flair” for more formal occasions and prefers a sport coat and jeans for a smart, casual look, or as Larry’s son Zach would describe it, “the intellectual professor.”
As for his own style, Zach says, “I’m very much for simplistic comfort, not so much the sport coat, but more of a modern, relaxed take.” When it comes to dressing for a gala, he sticks to a traditional look, opting for classic colors and a glen-check Hugo Boss suit passed down from his father.
“Papa gave me my first fashion direction, which was ‘Always stay just a bit under my size.’ My brother did not pick that up, so I won all the suits,” said Larry, a valuable piece of advice Zach also has adopted.
“You can get the really nice luxury suits that are a few years old or you can get the Men’s Warehouse for $200. I’ll pick the first one!” Zach said.
The next piece of fashion direction Ben bestowed upon his family, and perhaps the most important, is, “Don’t be afraid of color.”
“Papa is famous for his color!” said Larry (another undisputed point among the Lytles). Ben will proudly tell you, “I’m a peacock.”
But there is a sensibility to his use of color — a polished peacockery — something he learned in Italy. “Remember your eye color, remember your hair color. Men don’t like always think about it,” advised Ben. “Pick the stuff that you know will highlight it.”
When it comes to dressing for a gala and artfully applying color in their attire, all three men will say there are other considerations. For those of you taking notes, this is an important one: Dress to the woman first, then the theme. “It’s easier to change three little color details than a whole dress,” Zach said.
Sophisticated suits and style advice are not the only things passed down in the Lytle clan. Helping the community and a spirit of generosity are threaded into their values as well.
Ben, a healthcare entrepreneur and lifetime philanthropist, has his own interests and areas of focus when it comes to giving back, but also looks to the charitable interests of the younger generations.
“I like to pick charities that are not well funded, that are struggling just to get by. It’s filling a gap and catching where there’s nobody covering it, especially organizations that help children,” Ben said. “Then I support whatever my kids and grandkids get into, and see what they want to support. That’s really my priority for the family fund.”
Contrasting his bright, statement-making style, Ben prefers a more muted approach to the family’s philanthropy. “Any time you get the opportunity to stay low-key and can do it quietly — it’s always better. You don’t need my name on a building.”
Larry supports his father’s interests but has also built his own name in the philanthropic community, starting several nonprofits of his own — the first at 23 — and serving on various boards such as Banner Health Foundation, Florence Crittenton and Jewish Family & Children’s Services. “It’s kind of my spiritual service,” Larry said. “We’ve been blessed with an amazing life, and amazing family. It’s kind of my chance to give some of that benefit back to the people who didn’t start with that step ahead.”
Zach, who got married earlier this year at his grandfather’s home, is coming into his own and finding his own type of charity role. “I’ve grown up around charity since I was born, so this is second nature,” Zach said. “If anybody asks me to volunteer, my response is, ‘Sure, when do you need me?’”
With the guidance of his grandfather, father and uncle Hugh, Zach aims to join a leadership program to pave his own philanthropic path in the Valley.
“It’s really rewarding to see Hugh, Larry and Zach get involved in the city,” Ben said. “It makes me feel great because I know how much it meant to me.”
The three generations of Lytles will continue to work together to support one another and their community as they build their legacy graciously, generously and in impeccable style.