Stripe Pattern Experimentation

For those who aren’t aware, I watch Korean Dramas every now and then. What each series strikes out to me, besides the evident cheesyness, is how well the Koreans are in blending pinstripes with their casual clothing.

Pinstripes suits are often utilize to convey power or authority. The lines elongates the individual, making him or her appear taller, and commands attention without being too overbearing. Subsequently, pinstripe suits has inherently associated the vertical line pattern with formality.

The Koreans, or their stylists I should say, have a great eye for pairing striped patterned clothing into a casual ensemble. Admiring their visual prowess and continuously exploring wearing formal clothing casually, I have been attempting to implement stripes into my outfits. I am still in the experimental phrase of it and have been taking it slow by using accessories first.

If you are scared of trying it, I completely understand your apprehension. Stripes, like any other existing pattern, is not for everybody. But before determining that, as always, I urge you to experiment with it before you completely shunt it away.

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One garment to consider is a pocket square. It doesn’t require much economic investment, easy to experiment with and, if you don’t like it, the opportunity to use it as a cloth or gift is present – I am kidding but you get the drift.

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The grey pocket square in the photo is from Sprezzabox, a subscription company that I am a brand ambassador for. Unfortunately you can’t purchase this exact pocket square anymore, but a great alternative is this navy seersucker one from Tiebar.

Another accessory to consider is a tie. The most common and personally the easiest the wear is the regiment stripe tie. It has a preppy connotation and the array of colours adds youth to the individual. This tie is from Brooks Brothers’s old collection but they currently carry a similar one online.

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Lastly, if you want to go all out, consider purchasing a striped shirt. This option is my favourite as stripe shirts are incredibly easy to wear. Take note of the stripe width, a thinner, pencil like, width is more suited for a formal attire – think of the first image with the navy hopsack blazer. A larger width, such as a bengal stripe or university stripe, is often in more casual shirting fabrics such as an oxford cloth. The burgundy oxford university stripe shirt in the image above is from Spier and Mackay. They make great shirts at an exceptional value. At this time, they still offer this fabric MTM and RTW.

These three, pocket square, ties and shirts, are great avenues to experiment with stripes. You can also acquire more prominent garments, such as pinstripe trousers, but that is a little too far fetched for my liking and I am not at that level, both financially and stylistically, to freely experiment with such.

Louder Summer Prints

Summer is inching closer towards its end. For some, this is a joyous occasion as it indicates that Fall, my favourite season, is approaching. Additionally, one celebratory feature of a season’s close is, evidently, the End-of-Season sale. And some websites worth browsing are FarFetch, Barneys New York, Yoox and Saks Fifth Avenue. What these e-commerce retailers have in common is the occasional sale-on-sale code that really enables for deep discounts.

I usually use this opportunity to acquire garments that are unique, one-of, experimental and heavily discounted. The challenge to this is seeking a garment that may not be worn frequently but can pass the test of times, such that you can wear it for years to come. What I come to discover is that bolder prints or patterns often fall into this category and two louder prints I urge you to consider are madras and floral.

Most will be familiar with what a floral print looks like but madras? Not as common unfortunately. Madras, originating from a city in India, is a colourful plaid-like design that is used on a variety of garment types. Quickly adopted by rich baby boomers in the 1960s to establish social standing, madras has a slight preppy connotation to it and brands, such as Ralph Lauren, still make madras pattern garments today.

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Most floral and madras fabrics are quite different from one another and it’s boldness can range from stylishly subtle to Ronald McDonald ridiculous. This is why I highly recommend reserving these patterns solely for shirts as they are easier to wear, pair and flair well with most existing wardrobes.

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What I like about these patterns that’s often overlooked, is how easy it is to wear it casually. Its a kind of garment that requires very little thought to put on. A pairing that I have come to enjoy with these shirts is wearing them with a pair of dark denim jeans or linen pants and loafers. I can also see them looking great with navy shorts and khaki/olive chinos. However bare in mind, for the latter, a lighter coloured shirt will produce a less notable contrast that is not always ideal.

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This yellow floral shirt was purchased from Zara nearly 5 years ago. It’s quite tight now and the material isn’t of the greatest quality, but, in regards to details and pattern, the shirt does not appear dated or influent with todays dress code. With loud/bold patterns, it can be challenging to observe a garment and determine if it will be relevant or wearable in the proceeding years. It requires some form of logical foresight and, more importantly, referential experience. Ultimately, remember that clothing, dressing or building your personal style is a journey/learning process that takes time, practice, education and, unfortunately, money. So don’t beat yourself over if you felt that you wasted money purchasing something that you no longer wear now. Trust me, we have all been there.

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Back to the post’s topic, on hot summer days, specifically with a humidity such as Singapore’s, you don’t really need to wear a jacket. However, if you feel compelled to, I personally prefer wearing a jacket over a madras than a floral shirt. Floral shirts, especially this colourful one, tend to be bolder and often overwhelms the jacket. On the other hand, due to the blend of darker and lighter colours, a madras is more often subdued. They both though, look great without a jacket, which is occasionally great to focus on considering how repulsive a tailored jacket can seem in the heat.

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Some sale shirts I recommend are by my favourite Toronto brand, Spier & Mackay. For those who mainly follow me on Instagram will be familiar with my love and support I have for this classical menswear brand. Most of their Summer shirts are on sale right now and they have some extremely interesting floral, like this, and madras ones, like this.

Bare in mind, some of their fabrics, particularly the madras, are available at a custom fit for $59.99. An incredible steal if you ask me. In fact, they still have the madras fabric I am wearing above. For those who are hesitant on Made-to-Measure, fear not as you can input your favourite shirt measurements into your profile, which I did and turned out exceptionally well.

I am quite familiar with Spier & Mackay’s custom process and if anyone of you have further questions about the brand, please feel free to drop me an email. I am aware that this may seem like an advertised post (trust me it isn’t) so, to offset this perception, here are two other beautiful floral shirts at higher price points for your consideration, Xacus and Paul Smith.

Thanks for reading, cheers.

(Images from Spier & Mackay, Ralph Lauren, MenFashionHub & Pinterest)

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Interesting Legwear

The other day I was casually browsing Instagram, when I came across a promoted post by Olive. The photo was striking, it was a headless model wearing an oversized white t-shirt tucked into a looser fitting double pleated grey trousers.

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I was particularly intrigued by the high waisted fit and shallow reverse double pleats that meets the trouser crease. Often, fast fashion retailers make double pleated trousers that does not align with the trouser’s natural crease – which immensely annoys me.

Founded in UK 2010, they are a relatively new entrant to the apparel industry. After taking the liberty of browsing their collection online, it appears that they specialize in streetwear with an emphasis on high end fashion silhouettes. Their entire line is inherently casual and, although the silhouette differs entirely from my preferred style, there are certain pieces I could envision myself wearing, for example this beige belted cotton parka and chore jacket with a white contrast stitching.

But, personally, their leg wear section is the true gem of their assortment. They have a variety of styles at an affordable price range. I also think that some of these garments have the potentiality to blend well with tailored wear. Some of my personal favourites are Ivory Drawstring Trousers, that will look great with just a navy T-Shirt or light blue button down, and Single Pleated Light Grey Trouser, which is a great wardrobe addition as it acts similarly to a grey flannel trouser.

Nevertheless, before purchasing, I will be mindful of their silhouette, as they are quite trendy, and its composition. I cannot speak at length about their quality as I do not own a piece of Olive clothing. But, be aware that some of their garments are made in a polyester blend, making it less ideal for sustainability. I do believe that this brand is positioned at a higher tier fast fashion audience, much like Oak and Fort. Still, don’t let that deter you as it’s a great way to experiment with different silhouettes and unique garments.

Below are more photos from their leg wear section.

Thanks for reading, cheers.

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Packing Light On Tailoring

I went back to Singapore for the Summer and decided to pack extremely light, particularly on the tailoring aspect. So light that I only brought three tailored jackets:

  • Tobacco Linen-Wool linen Suit (For Day 1 of my brother’s wedding)
  • Blue Windowpane Linen-Wool Jacket (To add a little statement if necessary)
  • Navy Double Breasted Hopsack Jacket (To be mainly worn casually over linen T-Shirts, scoop neck shirts and denim)

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My style revolves heavily around tailored garments but I learnt my lesson last Summer, that it’s nearly impossible to stay casually tailored everyday. Hence, only three jackets were brought.

I did, however, bring a lot of high rise trousers. To combat the barely bearable tropical humidity, I tend to wear my dress trousers with velvet slippers and slightly oversized T-Shirts tucked in or linen trousers with band collar shirts. Such a combination, is, in my opinion, a great way to stay tailored in the heat.

Thanks for reading, cheers.

Palewave Look

Last Summer, I read an article from one of my favourite menswear blogs titled A Tailored Version of Palewave. To summarize, Palewave describes the low contrast in an outfit that is prominent in Streetwear. The author writes about Palewave being present in tailoring and exemplifies it further with visual images.

A convenient method of tailoring pairing derives from creating a stark contrast, dark colours on the top and light on the bottom or vice versa. Achieving a complete palewave look is particularly challenging for lighter skin tones as it has a tendency of washing you out. Taking a strong interest of implementing a Palewave look, I found that creating a slight contrast with shoes is very helpful. If a tan or lighter shade of footwear was used, the entirety would look too discombobulated and resemble a costume.

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Additionally, one of the most effective ‘factors’ about a Palewave look is the ability to successfully wear a bolder jacket. If we were to use the original pairing premise of a high contrast, the jacket would appear too prominent and, arguably, excessive. What the low contrast aids here is blending the jacket subtlety with similar shades to make the ensemble appear more wholesome.

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An evident grey theme is present, with a grey houndstooth wool-linen trouser and bold light grey windowpane jacket. A Palewave look can take some time to experiment with,  but what better season to do so than Summer.

Thanks for reading, cheers.

 

SuitSupply’s New Womens Wear Line Is Simply Amazing

SuitSupply just released launched their women’s wear line, SuiStudio, and it is… PHENOMENAL!

Of course, this is from the perspective of a male but I geniunely like their collection. What initially comes to mind, at least from the catalogue photos, are softly tailored garments in neutral colours, interesting textures and a pronounced silhouette.

The suit model that particularly caught my attention was the Cameron Double Breasted. It is rather aggressive with it’s detailing, wide lapels and brass buttons, but it’s sharp taper allows the suit to exude a sense of femininity without appearing like a “boyfriend” suit. From my understanding/experience, it is rather challenging to find the optimal balance on a double breasted jacket to accommodate a female’s chest. But, the suits seem to drape extremely well on the female models, especially around the chest.

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Their Palermo model, whose jacket is characterized by it’s wide peak lapels and single breasted closure, is also just as flattering. Additionally, you have the potentiality of purchasing the matching “Shorts” version, perfect for more casual work settings, or the “Skirt” iteration to retain it’s formality.

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SuiStudio also offers outerwear, which are very minimalistic in design, and evening wear. The latter is styled incredibly sensual with garments such as a low cut cleavage revealing top. I think such a pairing is very sexy/attractive and does not appear too provocative.

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Like their menswear line, they use fabrics from recognizable mills (Ferla, VBC, Solbiati etc.) but their products are still Made in China. If it’s any consolation, SuitSupply’s prices are still worth every penny and I do not expect any inferior manufacturing with SuiStudio.

Unfortunately, e-commerce is currently only available in Europe and the US. However, with SuitSupply’s accelerated global growth, I wouldn’t be surprise to see a worldwide e-commerce open within the next few months.

Thanks for reading, cheers.

Neapolitan Jacketing

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After acquiring one, I can finally comprehend the hype that is Eidos Napoli. The brand makes a true Neapolitan jacket that is accessible to the younger folks.

This beautiful gun club with a faint rust overcheck jacket is in Eidos’s most popular model, Ciro, that features:

  • Wider lapels
  • A fish mouth opening between the lapel and collar
  • Spalla Camicia (Pleated Shoulders)
  • Barchetta Chest Pocket
  • 3/2 Roll
  • Lowered button stance
  • Substantially open quarters
  • No Shoulder padding

This jacket is one of the most comfortable jackets I have ever put on. It feels more like a shirt, akin to a second skin, as opposed to a jacket. The fabric, a wool-cashmere blend, drapes ridiculously well and is light enough to be worn for three seasons, Fall, Winter and Spring.

The brown base hue makes it easy to pair with a variety of colours and garments. A few pairings in mind that I am particularly excited to attempt are grey flannel trousers, white shirt and a brown knitted tie, a cream turtleneck with brown corduroys, or something as simple as jeans with an oxford shirt. Unfortunately, such experimenting would have to wait till the temperatures drop again. Well, here’s to looking forward to the colder months.

Thanks for reading, cheers.