Winter Sartorial Reflection

As the sun is shining brighter than ever and temperatures rising over 20 degrees (finally), it’s time to make the transition back to my Spring/Summer wardrobe. While hanging my Fall/Winter pieces away, I found myself reflecting upon two particular jackets.

In preparation for the harsh Toronto winters, I had the these two jackets made in October 2015. They are both flannel fabrics with a herringbone pattern. The tan jacket had a slightly more luxurious feel as it contains a tinge of cashmere.

 

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The blue jacket is semi structured – no shoulder padding and a half chest canvas. It also features cream tortoise shell buttons and a substantially lower button stance for a sports coat. On the other hand, the tan jacket is more structured – shoulder padding and roped shoulders. I initially anticipated to wear the tan jacket more and decided to make a pair of matching trousers as well. Considering the lack of formality from the suit’s shade, I attempted to change the dynamics of the suit by adding peak lapels and patch pockets onto the jacket.

Blue

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Although they were both difficult, the blue jacket was considerably easier to wear. As you would expect, a pair of dark denim compliments the jacket blue nicely. It retains the shades of blue and neutralizes the jacket’s lightness appropriately. I just had to ensure that the top was darker than the jacket and I was ready to leave the house. I often found myself grabbing a grey turtleneck or a dark blue OCBD to complete the outfit.

This sports coat has become my unofficial F/W go-to jacket. The semi-structure makes it incredibly light in weight and effortless to wear over layers.

Tan

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After looking at the finish product, I wish I struck with notch lapels on the tan jacket as I found it to be incredibly hard to pair. The peak lapels did not combine well with the fabric’s colour and the structured shoulders made the jacket look too formal to be worn casually. As a result, I found myself wearing the trousers more often. I did try various experimental combinations with the jacket but failed to find one that was comfortable enough for me. I guess there’s still next year!

With the impractically of wearing it as a full suit, I found that the combination of brown flannel trousers, jeans (of course) or dark grey corduroy trousers works most favorable with the jacket.

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This tan jacket is the perfect example of a “photo-garment”. Meaning, it looks extremely appealing in photos (can’t deny the beauty of the rich golden brown colour and the herringbone weave) but quite ostentatious in real life.

It’s a beautiful fabric but considering the limited wears I accumulated on it, I wish I stuck with notch lapels or just made the trousers separately.

Especially for suits, I try to make the best use out of every garment purchase. Thus I am a little disappointed that this tan jacket wasn’t as versatile as I had expected. Oh well, we live and learn.

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Anyhow, the weather is currently too hot and humid for these jackets. It’s time to hang them up and pull out my favourite fabric: linen. When the temperatures start falling in late September, I will start revising on better ways/combinations to utilize these jackets better (especially for the tan).

OOTD: What To Wear On A Date Night

You imagine her giggling at your sarcastic remarks about the necessary development of the Liberal political party. A rush of excitement flows through your body to have finally found someone who resonates with your distinctive rumour and questionable antics. After numerous ‘hanging-out’ sessions and text messages, she agrees to meet you for coffee. But not just regular coffee, a coffee date to be exact.

You have been on several dates but you are immensely nervous about this particular one. No one else, till date, has made you experience such an adrenaline with a simple smile nor  understand your pet peeve of eating rice dishes with a fork. You intend to take her to your favourite fool-proof coffee spot, where you have never experienced a bad time. With the location secured, you start pondering about your physical presentation.

The dreadful, but yet thrilling, coffee day has arrived. You see her from a distance and your heart starts uncontrollably racing. You impatiently walk up to her and say “Hey” with the widest grin on your face. She replies “Hey there!” followed by a genuine smile. You lock eyes with her and you can’t seem to stop staring at her sapphire blue eyes or smiling. Shortly, through the curated awkwardness, she giggles, breaking eye contact and catches a whiff sight of your lower half, your floral shorts and boat shoes. You examine her expression and you noticed that she was expecting more.

Admittedly, one’s appearance isn’t the primary clause for determining attraction. But you can’t deny, it does help you score a few much needed points. From failed/successful first date experiences, here are a few tips to secure the appearance factor. These tips align with the effortless and versatile theme that DWNS exudes, exhibit a serious (but not too serious) impression and ensures that you have one less thing to worry about for date.

DSC_1872First: Your darkness pair of blue jeans. Don’t go donning your dress trousers, you want her to take you seriously but don’t overwhelm her with formality. Which leads to…

Second: Your statement blazer or suit jacket. Sitting across the table, the jacket is what she’s going to notice the most. Don your favourite blazer or suit jacket, just ensure that the jacket isn’t too ostentatious – meaning one with a slight pattern weave (like his tan herringbone jacket) and preferably with patch pockets.

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Third: Your most comfortable crewneck sweater or henley shirt. With the outer layer and bottom secured, feel free to wear anything under the jacket – even nothing if you are feeling extremely confident. Try to avoid anything with a collar as I feel that it will just add too much formality to the ensemble.

Fourth: Your darkest pair of boots, for the colder months, or loafers, for the warmer months. Not sure how true the statement holds up but as the saying goes “women always look at a men’s shoe first”.

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Fifth: Your favourite timepiece. A watch is crucial as it tells the time, allowing you to know when to bail if the date goes south. But in all seriousness, it structures your ensemble and reflects your personality. You don’t have to wear your dress/work watch, a timepiece like the Timex Weekender will work perfectly.

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Lastly: Your confidence. Remember, you rather be hated for what you are than loved for what you are not.

Good luck on your date 🙂

Spring Transitional Jackets

It’s that time of the year again – ‘transitional weather’. The weather is neither too hot nor too cold, it’s windy but not chilly enough for your winter parkas/topcoats and certainly not warm enough to break out your summer pieces, linens and cottons.

Coincidently, due to the fluctuating weather, this is the period that we are highly susceptible to falling ill. Thus, it’s imperative to dress appropriately.

I will be revealing three jackets that you can utilize to dress efficiently for the weather. These jackets embraces the commonality of versatility, casual to formal elements and looks too darn good with almost anything. Without further ado, here’s the first:

Leather Jacket

If it still isn’t apparent, I love suits. But frankly, it is quite impractical (especially for a student) to wear suits or suit separates (just the jacket or the trousers by itself) everyday. This is why I also find it important to establish your casual wardrobe. One of the pieces that I naturally gravitate to is a black leather jacket. It’s incredibly versatile and requires almost no effort, or thought, to pair. It works great with your trusted worn-in jeans and tailored gear.

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I paired the leather jacket my raw denim jeans (currently at: 2 years & 1 wash), a white waffle knit henley and a light grey birdseye waistcoat. The waistcoat, made from a lightweight cloth, was added to elevate the formality of the look, and to provide extra warmth.

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Alternatively, swap your leather jacket for a suede jacket, as seen below, to provide exude a slightly more mature look.

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Denim Jacket

Just like a pair of jeans, every man needs a denim jacket. It’s effortless, comfortable and shouts James Dean.

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Much like the leather jacket, the denim jacket is incredibly versatile. There’s a certain satisfaction of acquiring timeless garments that fuses well most garments and an individual’s respective style.

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Paired here with my burgundy flannel trousers (which I love) and a gingham shirt. What I love about this semi-formal ensemble is that you can swap out the denim jacket for a sports coat or suit jacket to drastically shape it to fit a formal setting.

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Field Jacket

The Field Jacket, or the M-65, was taken from military-wear and recreated to appeal to the masses. It usually features a concealed hood in the collar, waistline drawstrings and pockets… Lots of them. This particular jacket also features bi-swing shoulders, the pleated portion at the back of the armhole, that aids mobility and comfort.

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Due to its military features, the Field Jacket usually passes off as an extremely casual garment. However, the neutral tone of the jacket blends well with your tailored wardrobe. Pair it with one of seasonal patterned dress trousers, as I have here with a flannel navy windowpane trousers.

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Usually, anything works with the inner layer – think: white t-shirt, crew neck sweater or, in this case, a (signature) scoop neck. Complete it with either your favourite pair of suede loafers or sneakers and you are good to go (Y).

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There we have it, three casual jackets that will allow you to bypass this transitional period with ease. Stay warm/cool during this period my friends!

OOTD: What To Wear On A Rainy Day

As of late, the weather in Toronto hasn’t been the greatest. Temperatures are rising, but not by a long shot. The weather station forecasted a windstorm on Sunday, forcing temperatures to reach down to -5 degrees. So much for ‘Spring’ I guess. I made an Instagram post in early April, sending off my regards to Flannel but now it seems that I am still in need of its services.

It was pouring today and I had a dinner appointment to attend to. It was a semi-formal occasion and I needed to look somewhat dressed down and ‘water-resistant’. This is what I wore today.

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To counter the rainy day and colder temperatures I wore my favourite F/W suit, the burgundy flannel suit. I LOVE this suit. It’s that perfect burgundy shade, not too dark and not too bright. It’s shade allows it to blend within formal and casual environments. Though, for casual settings, I would be more inclined to wear the suit as separates.

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I paired the suit with a band collar denim shirt from Frank & Oak and a ‘waterproof’ brown leather Chelsea from Cole Haan. A few people have asked for my opinion on Frank & Oak, and I interpret the brand as a store that you should never pay full price for. I bought this shirt from the Toronto store in Queen Street during their Black Friday sale. The shirt was marked down to $40 and had a solid denim hand-feel. However after the first wash, 3 buttons fell off and the others were on the binge of dropping off. It’s safe to say that I wasn’t exactly pleased with the stitching. I am not going to rule out the possibly that this shirt might be a one-off. After all, I respect their mission to help guys dress better through it’s Elevate program and the desirable Naked & Famous Collaboration. Seriously check out the collaboration, the long denim bomber is to die for…

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Instead of opting for a trench coat or a waxed canvas jacket, I decided to lug around a camouflage umbrella instead. Having served my two year military service in Singapore, I have taken quite a liking to non-pixelated camouflage prints. Also, Camouflage, or green tones rather, compliments burgundy all too well.

Save to say that with the exception of my boots, I managed to stay dry and dashing in this ensemble. Well, the latter is up to your discretion.

Thanks for reading.