2nd Brown Suit: Coffee

In my first post in DWNS I briefly talked about my favouritism for brown, medium brown specifically. I think the phrase “no brown in town” is extremely dated. I believe that brown can be incorporated very well in every man’s wardrobe, whether it be a brown suit or brown corduroy/moleskin trousers

I have two brown suits, the flannel one as previously featured and a coffee brown (slightly darker in shade). I quite like this coffee brown fabric. Its a twill that possesses a reflective golden sheen at certain angles and lightings. I am thinking of expanding my brown collection and welcome the ever popular tobacco (more on the lighter shade of brown) to my wardrobe. Maybe in a linen or at least a linen blend to reserve its utility for the warmer months. But more on that soon, back to the coffee brown.

DSC_3865

I find myself often wearing this fabric as separates, particularly the jacket. I like wearing the jacket and contrast it with different colours.

DSC_2290

I don’t get much wear out of the trousers for several reasons, this was one of my first few suits, hence a tremendously slimmer (read: way to slim) cut and a mid-rise trouser. As I always mention, my greatest pet peeve in menswear is seeing shirt fabric when the suit jacket is button. A higher-rise prevents that while a mid-rise does not… Unless the jacket’s button stance is substantially lower or it’s a double breasted jacket.

DSC_3960

The trousers are also too dark. Usually it’s easier to pair a darker trousers than a lighter trouser. However, because of it’s brown shade, it fails to sustain enough formality that a charcoal/grey/navy trouser provides.

DSC_3787

On the other hand, the jacket and vest are easy to pair. The jacket pairs well with lighter coloured trousers, like the white as seen above, and patterned trousers, the charcoal grey windowpane. It also has patch pockets, which I LOVE. As I always preach, patch pockets are the epitome of functionality and flexibility. When worn as a standalone piece, a dark brown jacket as such allows the user to pair with different colours and experiment with multiple combinations.

DSC_3975

I rarely wear a 2 piece to begin with but I don’t think I have ever wore this as a full piece. I feel that such a brown packs a punch and thus would not be appropriate for interview purposes or very corporate settings. Under such circumstances, you would be safer with a grey, navy or charcoal suit.

DSC_3857

If you are hesitant with going for a dark brown suit, I suggest opting for a just a jacket in a mid weight wool first. If you discover that it compliments your style accordingly then expand into seasonal brown fabrics, such as a brown flannel or tobacco linen (blend).

Tips Before Pulling The Trigger On That Off Colour Suit

Often popularized by Instagrammers, colourful and/or aggressively patterned suits are fun to look at. But they often lack practicality and function. I mean how often does an occasion welcome a pink jacket? An individual wearing such would just be classified as “too much” as opposed to “well-dressed”. Of course if you are one one of the few men to often babble in colourful clothing and not shy away from it, I would say keep at it. Because it really takes TRUE confidence to pull it off effortlessly.

I always believe that it is important to centre and build a man’s wardrobe around functionality and versatility. Thus acquiring a colourful and a aggressive pattern fabric should be reserved for the last.

However, if you are still dead set on having a colourful suit in your rotation (which I totally understand – they are just so good to look at…), here’s some tips I recommend looking out for to extend its milage.

  1. Pick something the the definitive end of the spectrum, i.e. really dark earth tones such as an olive or really light such as a light blue/ oatmeal.
  2. Pick a seasonal fabric, linen or flannel.
  3. Opt for a double breasted jacket option. This makes it easier for the jacket to be worn as a standalone piece, especially if the jacket is on the lighter shade.
  4. Have the jacket be cut a little slimmer and the trouser hem a little shorter. This gives you leeway to style the suit in more contemporary measures, which is often required with a louder fabric.
  5. Be able to picture yourself wearing it confidently. If you envision that the attention will make you uncomfortable, then don’t do it. People can notice when you are experiencing discomfort in your clothes, and clothing should serve its form and function role where you feel great both physically and mentally.

My advice is not to pull the trigger on it just yet despite its temptation. But if you really desire, at least consider these options first before emptying your wallet.

How I Accessorize

They say accessories, on the wrist and neck in particular, is an extension of one’s personal style. I never taken a liking towards accessorizing. I think it’s because I personally never understood why I should have more than one bracelet on either side of my wrist and lack the knowledge/ability to effortlessly pull it off.

For me, unlike my suit patterns/colours, I generally like to keep my accessories minimal. Let’s start with the jacket’s pocket square. I have quite a few pocket squares but I usually only rotate between 6 different ones – 3 for the summer and 3 for the winter. This is centred around the idea of understanding what colours/patterns works best for you; or simply put – comfort and versatility.

thumb_IMG_7551_1024

I am an extremely sentimental person, especially when it involves something tangible. This watch is a Longines diver that was passed down from my father for my most recent birthday. It’s a little bulky, as most diver watches are, and thus tend to wear this with more casual ensembles. For formality, I would opt to don a slimmer watch with a leather band instead. However, more often than not, I would be alternating between this or a Timex Weekender.

The ring on my second finger, along with a sterling silver rosemary, was given to me by my sister before my departure to Toronto. With the exception of exercising, I wear this ring everywhere. The last accessory I always wear is a beige jade bracelet (not pictured) that was recently given to me by my brother. I have been wearing it everyday and it just so happens to compliments my wardrobe perfectly.

It’s a little uncanny but by accessorizing it with such memorable pieces, I always feel that I am carrying a part of my family and embodying their values.

Evening Wear: Dinner Jacket

One of the few things that really got me interested into tailoring was evening wear, in particular the dinner jacket. There was just something so majestic and sophisticated about it that piqued my interest. To me, a tuxedo/dinner jacket for a male is what THE “Elegant Dress” is for women. The dinner jacket is essentially a term use to describe a standalone tuxedo jacket. It favours using unconventional suit fabrics with a brighter sheen – such as velvet, formal colours – think white/black/midnight blue and often features a satin or grosgrain lapel. It also normally consists of either a shawl or peak lapel.

Mainly due to its ‘shininess’ and traditional purposes, the dinner jacket/tuxedo is mainly reserved for Black Tie or what we know today as extremely formal events.

Realistically, at this day and age, we rarely have the opportunity to don a tuxedo/dinner jacket. And even if we did, modern day dress codes are too unmoderated, making a black suit sufficient.

I, a university student, do not foresee myself attending a Black Tie event for at least the next 6 months. But I am still obsessed with evening wear and dinner jackets. Thus, being an advocate for casual tailoring, I have been deliberating how to utilize my midnight blue dinner jacket to its full potential.

DSC_1951

Pictured: My Midnight-Blue One Button Shawl Lapel Dinner Jacket

I know many classical menswear enthusiasts will be reading this and thinking, “what is this Asian guy rambling on about? A dinner jacket should only be confined to the realms of formality!” Even though I do, somewhat, agree to that, I am contemplating casual pairings to stretch out and maximize the utility of my dinner jacket.

Despite it being one of the few jackets I brought to Singapore with me, I haven’t had much opportunity to wear the dinner jacket. I feel that for a casual-esque ensemble it works best with black. I have been wearing it a lot with this black linen t-shirt, a pair of black Levis jeans and some good old velvet slippers.

I feel like I will come back to this post once I have made more progress for its utilization in the casual sphere.

In the meantime, what do you think? Should a dinner jacket be solely reserved for formal occasions? Or it COULD potentially be integrated in casual settings if, and only if, its done right. And if so, how would you pair it?

Thanks for reading,

Cheers