What To Wear For A Long Flight

I don’t travel all too often, maybe once to thrice a year. However, out of the trips, I am at least expected to make a trip back home (Singapore) from Toronto. I love visiting Singapore but goodness gracious, it’s one hell long of a flight… 20 hours to be exact.

I usually do not give much thought to my flight attire and adopt a “who cares?” mentality. This often results in a combination of sweatpants and an oversized sweater. However, on recent trip back to Singapore, I had a afternoon lunch meeting scheduled right after I land. Now I had to be conscious of my attire. Either I packed a change a clothes or start thinking of a way to dress that comfortably accommodates a 20 hour flight AND transits presentably for my meeting. After toying with the thought of lunging unnecessary items on my hand carry I decided to get my head thinking.

I had to centre my attire around the concept of being comfortable and presentable. It wasn’t a very formal meeting, but I knew it was serious enough that a tailored jacket would be required.

Let’s start from the bottom up.

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Shoes: I wanted to wear something that I could easily slip on and off to maximize comfort on the plane. I can easily slip the shoes off when I am sleeping or watching a movie and easily slide my feet back into it as I am about to head to the bathroom. I went with my most worn loafers, a brown woven leather tassel from Allen Edmonds. This is indefinitely my most worn shoe and is one of the three shoes I brought on the trip (the other two were an olive New Balance sneaker and a burgundy Weejun penny loafer). Loafers are also more formal than sneakers, making it the perfect choice for flight wear in the dress shoe spectrum.

Trousers: I recommend all travellers this, the cargo trouser. The x2 extra pockets on the sides serve wonders. You can use one for your passport and the other for your wallet/card holder. That way, you don’t have to worry too much about leaving your passport being stacked up the hand carry compartment or uncomfortably leave it in your front pocket. Be sure your cargo trousers are a little slimmer as the pockets may potentially add unnecessary bulk to your trousers silhouette.

Jacket and under layer: The plane can get a little chilly mid air, that’s why it is important to wear a jacket that you can easily remove and a relatively thicker sweater that provides sufficient warmth. For the jacket, I went with my denim blazer. It has patch pockets, which are great for utility and storing items, and is made to be worn, crumbled and sustain hours of mobility to create ‘characteristic’ fades – perfect circumstances of a 20 hour flight. For the sweater I went with a thicker knitted linen sweater, it’s perfect because it isn’t too warm nor cold for occasions like this. The only tricky thing about this sweater is actually finding another appropriate setting to wear it for as the sweater fails to provide warmth in a windy climate and breathability in a humid setting. Considering a plane’s relatively dryer and colder atmosphere, this linen sweater worked perfectly. Although it’s a thick knit, this linen sweater is quite tailored – making me retain a slim silhouette when the jacket’s removed.

For all those wondering, this beige linen sweater was acquired from Club Monaco.

Despite not washing my hair or my face, I still got to the meeting looking like a million bucks. I personally felt so comfortable travelling with an ample amount of pocket slots from the cargo trousers and the breathability from the linen sweater. These pieces have become my travel staples and will always come to my mind whenever I think of flight comfortability.

How To Dress Better For University

I get asked the following question a lot, “Do you wear suits everyday?”.

The answer to that is no, I don’t. I am only a university student and as mentioned in the previous post I hardly ever wear a full suit. I do however wear my suits pieces as separates quite frequently. I usually wear my suit trousers with sweaters for meeting friends and my suit jacket with jeans for the occasional nightout. This sort of explains why majority of my suits are in relatively unconventional colors and styles (patch pockets, wide peak lapels etc.).

The follow up question I commonly receive is “Then what do you wear casually? Or to like to school?”.

I get asked this question a lot more than expected. I tend to describe my style as “casually tailored, arousing double takes”. ‘Double takes’ is to reference my preference for bolder tailored pieces such as loud windowpanes or wider lapels.

Although I do know a handful of students that wear a blazer or suit to classes, I generally try to avoid such attire. It receives unwarranted attention, as it’s a little pretentious. More importantly, you should feel physically and mentally comfortable in all the clothes you wear. If you start second guessing the attention you are receiving then you shouldn’t be wearing it.

In such a case, what can you wear for university that portrays a thoughtful stylish nonchalant young adult image? Because university logo hoodies and sweatpants sure don’t cut it…

If you are interested in incorporating tailoring pieces in your daily university wear, which I am sure you are because that’s what this webpage is about, here is what I recommend: use seasonal/patterned collar shirts or your dress trousers. To clarify, I am referring to casual shirts and less conservative trouser colours.

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For your shirts I suggest picking one in a casual collar, like a button down with a rather generous collar and prominent S-curve to streamline your neck and face lines or a band collar (aka a shirt with no collar as pictured). The material is of extreme importance as well. Pick a seasonal fabric shirt, linen for summer and flannel for winter, or one in a oxford cloth. Any other cotton fabric will make the shirt look too formal for a class setting.

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This electric blue linen shirt is from Uniqlo. Considering Uniqlo’s shorter sleeve sizes, I bought it in an S and permanently have it rolled up. Whether it be a T-shirt, I am an advocate for tucking in my upper half but this can be disregarded if you are 1) not wearing a blazer over, 2) not wearing a formal shirt and 3) not wearing a mid/high rise trouser – because anything tucked into a low rise trouser will misalign your proportions.

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I completed the look by pairing it with trusted pair of raw denim jeans from Gap.  With the consistent rotation around my dress trousers, I don’t get much wear out of it as denim heads do. But, as you have probably experienced, the darker hue of denim jeans works with almost everything – making it an easy pick. For footwear, sneakers (due to its casual nature) would be more appropriate. However, I own more “dress shoes” than sneakers, hence the burgundy penny loafers from Weejuns. Just ensure that your jeans are a little slimmer and not TOO long, if not you will create an undesirable stacking effect.

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Dress trousers are easier to pair but usually requires more confidence to pull off as tucking in your upper half would be necessary to portray the trousers’ beauty. I do not suggest using a formal colour dress trouser, especially if its navy. Wearing a navy trouser separately will seem like you lost your jacket. Pick one in a subtle pattern or medium colour and ensure that your trousers are a mid to high rise.

Although I currently do not possess any photos (soon to come) at the moment, a dress trouser works well if anything, from a mock neck to a turtleneck to a linen T-shirt to even a signature scoop neck.

Ultimately, style is inherently subjective and if you are more comfortable with scrolling into class with joggers and a hoodie then do it. But if you feel that you would like to incorporate more tailoring pieces, embody your respective style and portray a cleaner image then swap out that hoodie for a seasonal shirt or your joggers for a tailored trouser.

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Thanks for reading.

 

How To Dress For Business Casual

Despite being a Business university student, I am seldom required to wear a suit. However if a formal event arises, I usually gravitate towards picking my conservative navy suit as it is often the unspoken dress code. Thankfully, I still get wear out of my other suits by breaking them up into separates, the art of wearing each piece (top and bottom) separately from each other. Besides wearing them for more celebratory events such as birthday dinners, parties, or the occasional nightclub, I utilize my suit jackets for “Business Casual” attires. But really, what is “Business Casual” attire?

To me, it refers to a dress code that applies formal (or at least what society portrays as formal) pieces together to create an inherently casual look, reflecting the recent emergence of nonchalant dress code norms. This can be a little tricky, I mean how does combining formal pieces equate a casual look? After attending multiple “Business Casual” meetings, such as unofficial job interviews or collaboration discussions, I have learnt how to dress appropriately for Business Casual.

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The key to create a formal-casual-esque look is to go with 3F-2CP, 3 formal and 2 casual pieces. Your ensemble will typical consist of at least 5 items, trousers/shirt/jacket/shoes/accessories. Choose to go formal with 3 pieces and casual with the other 2.

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For this particular day I had a meeting with a local designer, I opted to go with a charcoal windowpane jacket (formal), light blue dress shirt (formal), burgundy penny loafers (formal, albeit rather debatable), higher waisted jeans (casual) and a burgundy knitted tie (casual).

To play it safe, I highly recommend reserving the slacks for a casual piece such as jeans, corduroy or chinos. It gives you more freedom for your other pieces, as it will serve as an anchor that neutralizes the formality.

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I also recommend picking either a white or a light blue dress shirt with a button down collar. Light blue tends to appear a little less formal than white, making it my preferred choice for such meetings. You could potentially opt for a casual shirt, like a mandras or plaid shirt. But I would only suggest such an option if you do decide to go tieless and that you are relatively comfortable with the individual you are meeting.

Shoes, although questionable, can be casual. Be sure to pick a shoe that has a relatively slimmer silhouette and in a darker shade (dark brown or burgundy). White is an exception if they are sneakers. But again, I am always hesitant with sneakers unless I am really comfortable with the individual.

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The jacket is arguably the most importantly component. Pick a jacket in a medium to darker shade. A navy jacket in a seasonal fabric such as flannel, linen, hopsack or even in a herringbone pattern works 100% of the time. If you do want to derive in other colors, gray/charcoal/olive/dark brown are your best bets. A windowpane pattern (pictured) is appropriate, as long as it isn’t too prominent.

Lastly are the accessories. Knitted ties are THE best for projecting a business casual look, as they are, by nature, casual. If you do decide to pick “Casual”, ensure that your other accessories are casual too. This includes your watch and pocket square. For your watch, pick one with a leather band to exude formality or a nato strap for casualness.

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Also, it’s important to identify the place you are going beforehand. If it’s at a café located right in the middle of downtown, you might really need to bring a blazer. However, if it’s at a restaurant outside of town, a dress shirt might just be sufficient.

 

Olive Linen Suit: 3 Ways

Remember when I mentioned tips for the off colour suit?

Here’s an example of how an olive (loud colour darker spectrum) linen (seasonal fabric) suit with a double breasted (as recommended) jacket can be worn in three different ways. This post hopefully reveals how to fully extend the usage of an off colour suit.

Full Suit w/ Sneakers

I am not a particularly a fan of the suit and sneakers look. But sneakers does come in handy if an individual is seeking footwear comfortability or a casual-esque vibe. The sneaker + suit combination also helps to apply contemporary measures to your suit.

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In order for this to work your sneaker needs to have a slim silhouette, one that resembles closely to a dress shoe, and your trousers to be a little bit cropped to create that streamline silhouette. I am wearing a pair of (also) olive New Balance 620 sneakers, but Stan Smiths or the holy grail Common Projects would work perfectly.

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White Trousers

Nothing spells Sprezzatura as clear as a pair of white trousers. Although a little vibrant and, sometimes, audacious the white trouser is incredibly easy to pair with off colour jackets.

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The white acts as the perfect neutralizer, anchoring the jacket’s colour tone. For me I love wearing white trousers in the summer and cream in the winter. I find it quite effortlessly to match. But, with that said, such coloured trousers requires a certain level of confidence that often comes with the slow evolution of one’s style.

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If you are wearing a pair of white trousers with your off colour jacket, be sure to keep the shirt a neutral colour – white or light blue (light blue in this case). Usually a light blue shirt will appear a tiny bit less formal as opposed to the white.

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Practical Casual

The last one is all about comfortability and neutrals. I am wearing a pair of dark grey trousers and a navy polo shirt that almost every guy possesses. This is easy to wear, if it gets hot – remove the jacket and there would still the sense of tailoring in you. If not, button the jacket and retains its intended use of the jacket.

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3 ways to wear your off colour suit. Again this is not a post to get you to buy one. But if you already have one in your wardrobe and scratching your head as to how you can utilize it more, then hopefully these looks served as some sort of inspiration.