High Waisted: Trouser Silhouette – How A Trouser Should Fit & Getting It To Fit Right

There are three main components when it comes to dressing: top, bottom and feet. The goal – to look presentable, stylish, masculine and all the other fun synonyms, is achieved by a cohesiveness between the three proportions.

You need a balance between everything. However, out of the three sections, I pay the closest attention to the “bottom”. Although not by a substantial margin, the trouser holds the biggest weightage in maintaining this cohesiveness, or the balance. However, fret not, unlike a jacket it is a lot easier to nail the fit of a trouser.

For a trouser to fit correctly you need to keep a few things in mind, 1) rise, 2) length and 3) slimness.

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Rise:

I am an advocate for wearing one’s trousers at the natural waist. The natural waist can be determined by tilting your upper body to either side, the point that causes a crease or fold is an indicator of where your natural waist is. Most people’s natural waist is located near the belly button.

Wearing your trousers higher allows you to keep your shirt tucked in, make your legs appear longer (subsequently you taller) and prevents you from committing the awfully dreaded shirt triangle (showing shirt when the jacket is buttoned).

If you are uncomfortable with wearing your trousers that high due to social conformity then I suggest a upper mid rise. Some brands to consider: EpauletImperial Shearer (Denim)Rota or Last & Lapel. Unfortunately some of these brands are on the pricer end of things. If you are not willing to drop that kind of $$$, I recommend made-to-measure companies that offer more casual friendly fabrics, such as: Knot StandardIndoChino or Black Lapel.

Length:

This is short and simple. Rule of thumb, if you are below 6″ consider a quarter or half break, if you are after 6″ consider a quarter or no break. Note: a no break trouser shortens the user’s legs, hence only recommended on someone above 6″.

Slimness:

You probably already have an image in your mind of how slim your trousers should be. Well, unfortunately you have to take that image out of your mind because how slim your trousers can go is solely dependent on how slim your legs are.

I always get asked “what’s your trouser opening?”. I could tell you but its rather irrelevant. I have small legs, so unless you have the same leg size as me, which is highly unlikely, my trouser opening will not fit yours.

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The opening of these bespoke denim trousers are actually at 15.5″. This is a rather big difference in comparison to my old opening of 13.5″ to 14″. That’s more than an 1″ wider but yet it still looks slim. How is that so? Well have a really good tailor for one and two its all perception.

If you look down (from your perspective), you will have the tendency to think that your trousers are wider than they really are, especially from the sides. Best way to judge? Take trousies (trouser-selfie) in front of the mirror. Never go too slim on your trousers as it restricts it from draping naturally, which can cause stacking at the knees and a magnitude of effort to sleep your ankle through its opening.

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Go with a slightly higher rise on your trousers, keep your height to trouser length in mind and go slim, but not too slim, to nail the fit of your trousers.

Want Of The Week

Introducing a new segment on the blog, Want Of The Week. The Want Of The Week features an item that I want, obviously, but not necessarily need. It also has to encompass the message of the blog, namely versatility and timelessness.

Without further adieu, the first item on WOTW (Want Of The Week) is a Navy Topcoat from SuitSupply.

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I listed the Topcoat as one of my Fall Essentials. It’s an incredibly versatile piece that allows you to pair it both casually and formally. Think of pairing a cashmere sweater (or hoodie) and denim for casual wear, while a shirt/tie (or turtleneck) and a suit/blazer for formal wear.

This slim cut pure wool jacket features a 2.5 roll lapel that visually elongates one’s torso, a generous notch lapel width (deducing it at 4″ from the given image), lightly padded shoulders for layering comfort and vertical pockets to keep your hands warm.

Certain brands like to substitute the vertical or patch pockets for flapped pockets instead. I don’t understand the rationale behind that… It essentially renders the pocket useless as placing anything in flapped pockets will only deteriorate the jacket.

Valued at $429, this beautiful topcoat also comes in a dark gray. Unless you only own navy suits, either colour will compliment your formal wardrobe well. However, I do believe that the navy topcoat will be substantially easier to pair casually. If you are interested, act quickly. Because sizes are running out fast.

When & How To Wear Black (What To Wear To The Club)

In menswear, black is often frowned upon. It is mainly due to the colour’s connotation for formality or funerals, two F words that we tend to avoid.

More importantly, black is rarely suitable as there are just better existing substitutes for it.

  • Black jeans for casual wear? Nah, dark indigo denim are more versatile and flattering.
  • Black shoes for formal events? Nah, you have oxblood/cordovan coloured shoes or even velvet slippers.
  • Black blazer? Come on, seriously…

So this begs the question of when can you wear black and how are you going to pair it? Well, even though I am not a huge fan of black nor do I own much black pieces, I feel that black is best suited for the night out.

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Turtleneck – Muji /// Watch – Orient Bambino /// Jeans – Levis 511 /// Black Chelseas – Winners /// Unstructured Dinner Jacket – IndoChino

I don’t usually go out clubbing or drinking at a pub. The introverted me usually prefers to stay home, read, write or play video games. But, occasionally, I do feel obligated to go out for social events and black is always my go-to option.

Black is perfect for such settings as there’s an expectation of looking smart in a formal aspect. I recommend going monochrome with a different coloured jacket. This is a great time to tap into your formal wardrobe and break out one of your jackets, maybe even your dinner jacket if you have one. Note: don’t pick out one of your favourites because regardless of how much you a drink, a spill (from you or another person) is bound to occur.

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I talked about using dinner jackets for more casual settings before. Using my dinner jacket for clubbing has been one of the best ideas I ever had. Did I also mentioned that this jacket is a great conversational starter in the club? It often starts with a simple compliment of “nice jacket” and the ball starts rolling from there.

Wearing a jacket also helps you stand out from a sea of guys wearing ill-fitting shirts or shiny blazers that is clearly part of their everyday suit. Looks is not everything but if dressing nice helps you to grab some attention from the ladies, I don’t see why you shouldn’t put your best foot forward.

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Having a rather extensive wardrobe for an average male university student, I reserve the use of these black pieces for only night outs. Black jeans, black turtleneck (black linen shirt in the Summer), black Chelsea boots and a midnight blue shawl collar jacket. This can get repetitive if you go out EVERY weekend or even bi-weekly. If so, it might be a great time to invest in more dinner jackets 🙂

Not everyone has a dinner jacket, if you don’t own one but would still like to wear a jacket, I recommend going for a black leather jacket or dark blue denim jacket. This will still allow you to retain the unspoken formality of club attire and look like the sharpest man in the room/dance floor.

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Reserve your black pieces for places/events that occur after dark. If you are thinking of wearing black to the club, just go full monochrome with a different coloured jacket and watch how you captivate the room.

10 Fall Essentials

Fall is one of my all time favourite seasons. The season rejuvenates our wardrobe by allowing us to incorporate several summer favourites with new, and exciting, pieces. With that said, Fall might be confusing for some as it involves layering and harmonious combinations. This, however, should not be a hinderance. By acquiring ‘essentials’ in neutral colours, layering will never be easier.

I always believe in the concept of acquiring essential pieces to curate a capsule wardrobe. The purpose of a capsule wardrobe is simple, transpose pieces to create multiple cohesive looks without much thought.

Below here are a list of items (personally own – most of them over 2 years) that will improve the depth of your wardrobe. You are likely to own a couple of items from this list already. For the items that you don’t have, I highly recommend buying quality over quantity. Take your time to get to know brands better, pick your favourites (and ones that appropriate for your budget), and then make the purchase. Try to think of each piece as an investment, an investment that will work for you after its purchase.

#1 Entry Raw Denim

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This bad boy was my first pair of raw denim. I purchased an entry level as I wasn’t too sure how often I would wear it with a regular dress trouser rotation. To my surprise, I have been wearing it x3 a week over the course of two years and it has only been washed once. Almost all entry level denim are sanforized – meaning it’s already been pre-washed and pre-shrunk. It also has the tendency to fade a little slower than unsanforized denim, allowing the denim to retain a hue that’s very similar to it’s pre-worn state.

#2 Topcoat

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I can talk all day long about how every men’s wardrobe can benefit from a topcoat, but I am sure that are already aware of how essential and complementary one is. To match it with ANYTHING in your closet, get one in a neutral colour: navy, brown, charcoal, dark olive or camel.

#3 Belted Shawl Cardigan

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A shawl cardigan is a thing of beauty, but a belted shawl cardigan is a thing of beauty from another planet. The belt provides superior waist compression and it’s casual/loungy aspect makes a belted shawl cardigan perfect for weekend getaways, causal Fridays or just to purchase the necessary groceries. Just look for one that is slightly longer than your usual cardigan, has a relatively generous lapel and patch pockets.

#4 Wingtip Boots

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A boot every man needs that can seamlessly transition from a casual to formal occasion. If it’s your first, get one in dark brown or burgundy.

#5 Chunky Socks

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As the temperatures fall, your regular socks just won’t cut it. You will need something warmer, cozy and chunkier. Perfect to be paired with your boots (pictured above).

#6 Turtleneck

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Look for one in a neutral colour like a charcoal, light grey or navy. A turtleneck is perfect for layering or worn as a standalone if the weather is warm enough.

#7 Everyday Sweater

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A cozy sweater that you can wear daily without much thought. It’s important to pay attention to the composition of the sweater here. This fisherman sweater is made out of 100% merino wool, making it comfortable to wear directly over my skin. However, if the sweater is a nylon blend for example, it might be a little itchy to be worn without an undershirt.

#8 Cashmere Sweater

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A sweater in a soft hand feel and texture that is not meant to be worn daily. This sweater will serve as the epitome of comfort and will serve useful for those special occasions.

#9 Brown (Seasonal) Trousers

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You already set on the leg wear casual department (the entry level raw denim). But you need a pair of trousers that’s formal, but not too formal. Solution? A brown trouser in a seasonal F/W fabric. The brown hue and fabric (I recommend flannels, tweed or corduroy/moleskin) reveals to others that it isn’t your regular chino/jeans nor is it part of a suit.

#10 Sportscoat

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No capsule wardrobe is complete without a sports coat. Pick one in a heavier fabric (flannel or tweed) with a slight pattern, such as this glen plaid. For the Fall, I like the base colour of the jacket in a charcoal or brown hue.

Putting it together

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These ten basic items can give you multiple outfits and will remain stylish for years to come. Don’t rush to complete the list but rather invest in quality pieces that are sustainable.

Who Still Wears Ripped Jeans?

I vividly remember a year or two ago when everyone was frantically cutting holes into their perfectly fitting jeans. There was this obsession (that still exist) of creating a vintage/distressing denim. It was intensely popularized by high-end fashion runway brands and adopted quickly by celebrities, in turn captivating the masses.

I personally believe that ripped jeans is going to become what skinny jeans are. Starting out as a popular trend, it will slowly subside but eventually remain in every subsequent year’s collection. Look at skinny jeans: it’s no longer as popular as it once was, but every store still carries a ‘skinny’ fit (or some form of it at least) and, controversially, it will always be hated/loved. It’s up to you, as an individual, to decide if ripped jeans is for you or not.

I am by no means a trend follower nor do I understand why anyone would rip their jeans. In fact, some ripped jeans REALLY makes me cringe. Physically.

To be fair to all ripped jeans though, there are really two kinds of distressed jeans. There’s the extreme and the minimal.

Undeniably, there’s something about the minimal aspect that I think we all find tasteful. Even though the extreme is a little aggressive, the individual wearing it in the photo pulls it off effortlessly. If you like the extreme style, go for it by all means. However, I want to focus on the minimalistic distressing on denim because I feel it would be more applicable for the majority.

Cutting your regular jeans is nonsensical to me. But, what if it’s a jean that you no longer wear and cutting it up brings it back to your standard rotation? Now that’s not only innovative but also refreshing for your style. A friend always said “never try, never know”. If you have a pair of jeans that you no longer wear, try inputting minimal distressing to it and if you don’t like it, well you were never going to wear it in the first place. But PLEASE, don’t do it to your perfectly fitted jeans. It’s an abomination to the jeans world (if it even exist).

Here, I have an OLD Levis 511 (slim fit) model that is in, what I thought, a horrible colour way. I brought it many years ago under the influence of purchase impulse and a very attractive discount. For those who are interested. I believe it was purchased for $15.99 and the size is a 30 W 32 L.

I used minimal tools and very minimal distressing on the jeans. I cut off an inch at the bottom, a line above the left knee, a line right on the right knee and a little line below the right pocket. All I used was a piece of chalk and scissors. I could create a “tutorial” on how to distress your jeans but there are plenty, and I mean PLENTY, of such videos available free on YouTube. Also, do you really need a video to teach you how to distress your denim? I am sure you took an Arts and Crafts class or some nature of it in Kindergarden. With an exception of paper, its denim – essentially the same thing: mark and cut.

Here I introduce two looks incorporating ripped jeans: a casual and a slightly more dressier look. Hopefully this will reveal the versatility of a slightly distressed denim and serve as an inspiration on how to pair your distressed denim and replenish life in your old pair of jeans.

Everyday Wear

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This is a simple look involving pieces that every guy should have in his wardrobe. The jeans of course, a pair of brown Chelseas that can be substituted for any other boot, a navy scoop neck shirt and a trench coat. Any other coat like a duffel/military jacket, or a shawl cardigan for something lighter and more casual, may be used instead.

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There’s a healthy balance in this outfit and the jeans. The key to this is minimal distressing. You don’t want the jeans to show off too much skin (its not a bikini) or white frays. A violation of either will make it harder to pair with your everyday staples as it will look too aggressive and, subsequently, out of place.

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Blazer with Ripped Jeans

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I really like this look and although it is dressier, I wouldn’t recommend wearing this to a meeting or anything of that nature, even if it was a business casual setting. It would probably be more appropriate for a night out to the club, bar or maybe the third or fourth date. To steer safely, I recommend going back to this for a first date inspiration.

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I kept with the same navy scoop neck shirt to show you how easy it is to transition an outfit from one setting to the next. The trench coat was swapped out with a double breasted windowpane blazer that was cut to be extremely slim. The blazer’s lack of shoulder padding and structure/formality makes it easier to pair with ripped jeans. You wouldn’t want to pair your ripped jeans with a suit jacket or a jacket with substantial structure. It will distort the elements of the ensemble by pushing the boundaries of high and low (casual and formal) too far apart.

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I am not telling you to cut up your jeans, but if you have been contemplating about it and have a pair of old jeans that you haven’t worn in years, why not cut it up and see if you will wear it again? I had those Levis for a good year and half (never worn them before) before cutting up. Again, just remember, that if you do decide to cut it – minimal distressing is key.

But I really want to know, do you wear ripped jeans? And, although its mainly rooted in the casual sphere, what are your thoughts of wearing ripped jeans with more formal pieces as I have done here with the blazer? As my 17 year old cousin always say, “is it a Yay or a Nay?”.