What I Wear For School

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Don’t be fooled by my Instagram feed, I am not in a suit jacket and shirt everyday.

Most days, particularly school days, I lean towards my casual wardrobe. I sincerely believe that my tailored/formal wardrobe is still a work in progress. Currently, I have a preference for Neapolitan tailoring, namely soft shoulders, broader lapels, pleated shoulders etc. I am very comfortable, both physically and mentally, with such, but that might change in the subsequent years as one’s preference and lifestyle are consistently subjected to gradual refinement.

However, I do feel that my casual wardrobe is quite established. I draw a lot of inspiration from Ivy League, Japanese and Korean fashion. One aspect I absolutely love (and appreciate) about Korean fashion is their ability to effortlessly mix and match formal patterns, such as pinstripes, or designs with casual pieces. Something that I am still attempting to solidify.

My casual ensembles typically apply the same rule of thumb as my tailored pairings, lighter colours on the top and darker colours on the bottom to create a tasteful contrast or the reverse to create a stronger and more noticeable contrast.  This is further illustrated by the image above: a medium grey turtleneck, layered under a “cookies & cream” shawl cardigan (off-white donegal) and a dark brown leather bomber jacket with a fur collar, paired with a pair of dark blue jeans and dark brown boots.

Don’t Be Afraid of Brown

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Especially in the realm of causal wear, guys should utilize Brown more. I understand the pickle of it in tailoring, such that no matter how you attempt to dress it up, brown, no matter the shade, will never appear more formal than the staple navy or grey suit. However, this does not pose as a concern for one’s casual wardrobe.

I always feel that we sometimes avoid brown because the colour ages us. But we seem to forget that brown comes in a variety of shades (camel, tan, honey, chocolate to name a few) and how versatile that can entail. Us, guys, also have a tendency to lean towards monochromatic colours, not because we are necessary ‘afraid’ of colours but rather, we are confused by it. We are unsure how to pair colours efficiently or adequately neutralize it in our ensembles.

Implementing brown is a great maneuver to add colour to your wardrobe. In this photo, even the reverse, grey sweater and brown topcoat, looks composed. Still, I will strongly suggest starting out small, think: accessories or a sweater. That way, you can conclude if brown is truly a colour for you or not. Another aspect to consider is “what shade?”. As a general rule of thumb start with a lighter and gradually move darker.

So the next time you making your next considerable wardrobe investment, pick the brown boot instead of the black or, as the above photo illustrates, a brown sweater as opposed to the familiar grey.