Wearing Jeans W/ Sport Coats

DSC_6585

There are a few great articles written about wearing jeans with sport coats, the Styleforum Journal article directly comes to mind. I think they provide great value and I have no intention of repeating information. However a consensus from the article, namely dark jeans looking silly with a shirt/sport coat, left me slightly uneasy.

There are many examples of dark denim worn poorly. But I believe a dark pair of denim can work well with a tailored jacket. It just needs to be the right one. How do you define the “right” one? Well, simply steer towards the pairing rule of thumb, contrast.

If you are wearing a darker pair team it with a lighter coloured jacket and a lighter pair with a darker jacket. For example, due to the lack of contrast, a darker denim has a tendency to look very awfully silly with a navy blazer. But, with a light brown sport coat, the ensemble looks composed and coherent.

DSC_6537 copy

By being a substantially lighter blue, the shirt reinforces the contrast theme. Additionally, the inherently casual oxford shirt cloth teams well with the texture of denim, which is evidently more casual. Deviating slightly, I enjoy how easy it is to wear a light blue oxford shirt, especially one that feels softer after each wear. It goes well with denim, corduroys or flannel, and looks handsome with or without a jacket.

f48a3a5ed8fc54227066e06c8a69d030

DSC_6564 copy

The identical contrast rule applies to a lighter pair of denim too, which is great for those who centres their wardrobe around navy sport coats. As, unlike its darker counterpart, a light was denim pairs incredibly well with a navy hopsack blazer.

Jeans-should-be-avoided-unless-approved-by-management

So, yes, you can wear a pair of dark denim with a tucked shirt and sport coat. Be mindful of using a sport coat that creates a colour contrast. If, like me, you wear a lot of sport coats in different shades of brown, then a dark denim will serve as your fail safe. If you centre your wardrobe around navy sport coats, a lighter wash denim will work better. If you have a wardrobe full of navy and brown sport coats, just get both shades already.

Thanks for reading, cheers.

Why Your Jacket’s Back Should Fit Neatly

DSC00401 copy

A lot of guys, especially those new to menswear, seem to give little care or thought as to how their jacket’s back fits. This lack of concern primarily stems from a “I can’t see it who cares” mentality.

Well, as the title suggest, your jacket’s back needs to fit neatly. Why? Well let’s put it this way guys. have you ever look at a female from the back and think she’s attractive without glancing her face? I know you do and trust me, women do too.

DSC00398

Several things to be cautious of:

  • Making sure the back isn’t too tight, particularly at the bottom of the armholes
  • No collar roll
  • The upper back curves accordingly to your posture
  • The vents close accordingly

So, make sure your jacket fits as impeccability as the front.

Thanks for reading, cheers.

Chocolate Brown Suede Chukka Boots

My first experience of owning a benchmark quality shoe occurred in Christmas 2016 when I purchase a Crockett & Jones Dark Brown Suede Cavendish Tassel Loafer. Prior to that, I was only purchasing from entry level brands such as Johnston & Murphy and Allen Edmonds. I have amazing shoes from them, most of which I still wear, and will even dare say that they are worth the value, if on sale.

I guess you can call it the Diderot Effect influencing my perception of quality and comfort, but once I slipped into those loafers, I never wanted to put anything else on my feet.

Every other shoe I put on felt subpar, lifeless, uncomfortable and foreign. I could wear these for-literally-ever. The cavendish’s smart shape is so flattering and it’s flexible construction does not impose much mobility restrictions. I started to wear it nearly every snowless or rainless day and found that they couple so well with my existing wardrobe.

Unfortunately, they are still loafers and would get a lot less wear once the colder months arrive. I was so comfortable with using a chocolate brown suede shoe that I started to get a little worried about not having a Fall/Winter equivalent. Considering how familiar I was with Crockett and Jones’s sizing, I decided to get a used Ealing pair.

I acquired it used from a user from Grailed, a website I find myself unhealthily frequenting, for $215. These boots, used, typically ranges between $300 to $400. The soles were in ridiculously good condition while the suede had some scuffing. After it arrived, I use a Saphir Suede Shampoo to reinvigorate the shoes – making it appear as good as new. I got a good deal to say the least.

I have yet to wear the boots but am overwhelmingly excited to. With the Cavendish experience, I know this chocolate brown suede chukka can be worn casually with denim, a chunky knit turtleneck sweater and a field jacket for school or with grey flannel trousers and a sport coat. Ranging it’s usability between casual and formal, what’s there not to love about it?

Crockett and Jones are undoubtedly pricey. But if you are seeking a chocolate brown suede chukka and not willing to pay that much, here are some affordable options, Loake, Velasca, Carlos Santos or Meermin. Of course, as always, you can scout eBay or Grailed for classifieds. The only trade off that comes with that is upmost patience as what you desire is rarely offered.

Below are two images of the spoken chukka boots. Both were taken in a 50mm 1.4f lens that plays around lowlight and shadows to emphasize the imagery of the boots. I have a growing interest in photography recently and have been exercising this craft by taking product photos and portraits.

Thanks for reading, cheers.

IMG_8939

IMG_8964

Chocolate Brown Cotton Trousers

Ask anyone what my favourite colour is, and they will tell you “brown”. I really like it for three reasons: 1) it comes in a variety of shades that allows for a vast magnitude of pairings, 2) fits perfectly for semi formal settings, particularly an area I find myself frequenting and 3) it works phenomenally well as separates in different fabrications – think moleskins, corduroys or linen.

Pictured here is a pair of robust chocolate brown cotton drill trousers, which I have been wearing a lot recently. It was a recent made-to-measure commission by a tailor in Singapore and features double forward pleats and a higher rise. A brown as dark and muted as this allows you to effortlessly pair it with louder jackets. To me, a chocolate brown trouser is as versatile as the quintessential grey trouser that everyone, myself included, advocates as a “menswear staple”.

DSC00509

On this particular day, I paired it with an Eidos jacket, burgundy oxford stripe shirt and snuff suede tassel loafers for a meeting. Although the trousers gives the ensemble a “formal” appearance, conversely, I find it convenient pairing it with casual clothing, such as a plain white t-shirt and suede/field jacket.

DSC00517

For a four-season climate, a higher twist fabrication, such as this cotton drill, will prove to be an asset for your wardrobe. Although densely weaved, the lack of lining allows me to wear the trouser during warmer Summer nights, Spring and the awkward Fall transitional period. Lastly, let’s not forget the convenience of a cotton trouser: wear it, abuse it, throw it in the washing machine, hang dry it and repeat it. Just think of the cost you save on dry cleaning…

Stripe Pattern Experimentation

For those who aren’t aware, I watch Korean Dramas every now and then. What each series strikes out to me, besides the evident cheesyness, is how well the Koreans are in blending pinstripes with their casual clothing.

Pinstripes suits are often utilize to convey power or authority. The lines elongates the individual, making him or her appear taller, and commands attention without being too overbearing. Subsequently, pinstripe suits has inherently associated the vertical line pattern with formality.

The Koreans, or their stylists I should say, have a great eye for pairing striped patterned clothing into a casual ensemble. Admiring their visual prowess and continuously exploring wearing formal clothing casually, I have been attempting to implement stripes into my outfits. I am still in the experimental phrase of it and have been taking it slow by using accessories first.

If you are scared of trying it, I completely understand your apprehension. Stripes, like any other existing pattern, is not for everybody. But before determining that, as always, I urge you to experiment with it before you completely shunt it away.

DSC_3289

One garment to consider is a pocket square. It doesn’t require much economic investment, easy to experiment with and, if you don’t like it, the opportunity to use it as a cloth or gift is present – I am kidding but you get the drift.

DSC_3399

The grey pocket square in the photo is from Sprezzabox, a subscription company that I am a brand ambassador for. Unfortunately you can’t purchase this exact pocket square anymore, but a great alternative is this navy seersucker one from Tiebar.

Another accessory to consider is a tie. The most common and personally the easiest the wear is the regiment stripe tie. It has a preppy connotation and the array of colours adds youth to the individual. This tie is from Brooks Brothers’s old collection but they currently carry a similar one online.

DSC_5906.jpg

Lastly, if you want to go all out, consider purchasing a striped shirt. This option is my favourite as stripe shirts are incredibly easy to wear. Take note of the stripe width, a thinner, pencil like, width is more suited for a formal attire – think of the first image with the navy hopsack blazer. A larger width, such as a bengal stripe or university stripe, is often in more casual shirting fabrics such as an oxford cloth. The burgundy oxford university stripe shirt in the image above is from Spier and Mackay. They make great shirts at an exceptional value. At this time, they still offer this fabric MTM and RTW.

These three, pocket square, ties and shirts, are great avenues to experiment with stripes. You can also acquire more prominent garments, such as pinstripe trousers, but that is a little too far fetched for my liking and I am not at that level, both financially and stylistically, to freely experiment with such.

Louder Summer Prints

Summer is inching closer towards its end. For some, this is a joyous occasion as it indicates that Fall, my favourite season, is approaching. Additionally, one celebratory feature of a season’s close is, evidently, the End-of-Season sale. And some websites worth browsing are FarFetch, Barneys New York, Yoox and Saks Fifth Avenue. What these e-commerce retailers have in common is the occasional sale-on-sale code that really enables for deep discounts.

I usually use this opportunity to acquire garments that are unique, one-of, experimental and heavily discounted. The challenge to this is seeking a garment that may not be worn frequently but can pass the test of times, such that you can wear it for years to come. What I come to discover is that bolder prints or patterns often fall into this category and two louder prints I urge you to consider are madras and floral.

Most will be familiar with what a floral print looks like but madras? Not as common unfortunately. Madras, originating from a city in India, is a colourful plaid-like design that is used on a variety of garment types. Quickly adopted by rich baby boomers in the 1960s to establish social standing, madras has a slight preppy connotation to it and brands, such as Ralph Lauren, still make madras pattern garments today.

0927945e7ba368db9a4acfaa7d28713c-mens-fashion-styles-fashion-men

Most floral and madras fabrics are quite different from one another and it’s boldness can range from stylishly subtle to Ronald McDonald ridiculous. This is why I highly recommend reserving these patterns solely for shirts as they are easier to wear, pair and flair well with most existing wardrobes.

DSC_6448 copy

What I like about these patterns that’s often overlooked, is how easy it is to wear it casually. Its a kind of garment that requires very little thought to put on. A pairing that I have come to enjoy with these shirts is wearing them with a pair of dark denim jeans or linen pants and loafers. I can also see them looking great with navy shorts and khaki/olive chinos. However bare in mind, for the latter, a lighter coloured shirt will produce a less notable contrast that is not always ideal.

DSC_6394 copy

This yellow floral shirt was purchased from Zara nearly 5 years ago. It’s quite tight now and the material isn’t of the greatest quality, but, in regards to details and pattern, the shirt does not appear dated or influent with todays dress code. With loud/bold patterns, it can be challenging to observe a garment and determine if it will be relevant or wearable in the proceeding years. It requires some form of logical foresight and, more importantly, referential experience. Ultimately, remember that clothing, dressing or building your personal style is a journey/learning process that takes time, practice, education and, unfortunately, money. So don’t beat yourself over if you felt that you wasted money purchasing something that you no longer wear now. Trust me, we have all been there.

DSC_6272 copy

Back to the post’s topic, on hot summer days, specifically with a humidity such as Singapore’s, you don’t really need to wear a jacket. However, if you feel compelled to, I personally prefer wearing a jacket over a madras than a floral shirt. Floral shirts, especially this colourful one, tend to be bolder and often overwhelms the jacket. On the other hand, due to the blend of darker and lighter colours, a madras is more often subdued. They both though, look great without a jacket, which is occasionally great to focus on considering how repulsive a tailored jacket can seem in the heat.

DSC_6472 copy

DSC_6246 copy

Some sale shirts I recommend are by my favourite Toronto brand, Spier & Mackay. For those who mainly follow me on Instagram will be familiar with my love and support I have for this classical menswear brand. Most of their Summer shirts are on sale right now and they have some extremely interesting floral, like this, and madras ones, like this.

Bare in mind, some of their fabrics, particularly the madras, are available at a custom fit for $59.99. An incredible steal if you ask me. In fact, they still have the madras fabric I am wearing above. For those who are hesitant on Made-to-Measure, fear not as you can input your favourite shirt measurements into your profile, which I did and turned out exceptionally well.

I am quite familiar with Spier & Mackay’s custom process and if anyone of you have further questions about the brand, please feel free to drop me an email. I am aware that this may seem like an advertised post (trust me it isn’t) so, to offset this perception, here are two other beautiful floral shirts at higher price points for your consideration, Xacus and Paul Smith.

Thanks for reading, cheers.

(Images from Spier & Mackay, Ralph Lauren, MenFashionHub & Pinterest)

floral-shirts-101

d4c103a10325e877aced09dd8d177f73

4102540a88e151b63237d048ff573c96-mint-shorts-green-shorts

 

11855487_8744407_1000

11944273_9159686_1000

mt-1133-13930_big

mt-1347-11854_big

mt-1346-19308_big

13985997_big

_resize_img_new.php

_resize_img_new.php-2

Interesting Legwear

The other day I was casually browsing Instagram, when I came across a promoted post by Olive. The photo was striking, it was a headless model wearing an oversized white t-shirt tucked into a looser fitting double pleated grey trousers.

outfit-01-04__73707-1493291941-510-680

I was particularly intrigued by the high waisted fit and shallow reverse double pleats that meets the trouser crease. Often, fast fashion retailers make double pleated trousers that does not align with the trouser’s natural crease – which immensely annoys me.

Founded in UK 2010, they are a relatively new entrant to the apparel industry. After taking the liberty of browsing their collection online, it appears that they specialize in streetwear with an emphasis on high end fashion silhouettes. Their entire line is inherently casual and, although the silhouette differs entirely from my preferred style, there are certain pieces I could envision myself wearing, for example this beige belted cotton parka and chore jacket with a white contrast stitching.

But, personally, their leg wear section is the true gem of their assortment. They have a variety of styles at an affordable price range. I also think that some of these garments have the potentiality to blend well with tailored wear. Some of my personal favourites are Ivory Drawstring Trousers, that will look great with just a navy T-Shirt or light blue button down, and Single Pleated Light Grey Trouser, which is a great wardrobe addition as it acts similarly to a grey flannel trouser.

Nevertheless, before purchasing, I will be mindful of their silhouette, as they are quite trendy, and its composition. I cannot speak at length about their quality as I do not own a piece of Olive clothing. But, be aware that some of their garments are made in a polyester blend, making it less ideal for sustainability. I do believe that this brand is positioned at a higher tier fast fashion audience, much like Oak and Fort. Still, don’t let that deter you as it’s a great way to experiment with different silhouettes and unique garments.

Below are more photos from their leg wear section.

Thanks for reading, cheers.

20170330-040-grey-01__41631-1493310337-510-680

20170330-035-beige-01__97663-1493310273-510-680

20170602-001-bluechambray-05__13666-1496420495-510-680

20170330-035-navy-02__07351-1493310260-510-680

outfit-05-02__76671-1493291529-510-680

20170330-035-beige-01__97663-1493310273-510-6801

20170330-045-navy-01__97261-1493310350-510-680

outfit-06-01__95661-1493291331-510-680