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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

Spring Transitional Jackets

It’s that time of the year again – ‘transitional weather’. The weather is neither too hot nor too cold, it’s windy but not chilly enough for your winter parkas/topcoats and certainly not warm enough to break out your summer pieces, linens and cottons.

Coincidently, due to the fluctuating weather, this is the period that we are highly susceptible to falling ill. Thus, it’s imperative to dress appropriately.

I will be revealing three jackets that you can utilize to dress efficiently for the weather. These jackets embraces the commonality of versatility, casual to formal elements and looks too darn good with almost anything. Without further ado, here’s the first:

Leather Jacket

If it still isn’t apparent, I love suits. But frankly, it is quite impractical (especially for a student) to wear suits or suit separates (just the jacket or the trousers by itself) everyday. This is why I also find it important to establish your casual wardrobe. One of the pieces that I naturally gravitate to is a black leather jacket. It’s incredibly versatile and requires almost no effort, or thought, to pair. It works great with your trusted worn-in jeans and tailored gear.

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I paired the leather jacket my raw denim jeans (currently at: 2 years & 1 wash), a white waffle knit henley and a light grey birdseye waistcoat. The waistcoat, made from a lightweight cloth, was added to elevate the formality of the look, and to provide extra warmth.

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Alternatively, swap your leather jacket for a suede jacket, as seen below, to provide exude a slightly more mature look.

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Denim Jacket

Just like a pair of jeans, every man needs a denim jacket. It’s effortless, comfortable and shouts James Dean.

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Much like the leather jacket, the denim jacket is incredibly versatile. There’s a certain satisfaction of acquiring timeless garments that fuses well most garments and an individual’s respective style.

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Paired here with my burgundy flannel trousers (which I love) and a gingham shirt. What I love about this semi-formal ensemble is that you can swap out the denim jacket for a sports coat or suit jacket to drastically shape it to fit a formal setting.

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Field Jacket

The Field Jacket, or the M-65, was taken from military-wear and recreated to appeal to the masses. It usually features a concealed hood in the collar, waistline drawstrings and pockets… Lots of them. This particular jacket also features bi-swing shoulders, the pleated portion at the back of the armhole, that aids mobility and comfort.

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Due to its military features, the Field Jacket usually passes off as an extremely casual garment. However, the neutral tone of the jacket blends well with your tailored wardrobe. Pair it with one of seasonal patterned dress trousers, as I have here with a flannel navy windowpane trousers.

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Usually, anything works with the inner layer – think: white t-shirt, crew neck sweater or, in this case, a (signature) scoop neck. Complete it with either your favourite pair of suede loafers or sneakers and you are good to go (Y).

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There we have it, three casual jackets that will allow you to bypass this transitional period with ease. Stay warm/cool during this period my friends!