Wearing patterns
Three patterns plus a bold texture. The pattern on the suit is very, very subtle while that of the shirt and pocket square are much bolder, which is why I think it works. I’m not sure if ‘bold’ is the right way to describe the texture of the tie, but I’m also not sure what adjective would be more appropriate.

Wearing patterns

Three patterns plus a bold texture. The pattern on the suit is very, very subtle while that of the shirt and pocket square are much bolder, which is why I think it works. I’m not sure if ‘bold’ is the right way to describe the texture of the tie, but I’m also not sure what adjective would be more appropriate.

18 notes

Learning

An important part of an evolving style is to learn what you like and don’t like. This is not synonymous with the norms and ‘rules’ of #menswear. It is about discovering your niche in relation to those norms. I would say 95% of what you wear should abide by the norms, while 5% pushes and crosses boundaries. 

None of your style choices, what you decide you like and don’t like, are written in stone. Your tastes will almost certainly stabilize, but you shouldn’t be afraid to change your mind. New experiences and new knowledge should cause you to reassess those likes and dislikes. 

My first forays into #menswear were through the Put This On video series. In one of those early videos host Jesse Thorn wore a knit tie. I’d never seen one before and I decided I didn’t like it. I thought it look juvenile. I embraced the idea of regularly wearing a tie, but decided it would certainly not be of the knit variety. Then, as I began to peruse Tumblr I encountered the knit tie more and more often. I learned of its long history in traditional meanswer. I learned of its ability to add texture to an outfit. I learned how it works to make an outfit a bit more casual. I saw knit ties in action and I began to change my mind.

Now, I could not imagine my tie selection without its knits. They are instrumental to my evolving style. I love wearing suits, but often want to push things in a casual direction. A knit tie is an unparalleled means of doing so. It is not wholly incongruent, but it definitely reads as casual; at least, as casual as any tie can be in our current style environment.

Another early attitude I had was in the adoption of over-the-calf socks. I believe it was an early piece on Die, Workwear that made me aware of their existence and the reasons for their desirability. I immediately ordered some Pantherellas from Sierra Trading Post. My colour and pattern choices were questionable, as I was still early in my learning. Later, I added some more conservative options, ordered from Lands’ End. However, I now barely wear them, quite assiduously avoiding them. I would go so far as to say, I hate them. 

I experienced a feeling of constriction that I didn’t like. I also experienced my pants catching on them, rather than moving nicely across them. Perhaps this speaks to the low quality of the socks I’m wearing, or that my pants are too close fitting for the size of my calves. But, many vouch for Pantherella and if I’m needing to jump to the next level in terms of quality to eliminate this problem, I’m simply unwilling to pay so much for a piece of clothing that endures so much stress and wears out so quickly. Also, I do not have a problem with mid-calf socks sliding down my leg. Maybe it’s the structure of my calves, but it does not really happen. Finally, I don’t mind seeing part of a man’s leg above his sock, even if it has slipped down. I think it speaks to a certain insouciance that I appreciate, and which fits my more casual dressed-up style. 

My style is ever evolving, although that evolution has slowed. Who knows how it will continue to develop. I may be brought back around to over-the-calf socks yet. I may decide knit ties no longer suit me. The most important thing is that I continue to think about these matters and be self-critical. 

The is the first truly interesting summer outfit I’ve worn this year. The suit is an olive poplin, purchased off the ‘Bay. The shirt is a cotton-linen blend from Charles Tyrwhitt. The shoes are my favourite AE split toes, worn without socks.
For me, the outfit is all about the tie. It’s linen, from The Knottery[1]. I love it. Part of the reason I want to wear tailored clothes in the summer is to have an excuse to wear this tie. If I’m going to nitpick, it is a bit narrow through the body, which makes the knot a bit shorter than I’d like. The linen has a bit of a stiff hand, which means it doesn’t drape quite as nicely as I’d like. But, for affordable aesthetically stunning quality, it is unbeatable. I love the way it plays here against the horizontal stripes. The mix of scales works really well. I pulled up short on the pocket square front. However, the next time I put this combo together, I will certainly be doing something a bit more adventurous.
[1] It was called the Galley and appears to no longer be available. Sucks to be you.

The is the first truly interesting summer outfit I’ve worn this year. The suit is an olive poplin, purchased off the ‘Bay. The shirt is a cotton-linen blend from Charles Tyrwhitt. The shoes are my favourite AE split toes, worn without socks.

For me, the outfit is all about the tie. It’s linen, from The Knottery[1]. I love it. Part of the reason I want to wear tailored clothes in the summer is to have an excuse to wear this tie. If I’m going to nitpick, it is a bit narrow through the body, which makes the knot a bit shorter than I’d like. The linen has a bit of a stiff hand, which means it doesn’t drape quite as nicely as I’d like. But, for affordable aesthetically stunning quality, it is unbeatable. I love the way it plays here against the horizontal stripes. The mix of scales works really well. I pulled up short on the pocket square front. However, the next time I put this combo together, I will certainly be doing something a bit more adventurous.

[1] It was called the Galley and appears to no longer be available. Sucks to be you.

Uninspired

There has been a serious dearth of posts from me of late. This is largely due to being uninspired by my own style. This is mostly due to trying to dress for warmer weather. I’ve noted that my style is heading toward relatively casual suiting on the one end and more generally casual wear on the other.

I find casual suiting difficult in summer because the range of materials is much more limited and less readily available through either thrifting or eBay-ing. I’d love to find some great linen or tropical wool suits. Linen, even in conservative colourways, has an inherently casual look. However, I’ve so far struck out at finding even a single linen suit while thrifting, let alone one that fits and is stylish. eBay has been no better. 

The other more casual side of my style is a bit easier, although I’m finding it difficult to do anything interesting. I have a few linen shirts, but they could definitely fit better. I’m a huge fan of plain t-shirts, but won’t pretend they’re inspirational at all. It’s not yet shorts weather - I’m a firm believer that shorts are much more appropriate than just the beach, which is a trope #menswear expounds - and I haven’t really found trousers that inspire me and fit with my evolving style. That means I’ve been wearing jeans and a t-shirt most days. It’s a more than solid look, as long as both shirt and pants fit. But, I doubt anyone necessarily needs to see my take.

I accept most of the blame, but I’ll also apportion some of the blame to Toronto, which gets very hot and muggy in summer. I also sweat very easily. Even a cotton shirt and cotton jacket are too much. Finally, it seems I’m not alone in this quandry. I also haven’t seen anywhere near as many inspirational summer looks coming through the Tumblrs. It seems to be an inherently more difficult season to dress for. 

Antiquing?

Can someone explain the antiquing of shoes? Is it not akin to the distressing of denim? I think both look equally cheesy, but the former not only gets a pass from #menswear, but seems to send the salivary glands into overdrive. 

I’m more than receptive to a defence of antiquing, but it currently leaves me perplexed.

Finding me

I have lots to say about these outfits.

First, they do not suit me. I’m not sure exactly how to phrase my feelings about these combinations. Are they too preppy? Too staid? Too… I’m not sure. I think I could make any of the pieces appropriate as part of a different outfit, but together, they just don’t convey who I am. It’s the navy jacket, khaki pants combination in particular. I see this classic combination come across my dash and it looks good; on other people. But, in trying to emulate it, it’s not me. I don’t wear it with comfort because I don’t think it gives a proper impression of who I am, and who I’m trying to be.

I’m finding myself increasingly attracted to two style poles: 1) casual grounded by denim and 2) full suits. I’m hoping I can bridge the two poles so it does not appear that I’m wildly oscillating with uncertain style. For the former, I’m trying to bring together tailored jackets and jeans. For the latter, I’m attracted to more casual suits, such as tweeds or strong patterns. However, I’m not sure where to situate chinos and tailored jackets. It always feels more proper and sedate than my actual personality. When I see myself in this outfit, I feel like I’m wearing someone else’s clothes.

Second, the single breasted jacket is a cotton Lands’ End tailor fit that I’m going to return. If you look at the shoulders you can see how they are forming unsightly peaks. Unfortunately, the shoulders just do not fit. The shoulder width is good, but their shape would suit someone with more muscular shoulders than myself. I tried to live with it, since I really want a cotton navy jacket, and with their recent sale, at $70, it was a great, affordable option. But, I had to admit that I was constantly aware of the bunching and gaping around the shoulders.

Third, I really like the light blue of the shirt and tie, and think they work decently well as part of the outfit, although I have a hard time registering it within the context of the navy and khaki failing me.

Fourth, the buttons on the double breasted are wood. I swapped out the brass buttons, as I also find they are not me. More on that later, I promise (not that anyone’s waiting).

15 notes

Pattern Mixing

This would be destroyed by the Style Forum community. There is a trope over there that pulling off denim and tailored jackets is next to impossible. Also, what the hell am I doing wearing desert boots with a double breasted jacket? I’m experimenting. 

Recently, I’ve been greatly informed by the ‘coherent combinations’ thread that I’ve posted about. But, today I decided to make a wild departure from that. I’ve put together four patterns, trying to be cognizant of mixing scale. I do not have enough options in my wardrobe to play with textures and materials as much as I might have liked.

On the bottom I’ve gone totally casual. I think it looks pretty great, although others might think it incoherent.

Wearing tweed
I was so excited when this ebay win arrived. First and most importantly, the jacket fit amazingly well. The pants were too short, but there was enough material for them to be let down (although without enough to add a cuff). Beyond the fit, the details of the jacket are spot on: side vents; hacking pockets; ticket pocket; high gorge.
As an aspiring academic, it’s great to have my first well-fitting tweed suit.

Wearing tweed

I was so excited when this ebay win arrived. First and most importantly, the jacket fit amazingly well. The pants were too short, but there was enough material for them to be let down (although without enough to add a cuff). Beyond the fit, the details of the jacket are spot on: side vents; hacking pockets; ticket pocket; high gorge.

As an aspiring academic, it’s great to have my first well-fitting tweed suit.

62 notes

Springing
Green and pink again.
This outfit is once again informed by the ‘coherent combinations' thread on SF. The suit is inherently casual because of the pattern. So, I used that as an excuse for the button-down collar. 
The tie is the statement piece in the outfit and is meant to scream “EARLY SPRING!”

Springing

Green and pink again.

This outfit is once again informed by the ‘coherent combinations' thread on SF. The suit is inherently casual because of the pattern. So, I used that as an excuse for the button-down collar. 

The tie is the statement piece in the outfit and is meant to scream “EARLY SPRING!”

Linen shirts?

I’ve mostly given up trying to thrift shirts. I cannot stand the billowing of the average shirt and the cost of getting them taken in has made the few I find in decent condition almost not worth it. 

So, what is people’s favourite source of relatively affordable (<$60 <$80) linen shirts?

Edit: just saw that Lands’ End linens are $70, so <$60 seems unreasonable.

4 notes

Winning

I just found out that the mothers at my daughter’s kindergarten occasionally comment on how good I look when I’m picking her up at lunch. 

Win.

6 notes

Going grey
I have a lot to say about this Burberry jacket, but I&#8217;ll save it for later. Here, I&#8217;ve paired it with a grey grenadine that I love, but don&#8217;t wear that often, and a grey PRL button-down. Below I&#8217;m wearing jeans and AE moc toe chukkas. I originally had on grey pants, but my partner gave it the thumbs down.

Going grey

I have a lot to say about this Burberry jacket, but I’ll save it for later. Here, I’ve paired it with a grey grenadine that I love, but don’t wear that often, and a grey PRL button-down. Below I’m wearing jeans and AE moc toe chukkas. I originally had on grey pants, but my partner gave it the thumbs down.

27 notes

Going pink

Is a light pink OCBD as flexible as light blue? At first, I thought not. But, I’m finding myself turning to the pink at least as often as the blue. It coordinates well with blue, which is the basis of my wardrobe. However, it is less conservative, and therefore fits a bit better with my personality.

26 notes

Formal(ish) Friday
This is not formal from the perspective of menswear, but is certainly formal from the perspective of the general population.
The outfit was informed by the Practical Thoughts on Coherent Combinations For Beginners thready on Style Forum. Although the suit cut in a &#8216;city&#8217; style, it is what F. Corbera refers to as a &#8216;casual suit,&#8217; because of the fabric. The casual suit can be accessorized in a more casual way, and I have done so with a button down, knit wool tie and patterned pocket square. I tried to remain consistent among them.
My one concern is the colours I&#8217;ve chosen. I&#8217;m inclined to treat light pink like light blue, and very flexible. I kept my accessories in the &#8216;reddish&#8217; realm, but am not sure if they actually go together. 
Thoughts?

Formal(ish) Friday

This is not formal from the perspective of menswear, but is certainly formal from the perspective of the general population.

The outfit was informed by the Practical Thoughts on Coherent Combinations For Beginners thready on Style Forum. Although the suit cut in a ‘city’ style, it is what F. Corbera refers to as a ‘casual suit,’ because of the fabric. The casual suit can be accessorized in a more casual way, and I have done so with a button down, knit wool tie and patterned pocket square. I tried to remain consistent among them.

My one concern is the colours I’ve chosen. I’m inclined to treat light pink like light blue, and very flexible. I kept my accessories in the ‘reddish’ realm, but am not sure if they actually go together. 

Thoughts?

Heading Casual
I find this cashmere tie difficult to wear. It&#8217;s a bit thinner than the ties I usually like, and too thin for the lapels on most of my jackets. I also find the lining kind of stiff, so it doesn&#8217;t dimple and drape as much as I&#8217;d like. However, I like the pattern and it&#8217;s beautiful to touch. 
So, I decided to pair it with this army surplus work shirt that I&#8217;ve had for years. I also tied it in a double FIH, with the front blade slipped between the two loops; which is known as a Prince Albert. The alternative is to slip it behind both loops, known as a Victoria. Then, I gave it a bit of a twist. Playing with it this way is something I can get away with, not being in a business environment. It also served to make the tie appear wider on my chest. I encourage everyone to get their fingers up into the knot and play around with the tie as you&#8217;re tying it. It&#8217;ll help you learn and experiment, in your quest to find the knot(s) you like best.

Four-in-hand

Heading Casual

I find this cashmere tie difficult to wear. It’s a bit thinner than the ties I usually like, and too thin for the lapels on most of my jackets. I also find the lining kind of stiff, so it doesn’t dimple and drape as much as I’d like. However, I like the pattern and it’s beautiful to touch. 

So, I decided to pair it with this army surplus work shirt that I’ve had for years. I also tied it in a double FIH, with the front blade slipped between the two loops; which is known as a Prince Albert. The alternative is to slip it behind both loops, known as a Victoria. Then, I gave it a bit of a twist. Playing with it this way is something I can get away with, not being in a business environment. It also served to make the tie appear wider on my chest. I encourage everyone to get their fingers up into the knot and play around with the tie as you’re tying it. It’ll help you learn and experiment, in your quest to find the knot(s) you like best.

Four-in-hand