accessories

Death to the Skinny Tie!!!

Ok maybe not complete death to the skinny tie, but I believe they are on the way out. Browsing some pics of fashionable gents in Europe on Instagram such as this one, there is not a skinny tie in sight. Lately, I myself have been favoring a wider tie, anywhere from 3 to the oldschool 4 inch ones.

There have been many ‘rules’ when it comes to tie width, “match the width of your tie to the width of your lapels” is an ideal one, although not always practical, am I supposed to run out and buy a new suit every time I get a tie of a different width? Please. Another one, (which I agree makes sense) is the fact that certain widths look different on certain body types. If you’re a husky, or athletic muscular guy, a skinny tie will look kinda weird on you. There’s a reason why you see football players not wearing skinny ties, it would look ridiculous on them. Here’s a good example of Ray Lewis rocking an appropriate tie for his shape.

Now, I am not advocating taking all your skinny ties and throwing them all away, but rather encouraging you all to start integrating some wider ties in your repertoire. Especially if you work in a conservative office, you’ll want to go with something like a standard 3″ tie. And let me let you in on a secret, I myself feel a little more powerful and manly in a wider tie, try it! And if you need a bonus, there are so much more possible knots with wider ties than with skinny ties, where you are largely restricted to the simple Four in Hand knot.

Overall, I do feel like the whole skinny tie trend is becoming played out, as we all know, fashion is cyclical and always repeats itself in one way or another. By that line of thinking, we should start seeing wider ties become trendier again. In fact, some stores don’t even carry skinny ties and never really did, like my #1 favorite Brooks Brothers. In fact, an interesting line caught my eye in their book, Generations of Style“By ignoring trends, Brooks Brothers has gone on setting them”

Now to cap it off with a few ties from my own collection of varying widths:

Some of the collection

So here we have ties of varying widths, they are as follows (in order left to right): “2.25”, 3.25″, 3.75″, 3″. 1.75″, 2.5″ and the large gaudy 1970s tie acquired from a co-worker in a whopping 4.75″. That is probably where I draw the line, 4.75″ is extra wide, will probably take it to a tailor and have him narrow it to 3″ or 4″.

And my latest, most beautiful catch, a Brooks Brothers Golden Fleece handmade seven fold silk tie purchased at work for $13, languishing in the discount bin due to it’s 4″ width. For those unfamiliar with Brooks Brothers, the Golden Fleece line is the creme de la creme in terms of quality. If you are wondering what a seven fold silk tie is, look here. They are hard to find and usually retail upwards of $150!

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I will say this about seven fold ties, they are nice and thick and make for a beautiful knot as shown above.

That’s all for today dapperites, remember next time you’re out tie hunting, switch it up a bit and go for something a little wider. Don’t be scared, you’ll look great, just rock it with confidence 😉

The Don

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Ottawa Tailoring Time!

So if you have been reading this blog (and if not, shame on you!!), you should know by now that I advocate having off the rack suits tailored before wearing them! This is a post about a neat little tailoring shop I found.

I have been looking around for a reputable tailor in Ottawa recently to fix up a snazzy light grey number I picked up on sale at Macy’s back in February. After plenty of online searching I found one highly rated. “Raymond Tailor of Distinction“, located at 60 George Street in the heart of Byward Market is everything I expected and more. He took my suit from ill-fitting to the fit of a custom suit, for $75. I could not be happier with it and look forward to rocking it for the first time at an upcoming wedding! (Pics will follow) He is a friendly, respectable man who takes pride in his craft, sadly, it is a dying craft. The world needs some young tailors!

In addition to alterations he provides custom suiting and sells shirts, ties, accessories and some off the rack suiting as well, all top notch quality. You can contact the shop at 613-241-4134.

Stay Dapper,

The Don

Update: Don Moves to Ottawa

Just a quick update for you dapperites!

 

I have indeed moved to Ottawa and am finally all settled in and adjusting to a new routine! Back to school for me! I hope to be getting in a few posts in between all of my work and studies, so stay tuned and more importantly…..

 

Stay Dapper 😉

 

The Don

 

Bonus Dapper Pic:

 

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Rocking my custom Indochino suit and grey lapel flower from The Tie Bar at a wedding Aug 30, also cannot ignore the gorgeous woman in my arms love of my life!

Indochino Suit Review

So about a month ago, I received my Indochino custom suit just in time for a wedding I had to attend. Finally, after weeks of you all waiting, here is my full review. So if ya wanna know where to get a custom suit at a great price, pull up a chair, grab a drink and settle in for one dapper ride!

Just as a bit of a quick run-down, I opted for the Essential Blue Suit (2 piece). With peak lapels (a touch of flair), pick stitching, ticket pocket, functional buttonholes and lapel hole, side tabs (no belt loops), red lining with monogram and pen pocket.

Upon arrival, the suit came in a neatly packaged square box:

 

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Once I opened the box, I saw that the suit had been neatly folded and fastened into place with straps.

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Then it was time for the fun stuff, opening it to check out the details and options I had added!

 

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Side tabs (sans belt loops!) to show that this was a custom fit

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Functional sleeve buttons, a sign of custom clothing

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Note the lapel flower, not possible without an open lapel hole, another sign of custom

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Custom red lining for a touch of pop with pen pocket and awesome monogram!

 

Just to show off the bright socks I opted to wear on that day!

Just to show off the bright socks I opted to wear on that day!

So how did it fit?

 

I will admit when I put it on for the first time it felt a bit weird, probably because I was not used to wearing a suit mace specifically for me, however by the time of the wedding I felt comfortable and like a million bucks in it. The pants required some tailoring below the knee to slim them which cost me about $30. But, Indochino reimbursed me the amount as they reimburse any alterations up to $75! My email was answered within minutes  The only things that felt a bit cheap on the suit were the buttons, but it is really not a deal breaker. The rest of the suit itself fit just right, meaning not baggy, yet not excessively slim, still allowing room to move while maintaing form conturing fit.

 

Bottom line, would I recommend this company to you dapperites? Absolutely! For the price I paid ($450) you cannot find a custom 100% wool suit with as many customization options included anywhere else. They also offer custom blazers, pants, and coats as well as a premium line of suits with finer wools. So of you got a big occasion coming up, consider custom. You will not regret it 😉

 

Stay Dapper my friends….

 

-The Don

 

Bonus Pic!

 

Ms Dapper by my side looking gorgeous as ever!

Ms Dapper by my side looking gorgeous as ever!

Dappering in the Summetime: Your Guide to Staying Cool in the Summer Heat

Yes Yes I’m still here, just got a lot going on in the world of the Don, big changes coming in my life to prepare for but I am here and here is the latest post:

 

So it’s that time of year again, the dog days of summer are here where the humidex makes it feel like 40 degrees out and sweat drips from every pore of your body by just standing still. So what’s a gent to do if he wants to stay looking dapper without having the sweat patches everywhere? Well grab a cold one, sit back and learn!

#1  Take care of your birthday suit

What do I mean by this? I mean invest in a good anti-perspirant (I like the Arm&Hammer branded one) to stay cool n dry in the pitts, and talc powder (I use Pinaud Clubman or Gold Bond) to avoid SCS (sweaty crotch syndrome) and on your feet so you don’t smell like you walked through a swamp at the end of the day.

 

Keep your man-parts cool n dry with this classic barbershop staple!

 

#2  Meet your new friend, linen!

This is definitely my material of choice when the humidex hits 40+. They sell everything in linen these days, from shorts, shirts, pants and even suits and ties! (Love my all-white linen suit). It’s comfortable and light as hell. There’s a reason why so many people in the tropics and from hot climates wear a lot of linen!

The Don in Miami, rocking the white linen suit, circa 2012

 

#3 You don’t gotta wear a suit to be dapper in the summer

*Gasp* Did he really just say that? Yeah I did. Summer is a time where I like to experiment with my look a little bit. From white jeans with a shirt and tie to a blazer with a t-shirt underneath and some relaxed footwear and maybe an ascot thrown in there for good measure, go crazy! Just be you, be confident you’ll be awesome 😉

 

#4 Let those feet breathe! 

There are so many options for summer footwear, beach shoes, loafers, boat shoes are all a little looser than your typical dress shoes, so let loose and still stay lookin good.

Picked these bad boys up back on Boxing Day, paid $100, reg price $250

Picked these bad boys up back on Boxing Day, paid $100, reg price $250

My favorite summer shoes! Riveria Leisure Shoes, canvas and cotton mesh let your feet breathe in a shoe that screams ’50s flair. Wear to the beach and the streets

 

#5 Cover up that melon of yours!

I do not mean wearing one of those snapbacks like the kids are trying to be all cool. Invest in a Panama hat or simple straw fedora. They will keep the sun out of your face as well as keep you 10 degrees cooler by eliminating exposure to the part of your body that gets the most of it. Practical and adds to your style all in one.

 

Burt Reynolds rockin the classic Panama hat

 

 

#7 Your other friend in the summer is Cotton!

How could I forget the other natural lightweight fibre, cotton! Cotton chinos are a personal favourite of mine as their looser weave allows for more airflow. Pair em up with a cotton or linen shirt and a lightweight sport coat and you got a recipe for success. And for those summer weddings, consider a cotton suit so you won’t be like the rest of the folks sweating buckets in a small church with no air conditioning.

 

Bonus! Swimwear tip

You still rocking the knee length shorts you had since you were 15? Good for you, now take them, roll them into a big ball and chuck them into the garbage! It’s time to step up your swimwear game to something a little more mature and stylish. Aim for the short length type that are maximum halfway to the knee or even a tight boxer-brief style suit. The advantages? You’ll get more of a tan on your legs, if you work out you’ll get to show off your athletic legs and the most practical of all, these swimsuits dry faster so you could get to the beachside bar quicker and chat up that hottie you seen staring at you 😉

Go for this

 

NOT THIS!

 

BUT NEVER EVER EVER THIS! UGH, JUST NO!

And so now you know how to keep your cool when the weather gets hot, you’re good for the summer! Till next time, stay dapper!

 

The Don

Its White Jean season!

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Mixing casual with businesslike…white jeans, purple plaid dress shirt, mike kors tie, brooks brothers blazer, blue suede loafers and totally not matching red socks…why? Because I can 😉

Devilish Details: The Dapper Guide to Accessories

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Yes he’s back! The Don is back!

By now you should all know the basics of suiting up (If not then shame on you!). The fit of your suit head to toe, what shirt pattern with which kind of tie, pattern mixing etc. But you can’t just leave it at that for it’s the little things that get you that extra glance of attention my friends. Pull up a chair, mix a drink and get reading!

 

Start from the top!

1) The Lapel Flower

When you buy a suit or blazer, you may notice a slit on the top of the lapel that does not open. You can have a tailor open it up and stick a nice colorful lapel flower in there. Lapel flowers come in a few different varieties, you can go with a crocheted yarn or a more pouffy style like this.

2) The Tie Bar

Tie bars these days comes in all sorts of colours, styles, finishes, and lengths. You can go pinch clasp or side clasp (I recommend side clasp for silk knit ties), 1 inch, 1.5 inch or 2 inch, royal blue matte or brushed silver. Don’t forget to use your contrasting here! Light tie? darker tie bar and vice versa.

Tip: Don’t let the length of the bar extend to the whole width of the tie.

3) The Pocket Square 

Ah yes the almighty pocket square. Too many times I see a suit being worn without one and it just looks well…weird to me. So many options exist as to colours, materials, patterns and folds. Just remember the colour of your tie and pocket square do not have to be  SHOULD NOT be an exact match. The pocket square should complement the tie by having one colour in common. For example if you have a predominantly aqua tie, a plaid pocket square where one of the colours is aqua is a perfect complement to it.

Tip: The most versatile pocket square you can own is a solid white one, it goes with any tie, always.

 

4) The Tie

This one is obvious, just be sure not to buy any cheap polyester ties and no pre-tied ties!!!

 

5) The Watch

Now this is not something that I particularly rock, don’t even own a really nice watch (yet). But a watch can either be a bold centrepiece accessory or a subtle touch of class. I personally prefer a more subtle clean look, minimalist dial like this.

Tip: Great thing about watches is, you can swap out the straps so if you’re dressed a little more casual swap in a colourful fabric strap for the refined leather one!

 

6) Cufflinks

One of my personal favourites! Really do not understand why most retailers do not sell cuffed shirts, anyways cufflinks are another great accessory that you can play around with. They are a terrific way to add a personal touch to your ensemble. A big sports fan? Go for some like these. A wedding around the corner? Opt for a more classy look like these. Cufflinks come in many different shapes, sizes, colours and materials so go nuts!!!

 

7) Belt/Braces (suspenders)

These are accessories one might call necessary, after all there is nothing dapper about being caught with your pants down. When you’re rocking your best suit there is only one option for the belt and that is leather, black or brown depending on the colour of your shoes. Braces (the proper term for suspenders) on the other hand, you have some freedom (unless attending a formal event, in that case go with black silk). Add a splash of colour to you outfit by going with some green or paisley braces.

Tip: Most important of all when it comes to braces, no clip ons! They look cheap and can come undone and smack you right in the face, nothing dapper about getting your eye taken out by cheap clip on braces. Opt for the looped variety that fasten via buttons to the inside of your pants.

 

And there you have it my friends, utilizing the little things to pull it all together and get that positive attention that comes from being dapper 😉

 

The Don