casual

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

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Blue Monday

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Could not wait to take advantage of the nice weather and finally bust out my white jeans and blue suede loafers today! Topped off with a linen shirt, red and blue striped ribbon belt and some shades on.

Look of this summer day in Montreal!

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Porkpie hat, light striped cotton shirt, blue chino shorts and my favourite Riveria leisure shoes!

Mad for Plaid!

Good day gentlemen, this post will tackle one of my favorite patterns in clothing and that is plaid.

Plaid (or tartan) was first worn by the Scots in the form of kilts in the 17th century as a sign of resistance against the empire and was banned for a few decades for this reason. For many years it was a staple of the working man’s flannel shirt until the mid 20th century when the pattern popped up on blazers, and even tuxedos  in the 1970s (thankfully we have not seen this trend since!). Plaid flannel shirts enjoyed another revival in the 90s with the grunge rock movement and people would often wear them tied around their waist.

Nowadays, you can find plaid on a number of items of clothing. Ties, shirts, blazers, pocket squares, scarves and even pants and suits! I do not recommend that you wear an all-plaid uniform, I do recommend  however, that you incorporate it into your wardrobe and wear one item in any given outfit just to give it a dash of brash confidence. Observe this example:

See how the first thing you notice about the outfit is the blazer? That’s the reaction you want! Wear it with a light colored shirt (remember, white goes with any and everything) and you got a recipe for dapperness!

Of course another way to use plaid in your outfit is by rocking a plaid tie as seen here:

Notice how it is paired with contrasting patterns and a darker color to help accentuate it’s color and pattern. Remember the basics!

And of course you can always use a plaid shirt in your wardrobe as demonstrated below:

Layered under a cardigan, it is a great casual weekend look that will make you look good without even trying!

One thing I would really like to rock one day would be a beautiful prince of wales plaid suit such as this one from Indochino. Notice the subtlety of the pattern here that allows you to mix and match your shirts and ties easier for it.

So there you have it. The next time you look at a plaid shirt/blazer/tie/scarf/pocket square, remember this post, pick it up and imagine the dapper possibilities, step out of that comfort zone!

As always, stay dapper 😉

The Don

New Year, New Tips, New Wardrobe!

A happy, prosperous, and healthy new year to all of you. For my first official post of the new year I will be focusing on how you can change your wardrobe with a few simple tips.
The first thing that you must do is a seek and destroy mission in your closet. If it doesn’t fit, hasn’t been worn in a year or just plain looks outdated, chuck it! (by chuck I mean donate them to the less fortunate). I will admit I had a hard time with this process a year ago when my lovely girlfriend went through my closet, but it’s worth it in the end trust me.
Now that you’ve established what you need and don’t need, divide your clothes up. In one section, put what you usually wear to work. Next is clothes you wear when you hit the town, then casual clothes, lazy around the house clothes and so on.
Looking at these piles, decide which ones look a little empty and need replenishing so you can go out and buy what is missing.
Now some tips for going out and replenishing those missing items. You don’t have to break the bank to look dapper. For stores/websites where you can get great deals, check out the links on the right side of this blog. Another tip is to go when there are seasonal sales, roll up your sleeves and go through those racks of items because chances are you will come out with something. Outlet stores (such as the Banana Republic Factory Store which has specials every week) and liquidation stores are where you will find steals. For example just this past weekend I picked up these two great quality items at a liquidation centre.
Total price paid with tax…$28.44!
And check out the quality of the turtleneck sweater
If you want to treat yourself to some high quality items, visit a high end store like Henri Vezina on Boxing Day/week. I was able to snag a pair of $250 blue suede loafers for $100!
A final useful piece of advice (for my Canadian readers) is take a little shopping weekend south of the border every few months as you will find much a much better selection at a lower cost! Good destinations include Burlington, New Hampshire, Woodbury.
That wraps it up for this one, take this advice and look your best for 2014 and remember, stay dapper!
The Don

To Bow or not to Bow? That is the Question…

Hey Fellow Dappers, I’m back! And today I will be tackling a sometimes controversial topic for menswear today and I’ll tell you why it needs to become a staple in your dappering arsenal. I am talking of course about the one and only bow tie.

“I don’t look good in bow ties!” “I can’t pull it off” “They look weird” are some of the many excuses heard when it comes to rocking a bow tie, but it is a tie that can elevate you fashion-wise. Allow me to explain why.

1. It comes in a variety of materials, colors, and patterns so it can be dressed up or down, as seen by yours truly here:

                

(both ties did not cost a whole lot by the way, $15 for the one on the left courtesy of The Tie Bar  and $10 for the one on the right via a sale at Simons.)

2. It’s been a staple of every well dressed man throughout the years. Think Sinatra, Dean Martin, JFK, hell go as far back as good ol’ Abe Lincoln!

3. It’s the only tie to wear a tux with! Seriously, when did wearing a standard tie with a tux become acceptable in society?

4. It makes you stand out. Who wants to dress every day just to blend in and be part of the crowd, be daring, be bold! Dare to be dapper 😉

There is one rule I have regarding the bow tie however,

DO NOT BUY A PRE-TIED ONE, SELF-TIE! SELF-TIE! SELF TIE!

Be a man, buy a self-tie bow tie and learn how to tie it. Took me a while but practice makes perfect and trust me people will notice! Here is one of the many youtube videos to help you out

And if you are worried that the knot doesn’t look “perfect” or as tight as a pre-tied, don’t be! A little bit of imperfection is part of the self-tie’s charm 😉

So go ahead don’t be shy, you CAN rock this look, all it takes is a deep breath of confidence, you’ll look awesome, seriously.

Stay dapper,

The Don