fashion blog

Summer 2017 Update!

Yup Yup Yup, I’m still here.

So what’s been going on the past few months in the life of the Don?

Well I’ve been keeping myself pretty busy with work at Jack Victor (and loving it). I keep myself on a pretty rigorous routine (I’m up at 4:45 every morning to get an early morning workout in). And I work right up until 6 pm so by the time I get home I don’t have much energy or brainpower left, hence the large gaps in my posting.

Another thing that has happened is that I have left my side gig with Eph Apparel after about 2 and a half years. I just did not have enough time or energy to dedicate to the hustle that it entailed. I will forever to be grateful to them for the opportunity to learn about and sell made to measure custom suiting . That opportunity came about at a time in my life where I needed extra money being a student in Ottawa. I have nothing but full respect for the whole team there and wish them continued success.

In leaving my gig with Eph, I did it because I wanted to focus more on growing myself in my career at Jack Victor and to a certain degree, get back to running this blog a little bit with more frequent updates and useful posts for you all. Since I am officially on vacation in the coming week, look for at least one post. Stay tuned for more 😉

 

-The Don

The Exclusives PR: Changing the Ottawa Fashion Scene!

Good evening dapperites,

On January 29, I had a chance to attend a great event, the dawn of a new era in the Ottawa fashion scene. On this night, I attended the official launch party of The Exclusives PR. They are the city’s first PR firm catering to the fashion industry. They offer social media, event planning, production and media relations to magazines, boutiques, stylists, designers, etc.

 

The night was a great one, characterized by a gathering of a variety of players in the Ottawa fashion scene. There were makeup artists, bloggers, designers, stylists, etc. It was great to meet and mingle with a variety of them. Some of them even recognized me and my flashy custom suit from Instagram. It was definitely flattering!

 

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The Don and the founder of Me Tu Style.

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Fashion and lifestyle blogger, columnist for Ottawa at Home magazine and a great person, Katie Hession of YowCityStyle. Follow her great Instagam featuring your’s truly here.

Marcelle Bénédicte of Couture MB, follow her on Instagram12687810_1195516563809565_3621014407634471573_n

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Bohten, a great eyewear company out of Toronto

I had a chance to interview the dynamic young founder of The Exclusives, Naira Fragoso da Costa. Here is how it went:

Tell me a little about yourself:

My name is Naira, I’m 20 years old. I attend the school of Journalism and Communications at Carleton University, which I will be graduating from this December. I have been wanting to be a fashion journalist/PR since I was 12 years old.

What is your experience in the fashion world?

I modeled for almost five years within Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa, doing fashion weeks within those cities and different campaigns such as – Bluesfest and Bayshore mall.

When did you get the idea to open up the Exclusives PR?

I got the idea this past November when, I watched an interview of my idol Kelly Cutrone saying “If you know the in’s and out’s of this industry, eff an internship – do your own thing.”

How long in the making has it been? What were your biggest challenges along the way?

The day after hearing Kelly’s interview on November, 30th I wrote up a business plan, the next day went to register the business with the government, the next day got a staff, then the next day started working on the website. By December, 21st we launched the site and social media accounts. By January, 29th we had our launch. Biggest challenge has been trying to get people to understand what PR even is.

Who has been your inspiration/role model throughout this whole process?

The #1 fashion PR in the world Kelly Cutrone since I was 13 up until now and designer Diane Von Furstenberg since I was 15 up until now. Eleanor Lambert and  Anna Wintour have also been tremendous inspirations to me.

What do you hope to accomplish with this venture?

To revolutionalize the Canadian fashion industry, like the fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert did with American fashion back in the WWII era.

How do you balance this with your school and personal life?

The business does take up a lot of my time and school does as well of course. But I’m a believer in the importance of spending time with our loved ones because, you honestly never know when will be the last you’ll see them. So when life hands you three choices of; work, sleep and a social life and you can only pick two. I unfortunately dropped sleep, BUT everything is temporary and like my grandmother would always say in Portuguese “Nao ha beneficios sem sacrificios.” There are “No benefits without sacrifices” so my sleep sacrifice will hopefully come to an end soon.

What are some of the challenges facing the Ottawa fashion industry?

Everything. There’s potential but there’s no knowledge and professionalism, to make it flourish into a well rounded fashion atmosphere – like Toronto or Montreal. The fashion industry in Ottawa has absolutely no value to it, things are done in an unprofessional manner and that is why things remain so mediocre. In order for it to reach a higher level people need to stop treating it as a hobby and as a profession with value. Fashion is culture, fashion is identity but it is also revenue. In New York, London and Paris people in fashion will make more than doctors and lawyers because, it has become a valuable industry. So in order to have value, it must be valuable first. That being said people in the fashion industry in Ottawa no matter what they are; designer, blogger, PR or model. Knowledge is number one and key, this is a complex industry that has a lot of history, background and diversity. If people studied this industry a bit more and tried to understand how the big four capitals do things and have developed through the years, things may unfold in a much different manner. All in all, this isn’t just an Ottawa problem… this is a Canadian problem. Fashion has yet to be incorporated into the cultural policy of this country and progression within industries only occur once it is established within the government aspect and cultural aspect of the country. Which is why getting into the habit of studying this industry is important. People would be extremely surprised at even how behind Toronto is compared to other fashion based cities. Once those challenges and flaws are met and understood – that is when a revolution within the industry becomes a must.

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Naira addressing the crowd at the launch.

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Naira and a couple of her team members.

She is definitely an inspiring young woman and I do look forward to working with her in inspiring this revolution for the Canadian fashion industry. She is very determined and there is no doubt she will be successful in this venture.

Last up on the night was a great afterparty held at Mezzanotte Bistro in the Byward Market, a very trendy and stylish location with great cocktails.

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So please go give The Exclusives Facebook page a like, follow them on Twitter and Instagram and if you’re in the Ottawa area and require their services, reach out to them! Let the revolution begin!

-The Don 😉

 

It’s That Lovely Time of Year Again! GO CRAZY!!!

Good Day Dapperites!

So mother nature has finally cast her light upon the Montreal area so that means full out summer dapper mode as was on display yesterday:

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White jeans (my favorite), blue linen shirt, red linen unstructured blazer, lovely madras belt (all from Brooks Brothers) and the best summer shoes out there, my Riveria Leisure Shoes.

With this lovely weather of course also comes barbecue season!!!

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Of course there’s nothing better than a charcoal grill, to hell with the gas ones!!

Enjoy the start of this lovely weather all, don’t be shy, break out your most colorful outfits, have fun with it and sit out on a patio and enjoy a nice cocktail or 2 (or 3 or 4) and a cigar, you’ll be great 😉

The Don

Wedding Weekend

So I had the opportunity to head back to Montreal this past weekend to attend the wedding of a family friend. Granted, I only joined the reception at midnight but dang was I on my dapper game, and of course, the family was as well! What a great time we all had!

For the church, I did not go with the full out suit, instead went with some light grey trousers, black blazer, bright pink patterned shirt for a splash, and silk white pocket square.

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And for the reception I was rocking my custom Indochino suit that I already rocked to 2 previous weddings this summer. Normally I would wear the all-purpose white dress shirt but I forgot my cufflinks at home so I went with the purple gingham and navy tie with burgundy dots, very subtle and businesslike.

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Let me throw in a shout out to my younger bro who was looking quite dapper himself in a royal blue 3 piece suit with white shirt, bright red cotton tie and complementing square.

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And what did my parents wear? Well my pops had to borrow one of my pink checkered ties to accentuate his look, but he wore it well. And my mom, well my mom always looks good for these occasions!

the dapper parents!

the dapper parents!

Bonus pic: The happy newlyweds!

Congratulations Pietro & Lucinda

Congratulations Pietro & Lucinda

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

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!