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Old Suits, New Lives!

Good Morning Dapperites,

Recently I tried a “trend” that I got to admit I was very skeptical to try at first. Turns out it’s a great way to get more use out of the suits in your wardrobe. That “trend” is breaking up your suits into separates and mixing/matching jackets and trousers.

I have this one favorite suit of mine that has definitely been featured on this blog before.  Last week I decided to bite the bullet and see how it would look pairing the jacket separately with a different pair of trousers and the trousers with a different jacket. Well here’s how it looked:

 

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Turns out my skepticism was wrong about breaking up the suit, I find it looked great although I will admit I preferred the look of the jacket with the grey trousers than I did the trousers with the navy blazer. Guess sometimes the “trends” are good after all.

I will leave you with some tips though if you are planning on giving this a go.

  1. If your suit is patterned like mine, pair the pieces with a neutral color.
  2. Solids of different colors match together. Create that contrast!
  3. Feeling daring? Go pattern on pattern BUT the patterns must be different scales (ex. large stripes with a subtle houndstooth)
  4. Own that shit! Seriously it’s all in the confidence, if you’re not comfortable wearing the combo, it will show to observers.

There you have it my friends, a new way to wear your suits and a refreshing breath of fresh air to your old ones. Have a great weekend!

 

-The Don

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The Problem with “Fast Fashion” And How to Avoid It (While Still Looking Good)

Good Evening Dapperites,

I read an intriguing article yesterday morning from Fashion Beans (a site you should be reading, besides this blog of course!). About the slowing down the fashion cycle, “Why We Need To Slow Down The Fast Fashion Cycle” and I just wanted to give my two cents on the subject as well as throw in some advice for you all.

Now there’s no denying it, fast fashion is everywhere. Look in any mall and you’ll see an H&M, Zara, Topman packed with people going to grab the latest trends, while knowing full well in a few months that whatever they buy will be tossed away because of changing trends. I can personally attest to this, working in a couple of retail stores in my lifetime, I’ve seen new things out on the floor and people rushing to get them, only to end up discounted a few weeks later for lack of interest.

As the article goes on to state

However, according to the likes of Burberry and Tom Ford – both of which have changed tack to adopt a ‘see now, buy now’ strategy in recent seasons – this window is unbearable to the modern consumer. Customers aren’t willing to wait six months for clothes they’ve seen on Instagram – they want to wear a collection the second it’s shown.

Based on this, I’d say social media is a major driving force in fast fashion. Consumers see a look from a runway and want it NOW! And of course companies like Zara (who can have a new trend on the sales floor in less than a month) are happy to oblige forcing the high end designers to do release the lines the same time of the fashion shows.

Another interesting bit

What air of exclusivity does a £1,000 coat bestow, when the masses are wearing something near indistinguishable, bought for a tenth of the price? So luxury’s response is to accelerate, producing more collections, changing styles at a pace it hopes outstrips the copycats. They, in turn, invest in bigger design teams and quicker production, to get the clothes in store first.

All of this ends up driving us consumers nuts. When we are shown new trends seemingly every week, we make ourselves crazy and our wallets thin by going out and buying what is new and fresh in the moment. But for those that like and can afford the good stuff…

Luxury fashion is sold on quality. You buy the four-figure version because it’s better made and will last longer than the knock-off. But when trends evaporate so quickly, your investment comes with obsolescence built-in.

So what are you to do to combat this obsolescence? It’s simple. Use your head and invest in timeless pieces that you know will last the test of time. I’m talking about a good  2 button navy/charcoal/grey suit, dark denim, soft knit plain tees, polo shirts, plain chinos, a good leather jacket, etc. Sure you can once in a while indulge in the trends but don’t be making a habit of it. Remember the old saying: fashion comes and goes style is forever! 

A last point I want to touch on and that is, what the hell do we do with clothes after we deem them obsolete? Well this is what happens

Fashion is the world’s third most polluting industry, after oil and agriculture. There are the enormous quantities of water, the chemicals and dyes pumped into fields, the factory fires and collapses that kill hundreds – all so we can get caught up in the cycle without going bankrupt.

We each throw away, on average, 32kg of clothing a year, because we’ve bought shoddy garments, or bought into trends we’ll never wear again, at prices that don’t make us think twice about tossing them in the bin.

Yeah….that’s a lot of clothes to throw away. And I’ll admit I had no idea fashion was such a bad culprit of polluting. Again the rule to break away from this is simple, buy timeless pieces and buy quality pieces that will last a few years (hint: some garments will get better with age like a nice leather jacket or pair of dark indigo jeans).

In conclusion, I sincerely hope that this post opens a few eyes and is able to be of assistance to anyone finding themselves caught up in the “Fast Fashion” cycle.

Thanks for reading as always.

-The Don


Source:

http://www.fashionbeans.com/article/slow-fast-fashion-cycle/

Last Day at Brooks Brothers (The Haul)

Goodmorning dapperites,

As you already know, I must sadly leave the city of Ottawa behind me for now. Yesterday I had my final shift working at Brooks Brothers which was bittersweet. What made it even sweeter though? Well I got to take advantage of my employee discount one last time for some very high end items that I had been eyeing for months now. Check it out:

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Brown Stetson fedora, Royall Rugby Eau de Toilette, some black/blue striped socks (Forza Inter!) and the crown jewel, Golden Fleece Authentic Full Dress Shirt.

So as you can see I definitely cashed in big time with my discount. Everyone at work knew that the fedora had to come with me since I’m the only one bold enough to rock one. Ditto for the tuxedo shirt. Speaking of the tuxedo shirt, here are a few closeups of it:

I first fell in love with this shirt when I saw it at the Toronto location and was overjoyed when it arrived in my store. As you can see, it’s Golden Fleece (highest quality line of Brooks) , Egyptian cotton woven in Italy and made in the USA. Detachable collar and french cuffs for the most formal of formal. Can be worn with both black-tie or white-tie. White tie of course is the most formal dress one can have. Learn more about it here.

This shirt will most likely not be worn for a few years. I said it from the moment I laid eyes on it that it will be saved for my wedding. (Better hope I don’t gain weight!)

So that’s a wrap for my Brooks Brothers (And retail) career. While I will not miss the difficult customers, I will certainly miss my colleagues and the team atmosphere there. I will however, continue to shop there (of course) whenever new clothing is needed. Au revoir Brooks Brothers, you’ve served me well during my time as a student here.

Until next time my dapper friends,

-The Don

Update August 2016

Hello Dapperites,

 

Just thought I would give an update to you all since I have been inactive on this blog for the past few months. I was extremely busy throughout the months of July and August powering through the final 2 classes of my university career. I can now proudly say that I am a graduate of Carleton University with a B.A in Communications!

Furthermore, I am now being forced to move back to Montreal due to my not being able to find a job in my field here in Ottawa. This saddens me very much as I have grown to love this great city of Ottawa and view my hometown of Montreal as a sinking ship, a cesspool of economic turmoil and political chaos. Nonetheless, I know I have many family and friends and most importantly my girlfriend that will support me. I vow to return to the city of Ottawa with a job in the near future!

Lastly, I would like invite you all to check out my side project, done for one of my classes, chronicling the history of menswear entitled “A History of Dapperness“. Now with more time on my hands I plan on being active again on this blog as well as my side project which I am keen on continuing. Thank you for reading and thank you for your support. Until next time….

 

Stay Dapper my friends!

 

-The Don

Late Spring/Early Summer Essentials 2016: An Everyman’s Guide

So we are well into spring and just a month or so off from summer (finally!) You’ve probably seen your favorite style magazine (GQ, Esquire) push some pretty stylish threads for the season. Well nevermind that crap (a $1,500 denim jacket? Please, Levis is just fine for me). I give you here a list of some essentials for the season and where to score em for prices you can actually afford without blowing your rent/mortgage/grocery money on.

 

  1. A cotton or linen suit:

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The temps are rising on a daily basis no doubt, and you’re going to have some weddings to go to. Instead of being that guy with sweat patches under his arms, be the guy that’s calm, cool and collected. Get a linen suit and wear the hell out of it to any occasion possible. I know what you’re going to say “oh but it wrinkles” and to that I say “man up and embrace the wrinkles, own the look and look sharp and be comfortable” To get more versatility out of it, wear the jacket and pants separately.

Where to buy? 

Eph Apparel of course, where you can get it custom made to your body for $299! (Bonus: Add a cotton/linen dress shirt to the look to stay even cooler on the hottest days)

2. Sleek, minimalist watch

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Big fancy watches with chunky dials? No thanks. Instead go for a sleek minimalist faced watch like a Danial Wellington. Best part about this watch? You can swap out straps, get a leather one to dress it up, or a cloth one for a sportier look.

Where to buy?

Yeah, you could get it for $200-250 in a store or off the company’s website, but I’ve seen them on Amazon for $140-165. Gotta love Amazon!

 

3. White Canvas Sneakers

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Is there anything more basic than a pair of white canvas kicks? Pair them with jeans/chinos/shorts, they’ll look great. Just don’t wear them with suits, I don’t care what the *bleep* GQ says. If they get dirty and look a bit worn, even better.

Where to buy?

Sure, classic Converse kicks don’t cost that much but just head over to H&M and grab them for $24.99. No logo on em, just crisp and clean (until you beat some life into them).

4. Silk Knit Tie

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Ahhh the silk knit. Can be worn with your regular suit and dress shirt or a more casual, yet classy vibe with chinos/dark jeans and an oxford cloth shirt. Very versatile indeed.

Where to buy?

Keep your eyes peeled for deals, I’ve gotten some at liquidation sales for about $10. Or you can head over to The Tie Bar , browse their extensive selection and nab one for $25. If you’re feeling like you need more of a bargain, hunt at thrift shops and vintage shops. You may just be able to snag one that’s unique as hell for a steal of a price!

5. Light trenchcoat 

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Just because the weather is warm, doesn’t mean it ain’t going to rain. You need a versatile lightweight trench that’ll keep you dry without making you sweat bullets inside. Best part about a coat like this? It’ll look good whether you’ve got a suit on, or just jeans and a tee.

Where to buy?

As nice and classic as Burberry trenches are, we ain’t got that kind of money to be blowing on one. For one that looks just as nice for under $200, check out ASOS or Simons.

6. Funky-Patterned Short Sleeve Shirt

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Ok, so I may have jacked this “trend” from GQ’s Most Stylish Men List, but hey they’re not always so bad, I do still have a subscription with them after all. Get yourself a patterned short sleeve shirt and wear it with a slim (not skinny, seriously, who wants their balls chafing in there on a warm day?) dark pair of jeans or shorts.

Where to buy?

Simons has quite a selection as does Zara. Ranging in price from $40-50.

7. Lightweight Chinos

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Ahh the chino, such a versatile option when it comes to pants. Dress em up, dress em down, they’ll always look good. What doesn’t feel good though is a heavyweight cotton chino in the dead of a hot day. Instead, get a pair of lightweight chinos in a fit that doesn’t cut off the circulation to your calves or man-parts (Can you tell I’m over the whole ‘skinny’ trend?). Bonus points for going for a bold color like a baby blue or pink! You’ll thank me later 😉

Where to buy?

All my lightweight chinos come from one place. J-Crew Factory Store. Get a pair for about $40.

 

8. White Jeans/Pants

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Another look that some men shy away from. White jeans or pants is a look that just screams “Summer” and “Euro”. Much like with chinos I find you can dress them up or dress them down. Roll up the cuffs and show off some ankle, because why the hell not?

Where to buy? 

A multitude of options here really. H&M’s got some for $30 and Simons has some at $60. Always keep your eyes peeled for sales though, as I feel white pants don’t sell as much as other colors thus usually get marked down.

9. Sunglasses

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Last but not least on this list, this one is obviously a no-brainer. Shades serve both a function and add pizzazz to any outfit. Sure designer shades like Ray Bans and Gucci are nice, but if you’re like me and tend to stuff your shades in your glove box then….

Where to buy?

Just grab a few pairs in different styles at places like  H&M, or Simons. You’ll have more than 1 look, for a fraction of the price of a designer one.

 

There you have it gents. There is no need to break the bank in order to look good this upcoming summer. Once you’re making the big bucks, then you can go more upscale. Until then, you can still look just as good! 😉

 

-The Don

Tip of the Day, May 7

As the temperature continues rising and your social calendar fills up with events such as weddings, baptisms and so on, leave the wool suit at home. Instead, turn to something in a lighter fabric like a cotton/seersucker or linen. Will they wrinkle a little bit? Sure they will. But you know what? Embrace the wrinkles like you just don’t care and be the coolest guy (literally) in the room!

Sit outside today, crack open a couple of cold ones and enjoy the weather.

 

-The Don

Now Back From the Dead…An Update!

Good Afternoon Dapperites,

Many of you may be wondering where I’ve been. Well the life of a last year university student in March/April really means you have no life. Buried under a mass of papers and presentations you feel like the Undertaker in a Buried Alive match.

So other than that update what can I share with you all? Well I finally had some money set aside a couple of weeks ago to freshen up the wardrobe after abstaining from shopping for a while. Check out some of my scores:

First off, got that awesome madras hat from Brooks Brothers using my employee discount came out to about $10. What can I say? I have a penchant for flashy things. Picked up a nice thick rugged denim shirt from the originators of the jean, Levis for a cool $22. Onto the next pic, grabbed a couple of these beautiful Brooks Brothers Made in Italy dress shirts (Retail tag said $305 each), but they were in my store (Factory Store) and I got em’ for $40. I’d been searching for a paisley dress shirt for the longest time! Can’t wait to rock this baby under a neutral grey or blue suit, sans tie. Again this is a lesson in smart shopping, take deals where you see them and always buy quality over quantity.

While I’m at it I’ll fill you in on another change that was made in my life recently. I must sadly report that my 4 month old beard met the straight razor and came right off! Now back to my look of old.

 

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And to top off this post, just thought I’d share some of my recent looks over the past month or so. Voila:

 

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Suited up with the Misses at a charity event.

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Classic business look, charcoal suit, striped shirt and madder pattern tie

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Some basic layering skills here with a colorful sweater under a suit giving it a nice punch.

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“Cock your hat, angles are attitudes” -Frank Sinatra

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Probably my favorite casual look in recent memory: White jeans rolled up, leather Converse shoes and a leather biker jacket with slicked hair.

There you have it folks, hopefully the weather outside catches up to what the calendar says and we start having some bright sunny spring weather so I can bust out the lighter things from the closet and have new looks to share! Until next time,

 

Keep it Dapper 😉

-The Don