suit

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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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

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

EPH Apparel Boxing Day Sale!!!!

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Good Morning and Happy Holidays to you Dapperites!

 

Christmas as you know is around the corner and you all know that means Boxing Day follows! I got some exciting news regarding EPH Apparel and our upcoming Boxing Day Sale. For 2 days only, (December 26-27) you will recieve:

-15% off everything (includes all fabrics)

-Our “Crisp White” Premium Dress shirt will be offered at $59.99 (reg. $84.99), PLUS the extra 15% off and before you ask, there is no limit to how many you can buy!

So go nuts, get one with a french cuff for those classy nights out and get one to wear everyday to the office, can never have too many white dress shirts as I always say.

Do not hesitate to contact me with questions or to book your private fitting today on December 26 or 27, email: andrewm@ephapparel.com  or call/text 514-927-8116

Stay Dapper my Friends,

-The Don 😉

 

 

Let’s Play a Game of….Know Your Suits!

Good day dapperites,

Now when I say “Know your suits” I am not talking about what types of suits you should have and why, because if you’ve been following this blog you already know! When I talk about knowing your suits, I mean, do you really know them? Do you know what constitutes quality and why? How are they made? What are the components? So do you know your suits now? Didn’t think so! So pull up a chair, get your cigar, pour a drink and settle in:

I will work from the inside out here. So the inner construction of your suit, what are the differences?

CANVASSED VS. HALF CANVASSED VS. FUSED

CANVAS – a blend of cotton or wool with an animal hair, usually horse or camel. This material molds over time through pressure humidity and heat and retain their shape.

FULL CANVAS CONSTRUCTION – The canvas runs from the top of shoulder (including the lapel) to the hem and floats between the layers of cloth. This allows the jacket to shape to the body over time. In the lapel of the jacket the canvas is adhered to the fabric using a blind stitching process known as pad stitching which gives the lapel a natural roll. This is the gold standard in suit construction and also the most expensive and time consuming process.

HALF CANVAS CONSTRUCTION – A construction approach that combines the improved structure,rolled lapel, and shape to the jacket where it is most needed (in the chest and shoulder) with the cost savings of a fused suit. The canvas layer generally runs from the shoulder down to the first button on the jacket, and the fusible layer runs throughout the entire body of the jacket as it is always necessary to have the fabric stabilized by something, whether it is canvas or fusible.

FUSED CONSTRUCTION – A type of garment construction that relies on the application of a thin layer of cloth that when heated in a special press, will bond to another fabric by melting the glue on its surface and fusing it to the other cloth. The result is that it gives the front of the jacket the structure that it needs without using the expensive,time consuming canvas interlining process.  The biggest drawbacks of this process are that it doesn’t provide the same support as a canvas layer, it doesn’t extend into the lapel leaving it looking flimsy and lifeless, and it is prone to an unattractive bubbling effect if too much heat is applied to it and the bond between the fusible and the cloth is lifted.

Now out of all these three your best value bet would be to go for the half-canvassed. This middle ground option still gets you solid quality without paying the premium for full canvas.

Next, what key components really make for a great suit?  Let’s start with the little things, because of course, the devil is in the details 😉

PAD STITCHED LAPEL – A canvas layer that extends into the lapel that is reinforced with a series of stitches that run parallel to the roll line of the lapel in order to give it more firmness and a natural curve to the lapel that will be durable over time.

NATURAL LAPEL ROLL – Our suits all feature a naturally rolled lapel that will hold its shape over time and add depth and elegance to your suit jacket. A hard pressed lapel is meant for a jacket that has no canvas and is of lower quality, so having a natural roll not only looks better but signifies quality.

FLOATING CHEST PIECE – A cotton felt chest piece floats in the midsection of the garment as well for additional structure and substance and a natural drape of the fabric from shoulder to hem.

LIGHTWEIGHT SHOULDER PADS – Shoulder pads that have a curved shape that looks and feels natural for increased comfort and flexibility, but a natural shoulder line.

NATURAL HORN BUTTONS ‐ Highest quality buttons available for suits.Plastic buttons often crack in bad weather and harsh climates or after several trips to the dry cleaners.

UNDER COLLAR – A felt lined collar not only helps the suit hold its shape around the neck, but also allows your jacket to mimic an outerwear coat on a cool evening.

REINFORCED BUTTON STITCHING – Reinforced double stitching around the buttons, to provide additional support and reduce the probability of the buttons falling off.

UNDERARM SWEAT GUARDS – Additional padding under arms to ensure that even on the most perspiring of gentlemen,the wetness won’t show through the fabric. This helps during those summer weddings in steaming hot churches with no A/C!

HAND STITCHED ARMHOLES – A hand stitched armhole in the inside of the jacket for maximum mobility and comfort.

LINED PANTS – Pants that are lined to the knee to protect the pant fabric from wearing through in the highest stress areas and also preventing the wearer from overheating. Another key feature for those hot summer weddings.

YKK ZIPPERS – Considered the standard in zippers for their quality and longevity.

SIDE GRIPPER – located around the waistband, side grippers are used to keep shirts tucked in. I know I appreciate this in a suit very much, helps avoid the billowing effect of a shirt half tucked at the back!

HEEL GUARDS – protects against abrasion to the fabric at the end of the heel, which is a major stress point of trousers. Who doesn’t want their pants to last longer??

Now let’s hit up some more common external features of a suit 

LAPEL – The folds of fabric that begin at the collar of the jacket and run down the front to the buttons

NOTCH LAPEL – an angled style of lapel common on men’s suits for generations. This is the standard lapel on most men’s suit jackets and blazers found today.

PEAKED LAPEL – A more formal lapel style characterized by a lapel that comes to a point at the line the collar begins and is commonly seen on double breasted suits and tuxedos.

SHAWL LAPEL – Originally used on smoking jackets, the shawl lapel appears as a continuous curve from collar to button. The shawl collar is now mostly used on tuxedos and other formalwear.

If you’re wondering which kind the Don himself favors, I’d have to say I have really been digging the Wide Peaked lapels lately, taking a page out of some powerful Italian fashion lookbooks. Really adds that confident flair. 

COLLAR – The part of the suit jacket that frames the neck, padded with felt for a thicker, rolled appearance that will help the lapel sit properly

BUTTON STANCE – Refers to the height that the first button on the suit jacket will hit, and consequently, the length of the lapel. Button stance is a matter of preference and the cut of the jacket, but generally on a two button suit, most men want the button stance to hit 1”‐2” above the belly button.

ONE BUTTON JACKET – A one button jacket carries a lower button stance and is traditionally seen on formalwear. However, fashion forward men of today are wearing the one button suit with confidence as a go between for their office suits and their formal suits. These types of suits were made famous by jazz legend Miles Davis. I myself have a one button blazer in my arsenal and love busting it out whenever I can.

TWO BUTTON JACKET – The most common button stance for today’s suits. It flatters all body types and sizes. Traditionally,the bottom button of a two button jacket is left undone to facilitate mobility. You cannot go wrong with this no matter who you are.

THREE BUTTON JACKET – Popular in the 80’s and 90’’s the three button jacket carries a higher button stance and subsequently is sometimes favored by taller gentlemen as it accentuates their torso and takes attention away from the legs. Conventionally, the top button of a three button jacket is optional, the middle button should always be fastened, and the bottom button should be left undone.  I have not seen this kind of suit in years, except on my old man. If you’re feeling uber confident/nostalgic by all means dip into this style.

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DOUBLE BREASTED JACKET – A suit jacket or blazer with wide, overlapping front flaps that fasten by buttons across the body.Double breasted suits have seen a resurgence in popularity as of late. Hint: My next suit will be a double breasted wide peaked lapel one!

SINGLE BREASTED JACKET – The standard suit jacket where there is only a slight overlap of the front flaps of the jacket, fastened by a single row of buttons up the middle

VENT – The opening or slit at the back of the suit jacket originally added to jackets for sporting purposes of riding horses as they add in mobility. The vent now is useful to maintain a clean profile when sitting and to be able to easily access pockets. Variations include centre vents (characteristic of Italian tailoring and a personal favorite of mine), side vents (or double vents, characteristic of British Tailoring), and no vents (characteristic of formal wear to maintain a clean profile while standing).

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POCKETS – Standard suit jackets come equipped with a variety of inner pockets and three outer pockets. The side pockets on the front are flapped with a layer of piping around the edges to allow a man to tuck them in for a cleaner look, while the breast pocket is located on the left side and sits open allowing for a pocket square to be displayed.

SLEEVE BUTTONS – All men’s suit jackets will have a varying number of buttons sewn to the bottom of the sleeves. 4 buttons sewn close together without functionality is the standard for most suits, but the jacket can be constructed to facilitate working / functional buttons, also known as Surgeon’s sleeves. Tip: Get the functional buttonholes on your next custom suit and wear 3 of them unbuttoned for a touch of Sprezzatura like I do 😉

WAISTCOAT / VEST – What was once the norm in men’s suiting to always wear a vest, has fallen in and out of style for decades. Currently, vests are seen as a stylish way to dress up a regular suit. Vests are meant to sit right on the waist of the trousers at their highest point on the sides and come to a point in line with the bottom of a belt. Traditionally the bottom button on the vest is left undone to aid in comfort while sitting.

ARMHOLE – The place where the sleeve meets the body of the jacket. Traditionally all suits were made with higher (small) armholes which aid in mobility, however the norm has moved to lower armholes which make the jacket easier to take on and off, except when it comes to bespoke tailoring.

Now let’s take a trip below the belt…I’m talking about the pants! C’mon gentlemen, get your head out of the gutter

WAIST – The waist of a pair of suit pants can be held in place in a variety of methods – the use of a belt, facilitated by belt loops is most common however adjustable side tabs are common in formalwear and keep a clean minimalist look to the pant, or even suspender buttons on the inside of the waistband. On a custom made suit, I love the side tabs! Why? Because a custom pair of pants should fit so well that you don’t need a belt! Another option I also love, suspender buttons, real suspenders (braces) are a throwback and a way to stand out above the crowd

CUFFS – The permanently turned up margin of the trouser bottoms, the main purpose of which is to reinforce the highest stress part of the pant – the bottom to avoid fraying or damage from wet and muddy conditions. This look is more of a personal preference, it is now trendy, but I would say look better on taller gentlemen as they visually shorten the leg a bit.

PLEATS – A vertical fold at the waistline of a pair of pants permanently sewn back over itself to give more freedom of movement and comfort. They are most commonly seen on pants with higher rises and waistlines, and a common choice for larger gentlemen. Now I’ve heard some things that pleats are on the way back, but I just haven’t seen it enough to be sure. 

Suspender Buttons

Suspender Buttons

Single Pleated pants

Single Pleated pants

cuffed pants

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So there you have it ladies and gents, you should now really know your suits. And do you know where you can get a suit with all these features and more? EPH Apparel that’s where! Contact me for a private fitting today. We also do custom shirts and accessories and have $40 discounts on wedding party orders plus a free accessory. Treat yourself and stand out above the rest!

The Don

(Layered) Look of the Day

Perfect example of layering in the frigid months right here:

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Colorful V-neck merino wool sweater to liven up a neutral grey suit and neutral colored tie. A little layering goes a long way in making a dapper impact!

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