suits

The One (or Two) Knots to Rule Them All!

Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen,

Tonight’s post will be on a topic so simple that most men don’t even think twice about it. I am of course referring to the tie knot. Now there are so many different options when it comes to tying a tie but there is one particular knot that graces the necks of uber stylish men worldwide. Are you ready for this tidbit of super secret information? I am referring to the humble, easy to tie, four in hand knot.

4 in hand pitti uomo gent gazette

Pitti Uomo, ultimate display of peacocking yet look at the simple tie knots. Photo from Gentleman’s Gazette 

I myself have recently abandoned my old favorite, the half-windsor knot in favor of the four in hand and it’s cousin, the double four in hand.

What makes the four in hand, a knot that was probably the first one you ever knew, so damn stylish? For one, it has a dash of built in sprezzatura. Take a good look at the knot, it’s not 100% symmetrical, it’s slightly askew….and we wouldn’t have it any other way, embrace it!

Secondly, it is a versatile knot that pairs with any kind of tie and shirt collar as evidenced below:

Now, I was tempted to include an exception to this rule by writing that extra wide spread collars only look good with a larger knot like a half-windsor, but after seeing what my extra wide spread collar looked like with a four in hand knot (first picture on left), I can’t justify including that exception.

What else do I love about this knot? Double it up and have twice as much fun! The double four in hand knot (simply wrap the tie around a second time before knotting) adds a further dash of sprezzatura by adding a little bulk and personality to the knot. It also serves a practical purpose to shorten neckties that may be a touch too long for you depending on your height.

But Don, that about those cool intricate knots I see on Instagram? Aren’t those cool to use on a regular basis? H-E-L-L  N-O!

eldredge knot

Eldredge Knot

I hold such a disdain for these kinds of knots for 2 reasons.

  1. It LOOKS like you are trying too hard, the complete opposite of sprezzatura
  2. You are probably wearing a cheap tie and are trying to distract away from that fact with a WOW factor knot…if you’ve got a great quality tie on, let the tie be the star of your show not the knot!

To conclude, in order to look great with you neckwear you do not need to fuss over what knot goes with what collar, simplicity is elegance! Consider the four in hand (and double four in hand) like a white dress shirt, it goes with everything!

Grazie e salute!

-The Don

Psst! Looking for a great place to stock up on any tie imaginable? Check out the Tie Bar, with prices that can’t be beat for the quality. I own an extensive amount of ties and pocket squares from them, from classic and elegant to fun and funky. There’s plenty to match your taste without breaking the bank!

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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

A look ahead…Your Spring/Summer 2018 Trends!

Good Evening my dapper friends,

One of the advantages I have of working in the menswear industry is access to future trends that will shape the year ahead. I’d like to share with you tonight some that you could look forward to for next summer so you can get on board and be a trendsetter!

Note: These are the trends that I personally feel will have an impact and not every trend that I have come across.

 

  •  Three Button suit 
    • Yeah, I was surprised to see this one too. But as it turns out there is not much neckwear being showcased from designers these days. So what’s the compromise? A higher button stance and super soft shoulders to be bold and stand out from the crowd.
  • Hawaiian Print Shirts
    • The cheesy vacation shirt is back! (I think I owned a few as a kid). But this time around the prints are funkier and more abstract, and the quality of fabric much better.

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  • Pleated Trousers
    • These have picked up steam over the last few seasons and don’t appear to be going anywhere! Whether single or double pleated, the fit is kept modern (tapered legs) so you won’t look like a  1990s middle manager in billowy double pleated khakis.
  • Techno Suit
    • I’ll admit, this is one that I can’t get on board with. With the rise of athleisure, the lines between classic tailoring and it have become blurred in S/S ’18. Suits made from technical fabrics such as nylon layered with activewear could be one way to make a splash. Just don’t expect me to be rocking the look!
  • I ❤ The 90s
    • In terms of sportswear, the menswear industry has fallen hard for the 1990s. This means big graphic prints, oversized logos, floral prints and oversized nylon jackets and tracksuits. Bust out the old gear or buy some new!

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  • Relaxed Trousers
    • So, pleats are back, we know that. But we will also begin to see a reversal of the skinny fit trend as cropped looser silhouettes will begin to spring up. And it’s not only limited to casual pants, expect to see dress pants loosen up as well. Let the “boys” breathe again!

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  • Who wears short shorts?!
    • This time back to the 1980s and the short shorts. Or if you ask me, just shorts. I mean seriously how were these ever considered “shorts”? The inseams have shrank back to 1980s NBA short levels when shorts were, you know, short! Get some color on those legs and make a bold style statement at the same time!

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  • The Espadrille, all grown up!
    • Ahh, the espadrille. Classic summer beach/lounge shoe. Not according to a few designers such as Ralph Lauren who has been featuring the summer shoe dressed up with suiting pieces. Also expect fabrics to be more upscale, from the traditional canvas up to suede and leather.

 

So there you have it, a few of the trends that I feel can make an impact for S/S 2018. You want to be ahead of the curve, you know what to do!

 

Stay dapper my friends,

-The Don

 

 


Sources

Garner, Stephen. “Tips from an Editor Abroad.” MR Magazine, Aug. 2017, pp. 42–43.
Fisher, Michael. “8 Must Have Trends for Spring 2018 .” MR Magazine, July 2017, pp. 38–40.
Macko, Michael. “Shoe Business.” MR Magazine, Aug. 2017, pp. 44–45.

 

Update October 2016

Hello Dapperites,

You may be wondering where I’ve been lately and what I’ve been up to, why I have not been writing as much. Well here goes, I recently got a full time job at none other than Jack Victor. For those that don’t know, Jack Victor is a suit manufacturer in downtown Montreal, yes I said manufacturer in downtown Montreal. Still a family owned business founded way back in 1913. I am working in the customer service department, taking calls from retailers across North America, processing orders, etc. I could not be more happy or proud to be working in the field I am most passionate about.

I will admit, when I was offered this job I was hesitant. I felt that I could be “wasting” my communications degree I recently obtained. Well that’s bullshit. I am in a field I love for a company I respect tremendously. There is nothing wrong with that. I plan on paying my dues, working hard and moving on up. And the working hard part is why my posts on this blog will not be coming as often as they used to. The hours are long and by the time I commute back home I have time to work out, eat and maybe relax 1-2 hours. I love writing this blog and will still continue to do so when time permits.

Until next time….stay dapper my friends!

-The Don

Today’s Tip! September 27, 2016

There are 3 types of men that every gentleman needs to have in his life to help keep him dapper from literally head to toe, they are:

#1 Barber

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You should be visiting a barber (yes a barber, in a barber shop, not some hairdresser in a salon) once every 3-4 weeks. And a good one can tell you if they think a certain crazy idea you have will look good on you or not. My to-go Montreal barber for the past 3-4 years has been Montallegro Barber Shop. Opened and still run by 2 Italian brothers, the shop is like going back in time to the 1960s, I love it! When I lived in Ottawa, my go-to spot was Roma Barbershop. Again another shop opened and run by 2 Italian brothers. And again it was a no-frills, step back in time nostalgia trip. While I am glad to see a revival of barber shops in recent years, I will not pay $40 for a haircut just because you’ll give me a beer while I wait and have all this fancy decor. Give me an seasoned old Italian barber in a no frills shop for $15-25 any day!

#2 Tailor

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Bought a new suit off the rack (shame on you, you need to check out Eph Apparel and call me!..shameless plug) and need to get some alterations done to have it fit you like a million bucks? Lost some weight and need to have some shirts taken in? Maybe you fell off the diet wagon lately and put on a few pounds and need to let out those pants. Then you need a tailor who can fix/repair/alter your garments to make them look their best on you. Just another piece of advice, don’t expect tailors to be miracle workers, if you have an event coming up go well in advance to your tailor if you need anything done. My Montreal tailor go-to is Charles le Tailleur. And my Ottawa one was hands down Raymond Tailor of Distinction. Tailoring is a dying breed so it seems, here’s to hoping more young people see this as a career and field of choice!

#3 Cobbler

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They say that women notice a man’s shoes first. If that’s the case then you better know a good cobbler for when your nice go-to pair of leather monkstraps get a hole in the sole. (Another tip, invest in quality leather soled stitched shoes, the soles can be replaced when worn out, extending the life of the shoes). Soles of your black wingtips detaching from the body of the shoe? Find a good cobbler. I can’t give any recommendations here as I have not used one yet. But do some research in your local area and go with the best! I myself am in need of one to replace the soles of my leather boots, so if anyone knows of one in the Montreal area, do let me know!

 

So there you have it, 3 men you must know to keep you dapper from (literally) head to toe!

Until next time,

 

-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

Don Dapper and YOW City Style!

Good evening Dapperites,

 

Hope your holidays have been fantastic (and dapper). Tonight I just wanted to share with you some photos of my work with YOW City Style. She is a fantastic amateur lifestyle and style photographer in Ottawa. Despite the fact that she considers photography to be just a hobby, her pictures and effort she puts in makes me consider her a professional. And a unique touch she adds to her posts is that she always asks her subjects to say a little something about Ottawa, whether it is their favorite neighborhood, restaurant, etc. I had the opportunity to be featured by her a few days ago. The pictures were taken in Brewer Park in Old Ottawa South. Here are the shots:

Of course you can tell I was rocking my custom EPH Apparel Double Breasted blue plaid windowpane number, braces and my cashmere hat on top. I considered styling my hair but last minute decided on the hat since it added an old country gentleman flair.

I would definitely recommend following her site:

 

http://yowcitystyle.tumblr.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yowcitystyle/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yowcitystyle/?fref=ts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/YOWCityStyle

I look forward to working with her again.

 

Stay classy and keep it dapper 😉

 

-The Don