Culture Can Be . . .

A secret weapon that makes extraordinary things happen. –Jon Katzenbach

You may be asking, how does this relate to creating your own style?  Look at who you are culturally.  Do you see anything can use to help manifest your style?  I bet you can!

Sungkyungkwan Scandal Being Korean influences some of my style.  I regularly drop Korean lexicon into these posts.  This is who I am racially (half of me), culturally (to some degree) and I wear it proudly (as well as being Irish and Italian).  Centuries ago, the Chinese, Japanese and Korean upper class always wore beautiful clothing, material-wise and color-wise.  When I did my research,  I learned a lot about the history of Korea and as well as the development of Korean culture.  The aristocracy wore bright colors with floral and animal patterns.  The children wore bright colors too.  The common people wore muted colors.  Dancheong (단청) dominated the architecture and is characterized by the five basic colors: blue (east), white (west), red (south), black (north), and yellow (center).  As my closest friends know, I have an affinity for pocket squares especially those that display bright colors with floral patterns.  I also love paisley which I have successfully incorporated into my style.  I also wear colors that are subdued.  The combination of these with what is modern, has afforded me the look I have been developing and what I have been told on many occasions is very appealing.  It works for me.  I’m fortunate because I am able to honestly express myself through some elements of my Korean culture.  Please always keep this in mind, your style is an expression of who you are!  You are going to gather bits and pieces from everywhere and everyone possible.  Make an assessment then assimilate what best suits you into your own foundation.  At the end of the day, you have to be the one happy with your result!

When you take the journey into your cultural background and maybe you find it may be too much to your liking, there are little things you can do to incorporate it into your style.  For example, I have a couple of pair of cuff links made by 카라빈카 쇼핑몰 that specializes in Korean gifts.  The cuff links I am wearing in the picture to the left have Hangul on them better know as Hunminjeongeum. Hangul was created by King Sejong in 1443.  The design is beautiful and at the same time very significant in Korean history.  I was a history major so this subject interests me on that level too. The other pair I own is a dancheong design.  If I was hesitant of Nestea plunging into my culture, at least with these cuff links, I afford myself a starting point.  Although I have been speaking about adding elements of your respective culture into your style paradigm, don’t be afraid to add your religious beliefs, hobbies, likes, career, etc.  Again,  The key is not to go overboard.  There will be a point where it becomes too much and therefore not appealing.  Moderation is a key.  With practice, you will find that stylistic balance.  Until next time, jal ga!

*Supplemental picture, right: Jacket by Stafford Collection, shirt by Alfani Red, pocket square by Feather And Smith, watch by Invicta 

*Supplemental picture, left: Jacket by Croft & Barrow, shirt by Brooks Brothers, tie by MW Collection, pocket square by The SquarExtraordinaire 

 

Something About a Good Suit . . .

I don’t know, a good suit just, you know, you can take on, you can take on the world in a good suit, you know? –Conor McGregor

I put this blog together in an effort to help those looking to improve their overall appearance, clothing-wise without spending an arm, a leg or some other extremity.  One subject I stated in a earlier post I was going to touch upon is having a good tailor.  I have a great tailor!   Sylvia was referred to me by a friend.  You can buy top of the line clothing and if the fit is horrible, there isn’t anything in the universe that can save you except a tailor.

We have all seen the before and after pictures of a suit, a blazer or a sport coat that was transformed from well, nice try to aesthetically pleasing.  From experience, you feel the difference and what goes without saying, see the difference.  We are aware there are three kinds of fit when it comes to the aforementioned; classic, modern and slim fit.  The wonderful thing about having your tailor on speed dial or having the luxury of dropping by anytime, if you happen upon and purchase a suit, blazer or sport coat in the classic fit, your tailor will clean that mess up!

As far as the modern and slim fit go, unless your body has perfect specs for either style, you need to get them tailored!  In the following pictures, you will see a Nicole Miller slim-fit suit in black and an Alfani slim-fit suit in grey.  Nicole Miller suits are not on the website but one can find them almost everywhere on-line and at brick and mortars.  I have owned Nicole Miller clothing in the past and absolutely loved them.  For the price (I paid around $125 as suit separates at Burlington Coat Factory), you cannot go wrong.  The quality is excellent.  This isn’t a four figure suit and I am not going to wear it for maybe more than thrice a year, if that!   Alfani is a private brand of Macy’s.  Macy’s also has under its umbrella of brands: Tasso Elba, Bar III and Club Room.  I have had great luck with the fit when it comes to their Alfani performance and slim-fit dress shirts.  For the suit, also purchased as suit separates, they were on sale for a total around $210.  If I got these when they weren’t on sale, we are looking at a price tag around $650!  SCOREBOARD.  The quality is excellent!  If I had been lucky enough to find one in navy blue, well that would have been showcased here too.  I had both jackets taken in as well as had the sleeves shorten.  The Alfani pants were perfect, the Nicole Miller pants were not.

For suit pants, I wear a 33/34 inch waist and prefer a 30 inch inseam for a quarter break.  For my dress pants, I indulge a 29 inch inseam because I prefer no break.  Both styles of break, I am allowed to show off a little bit of sock as well as show off my style of shoe.  In addition, I wear flat front pants only.  Pleats are a matter of personal preference as well as body type.  If one is a bit bulky, pleats may be the way to go.  I am lucky my Korean genes afford me good great legs, hence why I wear flat front pants.

Now back to the tailor.  If you have no referrals from friends (well, are they really your friends?), do some research just as you would when searching for clothing bargains.  Ask around, talk to people, read reviews, make an assessment and pick your tailor.   Something that goes without saying but I will type it, communicate with your tailor!  Make it your pleasure to create a great relationship with him or with her.  Tell them what you are looking for.  Be receptive to input from your tailor.  This is a business partnership where both parties benefit.  When you become a regular, your tailor will take care of you and you should do the same.  If you are absolutely satisfied with their workmanship, not only tell them how happy you are, refer potential clients to them.  I make it a point to tell my friends and co-workers.  Sylvia has tailored my suits, my blazers, sport coats, dress shirts, etc.  The pants on my Nicole Miller suit had to be hemmed.  I bought the wrong length because my mind was locked on denim length.  She didn’t charge me for the hem.  It was a token of appreciation for my business and one I was thankful for.  So, what are you waiting for?  Go find that tailor who will assist you achieve your style!  Jal ga!

Blazing a Trail . . .

Is something one can literally do when when deciding the right combination of shoes, trousers, shirt and blazer.  The blazer beginnings originated with the Lady Margaret Boat Club  – founded in 1825 – at Cambridge University’s St. John’s College adopted a gentlemanly sporting jacket with which to row in, in a vivid scarlet cloth to distinguish themselves as part of a team. Thanks to the bright shade, the term ‘blazer’ evolved; not quite a suit jacket, designed as a stand alone piece that can be worn to add a dash of formality. By the time the annual Henley Royal Regatta rolled around in 1839, lavish stripes as part of the uniform had become part of the blazer’s DNA, each team’s outfits designed to be easily distinguishable from one another.  Just as lexicon over the decades has experienced a semantic drift, the blazer, one may say has experienced a fashionistic drift. 

As previously stated in my first post, Creating Your Own Style, one the of the classics every man should own is the navy blazer.  In addition, once comfortable with the navy blazer, look to expand your color palette.  For starters, search for colors that are synonymous with a particular season.  Secondly, there are materials that are most suited for these seasons.  Cotton, linen and seersucker are the go to for Spring and Summer.  Corduroy, flannel and tweed are the go to for the Autumn and Winter.  If I told you how many blazers and sport coats I owned, you probably believe there is a disorder for people like me explained in detail in the DSM-V.  For the purpose of this particular writing, I will speak of 7 blazers and 4 sport coats I purchased.  It sounds as if I spent a decent amount of currency but I didn’t.  I spent a total of $374.88.  There are 7 retail store brands, 2 (what are considered) low end brands and one high end brand in the group.  Roll call as follows:

  • Stafford Collection cotton sport coat (pink) $44.99
  • Stafford Collection cotton/linen blend sport coat (windowpane khaki) $44.99
  • Merona cotton blazer (khaki) $29.98
  • Merona cotton blazer (olive) $29.98
  • Merona cotton blazer (navy) $39.99
  • Mossimo flannel blazer (charcoal) $45.00
  • Jach’s NY wool blazer (herringbone brown) $34.98
  • Croft & Barrow hopsack blazer (navy) $59.99
  • Chaps sport coat (grey plaid) $29.99
  • Chaps corduroy sport coat (tan) $39.99
  • Ermenegildo Zegna wool/silk blazer (grey plaid) $14.99 (Moya?!)

Yes, JC Penney’s again.  Kohl’s.  And Target?  Surprisingly, Target has improved their quality of clothing.  The 3 Merona blazers are half-lined and unstructured.  The khaki and olive blazers fit perfect.  I am aware the chances of purchasing off the rack and having it fit sans alterations is a Buddhasend.  Of course the navy blazer has two problems.  The sleeves are a bit long and it has functioning buttons.  Having this tailored would most likely cost more than the $40 investment.  So what is one to do?  Improvise, adapt and overcome.  I wear this very casual.  And what I did with the sleeves in some many circles is frowned upon.  Flip-cuff dress shirts are perfect for this situation.  For me, it works well and it may work for you.  I am not attending a formal gathering.  I’m indulging an atmosphere where the patrons dress whatever they are feeling.  What one will gather by having your fundamentals down, you will be able bend the narrative to suit what you are trying to stylistically achieve.  It is high risk, high reward.  If you are a go-getter, do the same with the way you dress and adjust accordingly.  In the the photo to the right, one can observe how I rolled the sleeves of the blazer and folded the shirt sleeves over the them.  This is the outfit I wore when I was attending my friend’s baby shower (Yes, apparently men can do this nowadays).  Simple, very casual and it works.  There will be no formal wear time for this blazer.  I have a structured Croft & Barrow (Kohl’s brand) blazer as well as a Christian Dior double-breasted blazer (with brass buttons) for such occasions.

Ten of the purchases above were made with coupons and sales.  The Ermenegildo Zegna, I found on Ebay and it is second hand.  I won it for $2.99 so who cares about $12 shipping?!  Not I. And as seen in the featured picture on the debut post of this blog, looks pretty damn good!

ezegna

Designer clothes as well as cars, exercise equipment and houses (to mention a few) are merchandise one can purchase used.   There are thrift shops all over the world housing high end clothes just waiting for someone to have their Master’s in Frugalnomics bring them home.  This blazer fits me well because I had the proper alterations done.  And, this is one thing you will need and I will discuss in the near future.  You need a good taylor tailor.

The options I have presented will help boost your dress game.  I am cognizant there will be individuals who will express their displeasure in some of the aforementioned brands.  Quality is important.  The Target brands I touched on briefly are of good to very good quality and most certainly not a tier or two below high end.  You want the opportunity to wear your clothes for all occasions, often or not so often.  Taking care of your clothing regardless of the price point is very important.  It cannot be stressed enough.  At the end of the day, only you are aware of your spending limits.  Listen to everyone who has suggestions but remember, they won’t making any purchases for you.  Jal ga!

 

*Featured picture: Jacket by Christian Dior, shirt by Van Heusen, tie by Gucci, pocket square by Santostephano, watch by Stührling Original 

How Do I Look?

Always looking fly, all day!  어제 새로 산 청바지 핏 look good on me! Swag 24 hours! -Beenzino

This, 어제 새로 산 청바지 핏 roughly translates to the fit on my new jeans I bought yesterday (look good on me!).   Denim jeans are a rock solid choice when building your clothing foundation.  They are a classic go to that can be dressed up and of course, dressed down.  Most importantly, it is necessary they look good on you!   While there are many different brands and many different styles, my personal favorites are dark indigo denim jeans and selvedge jeans.  While there is flexibility concerning jeans, in my humble opinion as well as others, the aforementioned is the way to go.  But as you are figuring out and experimenting, you will eventually settle on a style that suits your needs and a style you can call your own.

Dark indigo are prewashed and it is highly suggested one does not wash them often because the color will fade.  There are different ways to wash them.  My advice is to research and figure what is best for your jeans.  Selvedge jeans refers to the self-edge.  In the featured picture, you can see how clean the edge is on the Uniqlo and Gap 1969s.  The indigo jeans are Urban Pipelines from Kohl’s.  On standard jeans, the material isn’t tightened-up.  When one cuffs a standard jean, you’ll see what I am writing about.  It is strongly suggested one does not wash your selvedge jeans regularly.  But if you do, The Art Of Manliness has a video.  FYI, I paid $29.99 for the Uniqlos and $27.19 for the Gap 1969s both on Ebay.  The former runs around $50 & the latter runs over $100.  I saved close to $95.  The Urban Pipelines fit me perfect (I paid $9.99 for them thanks to coupon codes).  The shoes are by Allen Edmonds and Cole Haan.

Always take care of your clothing regardless of the price-point.  Think of your investment in clothing as an investment in your body.  You train hard, consume the proper nutrients and get the proper rest.  In other words, you take care of your body clothes. Now, the break on your jeans is a matter of personal preference.  I wear a 32 inseam juxtaposed to the 29/30 inseam I wear with dress pants and suit pants.  Obvious by the picture above, I indulge a cuff to show off not only the self-edge but the shoe.  The picture to the right, I am wearing Urban Pipelines cuffed.  I want you, the reader to observe the difference of cuffing selvedge and standard jeans.  With both styles of jeans, I am still showing off my shoes.  And hoping some yeppun yeoja sees them and likes them!  Remember what I said a woman notices first?  I digress.  Experiment!  Before purchasing jeans, try them on.  Cuff them.  Do they look good on you?  Or maybe you should try a pair with a shorter inseam so you can go with a slight break or no break sans the cuff?  Depending on the size of your legs in conjunction to your body, should you wear skinny, slim or straight fit?  Remember, at the end of the day, you are the one who has to be happy with your look and your respective purchases.  Once you find jeans that fit you perfect, the easy part is pairing them with a dress shirt, a t-shirt, a Henley, a waistcoat, a blazer, a sport coat and so on.  The versatility jeans afford you can be summed at quite simply as like being a kid in a candy store.  Jal ga!

 

*Featured picture: Jeans by Uniqlo, Gap and Urban Pipline

If You Make A Mistake . . .

Do not be afraid to correct it. -Confucius

I read a variety of subjects quite regularly.  I mostly indulge Eastern philosophy.  The above quote resonated with me and I reason it should with the reader as you decide which direction you are going in creating your own style.

For decades, I have always attempted to dress well and dress age-compliant.  I’ve seen & have partook in some trends.  I recall the late 80s and early 90s when over sized polka dot shirts, Mandarin collar dress shirts, baggy dress pants, Georgio Brutini shoes, designer jeans as well as track suits were in play.  But in the end, I have always had to ask myself, “will this work for me?”

Whether you’ve been out of the game for a while, are looking to improve your appearance or just starting out, you will make mistakes.  Whether it is sizing down when you should have not, purchasing skinny jeans when you have no business wearing them or ordering clothes from the UK or Asia and not taking into consideration their sizing charts, the list goes on.  This isn’t a shit happens moment. Most mistakes can be avoided and be kept to a minimum.  As I stressed in an earlier writing, research!  With the technological advances bestowed upon us, there is no excuse for not doing a thorough sweep on-line for recommendations, reviews, comparisons, forum boards, etc.  Even though the world wide web has provided us with such shopping delicacies, visiting brick and mortars is still relevant.  When shopping in person, think of it as forging an interpersonal relationship with a well qualified salesperson juxtaposed to having an on-line relationship with a website customer service rep.  We, sometimes overanalyze.  If we do this, we miss some things that never required so much thought.  Think bout it.  Jal ga!

*Featured picture: Jacket by Mossimo, shirt by Tommy Hilfiger, pocket square by The SquarExtraordinaire, pants by Banana Republic, socks by Van Heusen, watch by Invicta

*Supplemental picture: Jacket by Merona, shirt by Geoffrey Beene, pocket square by Feather And Smith, jeans by Levis, socks by Perry Ellis, shoes by Allen Edmonds, watch by Stuhrling Original

Color Me Bad . . .

friday_quotes
The look on your face when someone’s colors are not coordinated!

But you can’t sex me up!  Just some lyrics from an Ice Cube song (in reference to the R&B group Color Me Badd’s song I Wanna Sex You Up).  Hypothetically speaking, if your colors are badly coordinated, you probably won’t be getting sexed up.  Color coordination  is of the utmost importance!  It can absolutely make or break your outfit no matter how expensive or inexpensive it is.  Put together the right combination and you can command a room (along with other factors).  Put together the wrong combination, Bob Ross will flunk you no matter how abstract you believe your artwork is.  Now it may sound complicated but it isn’t.  Having a little bit of knowledge concerning colors will assist you when purchasing clothes that are complimentary.  When one observes the basic color wheel, you will note five categories.  These are primary (red, yellow & blue), secondary (a color resulting from the mixing of two primary colors), tertiary (a color resulting from the equal mixture of a primary color with either of the secondary colors adjacent to it on a color wheel), complimentary (colors directly opposite each other in the color spectrum) and analogous colors (are groups of three colors that are next to each other on the color wheel, with one being the dominant color, which tends to be a primary or secondary color, and a tertiary).

 

For me to elaborate on how it is advantageous for one to know these colors well, how to incorporate them into one’s arsenal and to touch upon the importance of expanding your boundaries when it comes to using an array of colors would probably stretch me out five post worths.  I rather not drone on but instead I will provide the following links for your study time:

Having a feel for what goes well together is important.  Through trial and error, you will be able to see what colors are sugar and spice and what colors are oil and water. Another consideration is your skin tone.  Some are lucky and can wear every combination of color under the sun. Others should enlist and review resources (books, a tailor, magazines, and even a lady friend) that explain in great detail the advantages of wearing colors in conjunction with one’s skin tone to accentuate your overall appearance. Learning about what works for you and the style you are creating doesn’t cost a penny.  By the way, the outfit ran me $176.01.  It’s a little steep for my liking but the Stacy Adams weren’t much of a sale price at $92.99.  But the tie is by Art (apparently a defunct company and that’s Hangul on it!) and it cost me $6.99 on Ebay.  The pocket square is from my one of 3 of vendors I go to for pocket squares on Ebay, The SquarExtraordinaire for $4.99.  A Perry Ellis Principles waistcoat for $7.99 on, guess where?  Ebay!  A Calvin Klein slim fit French cuff dress shirt for $22.45 on Ebay (you are seeing a pattern, yes?).  A pair of Van Heusen trousers purchased at Kohl’s on clearance for $15.00.  I apologize for the lousy break (in my opinion) on my trousers.  I was wearing a full break.  My preference is a quarter break or no break.  I will discuss pant break in detail on a future post.

The final piece that completes the ensemble in the photos above for which you cannot see are cuff links.  The cuff links are from South Korea and cost me $25.60 on Ebay.  The design is called DanCheong (단청).  There are thousands of years of history on it but I digress.  Accessos_l1600ries (watches, jewelry, cuff links, tie bars, collar bars, etc.) can also make or break an outfit.

The key with anything in life is balance.  A little bit of Yin-Yang has never put anyone or anything in an uncompromising situation or position.  Harmony is something we should all look to obtain and maintain in our lives as well in our attire.  Moderation with a splash of style, your style is the way to go!  As you further your studies on men’s fashion, you will proceed to be more comfortable and you will want to experiment.  Once you achieve the look you desire, the sky is the limit.  Arraso?  Jal ga!

 

*Featured picture: Socks by Cole Haan, tie by Tallia, pocket square by Ted Baker

Fashion Is Not . . .

Necessarily about labels.  It’s not about brands.  It’s about something else that comes from within you.  Ralph Lauren

We are inundated with images everyday from all types of media sources concerning fashion.  It can be chaotic.  In order to create order out of disorder, one must have a game-plan to make sense of everything.  If one is not looking to pay top dollar, what you can do is search on-line as well as off-line for deals.  This, of course is contingent on how much you have to spend or are willing to spend.  Whether you are looking to purchase something high end or something comparable, the deals are out there!   You may have to conjure up your best Roy Ayers impression and keep searching.  If you know how to use Google, Bing, Yahoo or any of the several search engines the world wide web has to offer, you can find anything.  For today, anything is the first thing (and it is up for debate) a woman notices on a man, his shoes.

Allen Edmonds‘ reputation speaks for itself.  The quality is unsurpassed and for many men, it’s the paramount of shoes. The Allen Edmonds Shoe Bank sells factory seconds for a price in my humble opinion that are still too high.  Of course it depends on the style of shoe you are looking for.  The not-so-popular styles will sell for under $200,  The model in the feature picture is the McTavish.  It was discontinued and I’m going to speculate in 2014. It was resurrected with some tweaks then discontinued again in 2016.  I found these at Burlington Coat Factory late in 2014 while getting in touch with the feminine aspects of my astrological sign, Scorpio.  I scored these for $90.  Yes, $90.  This version originally sold for $325 and rebirth was sold for $295. Also on this trip, I scored a pair of Cole Haan Kiltie Tassel loafers in oxblood (burgundy) for $80.  These were originally priced at $260.  I did pump my fist repeatedly upon exiting after spending $170 opposed to handing over $585!

The spring of 2015 I began to search for suede loafers.  My favorite style is the tassel loafer.  With your best interests at heart, I want to inform you that suede shoes are a Spring, Summer and Autumn staple of choice.  The versatility of this shoe involves styles, colors and the way they can be coordinated with an outfit casually as well as not so casually.   I saw a review on a site I follow (Dappered) on a pair J. Crew Kenton suede tassel loafers.  I liked them a lot so I did a search for something similar but at a lower price point.  I came across these $140 Johnston & Murphy Ellington Moc Toe tassel loafers that were on sale.  The total price with shipping offered by the Sierra Trading Post via UPS was $52.10 ($48.13+$3.97).  I would like to state this is some major SCOREBOARD!  I saved $47.90 (Economy shipping offered by J. Crew is $5).  We established Allen Edmonds as a top tier shoe.  Cole Haan, in my opinion is a tier lower with Johnston & Murphy a hair behind.  But what if these brands are too high for your current bank account?  Gentlemen, I present to you JC Penney’s.  Yes, that JC Penney’s.  The one that just closed 138 stores nationwide.  I must be michin to suggest this place!  JC Penney’s offering is their Stafford Collection which is comprised of dress shirts, suits, suit separates, underwear, socks, pjs, robes, accessories and well the topic of this post, shoes.  Their shoes, in particular, the Stafford Gunner cap toe always receive good reviews.  It is a $120 leather boot.  You can find similar for much higher.  These boots came out in September of 2015 at an introduction price of $100.  The wonderful thing about JCP is they always run some kind of offer.  Free shipping, coupon codes, and percentages off a set amount, etc.  I waited until just before Christmas to press the trigger.  Free shipping and a $10 off coupon brought these to my door for $49.  These shoes are not on the level of the other two but with some TLC and a small rotation of shoes, these can last a few years.

I have couple of points I want to make before I conclude.  First and foremost, have knowledge of your shoe size as well as width.  It is very important.  Remember?  Look good, feel good!  One can look good but if your shoes don’t fit well, well you won’t feel good.  Lastly, go to a brick and mortar if possible.  As you are creating your style, you need to see first hand what works for you and if it’s the look you are trying to achieve. Some brands of shoes run small, some brands run large.  Sometimes this will occur with shoes from the UK (e.g. Clarks).  When you are faced with a situation when an on-line shop has something you want ridiculously in your price range, you know it will fit!   Also, read reviews.  Sometimes you can get the gist how a shoe will fit by the reviews that are given.  This has helped me on more than one occasion when a brick and mortar wasn’t within my immediate area.  If you see something that suits your taste and it is out of your price range,  research.  I cannot stress this enough.  The Johnston & Murphys score is only one of example of several I intimated in this writing.  One can find high end shoes at discounted prices but you have to do some recon(naissance).  One can find shoes of very good quality that are the retail chain’s brand for an excellent price.  This is a small representation of what one can find on-line and off-line.  Now apply this to sport coats, blazers, dress shirts, chinos, wool trousers, selvedge jeans, etc.  I’m certain you have got the picture.  Jal ga!

 

*Featured picture: Allen Edmonds McTavish

Creating Your Own Style . . .

Is easier than one thinks.  Absorb what is useful, discard what is not, add what is uniquely your own.  That my friend is a quote by the great Li Jun Fan better known as Bruce Lee.  His quote is applicable to just about anything as well as men’s fashion.  If you are like I am, you observe, you study and apply.

An important aspect (and what I feel in my humble opinion is most significant) of fashion is having a solid foundation.  A solid foundation means having your fundamentals down to a science.  If you ever played (dis)organized sports, there were always those guys who liked to hot dog everything.  What did these show-boaters have in common?   Zero fundamentals.  If you take short cuts, more often than not, everything crumbles like a house of cards.  It’s the same with how you dress.  It is absolutely no question when you dress well, you will be treated positively.  By being fundamentally sound, you will be able to evolve your own style.

The genesis of your wardrobe should be based on the classics (the fundamentals). These are timeless and will never go out of style!  In no particular order you should acquire the following: navy blazer/sport coat, white dress shirt, light blue oxford, v-neck sweater, polo shirt, v-neck and crew neck t-shirt (white, grey or black), Henley (short & long sleeve), grey trousers, chinos, indigo denim jeans, a tailored suit (preferably grey or navy).  As for shoes, one should invest in black dress shoes, brown casual/dress shoes and casual/dress boots.  A quick surf through the world wide web and what I have presented above is close to what most invite you to indulge save for a few more or a few less.

From this starting point, when you are comfortable, confident and have a grasp of what you desire in your look, you can expand from here and experiment.  The aforementioned list appears it could end up being rather expensive and it could be if you go high end with everything!  But metaphorically speaking, you’re poor & broke.  Many of us are always searching for a deal and they are out there.

For example, in the photograph to the right, I am wearing a Perry Ellis waistcoat ($28), an Alfani slim fit stretch dress shirt ($13), an Orsini Surrey Collection knit tie ($7) and a pocket square ($6) from a vendor on Ebay known as TheSquarExtraordinaire.  What you can’t see, I am wearing a pair Ralph Lauren chinos ($20) and a pair of Joseph Abboud suede monk straps ($60).  Total price: $134.  The vest, dress shirt, knit tie, pocket square and chinos were purchased from Ebay.  The monk straps from Sierra Trading Post!

Now for comparison’s sake, I chose Nordstrom because it is considered high end.  I took the average of the first 9 waistcoats, white dress shirts, knit ties, pocket squares and chinos listed on the respective site.  For the monk straps, I chose the first 9 suede because this style of shoe is what I wore and is great for summer wear!

  • Waistcoat, $86
  • Dress shirt, $55
  • Knit tie, $63
  • Pocket square, $36
  • Chinos, $68
  • Monk straps, $268

Total price: $576.  That’s a lot of cake.  If you can afford it, go for it!  But if you cannot, there are great, economical alternatives.  My outfit saved me $442.  You are aware a portion of what I saved was used for a day at the vineyard with some lovely friend?

The points I wanted to introduce are from having sound fundamentals, you can expand and create a style suitable to your tastes without working 4 jobs.  Next time, I will elaborate a little further on where to search for deals.  Jal ga!

 

*Featured picture: Jacket by Ermenegildo Zegna, shirt by Geoffrey Beene, pocket square by Windom Finery. glasses by Uniqlo