classics

Know First Who You Are . . .

and then adorn yourself accordingly. –Epictetus

I could have gone all Happy 2017 but that isn’t my style. I have a foundation I have built upon for decades and I have a preference to deviate from societal norms. Hell, my parents did not adhere to societal norms so why should I?  My duty is to keep up the tradition!  But I digress.

A year has passed and I am hopeful as a reader you have grasped what I have presented and have grown stylistically.  If you frequent here, I truly appreciate it.  If you have been able to apply some of the things I have presented here and you expand from it, you are obviously are heading in the right direction!   I established this blog because I have something to offer.  A different perspective and a desire to see one succeed at creating their own image.  We are bombarded with standards.  The standard may work for some but it may not work for all.  As I have elaborated in the past, have a foundation and expand your horizons.  In my opinion, it is important to incorporate elements of your personality, your culture and who you are into your style.  This is how we evolve.  We have to guinea pig ourselves.  It is important to ask questions but not so much one cannot make a decision without input from our peers. We experiment until we find a formula that works.  When the formula becomes stagnant, we search for ways to get back up to spec.  It’s very simple to say but a whole different ballgame to put it into action.  But if you want something bad enough, you will do what it takes (within reason, I hope) to achieve.  Anyhow, enough of my rambling.  Let me touch on something every wardrobe should have, the double breasted blazer.

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The double breasted blazer has nautical and sporting origins.   Better known as the reefer jacket, it was 20170101_085229adopted into fashion.  It has had its periods of popularity.  In recent years it has made a comeback.  The jacket is characterized by the overlapping front just like the pea coat.  On the inside of the jacket there is what is known as a jigger.  It assists in keeping the jacket tight.  One fastens this first, then the respective middle button.  There are rules for buttoning too when it comes to the double breasted blazer.  Always button the middle button only juxtaposed to the single breasted, one will always keep the top button fastened.  Leave the jacket buttoned when sitting down.  The extra material flopping around to say the least, will appear unflattering whereas with the single breasted, one unbuttons the jacket.   The versatility of the double breasted blazer is one to enjoy.  They can be worn in formal as well as casual settings.  Spend a few hours on Pintrest and prepared to go michin with all the possibilities this piece of clothing brings!  Just like the single breasted blazer and sport coat, they are made with different materials as well as different 20170101_091218colors.  The ones above left and right are a linen-cotton blend made by Stafford.  I have spoke highly of JC Penneys in past writings and will continue to do so.  These jackets were of the classic fit but as usual, my tailor made them perfect.  One will see the gold/brass buttons just as you will see on a single breasted navy blazer.  But if this is too much, you can always find them with regular buttons.  You can have your tailor replace them or if you’re feeling a little daring with your buttons, go with something avant-garde!  As with everything you purchase, fit reigns supreme.  You should have a good idea what brands suit your body best.  In addition, you should know when something needs tailoring.  Every so often, one can metaphorically hit the Powerball and what is purchased off the rack or second hand fits perfectly.  If you were pondering life with a double breasted jacket, whether it would be a suit or blazer, I strongly recommend you consider it!  Until next time, jal ga!

*Feature picture: Shoes: 14th & Union, Tie: Ling Dai Jing Pin, Pocket Square: SantoStefano
Top left picture: Blazer: Stafford Collection, Shirt: Alfani Red, Pocket Square: Feather and Smith
Top right picture: Blazer: Stafford Collection, Shirt: Alfani Red, Pocket Square: Jack Spade
Bottom left picture: Blazer: Christian Dior Monsieur, Shirt: Calvin Klein, Tie: Brooks Brothers, Pocket Square: Jospeh Abboud

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Creating Your Own Style . . .

Is easier than one thinks.  Absorb what is useful, discard what is not, add what is uniquely your own.  That there my friend is a quote by the great Li Jun Fan better known as Bruce Lee.  This phrase 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 being the following in no particular order: 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 featured picture, 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 my better half?

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!