A great post from dapperdemeanor, who elegantly makes an argument for dress trousers. I want to break out this portion though, because it’s something that bothers me to no end:
Another differentiator is the crease: typically dress pants come creased and some have some sort of permanent or semi-permanent crease in them. Chinos a lot of times don’t come creased and generally don’t hold creases well.
I’ve essentially given up on bothering to iron a crease into my cotton chinos. It’s futile. The crease only stays for a few hours after you’ve put them on, making it generally look worse than if you’d not ironed a crease in them at all.
In regards to chinos versus dress pants, I prefer dress pants over chinos — except in the summer. I’ll easily concede that tropical-weight wool slacks are the best way to go during seasons of high humidity while also keeping your look on the (more) professional side, but you can’t ignore the practicality of lightweight cotton chinos.
First up, they’re generally cheaper. Secondly, they can be laundered with the rest of your clothes at home and don’t require dry cleaning. Third, I just think cotton’s a nicer texture for summer than wool, but that’s a personal preference.
But I can’t wait for fall, just for the sake of seeing some creases on my pants again.
Had an after-work networking event to attend, which typically featured business professionals on the younger side. I didn’t want to roll in with something everyone else would be doing (ill-fitting pinstripe suits without a necktie), so I compromised.
Cream cotton jacket with a faint tan 1/8” pinstripe, brown gingham button-down collared shirt, brown with light blue and pink paisley accents tie, selvedge Levi 501s and suede bucks.
I think I got this wonderful silk tie for under a buck at a thrift store. I paired it with a pink pocket square, since it’s still summer. I think the gingham shirt could work into the fall, which is nice, but surrounding it with summer looks seemed like the best way to go.
StyleHunting has some some good advice on how to look sharp while attending summer nuptials with a casual dress code.
While he makes a good point about how you shouldn’t be dropping big bucks on a linen suit during times of personal fiscal austerity, I would say that investing in at least one cotton or linen blazer is worth doing.
Personally, I’d go with a cotton blazer, just because linen is impossible to keep unwrinkled and if you get caught in the rain you’re in some real trouble. You can usually find a decent blazer at end-of-summer sales at department or retail stores and obviously at your local thrift stores, too. Heck, check eBay and Etsy. Then, take it to a tailor and have it fitted properly.
You could probably do this for $50-100 total, depending on how cheap you pick up the jacket and what amount of tailoring needs to be done. I understand that can be a tough bullet to bite for some, but you’ll always have a go-to jacket in situations that require a bit more formality when the occasion presents itself.
I will also add that in some occasions, wearing a jacket is just a dumb idea, even to a wedding. Especially if said wedding is on a beach in the tropics with temperatures in the 90s. It’s definitely appropriate at that point to dress down, because you know everyone else will be wearing shorts and mandals (ugh).
And about linen suits: For me, my cream linen suit has become the most expensive thing I’ve owned, wearing it only once to a wedding and now looking at it I see it needs probably $70-100 more in tailoring to be properly fitted, meaning I haven’t worn it once this summer, of which there have been few to none opportunities to wear it anyway. Something to keep in mind.
Went to a government function today to assist with a seminar for constituents, so I decided to dress more conservatively. Fairly simple setup here using the navy blazer as a uniform once again with grey chinos, Sperry Topsiders and a blue dress shirt.
I know the chinos need to be tailored for a more tapered fit, which is something I’ll do once summer is over and I can free up that part of my wardrobe since I won’t be wearing it. My immediate tailoring concerns, however, are my fall/winter blazers.
Went with a rather conservative burgundy tie with navy and white stripes and a white linen pocket square. No real need to wear loud clothing when you’re in a room full of senior citizens.
Decided to put a little bit of a “go to hell” twist on my basic summer uniform today. Navy blazer, white chinos, Sperry Topsiders with a neon-green-and-white striped shirt and a pink silk-knit tie.
Why the pink tie (other than, “Why the hell not?”) for this situation? Well, I have an incredibly hard time finding a tie in my wardrobe that goes with the neon green in the shirt.
You can’t really go darker in your tie with a hunter green and I’m not about to snag a neon-green tie to go with this shirt (this shirt is absurd enough as it is). I have a white silk tie, but that just looks too odd to wear. So, I’ve taken to wearing other pastels with the shirt — mainly light blue and pink.
I went with a white linen pocket square for the sake of simplicity here. I received enough comments about the look at the office as it was.
Definitely check out this list from itsamazing. I think it’s definitely on point if this is more your style (ie: don’t have to go into an office with a jacket and tie everyday like I do) and I wouldn’t change very much other than to add a few things like oxford cloth button-down collared shirts and a pair of my beloved Sperry’s Topsiders for summer.
Yet another example of how I’ve broken up my seersucker suit, this time with the jacket. I’m trying to get as much use out of the seersucker before the summer ends.
This time around I wore it with a salmon red polo, Levi’s 501 selvedge resin rinse jeans and some suede bucks.
The outfit’s rather casual with the polo, so it made some sense to add a pocket square. Typically, I’d go with a white linen handkerchief, but it made some sense to vary the fabrics away from just cotton and go with silk.
Yup, those are Happy Socks again. Since it was Friday, I decided to go for another loud color. The shoes are Polo Golf, not that I give a whole lot of focus to labels (if it fits and looks good and I like it, who cares?), but I’m rather happy with this $10 thrift-store score. I’ve been making it a point to wear the raw denim with them to get the indigo to stain their upper edges.
That’s what these people did. Seems like an interesting challenge, but it’s obviously doable. (Socks, shoes and underwear don’t count toward the six-item limit.)
After some thought, here’s what I’d go with for a month in the summer:
Levi’s 501s selvedge denim jeans
Grey lightweight-cotton chino pants
Solid light blue or blue university stripe oxford collar button down shirt
White dress shirt
Bright-colored polo shirt (I’d go with pink or salmon red)
Not sure if it’d be cheating or not to replace the navy blazer with a full seersucker suit, because if not I’d do that instead since you would then have a full suit you could wear together or break up the pants and jacket to wear as components.
If this was the fall or winter, I’d sub the chinos with some wool dress pants, get a heavier weight wool blazer in there and swap the polo for either a cardigan or sweater vest for layering.
I’m curious to know how others would approach this challenge.
Here’s an example of how I use seersucker elements split up. I know the blazer looks black here, but it’s actually navy, which tends to happen in artificial light. At some point I may get the pants tapered, but I think the bagginess also has a certain charm to it. Plus, it’s damned comfortable.
Since it’s summer, I opted for this seersucker tie, which you can snag at Land’s End for a mere $9.99. Not bad for a tie made in the U.S.A. The silk pocket square I scored at a vintage sale for $5. It’d be tempting to go with a white-linen square here, but the tie has a hint of gold and blue, which the this one compliments nicely. Plus, I think adding a contrast fabric like silk shakes it up a bit.
Normally during summer I prefer to go barefoot and wear boat shoes, but since I went with seersucker and don’t own white bucks, I opted to throw on some double monk-strap shoes, which is also more dressy, with some fun socks from Happy Socks.
I’m not new to blogging by any means, but wanted to create a semi-anonymous place to document my journey to discover my personal style — whatever that may be, it’s a process! — without subjecting those who read my personal blog to it.
If this kind of thing interests you, great! Your feedback is always welcome. If not, then I’m sure you’ll find somewhere else to spend your time.