Schoolboy Classics feat. James Wu

March 20th, 2013

We first met James Wu when he submitted to our January Giveaway with an email titled “OMG I Wanna Win Free Sh-t!”. He caught our attention, his outfit was on point, and he swiftly made it to the Top 10.

James is a medical student from Montreal with a knack for classic prep staples.

“Articles of Style has really helped sharpen my look, which I would describe as collegiate prep. Classic pieces with pops of color… I’ve realized that in a classroom full of sweatpants and graphic t-shirts, throwing on something as simple as the classic combination of an oxford shirt with chinos can make you stand out, in a good way.”

Here James shows us a little about investing in smart classics.

    1. Smart Casual


    James sticks to the basics for a smart and clean casual look: navy quilted jacket, two-tone crewneck sweater, off-white denim, suede desert boots.

    His whole wardrobe is very smart. What I mean, for example, is that every piece in this post can be mix-and-matched and he wouldn’t miss a beat.


    “This is a nice transitional sweater – it’s a kind of cross between an L.L. Bean Norwegian sweater and a Saint James nautical t-shirt.”

    As you can see, James is well versed in menswear classics.


    “I have to admit that white denim can be a pain to keep untarnished.

    Off-white denim is a great alternative. These are more of a subtle wheat color that doesn’t get dirty as easily as crisp white.”


    2. Continental Prep


    “A Ralph Lauren inspired outfit that toes the line between dressy and casual.

    The palette of earthy tones (brown flannel trousers, olive cashmere sweater, rich navy blazer) have a sophistication that suggests a more refined look, but a closer examination of the fabrics and details (brushed cotton blazer with patch pockets, oxford sport shirt, scuffed vintage oxfords) suggest this outfit is intended for a more relaxed setting.”

    20130125-untitled-51 copy

    “A subtle pink shirt adds life to most outfits.When layered appropriately it looks confident instead of feminine (pink was actually associated with boys up until the early 20th century).

    The pocket square is actually an old bandanna with colorful fly-fishing hooks printed on it.”

    20130125-untitled-67 copy

    “The shoes are a classic model made in America by Allen Edmonds.

    New, they would be a huge chunk of a student’s budget. But during a trip to the local thrift shop I found these for $3!

    Sure, they’re a bit scuffed, but in most cases it adds a nonchalant charm to the outfit. I’ve been wearing them with everything: dark jeans, chinos, dress pants…”

    In full disclosure, it was the scuffed shoes that caught our attention and made this outfit worthy of our January Top 10. A thoughtful touch of imperfection in an otherwise very regal and elegant look.


    3. Foul Weather Staples


    More classics in a look inspired by the great outdoors: waxed cotton jacket, plaid flannel shirt, shetland sweater, tweed trousers, bean boots.

    “This jacket combines my favorite pattern, blackwatch, and my favorite outerwear fabric, waxed cotton.

    Blackwatch was one of the original camo patterns (and in my books, way more badass than the more typical trendy camo) and waxed cotton is the original waterproof material – so this combination is really going old-school.”


    “The collegiate purple sweater is actually my dad’s and it’s probably older than I am.”


    “I put bright red laces on my shearling-lined Bean boots to give them some color.

    If ever you get tired of an old pair of boots, switching out the laces is an easy way to bring them new life.”



    Thanks, as always, for reading and special thanks to James for participating.

    Yours in style,

    Dan Trepanier


    Photography by Samyoul Kim.

    • http://undefined Jeanscuffed

      Dude nailed all 3 looks. Looks as if he dreamt about these outfits and woke up and effortlessly put them on. Hats off!

    • Charles S. Durst


    • Zane

      Which thrift shops do you hit up in Montreal?

    • J Saltzman

      Now THIS man understands proportion. Everything is so well balanced it looks effortless. Someone has an artistic eye and uses it well! Props!

    • Sean

      reppin Cornell

    • Deacon

      Dudes on point, nice post

    • Michael

      Look 2 & 3 I like. I don’t get the whole untied-shoe-laces on boots look though.

    • Ben

      Prep to death, love the bean boots

    • Alex D

      From one med student to another, well done

    • John

      I’m not saying the looks aren’t great, but what really caught my eye was the blackwatch jacket!

    • Alan

      When I first saw Look #2, it was alongside a few other preppy looks and I was a bit put off – but it definitely looks a lot better in context. The Blackwatch Cotton Coat is a bit good too.

    • Bob

      One of my favorite looks yet – updating classics will never go out of style. And each outfit is attainable. Well done James.

    • http://undefined TimL

      Very sharp. Great classic look.

      Love the coat in look #3.

    • http://undefined Nick

      That jacket is on-point. Where can I get one?

    • Carter

      Much respect on all the kits featured in the post. Very well orchestrated. Medical student…look 2 looks like some attending sh*t bro!

    • Mustafa

      Great looks James, what are your measurements btw?

      • James W.

        I’m 6’3
        40-42L suiting
        32 x 34 pants

    • TO

      Fellow Canadian! Good stuff Mr. Wu! Fit is very on point.

      Love the shots of the tweed gloves- makes me wish they were a completely tweed outer…

    • Marshall Mulherin

      I love his style. I deffff voted for him in that giveaway

    • Alain Tse

      3 great outfits.

    • Warren

      Great Job! One of my favorite posts, classic for sure.

    • J Malle

      This is the best dressed series I’ve seen so far. He’s pulling it of so well, that it seems as if he’s not even trying!

    • Profound and Casual

      so proud of James <3

    • http://undefined Rob

      Dude’s straight killin it. Nuff said.

    • Tjay

      That Blackwatch jacket absolutely screams “stuntin’ on you peasants!” I love it. By the way it’s cool how it looks like he’s wearing tweed sweatpants.

    • Jerome

      Beautiful stuff.

    • ernie

      as a newbie to men’s fashion, I appreciate these posts on the classics

    • AK

      Every look is fantastic – outfits I would wear without reservation. I was really pulling for James in January, so of course I’m glad to see him get his due credit. A+ post.

    • Professor Black

      Great post. I admired James’ style in the initial giveaway and voted for him. I like the use of subtle color accents here and his choice of cut in clothing appears to be off-the-rack. I think his style speaks to those of us who want to dress well without heading to the tailor for every piece. These looks are a passion, a passion worked out in the shopping and trying on of each piece. I may be off base with my assumptions, fill me in if so.

    • Ian

      Some great looks there. Especially the vintage tweed trousers and the gloves