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.”
“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.”
“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,
Photography by Samyoul Kim.