Like Father, Like Son

April 6th, 2013

A father is a man’s first role model. He teaches you the value of hard work, the importance of being responsible, and, if you’re lucky, how to dress like a man.

Davan McDonald Sr. is a financial sales representative at Bloomberg, “I’ve always believed in dressing the part, being the part”.

His son DJ McDonald is a graduating senior from Hunter College who currently works part-time at Bloomberg and is looking to break his way into the fashion industry.

“My dad has been wearing a suit everyday for about 20 years. As a sneakerhead throughout high school, I never paid attention to the amount of detail he put into shinning his shoes, ironing his pants and putting together shirt and tie combos until he took me to buy my first suit. Soon thereafter, I started trading my sneakers for wingtips and began gradually transforming my wardrobe. With every new purchase, I saw myself implementing things that he did; using shoe trees, having my shirts properly laundered, even buying the right hangers…”

Here we explore how DJ’s style evolved from Davan’s, and vise versa.

    1. Classic w/ a Twist


    The styling differences between father and son are subtle, but they speak volumes about the character and lifestyles of these men.

    Davan Sr. is a respected businessman in the corporate world. A grey flannel suit, solid-colored shirt and chestnut wingtips are tools of the trade. Inspired by his son, he uses subtle accessories to make the look his own: pale green plaid tie, brown silk pocket square, blue stripe socks.

    DJ, on the other hand, is a budding menswear stylist who has fun with his clothing combinations and uses contrast to create a fresh perspective. He shows respect to the traditions of classic menswear, but puts his own creative spin on them with unexpected colors and details.



    DJ is no stranger to a punchy sock, as you can see in his feature on statement socks.

    Aparently he’s been rubbing off on his dad, who has been enjoying the complements from such a subtle upgrade.



    As a college student, DJ’s clothing budget is not the same as his dad’s. This just means he has to be a little more creative, and put some time into the hunt.

    “There’s nothing better than finding quality pieces, like this houndstooth windowpane tweed blazer, at your favorite thrift store for a few bucks. A quick visit to the tailor and it looks almost custom-made.”


    “This pink gingham was my first custom shirt. It’s no coincidence that it’s from the same place my dad gets his.

    And of course, gotta have those punchy socks. Pink micro-houndstooth to tie it all together…after all, my twitter/instagram name is hellomrnicesock :)”


    2. Power Stripes


    If DJ taught his dad the benefits of colorful accessories, than Davan taught his son a thing or two about power dressing in the corporate world.

    “The best part of my nights are when he calls me into his office to give my opinion on a shirt & tie combo he picked out [for the next morning]. I rarely disagree, and if I did, he would tell me I didn’t know any better anyway.”

    While both men are wearing similar suits, notice how the fit and proportions are significantly different (pant length, sleeve length, tie/lapel width).


    With more than 20 years experience in the corporate arena, Davan has earned the right to dress like a boss.

    The wide pinstripe, banker collar shirt, windsor knot, Rolex watch, strong cufflinks, etc. are all elements that show experience, maturity and confidence in business.

    These are not styling details for a first year analyst.


    With a longer pant break, Davan’s statement socks only peek-out when walking or sitting. A classy touch.



    DJ puts his own spin on the power business look.

    His pinstripes are a little more subtle and narrow, his tie and watch are slim and understated, and his overall fit is tapered and more fashion-forward.

    As a style enthusiast, even in a business environment DJ uses pattern-mixing and accesories to express his point-of-view.


    I also love how he takes a grey pinstripe suit and makes it feel perfect for Spring using rich browns and splashes of purple and green.


    3. Casual Friday


    “Casual Friday” can mean just about anything, depending on your office culture.

    For Davan Sr., in the corporate world, it basically means a suit without a tie.

    For DJ, in the business casual world, it can mean just about anything – which, of course, he loves and takes advantage of.


    “I actually found this double-breasted chalkstripe suit for my dad in a thrift store.

    I told him if we had it tailored properly, he would turn heads at work.

    Now it’s one of his favorites.”



    “DJ has great style and he really carries it off. Watching him have fun with clothes has pushed me to be a little more creative; using elements like socks and pocket squares to update my look.

    I used to have this phobia about wearing stripes with stripes, or even stripes with polkadots.”


    “Sometimes my dad tells me that I’m taking it a little too far…haha.

    It’s good to have someone more conservative keeping you in check…”


    “…but hey, as young people it’s our job to be creative, and as sons it’s our duty to rebel.”



    Thanks for reading and special thanks to Davan and DJ for participating.

    Yours in style,

    Dan Trepanier


    Photography by Alex Crawford

    • Ryan

      Guys I’m sorry, but i think the vest over the coat completely ruins the proportions of the look. Maybe if it were the same length as the coat, or if patterns weren’t fighting so much.

    • Dub

      Wow, I thoroughly enjoyed this post. Smooth!

    • Tjay


    • Shane

      Where are DJs shoes from in the first look? I love the blue!

      • http://undefined DJ

        Duckie Brown x Florsheim

    • Noel A McDonald

      Extremely proud of these guys (not just because they’re family). And YES, that is basically how they both dress….even when they sleep. Awesome job by TSB in capturing who they both are. Very classy.

    • Joe

      BRILLIANT idea for a feature!

    • http://undefined John Mack

      Davan should sell (Davan X tsb) moisturiser for looking young.
      He looks the part in all three pics, as for casual he probably has a pocket square on his bath robe ;)

      DJ is obviously experimenting but there is something I dont like about all the outfits, especially slippers!!!

      Anyway they seem a close family, thanks for sharing with us.

    • stylishbefore40

      I think they’re brothers. However, stylish guys.

    • Emanuel I.

      STYLISH familly.

    • Patrick

      I don’t think that DJ’s sleeves are too Short at all. It Looks fresh and trendy and i wear my jackets the Same way. I think its just a question of Taste. Or am i wrong? I think its Way worse if The sleeves are too Long and Cover half of your hand, and that is what i See all The Time on guys wearing “Off-the-rack-Suits”.

    • Brady P

      Great post, really enjoyed reading this one. I can definitely relate having a father whose style has heavily influenced my own. Like myself, I bet DJ wishes he was the same size as his pops.. So many nice clothes that should get passed down, guess you’ll just have to settle for that Rolex (wink, wink)

    • Gazman

      Is it just me or is the jacket sleeves on the young guy way too short? It’s not just in this photo, but I see it in many photos on the net of supposedly ‘stylish’ men – they suffer from short sleeve-itus.

    • Professor Black

      I admire cheekiness, but the colors in this post are borderline vulgar.

      • Nammy

        Agreed wholeheartedly. DJ looks like a joker!

    • Marcus Forlan

      Yea, agreed. Me no like bulk either.

      Can only do this with lightly padded vests (like Belstaff). Fit fine under my heavier jackets even tho the vest was not taken in by my tailor as yet. If it is cool enough indoors to keep on jacket, then unzip / unbutton vest and I’m fine. Outside, if it gets nippy I do the opposite. Great not having to have to wear an overcoat.

      Matt L from the Jan giveaway showed this look off well I thought –

    • Marcus Forlan

      Great idea for a post guys how classic and experimentation work together and influence each other. The father son story line and the looks just knocked it out of the park.

      That said, if Davan Jr is in then Davan Sr must have had him just after he hit puberty – playa looks like he is in his early / mid 30s!

      • Marcus Forlan

        Typo ..

        if Davan Jr is in college, then ….

    • TO

      I really enjoyed reading this piece.

      I think DJ’s style influence works really well with Davan’s established look. Seems like clothing is a catalyst for a unique bond between the two of them. I liked the bit about his father asking his opinion but still knowing best!

      DJ’s dad looks really dapper in that pinstripe DB- great call on that one DJ!

    • Austin

      One of my favorite features on TSB in a long time I love the story and the styling, I wish my dad was more fashionable lol. Maybe my mom and I will do a similar shoot. Like Dan and his mom did a white back, keep up the good work guys

    • Ian K

      Excellent post yet again guys! That tweed vest is a thing of beauty!

    • Sergio

      Great post and Davan SR’s style is proof that keeping things classic looks good no matter your age.

    • John

      Loved that post! Unique and fun to read.
      I didn’t expect the wider lapels on the son though! His father looks young too!

    • Marianne

      Hands down my favorite photo story yet – father & son tells a story. What a gorgeous family tree! Styling is so great too. Love how son is taking more risks and dad is wearing a suit in so many creative ways but still age appropriate. Nice Job TSB team.

    • Secondhand Dandy

      Don’t you think, that DJ’s sleeves in look nr 2 are a little bit too short (which is quite surprising in the case of bespoke suit)?

      • Marcus Forlan

        Sleeve length does not indicate if a suit is bespoke or not – unless ur saying that a bespoke tailor won’t let you get away with adding your personal touches to it.

        I think the theme here is the son is experimenting and breaking the rules a bit. So pretty much he can get away with anything.

        • http://undefined DJ

          The suit is actually second hand(thrifted). When I took it to my tailor, I saw there was not enough material in the sleeve to let it out to the desired length.

    • Chris

      Nice, though outerwear shorter than a jacket looks daft. And what is with the trousers too short by an inch look?

      • Dan Trepanier

        I’m a fan of the vest over jacket for transitional weather, see here

        As far as trouser length, this is completely a personal preference. I assume you prefer yours about an inch longer.

        Thanks for reading Chris

        • Marcus Forlan

          Looks fine to me and actually kinda cool from Dan’s prior posts on this.

          But I think I prefer to wear the outerwear vest under the jacket because it just looks more practical that way.

          • Dan Trepanier

            But then your jacket looks bulky and you have to it off to remove your outerwear…

            • Marcus Forlan

              Yes, agreed. I don’t like bulk either.

              I tried it with vests without bulk (like the Belstaff) and it fine fine under my tweed jacket even though I did not have the vest taken in as yet.

              Indoors, if it is cool enough to keep jacket on, an unbuttoned (or unzipped) vest did not make me uncomfortable. Outdoors, if it gets nippy I just button up.

              Great as it saves me from the hassle of an overcoat.

              Matt L from the Jan giveaway showed this look well –