Ask Dan: Suit Wardrobe, Small Feet, Dirty Denim

July 19th, 2014

Q: Hey guys.  I only own two suits.  I have a medium gray and subtle navy windowpane.  I’m in the market to add a third to my collection but I’m curious, what is the next color/fabric/style I should get?  I live in western NY where we see all 4 seasons to the extreme and I want to know what the next most versatile, useful one I should purchase to get my money’s worth. Thanks! -Derek, NY

A: Hey Derek. Hard to say without knowing what you do for a living, your skin tone, etc. But it sounds like your off to a good start. If you’re operating in a more conservative environment I would consider staying in the navy/grey arena and adding a (very) subtle pinstripe to your rotation. If you’re in a more relaxes/creative space, or you often break-up your suits into separates, I would consider adding something in the taupe/brown family, which are usually more flattering and versatile than guys realize. I would also take a close look through your shirt/tie collection to choose something that jives with what’s already in your wardrobe. Hope this helps!


Q: Hi Dan. Is it okay for men with really small feet to wear shoes made for women, since often my size is not produced? Of course, I mean in situations where the shoes look exactly the same as those made for men? – Pawel, Argentina 

A: Sure, why not? If the shoe fits. There are plenty of women’s shoes that are designed to mimic menswear shoes, they’re just smaller and narrower. In his profile “Tailoring for a Small Frame” our friend Dennis Thompson wore a pair of women’s chukka boots and nobody could tell the difference. Keep in mind they might not be as well made, but they also might not be as expensive. You can also try kids sizing for a similar experience. Good luck mate!


Q: Hi Guys.  I am thinking of buying some white denim.  My concern is about stains/caring for them.  I have not seen too much on that topic.  I am not a messy person but I hate stains.  I googled this topic and one blog suggested applying scotch guard.  I have no idea if this is sound advice. Do you have any suggestions?  I don’t want to spend a lot of money on them just to ruin them sooner than later. – Justin, UK

A: I don’t like the idea of spraying chemicals on clothes, so I would avoid the scotch guard to keep an organic cotton feel. Personally, I wear my white jeans a lot and they get a little grimy at times. Usually nothing too serious for a little bleach in the wash cycle, though. In my opinion, like most menswear, they look better with a little worn-in character. When I see a guy in jeans that are too crispy white, I sometimes wonder if he’s really living in them. That said, if dirt and stains will ruin your day, you may want to go with off-white or khaki to save yourself some headaches.


As always, you can submit your style questions via the Articles of Style Contact Form.

Yours in style,

Dan Trepanier

  • michael

    I can highly recommend Charlie’s Oxygen bleach for whites. You can buy via Amazon or elsewhere on-line. I have white slipcovers, 4 kids, two dogs, a cat and a propensity to spill red wine while watching t.v. I have not yet encountered the stain this stuff cannot remove.
    Wear your white denim secure in the knowledge that they will stay white.

  • nicholas de Rosa

    Demin in the washing machine is a big no-no.

    • Benjamin Hunter

      maybe raw denim. even then it is merely a preference. jeans aren’t suits. they’re built to be destroyed.

      • AFH

        White jeans belong in the washing machine. I agree with Dan here, white jeans don’t have to be squeaky clean. I also don’t recommend spending too much on them though, and they’re maybe not for really depraved nights out or going out for curries.

        I’m fuzzy on what a subtle pinstripe is. I’d suggest another navy suit as the 3rd, perhaps a shade lighter or a shade darker than the current one and maybe with a slight cloth variation (hopsack or flannel maybe?).

  • Jeanscuffed

    As you know, I have no problem dipping into the women’s section. My time working at Target I found these women’s suede oxfords with a all salmon bottom that I still wear today. Felt weird trying them on but when asked in the store by nearby women I just told them I was shopping for my girlfriend’s mom who has the same size foot I do.