Summer Nights Out: The Casual Suit

July 28th, 2011

If you’re a regular reader, you know that I love tailored wear. Leaving aside its amazing history, tradition, and sophistication, man simply looks good in a suit. Both masculine and refined.

There’s a reason why the men’s suit (the lapel jacket + trousers of the same fabric) hasn’t gone out of style, or changed dramatically (other than shape/size/proportion) in over 100 years.

A suit, however, doesn’t need to be accessorized formally or look “dressed up”. No matter its level of craftsmanship, a well-tailored suit cut from a textured, relatively solid, seasonal fabric, can look as good casually as it does dressed-up.

Here, using some of the pieces from my new suit collection MAB by Dan TrepanierI put together some summer appropriate tailored-casual looks.

    1. Linen & Band Collar

    Unlined 100% linen with a soft shoulder is about as leisurely as the suit gets. Bonus Tip: Hinting at nautical (or any trend for that matter) is often better than actually going nautical. Bonus Tip: It’s okay to show a little chest. I’m tired of all the Italians and Spaniards having all the fun (and comfort) of low-cut summer tops. I’m Canadian, we get hot too. A band collar (think nothing on the hot back of your neck) and an open chest really keeps it breezy and cool.

    2. Slouchy Tee, Sharp Suit


    I predicted this suit to be one of the best sellers in the collection, and so far it is. The grey hopsack has an amazing texture and it breathes better than any 3-season fabric I’ve ever worn.

    On a side note, this slouchy t-shirt is one of my favorite purchase of the summer.

    Tip: Pulling off a jacket with a t-shirt has as much to do with the quality and neckline of the t-shirt as it does with the fit, fabric, and drape of the jacket.

    Tip II: A well-made pair of black leather boat shoes is a refreshing, slightly “dressier”, alternative to all the Sperrys and Sebagos swarming the streets.

    Tip III: Grey pima cotton/grey wool hopsack/grey cashmere pocket sqaure…monochromatic puts emphasis on texture.

    3. Dark Polo Tuck


    A tucked-in polo looks a lot better with a jacket over it.

    Tip: In the market for an awesome new polo shirt? Look for one with a sturdier button-down collar. It stands up better, framing the face, and doesn’t creep under the collar of a jacket.

    Tip II: A casual cotton suit looks more natural and easy with a slight wrinkle to it. Let it rock.

    4. Extra Breezy Neckline


    A deep neckline takes a little confidence, but can be very rewarding. This is a great beach city look…maybe I was dreaming of getting away (while working, working, working here).

    Tip: You probably want to think about grooming a little before dropping a neckline this low. A tan helps a lot too…not that I was able to find one of those.

    Tip II: This suit from the collection is a micro-hounstooth in wool/linen. A mutually beneficial blend that balances out perfectly – you get the drape and wrinkle-resistance of wool with the light weight and texture of linen.

    5. Whip It Good


    This is a seersucker suit, but not the type that that guy in your office, who you don’t like that much, wore to that party about a month ago.

    This is my subtle take on the classic khaki cotton suit – a wardrobe staple. The micro-fine brown/cream ribs of this whipcord give the suit an updated, but still very wearable, look and feel.

    Tip: Not all knits are for cold times. This raw linen cardigan is about as light as a shirt, and doesn’t stick to the skin.

    Tip II: Ethnic/native inspired geometrical prints are being used often in fashion lately. As with incorporating any trend, it’s usually better to keep your overall look classic in nature and only hint that you know what’s going on.

    Tip III: No, I wouldn’t wear a velvet jacket in the summer, but a velvet slipper is a summer-appropriate shoe. After all, velvet (pile-cut cotton) is lighter, more flexible and more breathable than leather…

    Thanks for reading.

    Yours in style,

    Dan Trepanier


    Photography by Alex Crawford.


    • Jenny

      So on point, in love.

    • KL

      Soooo much swag!

    • Broc Clark

      Great post!

    • Zulhilmi Rahman

      Dan seems to be losing a little weight, though.
      Been working around the clock eyyyy?

      Nice post, btw.


    • Bud Gallant

      Amazing look. I love the point on hinting current trends but maintaining a classic base. Very legit.

    • Anonymous

      LOVE IT!

    • MOZART5000

      Those Del Toro slippers are insane, can’t wait for my own pair.

    • Nathan

      These looks are among my favorites from your site. Quality outfits, but great (and often necessary) bonus tips to help the average guy pull off the look! Keep up the great work!

    • Mountain Dandy

      Summer suits are the hardest. Even when they are light and cool, it feels wrong to be wearing a suit in 100 degree weather. These look nice.

    • Jeff

      I love all your posts, and I love the style and commentary as well, the only issue is that everything that you wear is so expensive. It would be nice to see a post that has all the same features, but that the average joe could go out and buy and look that way. Maybe that’s a different site all together. Keep up the good work.

      • cam

        @jeff..check out some of the “Feautured Friends” posts..some stuff there from Gap, JCrew, H&M etc

    • Handprint

      hi dear ur post is nice

      • SB

        thx dear

    • Danger Zone

      These are all good ways to ruin your suits. If you don’t wear a regular shirt, your jacket collar and sleeve cuffs will get dirty,irreparably in most cases. That is the whole purpose of wearing a button up shirt, because it is easier to clean a dirty shirt than a dirt suit.

      • SB

        I see your point. If you sweat heavily, or sweat oil, yes.
        But generally I say wear your clothes, don’t be “afraid” of them.


    • Michael L

      I’m not much of a suit person unless the occasion warrants it but I’ll give you props on these casual suit looks. However I work in Toronto and it’s been sweltering up here and I’ve heard NYC has also – my point is that I can’t really see the wearing of a casual suit that practical, at least during the day, if one had the choice of wearing shorts (or at least rolled up khakis) and a t-shirt.

      • SB

        I feel you. Keep in mind we shoot about 3 weeks to a month out…so the “heat wave style” posts are coming soon.


        • Michael L

          Point taken. Looking forward to the heat wave posts! My look of choice yesterday – slightly rolled up linen pants, Arcade Fire t-shirt, white boat-shoe styled Vans, plus my trusty Ray Ban Wayfarers, Orange-face Hilfiger Watch with green canvas strap and green/yellow striped ribbon belt.

    • Arsene

      I’m all about look 1 (especially that belt) and look 5. I just proposed and now engaged :) There’s no way I’m crossing the “big divide” without being draped in an M.A.B. suit. We need to talk…

      Arsene R.

      • SB

        Congrats man! Give them a call, they will take good care of you.

        All the best,

    • Tande

      Great post! I especially liked the two last suits. Keep it up man!

    • James

      dang! im a 36R/30. That sucks.. But nice post!!

    • Kerry

      The last suit (whipcord) is amazing. That is a great looking ensemble.

      • SB

        Thanks Kerry. It’s one of my favorites from the collection

    • Jason

      “Ethnic” print sounds like “tribal” tattoo

      • l

        Check his exotic chest hair

        • SB


    • Rincon

      Nice post – like the last outfit in particular.

      In RE: your store: do you have any plans to offer Longs or slimmer suit/pant combinations?

      42L/31W here!

      • khordkutta

        co-sign one hunnid. 44/32 here.

      • SB

        We’re considering changing it to separates (chose jacket size, chose pant size), although longs may be down the road a little. Gotta start slow.

        Thx for reading.


        • khordkutta

          Right On SB, now Im expecting the 3 piece Tweed, Brown, for the F/W line…LOL

    • TO

      A lot of sick stuff going on! That last belt is amazing!

    • The Girl in the Shoes

      I really love the linen suit. Such a polished way to pull off a summer classic.

    • Paul

      That last photo — PERFECT!

    • Emanuel Iuhas

      As always , your outfits are awesome!!!
      The belt from the 1st suit is to die for…
      Thank you Dan!
      Great ideas!

      Emanuel Iuhas
      Visual Mechandiser/Fashion blogger

      • SB

        Thx Emanuel!

    • Jeff

      A lot of vintage Dan looks in this post (cotton or linen suiting, dressing down suits, occasionally going beltless). I like that despite the recent heat you managed to sneak in some layering in look 5- proving that if the right fabrics are involved one can still layer in warm weather.

      Great work as always, and congrats on the success of the debut line.

      • Daniel

        Dan back to doing what he knows best: suits with personal touches – the two belts are fantastic, sir!

        • SB

          Thx Daniel. A good belt goes a long way.

      • SB

        THX Jeff!

        All the best,

    • ian erickson

      i am happy to say that as of 2 hours ago i now own my first suit, and as a junior in a suburban high school i dont feel very late to the party. i am planning on getting a lot of mileage out of it both together and as separates, it is a three piece, in both casual and dressy settings. this post as well as your others on suiting have opened my eyes to its versatility.

      • SB

        Thx Ian!


    • ciara

      Great post, and that new watch looks really cool. Especially with the Crangi jewelery. I’ve noticed that some of your pants have side adjusters and others have belt loops. Is there a reason for this disparity? Do you prefer for certain fabrics/cuts to have belt loops and others don’t?

      • SB

        Thanks Ciara. And yes, for some suits side adjusters just feel right, for others I like the option of breaking it up with a belt.


    • Marco Penis

      yeah man, i’m feeling it. just make sure not to show your nipple. that’ll ruin it, even for you, mr sexy pants. another thing, what ever happend to overalls?

      • SB

        Thx for reading.
        There are some brands making cool overalls right now…just not really my thing, unless painting a house or something.


        • TO

          I think I know a way you can pull it off…keep in mind that’s U not me haha

        • Heng

          Sexy ankle, I saw most of ur pics r sockless in leather shoes, I’ve tried before but feel sticky and my feet skin got bad. What abt u? How do u feel any that? Stick and sweaty? Is ur feet smell after the day?