Waistcoat Layering feat. Steven Santander
September 25th, 2014
If you’ve been keeping up with Articles of Style, you already know one of my favorite style guys in the game; Steven Santander. His first feature was titled “Beards, Braces & Bowties” (although it was more about his use of color) and for his second piece he threw us for a loop with “The Statement Poncho“.
I truly appreciate Steven’s taste in fabrics and colors, so I asked him to show us some of his early Fall threads while we were back in NYC. While catching up, we talked about old-world craftsmanship, finding deadstock fabrics, and the pitfalls of entrepreneurship. We also discussed the versatility of the traditional waistcoat – a piece that Steven wears on an almost daily basis.
From bespoke to vintage, here are a few of his go-to waistcoats, along with his signature blends of seasonal fabrics and colors.
1. Deadstock Cloth
Every time I see Steven he’s wearing tailored pieces in fabrics that I’ve never seen before. And I know the fabric market quite well…well enough to know that this guy is digging through vintage fabrics shops to find deadstock cloth in colorways that nobody else has.
Look closely at this incredible brown/orange/olive check for example, perfectly styled with a khaki bengal stripe shirt and tan felt fedora.
“I’m just a regular guy with a passion for art and design, especially as it relates to quality-made menswear and accessories. I have a day job where I use my background in architecture…and I design my own menswear pieces in my time off. That’s why I usually have some combination of vintage, bespoke and homemade.
Both my parents are really creative and have always had a good eye for style. I have shoes that my father hand-painted for me, and some vintage hand-me-downs like bow ties and pleated trousers with real braces! I remember owning a navy Christian Dior suit and a few felt hats when I was young, too. I guess you could say that I’ve always been taught to invest in a few quality wardrobe pieces that can be worked-in with cheaper items.”
“This two-piece was a deadstock fabric that I found a few years back. There was only a couple yards – not enough for a full suit – so I settled for the pants and vest. It’s a wool fabric that’s heavy enough to wear in the Fall and Winter, but light enough to keep using it through most of the Spring.
It’s kind of a loud pattern but I love the earthy look to it. Like Dan, I tend to wear earthtones (like browns and greens) year-round… Both of the pieces are also great as separates and for layering. I can wear it with a henley or t-shirt to make it more casual or dress it up with a shirt and tie and throw a great Fall blazer over it.”
“I also had to bring back my dad’s bag which you may remember from my first feature. It’s my favorite piece in my wardrobe and I use it all the time. Everywhere I go, somebody wants to buy it off of me, but I’ll never part with it… I feel bad for my future kids because I probably won’t let them have it, they’ll have to settle for one of my bags instead.”
- Brown felt hat made in Ecuador
- Green plaid suit made by Steven himself
- Beige stripe shirt by Nervesa
- Brown boots by Fly London
- Brown vintage leather bag
2. Wild Wild Waistcoat
“This is my fall expedition/travel look. I love a good color and pattern combination especially with some noticeably vintage pieces. Here I mixed two of my favorite vintage finds, a western denim vest by Lee and a glendplaid sport coat by Saks.
I bought this vest in great condition for super cheap…and it had a postage stamp from the 1950’s in the pocket, so I’m sure it has a great back-story… The sport coat was in the racks among other old blazers at a vintage store but what caught my attention was the color. You can find a classic houndstooth, herringbone, Prince of Wales at any thrift store nowadays, but not many with the orange and blue accents. That, combined with the old-school shape and canvassed-roll of the lapels had me sold.”
“I don’t usually put feathers in my hats but I was wearing this hat on a camping trip and found this falcon feather and the proportions just felt right.”
Check out the finer details here. The plaid-on-plaid. The cutaway collar with beefy necktie. The orange chainstitch of the denim waistcoat. The color of the bag and shoes. The tortoise and wooden buttons…
“I think it’s important to stick to your style and not be constantly re-inventing yourself… In a world of mass production where new trends are easily accessible, it’s easy to get caught up in the always ‘evolving’ fashion cycle with cheap seasonal clothes… Sure, there will always be new influences, as with anything, but staying true to your personal aesthetic with quality pieces will always be a good look.”
3. Chalk & Suede
“Nothing beats a three-piece suit; I just picked-up this vintage flannel chalkstripe. I tried it on and was instantly sold on the fit alone. The jacket has nice 3-roll-2 lapels which have slightly rounded corners.
The pants are high-waisted with a slightly fuller cut… I actually did the hem on the pants the morning of the shoot. I was considering tapering the leg as I would normally would with these kind of trousers, but I love the way they fall with a very slight flare. It’s very 70’s…perfect for these glasses.”
Classic menswear and funky accesories, that’s Steven’s game. He’s wearing the classic three-piece corporate suit, but looks much more like an NYC artist with his retro frames, wide silk knit tie, burgundy socks, and green suede monks (that he handmade).
- Navy chalkstripe suit by Brooks Brothers
- Grey shirt by Nervesa
- Green silk knit tie by Land’s End
- Custom monkstrap loafers by Steven
- Tan suede briefcase by Steven
Thanks, as always, for reading and special thanks to Steven for participating!
Yours in style,
Photography by Alex Crawford.