ASK DAN: Local Styles, Shoulder Padding, Tropical Wedding

April 2nd, 2015


Adapting Style to Location

Q: My question is how much do you adapt your wardrobe and style to the area that you live in, or visit (the local trends)? For example, I love fedoras, I think they are great, but in the area that I live in the only people who wear fedoras are hipsters doing it ironically. It’s not a hat that anyone stylish or trendy around here wears, and several of my friends have commented about it when I wear one…

A: Good question. A well-dressed man is always appropriately for the occasion, including the location, climate, and local culture. I think function is key. For example, when I travel back to the family farm I usually leave my three-piece suits at home and stick to denim shirts, flannel jackets, and tough work boots. In the case of your fedora, I would remember why that style of hat style was invented: to keep your head warm and/or the sun out of your face. Therefore, if you’re using a properly-fitting wide brim to provide shade on a sunny day, your homies are much less likely to break your balls than if you’re rocking a stingy-brim fashion hat indoors or out at night… Beyond that, my advise is to do you and don’t be afraid to be the style leader of the pack. If you’re pulling it off correctly, eventually they’ll want one too.

Softening Shoulders

Q:  Hey Dan! I love your “casually tailored” aesthetic. Is there a way I can alter (either remove or reduce) the padding in some of my older suit jackets and blazers to help give them a more natural shoulder line, and thus a slightly more casual feel?

A: Technically it’s possible, but in the world of tailoring, this is open heart surgery. Removing the shoulder pads is the easy part, recutting the shoulder lines to accommodate for the difference in slope, and adjusting each of the connected pattern pieces appropriately (including the front panel, back panel, collar, lining, etc) is where the art meets the science. It takes a very experience and diligent tailor to get it right. My advice is to avoid putting lipstick on that pig and use your alteration money to invest in some new jackets that are designed to be unstructured and casual.

Tropical Wedding

Q: I’m getting married in Jamaica next May, and I can’t decide what to wear. I figure a tuxedo would be both impractical and overdone. However, my fiancée is wearing a full-on wedding dress, so I have to look good. Any suggestions?

A: Jamaica, Jamaica! Congrats my friend. Hard to answer without knowing the formality of your fiance’s dress, and the event overall. If she’s going full-on formal with her dress, I say why not do the same? There are few changes for a man to get down and dirty in a tailored tuxedo, and his wedding night is certainly one of them. With that said, it doesn’t have to be a black wool tuxedo that’s all stuffy and serious. Ideally, it’s a beach-ready tux that shows a little swagger. Something linen, maybe cream, maybe incorporating a light-colored dinner jacket. I really like something like this; it’s perfect for that once-in-a-lifetime occasion. It sounds like you have some time to keep planning, so keep an eye out for our “Guide to Wedding Style” coming up shortly :) Cheers mate. 

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Yours in style,

Dan Trepanier

  • Reuben

    Hi Dan: Does anyone wear a Tie Mens Ascot anymore?

  • Juan Zara

    The seersucker tux is a great idea for the summer, but the flaps on the pockets and the high button stance are a huge buzz kill. Sad to say this but Italy has killed Brooks Brothers.

    • cam

      the button stance can be debated but what on earth is wrong with flap pockets on a tuxedo that is meant to be a tad less casual?? i completely understand besom pockets wanted to be used for a traditional tuxedo but i think to write this one off for flap pockets is a bit silly. they look to have a besom finish so you could just tuck them in anyway. i swear, too many #menswear nerds get too caught up in things other would never glance at lol. i think we all need to relax a bit.

      • Juan Zara

        There are people debating on how many sleeve buttons sportcoats should have, and whether satin or grosgrain silk facings for formalwear are “the proper choice” on StyleForum. I am most certainly not one of those people.

        I wouldn’t be so welcoming of the idea of a seersucker tuxedo if I were (as tuxedos are only meant to be made of mohair or a fine wool/mohair blend, according to tradition.)

        But a tuxedo is still a tuxedo. There’s no such thing as a “less formal” tuxedo, as it is (and should be) about the most formal thing you’re ever going to wear (considering white tie events have become very rare). It’s the same garment in a more breathable fabric, if you want something less formal, don’t wear a tuxedo, it’s that simple.

  • tommyjohn_45

    To the person getting married in Jamaica. Congrats! Enjoy the trip and the once in a lifetime experience of your wedding. My sister had a destination wedding as well, and went with a fairly traditional white dress. Here is an image of what my brother in-law went with. It was a bespoke linen suit, made in Toronto. Temperature that day was in the mid-80s and for the most part, he remained comfortable and sweat-stain free. The peak lapels and waistcoat, help tie in the traditional vibe of a white wedding dress, but the tie (tied in with the bride’s flower) and gingham shirt helped keep it “beach-ready”. IMO.

    • Jeanscuffed

      MAN!! This is an AWESOME depiction of when functionality meets blending with your environment. I think this is very well executed. Thanks for the reference @tommyjohn_45:disqus!

    • AdamE

      This example is bang on… being married to a wedding planner, I find myself more and more getting drawn into the question of what the grooms should wear (whenever she hears the word rental… she quickly tells them to talk to me, to talk them out of it…). But for destination, get a comfortable material for the climate, and then use the details to dial up the formality to match…

  • Tom

    Saw this a while ago, but Brooks Brothers is making a limited run of seersucker tuxedos. Could be perfect for a tropical, yet formal wedding.,default,pg.html

    • TO

      Pretty sure Club Monaco did this last year? Or maybe JCrew, one of the two. They might again. Cool tux.

      • Tristan

        JCrew did it. They had a navy seersucker tux, too. Talk about trends colliding…

  • JoeFromTexas

    I definitely dig the linen tux and open collar pleated shirt. I had an outdoor spring wedding in the tropics of Texas. My groomsmen and I went with linen guayaberas (sometimes called Mexican wedding shirts… the guayabera has a hundred origin stories) and slacks. We actually had the guayabera custom made with embroidery to match the bridesmaid/bride and french cuffs. Of course it helped that the bridal dress was not over the top. Congrats!