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.
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.
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,