Living A Separates Life

February 26th, 2016

The process of starting, funding and growing a business involves exhaustive market research. The team and I have been pouring over countless reports from Euromonitor, IBISWorld, Goldman Sachs, etc. studying and summarizing market trends across the menswear industry. What we found, time and time again, was evidence that classic tailored menswear is experiencing, and should continue to experience, a strong resurgence driven by millennial consumers.

This was great to officially read and discover. I’ve always felt the swing in the menswear industry simply by observing it closely, documenting it, and having access to some of the parties who drive it – but to see actual market statistics highlighting an increasing demand for quality tailored garments has been encouraging.

Studies have shown that menswear grew faster than womenswear for the second consecutive year, reflecting a big sales leap in both emerging and developed markets. Especially significant is the fact that the tailoring category in particular is experiencing a major resurgence and is driving the major growth of the menswear industry. Euromonitor put it best in their study of the current male consumer: “Perhaps no other staple garment reflects the evolving menswear industry quite like the suit… Millennial consumers are beginning to consider suits more of a fashion statement rather than a traditional uniform.”

With that said, as more and more men continue to wear tailoring for style – not necessarily as a corporate uniform – I think we’re going to start seeing more gentlemen wearing separates. It’s more creative, expressive and casual than a suit – and the fabric combinations are endless.

Here are a couple to consider adding to your wardrobe.

    Burgundy & Glenplaid


    This is actually the jacket from one suit with the trousers from another. As much as I can, I try to design our collections in such a way that the majority of the fabrics can be worn together as separates. This gives us the ability to help each of our clients create the perfect “capsule wardrobe” that they will get the most use out of, and build on long-term.

    That, after all, is the beauty of slow fashion.


    Some combinations are better better than others, of course.

    A dark saturated jacket (like our burgundy worsted) with a muted neutral trouser (like our classic glenplaid – coming soon) is an easy recipe for a great pairing.


    The best part about a good separates look; it can be business appropriate (with the tie) or instantly “smart casual” (remove the tie). One of those day-to-life outfits that makes life easier – in more ways than one.


    Fresco & Chocolate


    Believe is or not, this used to be casual attire, in the age of elegance. It’s nice to hear that there are more and more men seeking to bring it back. Good tailoring can define an age and encourage manners and respect. I believe if a man looks like a gentleman, then he feels like a gentleman, and if he feels like a gentleman, then here’s more likely to act like one.


    One of the new additions to our Spring/Summer collection is this beautiful medium grey wool fresco, paired here with the super versatile dark chocolate 4-season trouser.

    Fresco is a lightweight cloth designed for maximum breathability – ideal for warm Spring/Summer days or for clients who generally run hot. The word fresco is derived from the Italian word affresco which means ”fresh”. It’s a textured open weave (similar to hopsack) made from tropical wool that’s best known for it’s airy property – you can feel a breeze pass right through this beauty.


    For more fabric combination ideas, you can always search our library of looks using the Style Guide.


    Thanks, as always, for reading. 

    Yours in style,

    Dan Trepanier

    Shop Custom Menswear Made in America


    Take me to the Shop

    • David

      Another great article Dan. As someone whop wears separates 95% I’m a big advocate for it. Gives my wardrobe many more possibilities.

    • Miguel

      90% of the time this is what I would wear, separates, it gives your closet an extent amount of outfits to put together.


      I like wearing separates. It’s a good look! Good article =)

    • TO

      Really enjoyed this article Dan. Though I think you should mention the phrase “business seperates”, or something similar, throughout.

      Since you have recommended wearing “seperates” for years (but most often by suggesting using fabrics with textured finishes like hopsack, flannel, etc.) I found the missing ‘business/formal/flat-finish’ fabric distinction in this article a bit confusing at first and until I read most of the words and took it in context with the pictures :)

      • LarsBrown.

        TO my man, it’s not often I disagree with a post of yours!
        Do you think there’s a need for the distinction? The beauty of these looks is that you can wear them for business (if your job allows) or leisure. I’d personally wear both of these outfits in my office and to a dinner/drinks afterwards.

        Tailoring for all occasions – the AOS philosophy/inspiration/goal.

        Dan, in regards to seperates from your collection – Rust linen/burgundy hopsack is a summer winner.

        • TO

          Hey LarsBrown, glad you disagree man! Maybe we will both learn something.

          While I agree with your point that you CAN wear these looks for both business or leisure, I think it would be beyond most people’s scope of acceptable leisure/casual clothing outside of a business context, even still with the growing interest in tailored clothing as mentioned in the article.

          Now, there’s nothing wrong with that. I just find the looks here read more ‘off-duty businessman’ than anything else. If that’s what you’re going for (or what you ARE) by all means go for it! I myself am more interested in the “casually tailored” aesthetic Dan talks about- at this point, anyways.

          It’s great to have access to both! As AOS offers. And what’s intriguing to me is Dan chooses ‘business’ fabrics that he feels can mix with the more ‘casual’ textured fabrics in his collection! Which is an awesome aspect to his collection, I think.

          • LarsBrown.

            I get where you’re coming from TO, perhaps my perception of ‘casual’ is changing to the extreme.

            You’re certainly right that the fabrics and colours used, particularly the Medium Grey, would be more at home as a full suit rather than seperates and therefore is more business attire. I think that’s what you’re getting at!

            I’d be inclined to agree, but I still think that the texture of the suit (particularly when paired with a shirt in a more casual fabric/style – like here with the button down shirt which looks to be the thickness of an oxford) makes it work in a casual setting.

            I guess I don’t see the first look as being ‘off duty business man’. The image where he’s sat down – if I saw the same guy in that setting in person I probably wouldn’t think “he’s just left a meeting”.

            • TO

              LarsBrown- I wouldn’t say my point was that the suit separates would be more at home as a full suit. In fact I think they look awesome as separates! But just that they present a business, or more realistically “business casual”, image.

              Good point about the medium grey. That shade plus a fabric without much noticeable texture screams business to me. I would guess that you would be in the minority of people by noticing the the guy in the first outfit and not thinking he came from a day at the office or a business lunch/meeting/etc., but that’s just my thoughts.

              I’m inclined to think I wouldn’t judge him like that upfront myself and instead just think ‘that’s a well dressed dude…’ but realistically it would probably be hard for be to not default to thinking ‘business-type’, even with the more casual oxford he is wearing in the second case.

              • LarsBrown.

                TO – My thought’s exactly – I’d definitely just look at him and think ‘that’s a well dressed dude’.

                I suppose it’s all circumstantial and almost definitely geographical. I live in London and in the city business dress is very monotone – plenty of great suits but mostly blue/black/grey. Only those in a more relaxed working environment could get away with rocking seperates to the office.

                Anyway it’s good for us to disagree once in a while haha! You take it easy, man.

                • TO

                  That’s very interesting- a different world than what I grew up in. Many times you would get asked “why are you so dressed up?” “did you just get off work?” Etc. if you wore the above outfits- thanks for sharing you perspective LarsBrown, you also take care !

          • AdamE

            I often wear separates at work, then again I would say that even at that I’m better and more formally dressed than 95% of the guys here… That said, I agree with the point you’re making about having to be really judicious about fabric selection when going for the business separates… For a more casual office setting, that’s a non-issue, but for a more formal office setting, the skill is splitting without looking like casual friday…

            While I do the separates thing 90% of the time, but if I have an important meeting or an interview, I suit up, rather than split up…

            It’s not that separates are inherently “off-duty” (that’s typically in the details, like an open collar, shoe choice, etc….), just that the contrast is jarring enough that it errs to the business casual end of the business spectrum…