Ask Dan: Non-Sweat Suit, $400 Sneakers, Age Appropriate Attire

July 5th, 2016


Non-Sweat Suit

Q: Hey Dan. I’m a heavier guy, and tend to always be hot. I’m looking for a very lightweight suit that breathes so I won’t be a sweaty mess by the time I get to the office. Should I go linen? cotton? something else? Appreciate your advice.

A: I hear you. Nobody likes that feeling – of arriving hot & bothered, feeling like you need a second shower. Good news is, there are fabrics out there that are engineered for exactly this purpose – and they are always getting better and better, as innovation in textile production continually produces fabrics for a “comfort generation” that are lighter, stronger, and more porous. The most breathable fabric I’ve come across, to date, is a wool “Fresco” made from Australian wool that is spun super tight and thin, then woven into an open texture for maximum air circulation. I find the breathability of Fresco to be better than both cotton and linen – and you don’t have to worry about wrinkling/disheveling through a long day (Fresco, like Hopsack, is naturally wrinkle resistant). The other thing to keep in mind is to avoid structure in a lightweight suit – things like shoulder pads (layers of cotton or foam), lining (an insulating synthetic fiber) or heavy canvas (literally horse hair in your jacket) or obviously only going to warm you up. Lastly, have your tailor cut the suit with a little breathing room – literally. Anything tight, or physically restrictive, is making you hotter. You want to float between the cloth, not by hugged by it… Hope this helps, stay cool out there bigman. 

Too Much for Sneakers

Q: Dan, I’ve gone through several pairs of cheaper low-top sneakers (Chuck Taylors, Stan Smiths, Vans, etc) and they always end up looking shabby after a couple months (too shabby for my tailored suit from you, for example). A friend of mine has Common Projects that he swears by – and every time he wears them I feel like I need them… But, $400 for sneakers seems like too much. Can you justify this for me?

A: I went through the same thing a couple years ago, but now whenever I put on a pair of CPs I feel awesome (which is the most important thing about fashion). I also often wear them with tailoring because of their sleek design, smooth shape and luxe leather. They also last quite well, if you take good care of them… On this one I say don’t knock the hype – instead look for a deal (they go on sale if you look hard enough).

Age Appropriate Attire

Q: I was searching the site for commentary on age-appropriate attire…how to dress as a man +50 amidst a backdrop of millennials in a more casual workplace…avoiding Obama mom jeans. Stuff like that. The whole slim and skinny silhouette is a challenge with the slowing metabolism ;) JOHN

A: Hey John. Do you follow this gentlemen (“Style After 50”)? What I love about his style is that he really embraces tailoring (even in more casual settings, occasionally) and uses it effectively to enhance (lengthen/slim) his physique. This is the true beauty of a well-tailored garment – it can hide that metabolism issue you spoke about, while given an older gentlemen an air of sophistication. Of course you don’t always need the ties and the wingtips. I would suggest investing in a couple great-fitting sportcoats, that you can wear often and in a variety of formal and casual settings (with trousers, chinos, corduroys, jeans – not the “dad” versions though). In my opinion there is no garment that will look more flattering and age appropriate than a great soft-shouldered sportcoat. Once you find a couple that you love and feel really great wearing, I would build around those (add classic oxford shirts, good loafers, a cashmere sweater, a topcoat, etc). The key to building a wardrobe is finding a garment you love (and makes you feel good, most importantly), and building around it by investing in pieces that all work together and form a cohesive collection… Another pro tip: as the hair begins to go, the hat collection begins to grow.

Thanks, as always, for reading.

Yours in style,

Dan Trepanier

  • J-Lev

    A pair of Kent Wang’s are my go to. Look exactly like CP except at $90 price point + bonus they take off $5 if you don’t need a box. Grab a new pair each year. No all white shoes are staying clean very long no matter the brand.

  • Andy

    Thank you. I appreciate the kind words! (@styleafter50).

  • TO

    To me, fresco makes too much sense over linen at this point. Which is why it is gonna be my next purchase!

  • JoeFromTexas

    If you want hi quality sneakers and can afford CP sneakers, then you definitely should get CP’s. But in the case that you can’t (and let’s be honest, most can’t), Beckett Simonon and Gustin both offer minimalist sneakers similar to CP (I have no experience with either, but there are varying reviews for both from respected sources online). I’m also a fan of the PF Flyers x Todd Snyder collab (which come at higher price point than typical PFF’s, which hopefully means better materials/construction). I like PF Flyers a lot and haven’t had any issues with longevity, but I wear them fairly sparingly. Keep in mind that these are all substantially less expensive than CP, and in the long run, you’re going to get what you paid for (quality of leather/materials, machine stitching, ease of ordering, customer service, etc.). It’s really a matter of what’s important to you.

    • Barry

      EpauletNewYork makes stylish sneakers at a fair(er) price.

  • cam

    regarding the sneaker advice. yes you may spend $400 for some cps but otherwise you would have gone through 3-4 pairs of junk sneakers and you still don’t have the cps. this goes for hard bottoms as well. you can either have a few pairs of really nice shoes that will last forever (with resoles etc) or you can keep buying junk for the next 30-50 years. your choice.

  • DJ Hargrave

    Great advice on age-appropriate dressing. Glad I found a new blog so I can plan 30 years ahead :)

    DJ | Menswear Enthusiast