Suits and Tees – Simple and Sexy

March 11th, 2012

I’ve been doing some interviews lately and this question almost always comes up: “what originally drove you to be interested in style and want to dress well?”

As a kid who grew up shoveling shit on the farm, then spending long hours in the gym training for basketball, it’s kind of a hard question to answer.

In truth, I’ve always admired charismatic men with, for lack of a better term, “charm”. Men who understand how to attract people and leave an impression. They carry a certain confidence or “swagger” in their presence that draws people, both women and men, to them. Dressing well is a part of it. In my opinion, it’s the first part in helping build personal confidence.

Anyway, all this roudabout as a segway to a short story. The other day I was standing in a deli in the East Village and overheard a group of attractive 20-something girls having a conversation about the style of some of the men that they know. After looking closely I recognized one of the girls and joined the conversation as my sandwich was being made. One of the girls was complaining to her girlfriends about her boyfriend’s unflattering clothing choices. So I asked them “okay, so what do you find attractive on a man when it comes to style?”.

The girls looked at each other, joked a little, and came to an agreement on a similar answer. The list of adjectives was: confident, clean, put-together, “successful” and not too “uptight”.

In my opinion, a suit contrasted with a t-shirt is an example of an outfit that achieves all of the above.

Here’s a couple examples as Spring rolls around the corner.

    1. Lightweight Layering

    A comfortable t-shirt with a thin cardigan under a sharp slim suit is the type of look that gets me excited for Spring.

    The combination is clean, confident, put-together and not too uptight. Something about it says “self made man”. I think that’s part of the reason women respond well to this kind of layering.

    It’s also the type of look that can take you from morning to night, to morning.

    When the girls pull the skirts out, you can ditch the socks. It’s a temperature adjustment, not a season adjustment.

    Remember to keep cedar trees in the shoes at all times, in a ventilatated area if possible. Also try not to wear them two days in a row. If sweating or odor becomes a problem, invest in some no-show loafer socks – in colors that match your shoes.

    2. Un Peu Parisien

    Planning a trip to Paris this summer with my girlfriend. Been dreaming about it. A French inspired look.

    The look is easiest to pull-off with: 1) a quality t-shirt in a solid color or simple stripe that fits close to the body and has a clean neckline 2) a suit cut from a casual textured fabric,  like a corduroy for example. The heavier fabric also helps keep you warm for the nighttime chill. If it gets colder think scarf first, gloves and/or hat second, coat third.

    Fresh lowtop whites. Works every time. These full leather Chuck Taylor’s might be my Spring/Summer go-to.

    Thanks for reading.

    Yours in style,

    Dan Trepanier


    Photography by Alex Crawford.

    • Ness

      you are the cutest-dressed man i have ever seen.

    • Julien

      Enjoy your trip to Paris!

      From a parisian fan ;)

    • Michael

      Not a “segway” to a short story, but a “segue.” Sorry, but the former English teacher in me couldn’t focus until I pointed that out. So sorry.

    • Ambyr

      Your Day to Night look is my favorite. The grey and heathered looks for suits are so classic. Something about grey adds more sex appeal. I really like this Un Petit Peu Parisien look too!


    • c.hill

      Good post, thanks for the ideas. I’m new to the casual sport shoe – but am about to pull the trigger… any suggestions on best for the money and all around wear? I’m not sure about white. Leather? Canvas? Ideal uses include with shorts, with darker jeans and casual fridays with khakis. Thanks.

    • Emanuel Iuhas

      The 3rd one is my favourite!
      I do agree with the idea that
      Suit + T-shirt = SEXY


      Thx bro!

      • Dave

        I for one am allergic to T-shirts/ too casual
        Only wear a T-shirt to bed

    • ed

      i dig the ‘french outfit’. the corduroy suit is a great way to change things up while still keeping it classy. plus the t-shirt add to the outfit, without distracting.

    • HarrisonK

      This is a really great post. I really like this look but I have never tried it myself.

    • Jeff

      Nice post Dan.

      It’s been a while since I commented on a post, but I thought readers (and perhaps you as well) would be interested in a quick tip regarding sockless-ness. I frequently go sockless when the weather warms, but I recently started wearing these ( I couldn’t be happier. They don’t peak up over the heel of your shoes, they come in a natural color, and they work great with drivers or low-vamp shoes. Take care,


    • Mario

      Suitcombo’s rock man. Thanks for sharing.