One Plaid Suit, Five Different Looks

March 8th, 2010

The beauty of a suit is its simplicity. The jacket matches the pants, so all you have to do is pick a subtle shirt and pair of shoes, add a couple quick details and you are ready to head out the door.

With the new age of cool, modern suits, however, we have so many more options than our power-suit-wearing predecessors. The jacket and the pants can be mixed and matched to create a look for just about any occasion.

To prove its versatility, I will show how even a bold in-your-face suit can be used to create a number of different looks…so different in fact that I was able to wear this suit 5 times in one week without anybody asking questions.

    Day 1 – Corporate

    To wear a suit this bold to the office (provided you have a somewhat liberal dress code), keep the shirt white, the tie dark and solid, and shoes simple dark lace-ups.

    • Gray Windowpane Suit
    • White Oxford Shirt
    • Brown alligator belt and silver buckle by Ralph Lauren Purple Label
    • Brown alligator watch band by Montblanc
    • Brown suede captoe lace-ups by To Boot NY
    • Canvas & Leather briefcase by Filson
    • Navy socks by Calvin Klein
    • Navy wool tie by Thom Browne
    • Silver 2″ tie bar by Tiffany & Co
    • Tortoiseshell aviator sunglasses by Ralph Lauren Purple Label
    • Watch by Montblanc Timewalker Automatic
    • White cotton pocket square

    Day 2 – Business Casual


    DSC_0052-580x866Yes, you can wear your suit pants as trousers. Pair them with a solid oxford shirt and finish the look with the sweater of the season; the chunky shawl cardigan.

    Business Casual 1

    • Chunky wool sweater by Ralph Lauren Polo
    • Blue Oxford Shirt
    • Gray Windowpane Trousers
    • Bracelets (street vendor)
    • Brown alligator belt and silver buckle by Ralph Lauren Purple Label
    • Brown leather wingtips by JCrew
    • Tortoiseshell sunglasses by Persol
    • Watch by Montblanc Timewalker

    Day 3 – City Prep


    Tired of the same old blue blazer + khakis look? Try a sharp navy suit jacket with your patterned suit pants instead. Same concept, fresher execution.

    DSC_0030 copy

    Day 4 – Casual Friday



    Wear a suit, don’t feel like a suit. Pair it with a t-shirt, a thin layering cardigan, and a pair of classic white sneakers.

    • Gray Windowpane Suit
    • Brown alligator watch band by Montblanc
    • Navy wool cardigan sweater by Uniqlo
    • Watch by Montblanc Timewalker Automatic
    • White cotton/linen t-shirt by Kenneth Cole
    • White linen with navy tip pocket square (Vintage)
    • White lowtop sneakers by Vans

    Day 5 – The Weekender


    A suit jacket is a blazer, and vise versa. Provided it is trim enough, you can wear it with just about anything, including a t-shirt, jeans, and hooded sweatshirt.

    Hopefully this post inspires you not only to create new looks that you haven’t tried, but also to get more use out of the clothing that you already own.

    • Gray Windowpane Jacket
    • Tortoiseshell sunglasses by Persol
    • White cotton t-shirt by Jockey
    • Full-zip navy hoody by Champion Athletics
    • Pocket square Vintage bandana
    • Bracelets (street vendor)
    • Watch by Montblanc Timewalker Automatic
    • Brown leather belt by JCrew
    • Slim washed denim jeans by Polo Ralph Lauren
    • Suede chukka boots by John Varvatos

    Thanks for reading.

    Yours in style,

    Dan Trepanier

    • referencement des sites

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    • Anonymous

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      • Adyna

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    • EmmaCay

      Love the post and pictures! I wish my boyfriend had suits like that. Looking good!

    • Zach

      I still think this is your best post ever.

    • Luke

      I just came across this site and I’m glad I found it. I was wondering if you could tell me what your measurements are? Such as height and weight? I am trying to get a similar fit out of a suit i just bought of the same size. I haven’t had a chance to take it to a tailor yet, but it seems a bit big on me now.


    • Jack B

      Best blog post I have ever seen
      Congrats on the new site! Keep it up!

      Wednesday, March 10, 2010 – 09:50 PM

    • subscriber

      the only problem is now im going to be visiting your new site everyday so i hope you post often :) welldone

      Wednesday, March 10, 2010 – 10:10 PM

    • Anon

      You should have released a new one each day, but screw that all of them together you are absolutely just killin’ it!

      Thursday, March 11, 2010 – 01:37 AM

    • Perfect Gentleman SA

      I almost didn’t recognise you with the beard. That’s a good look. You tsraight killed it this time. One suit, five different looks. You’ve just inspired me to go ahead and use the Prince of Wales check pants I have. The urban prep look with the tassled loafer is my favourite. I am going to get the same pair of shoes because I have been mulling on whether they’d be a wise investment. Because of you, I AM SOLD.

      Thursday, March 11, 2010 – 12:03 PM

    • SB

      To Anon:

      You’re right! It would have been a good idea to space them out…but I think it’s a better all round post this way. Thanks for reading!


      Thursday, March 11, 2010 – 01:08 PM

    • SB

      o: Perfect Gentleman SA

      Thanks for the love! Glad you like the site. Yeah, there’s nothing like finding new ways to wear the clothes you already own…beats buying new ones! Classic tassle loafers (in a deeo burgandy, or authentic cordovan) are certainly a great investment. Mine are so sturdy they refuse to crease!

      Thanks for reading.

      Thursday, March 11, 2010 – 01:12 PM

    • TO

      I always didn’t really feel using tassles, but the fact that I didn’t even notice they were tassle loafers until the gemtleman pointed out signifies their proper execution- it really puts the stamp on a totally different ‘preppier’ look and should be used that way and I get that now

      Thursday, March 11, 2010 – 01:19 PM

    • SB

      To: TO

      I know whatyou mean. I didn’t really like the idea of tassels at first either. I hate to look “waspy” and I certainly do not consider myself a “prep”, nor do I want to fall into any category. It’s all about the execution I think…pairing them with things a little less convential.


      Thursday, March 11, 2010 – 01:29 PM


      Wow – for such a lean coat I’m surprised you can get a hoodie under it too.

      Must be cut JUST perfectly!

      Thursday, March 11, 2010 – 01:32 PM

    • Perfect Gentleman SA

      In the 80s my father wore the heck out of tasseled loafers. He had them in different colours. That deep burgundy you were talking about Dan, he had them in that colour too. I’m very inspired now. Please believe that the pair I want is by Johnston and Murphy as well. I so need a pair that I can spot a pair from a mile away.

      Thursday, March 11, 2010 – 01:37 PM

    • SB


      It’s all about tailoring! I had the jacket taken in a fair amount at the sides, but the shoulders and chest are still roomy enough for some good layering. This comment was not meant to rhyme. Great point!


      Thursday, March 11, 2010 – 01:41 PM

    • SB

      To: Perfect Gentleman SA

      hah, I know how you feel…when you been thinking about something for a long time. I def recommend them. Any chance your father still has that vintage 80s pair laying around?? That would be ideal. If not, I bought mine a while back, brand new on eBay for something like $79….and luckily a number of brands make them so they are easy to find.

      Good luck,

      Thursday, March 11, 2010 – 01:46 PM

    • Tom

      It’d be great if you could provide a lead on where to find that suit for a reasonable price… I’ve looked all over and can’t find anything but plain-gray HB business suits for sale online

      Thursday, March 11, 2010 – 01:53 PM

    • SB

      To: Tom

      Hey Tom. I actually got this suit at the HB sample sale for $200. Although, I think it may have been the only sample, meaning the suit was never mass produced. Certainly a hard to find piece. I do alot of my shopping at sample sales…not only are the prices ridiculously low, but many of the items are one-of-a-kind :/

      Sometimes, though, the more “out-there” suits like this one will reach HB outlets because people can’t justify spending $1K on something so “impractical”.


      Thursday, March 11, 2010 – 02:00 PM

    • Ivan8!3

      Wow….awesome versatility. All the looks I would definitely do.


      Thursday, March 11, 2010 – 03:51 PM

    • decast

      I love your new site!!!!
      I follow your blog for six months and I don´t go to bed every night until i check your new entries.
      The new site is awesome!!!!

      Thursday, March 11, 2010 – 04:02 PM

    • SB

      To: Ivan8!3

      Go for it! I hope this inspires you to put your own twist on it as well!


      Thursday, March 11, 2010 – 04:57 PM

    • SB

      To: decast

      Thanks for the message! It’s those kinds of comments that make it worth it. love the new site as well. I will be posting more often as well, with higher quality posts…so stay tuned!


      Thursday, March 11, 2010 – 04:59 PM

    • The Other Guy

      Wow, this is probably the greatest post I’ve ever seen!

      Also nice site; I had your old one subscribed to with Google reader, so I’m glad i just stumbled on this one.

      Thursday, March 11, 2010 – 08:57 PM

    • Martin

      I LOVE THIS! Great job, I’m going to follow your blog (if only I can find the RSS Button) epic win that blazer is cut perfectly. I just wish I could find pants that fit me as well as yours, any tips for the tailor?

      Thanks! Keep it up!

      Friday, March 12, 2010 – 03:15 AM

    • NBain

      If only people recognised the potential their suits had!
      Great post!

      Friday, March 12, 2010 – 09:23 AM

    • Will

      What’s this garbage about modern suits? Bold patterned tweeds and the like have been around and worn before you were born as sport coats. Get a clue douche.

      Friday, March 12, 2010 – 01:18 PM

    • SB

      To: Will

      By “modern suits” I meant nothing to do with the fabric, rather the cut (which is what makes the suit so versatile). By modern suit I mean slim fit, cropped length, low rise, flat front, straight leg, narrow leg opening…like most designer suits made in the past few seasons. Hope this clarifies. Thanks for reading and for your comment.


      Friday, March 12, 2010 – 02:09 PM

    • SB

      To: Martin

      Thanks! The RSS button should be at the top right of the home page/blog. A good fitting pant is tough to find, I think it’s more about shopping around than tailoring. I try to avoid dramatic alterations by finding a pant that fits well in the seat, hips and through the leg. The waist and length are easier for your seamstress to alter.

      Thanks for reading!


      Friday, March 12, 2010 – 02:16 PM

    • fan

      Other distinctions of modern suits from older vintage ones is high armholes and slimmer lapels.

      Dan, I hope you don’t let people bother you negative comments. Keep doing your thing! We all love your blog! :)

      Friday, March 12, 2010 – 02:27 PM

    • SB

      To: N Bain

      Thanks! I agree, nothing like getting more used out of clothes you already have.


      Friday, March 12, 2010 – 03:03 PM

    • Andy P

      why do people read blogs to go on and write negative comments? get a life. The blog is awesome (obviously) keep doing you SB

      Friday, March 12, 2010 – 06:08 PM

    • SB

      To: fan & Andy P

      Thanks guys. No worries. It doesn’t bother me, any publicity is good publicity :)


      Friday, March 12, 2010 – 09:43 PM

    • JMRouse

      Dan, love the new site! I’m glad to see you posting on a regular basis again.

      Great post! The suite you are wearing looks fantastic and I love the ideas. Every time I read one of your posts I want to run out and buy at least one of the items you talk about or are wearing. What model are those JV boots?


      Friday, March 12, 2010 – 10:23 PM

    • JMRouse

      Oh and I forgot to add, great job on branding YOURSELF too.

      Friday, March 12, 2010 – 10:24 PM

    • SB

      To: JMRouse

      Thanks for the comments! I’m really glad you are enjoying the blog!
      As far as the JV boots, I’m not quite sure what model they are… I’ve had them for years…sorry

      Thanks for reading


      Friday, March 12, 2010 – 11:55 PM

    • James

      Best blog post on men’s fashion I have seen in a long time anywhere. From one man to another, you have a good sense of style bro.

      Saturday, March 13, 2010 – 01:38 AM

    • SB

      To: James

      Hey James, thanks for the comment, I appreciate the compliment and I hope you enjoy reading!


      Saturday, March 13, 2010 – 01:54 AM

    • Interested Reader

      One of the best blog posts on a style blog that I’ve seen before. I suggest that you consider applying this format to other items, for example; a pair of classic beige Chino’s (how to dress them up, wear them casually etc.)

      Sunday, March 14, 2010 – 08:17 AM

    • SB

      To: InterestedReader

      Thanks for the compliment! and for the suggestion. I will certainly put that in the works. Glad you are enjoying the new site.


      Sunday, March 14, 2010 – 01:40 PM

    • Sabir

      This is one of my favorite post. This really does shows the versatility of a great suit.

      Sunday, March 14, 2010 – 06:04 PM

    • Ovan

      For a second there, I thought the sneakers in the second-to-last picture were Crocs. I was REALLY like “Wtf?!”.

      Wednesday, April 28, 2010 – 05:20 AM

    • AC

      Extremely useful post — very handy for helping us young guys without a huge budget make the most of our wardrobe by creating lots of different looks from one suit. Thanks, and can’t wait to see more like it!

      Monday, August 2, 2010 – 10:34 AM