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Monochromatic: All About the Textures

December 17th, 2012

Sometimes you don’t need that infamous “pop of color”.

Mixing textures, rather than colors, can make for an outfit that is just as visually appealing, if not more.

Here’s three examples of tonal layering in monochromatic outfits.

    1. Downtown Browns


    There are a million shades of “brown”. From dusty camel khakis, to rich milky chocolates.

    Warm or cool, faded or saturated, it’s one of those colors that rarely clashes with itself.

    So pile on the brown hues for a masculine and earthy Fall look, and remember to mix up the seasonal fabrics and textures. For example, here I’m combining moleskin, cashmere, wool flannel, cotton broadcloth, leather, corduroy and suede.


    Suede ankle-strap chelsea boots hand-made in NYC by Modern Vice. Looking forward to collaborating with these guys…


    • Tortoise and silver sunglasses by Matsuda
    • Tan moleskin peacoat by Filippa K
    • Brown Gingham Shirt
    • Brown flannel tie
    • Cashmere pullover sweater by Roberto Collina
    • Watch by Montblanc Timewalker Automatic
    • Nato Striped grosgrain watch strap by Corvus
    • Brown Leather Plaque belt by JCrew
    • Brown corduroys by H&M
    • Suede ankle-strapped chelsea boots by Modern Vice

    2. Shades of Grey


    Grey is an achromatic color. That is to say, it’s not really a color at all, but rather the absence of color.

    Since it doesn’t have a hue, you can layer it up heavy without worrying about color coordinating.


    This type of monochromatic look, with multiple layers and textures, creates a lot of depth and is great for a crisp winter evening.


    Double monk strap boots courtesy of Calvin Klein.


    • Grey tortoise shades by Matsuda
    • Grey flannel down peacoat by Hugo Boss
    • Flannel herringbone shirt
    • Grey wool tie by Thom Browne
    • Charcoal wool crewneck sweater by JCrew
    • Grey wool flannel 5-pocket jeans by Z Zegna
    • Grey wool scarf by Kenneth Cole
    • Double monk strap boots by Calvin Klein

    3. Business Blues


    In a corporate environment, blue is king. It’s conservative, non-threatening, and flattering on most people.

    A businessman can’t have too many navy suits, light blue shirts or dark blue ties…they go with everything, including each other.


    With a navy suit, black or brown shoes will work.

    Black tends to be more “classic American finance” while brown is a little more european and country influenced.



    Thanks, as always, for reading. If you have any questions about our online custom menswear, feel free to contact us anytime. We look forward to serving as your personal tailor and stylist. 

    Yours in style,

    Dan Trepaniers


    Photography by Alex Crawford

    • chuck

      Where can i find the Jacket?

    • Matt

      Digging the second look. Can you give some tips on finding the grey flannel Hugo Boss peacoat?


    • http://www.theshoesnobblog.com Justin FitzPatrick

      Dan, you have come a long way. I just wanted to congratulate you and to say keep up the good work. Hopefully the next time I am in NYC, me, you and William White can all meet up for a drink or something of that nature.


      Justin, “The Shoe Snob”

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Thanks for your continued support Justin. You have great taste in footwear.

        Any interest in designing a pair for TSB? Could be a cool story… :)


    • http://saffsucre.blogspot.com ib

      Hey Dan much respect for your looks, u are a true inspiration for styles.

      Im looking for that Peocoat, it’s really hard to find

      Help ?

    • cam

      happy holidays guys!

      dan, this has nothing to do with this post but wanted to ask. i was on huffington post and there is an article with you versus alex yampolsky on whehter to have a break or no break in your pant. he is saying full break which i dont understand given the fact that in his feature on ur site he clearly hems his pants with no break like urs…what gives?

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Hey Cam. It’s not an always-or-never argument, more of a preference.

        Alex wears a full break in most of his trousers, as I wear little-break in most of mine.

        Also keep in mind that in the majority of the pictures his pose is affecting the hemline (walking, sitting, or pulling the pants up a little for the shoe close-ups).


    • Hillby

      I like most of the featured guests posts, but I have to say the style is extra on point whenever its Dan is in the shots. Love the site

    • Tanner

      Where did you get those Matsuda grey tortoiseshell sunglasses? I’ve seen them in several of your posts now and they are boss.

    • Jason

      Are the pants in the first look really the brown chords from H&M? They look much closer to black than brown, and I pulled them up on H&M’s website and they don’t look at all the same.

      And the boots in the first look are awesome!


    • VikFlo

      The shades of grey outfit is genius.

    • Jakob

      Why not a tie bar in the last look?

    • http://www.masculine-style.com Tanner


      What’s the knot you tied in look three? I’ve never seen such an impressive dimple on a slim tie.

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Classic four-in-hand. The trick is getting the balance right when you tie it, and pulling it tight… More on this in TSB Daily soon.

        Thx for reading.

    • MN

      Jodphurs in 1st look are sick. Going to kop

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        I recommend it.

    • Mathieu Lavoie

      Wow, really like that post!

      Being a huge fan of peacoat look n01 and no2 are my favourite.

    • MCain

      Great outfit, but please – for the love of god – shave that awful beard. Though I often relegate bloggers using themselves as models to be…well, nevermind, I don’t mind you. But ever since that pre-pubescent beard came on the scene, I’ve been put off. Whenever I try and grow a beard, I’m left with the same mess, but I usually come to my sense after a short while.

      Some are not meant for shorts, others aren’t meant for patterns; some people aren’t made for purple, and some just shouldn’t have beards. Though most of those things rarely coordinate, I will say that one of these things just ain’t like the other when it comes to you.

      Keep up the great work. I think you’ve done a great service for this new generation of gentleman. Be proud. Wear it on your sleeve. M

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Haha. Straight from the “Blogger Relegater” himself. Thanks for reading and sharing your opinions MCain.

        But I have to ask, are you made for purple?

        • MCain

          Purple plays over here, though I’m sure you make lavender look like it was created for man. Keep up the good work, Dan.

          …and have a Merry Christmas.


    • Josh

      Finally, classic Danis back. I thought you lost to a french bohemian cult but alas look 2 came through.
      been a fellow Ontario ballplayer/fan for years. keep it up. congrates n cheers

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        haha. french bohemian cult eh?

        thanks for the love

    • TO

      How on earth did you style that pocket square on #3? Also one of the coolest looking knots/dimples I’ve seen on that one too. Ahh, the details. And great post!

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        TO, always a man of detail.

        It’s a small trick, kind of hard to explain here. We got a couple cool TSB DAILY posts coming up dedicated to this kind of stuff.

        Happy Holidays my man!

    • Kris

      Love this. This is my kind of style. I love it when the outfits are rooted in black and grey. It’s a simple and clean look, and when done the right way, look very sophisticated.

      Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication :)

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Well said sir.

    • AK

      They should start callin’ you the executioner in look #2, ’cause ya killin’ it, son!

    • KG

      DOPE as usual. Your sh-t keeps getting better and better. Crushing the “competition”. I look forward to every new post and never let down!

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Thanks brother. Out of curiosity, who do you consider our “competition”?

    • Brian

      1 and 3 are my favorites. Well done. Cheers.

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier


    • M-O Amyot

      The pants in the second picture are wonderful. Any idea what brand they are?

      • Brady

        They are Z Zenga 5 pocket wool flannel jeans (see bottom of each page of the post) those caught my eye also, they looks super comfortable and stylish. I’m guessing they’re not made anymore, I have done some serious digging for those or something similar w/ no luck.

        Maybe Dan can help us out w/ some details…

        • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

          Hey guys.

          Yup – I got them at Nordstrom in Chicago when we hosted an event there last year. Not sure if they made the same style again this season.

          Sorry…this is the same difficulty with our “shop this look” feature…

          • Brady

            Thanks for the response Dan! Ill be in Chicago for a couple days over the holidays. Might have to stop at Nordstroms and see what I can find.

    • http://exis-collecti.tumblr.com Josh

      the 2nd look is definitely my favorite. I love the minimalist and sophistication happening (if that makes any sense). Good job!

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Makes sense to me. Thanks Josh.

    • sam

      love the second and third looks. i remember being taught never to wear black with blue/navy. glad to see that ‘rule’ broken.

      • Kris

        Personally, I love the combination of navy and black. It’s my “go-to” colour combination :)

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        I think black or brown shoes can both work with a navy suit. They give off noticeably different vibes to the overall look.

        For whatever reason I tend to wear black more when it’s cold out..and out at night.

        Thanks for reading