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Unexpected Layering, Pt. II

January 14th, 2013

Again, menswear is all about simplicity and investing in smart, long-lasting pieces.

But that doesn’t mean it can’t be creative.

Here’s Part II. (See Part I).

    1. Denim Insulation


    A denim jacket should fit like a cardigan; close to the body, snug but not tight, with just enough room to button comfortably.

    If it fits properly, it should slide easily under a trench or topcoat – providing insulation, contrast, and the option to go casual once you leave the office.


    My most recent trousers are pleated (one subtle, shallow pleat), slightly higher waisted, wider through the leg, and hemed with a slight break (the braces are hiking them a little here).

    The adjustments I made to my trouser pattern were very minor (fractions of inches spread across multiple seams) but the difference in silhouette, and comfort, is easily noticeable.


    A pale pink shirt in the middle of winter? Why not, it looks awesome with forest green.


    • Grey cashmere beanie by JCrew
    • Navy cotton mac raincoat by APC
    • Denim jacket by Levis Vintage
    • Pink micro-check shirt
    • Beige/Pink Silk/Wool glenplaid tie by Marshall Anthony
    • Striped nylon and leather braces by Trafalgar
    • Forest green donegal tweed trousers
    • Burgundy tassel loafers by Johnston & Murphy

    2. Sweater on Sweater


    Layer them thin sweaters. A turtleneck under a cardigan is a very sleek, cozy and mature look.

    You don’t need loud colors or bold accesories (in many cases, these can make a man look less confident). Keep it simple, and mix seasonal fabrics in masculine colors.

    Fore example, this look is just five classic menswear staples, in: chocolate moleskin, camel cashmere, forest lambswool, brown tweed and burgundy leather.


    I bought this moleskin topcoat from Banana Republic in a size small (keep in mind I’m 6’2″ 190lbs), knowing that I would not be able to wear it over a suit jacket.

    I wear a Medium more often, but the smaller size fits better through the shoulders (without a jacket under it), slimmer through the sleeves, and is short enough to wear as a casual jacket.

    The fit and fabric make this traditional dress coat a weekend staple for me. I think of it more like a peacoat than a topcoat.


    • Brown moleskin topcoat by Banana Republic
    • Camel turtleneck sweater by Gucci
    • Forest green wool cardigan by Uniqlo
    • Brown donegal tweed suit trousers
    • Braided leather belt by Trafalgar
    • Oxblood captoe dress boots by Scarpe di Bianco

    3. Jacket? Cardigan? Pajama!


    I already let my secret out of the bag, here, so what the hell.

    This tailored flannel pajama shirt can also function as a lightweight jacket, or layered as a cardigan.

    Pajama tops, as you would expect, run very large. I bought the smallest size, removed the pocket, and had my tailors shorten it, take-in the sides and slim the sleeves.

    As usual, I’m not necessarily recommending a winter-weight pajama top as a sweater. This is my personal style, to be used as inspiration and to offer an ongoing dialogue regarding creativity in “classic” menswear.


    A little aside:

    When I started TheStyleBlogger in 2009, while working in the mens buying office at Saks Fifth Avenue, I wrote anonymously for the first year (see the original website here).

    On December 5th 2009, I published a post highlighting “Sweat Trousers” and, in order to get the point across, included the first picture of myself on the site (see the post here).

    After publishing that post I received an email from a traditional conservative gent who thought the entire concept of “dressy sweat pants” was ludicrous and that the “dressy/casual thing” was going to fade quickly.

    He ended his email with “…so what’s next, pajamas with a suit?!”.

    Well sir, wherever you are, this one‘s for you.


    • Grey tortoise shades by Matsuda
    • Blackwatch plaid flannel pajama top by Polo Ralph Lauren
    • Grey/white hairline stripe shirt
    • Navy knit tie by J.Crew
    • Watch by Montblanc Timewalker Automatic
    • Nato Striped grosgrain watch strap by Corvus
    • Grey flannel suit trousers
    • Brown alligator belt and silver buckle by Ralph Lauren Purple Label
    • Grey marled socks by Gap
    • Brown suede wingtips by JCrew


    Thanks, as always, for reading.

    Yours in style,

    Dan Trepanier


    Photography by Alex Crawford

    • John

      You know, I didn’t like the dress sweats, but I’ve been doing the pajama jacket for years. Same mods too. Great minds, huh? Also, the new trouser fit suits you better. More classic, I think. Well done.

    • ross

      Dan is straight killen it in this photo. If you don’t like this get off the bus.

    • http://www.onstreetabudhabi.com Rodel

      Is there a rule in wearing a beanie? I always wear mine just above the forehead to show some hair. I didn’t like it covering my forehead as it makes my face look smaller.

    • http://Www.TheUniversity.com James Henry

      Dan my good man,

      It’s been quite awhile since I’ve taken the much needed time to comment on your impeccable post, although I am an avid and daily reader of Tsb.
      Anyhow, I am beyond speechless!! I would have never guessed this was an altered pajama top! I mean, that is genius at its best. You my friend, have extended the boundaries of creativity and set the bar in style. While many may not agree with your approach to creativity in style, they have to certainly and undoubtedly admit, You are exceptional! Again I am dumbfounded lol. This is just amazing and you styled it perfectly. Chic and simplistic. The mark of a true Gent.
      Kudos as always.

      Continue to inspire,


      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Thanks for so many kind words James!

        Nice to hear from you and glad you are enjoying the site.

        All the best.

    • Michael

      I like Look #1 the best although I think I’d have chosen to wear another coat other than a trench. Mentally, I can’t get myself to wear a trench unless it’s raining (or forecast to rain).

    • Bucky


      Finding myself looking through article after article here, I really believe your personal style is through the roof. However, the amount of clothing you own may be more impressive. Where the hell do you keep all of this stuff?!

      Keep up the good work guys, I love the site

    • Jack

      That’s the first turtleneck look I can get behind. I’ve been stacking sweaters on sweaters lately too, so it’s nice to see a pseudo endorsement here.

    • Veejay

      I have the same topcoat and I love it. Great choice Dan!

    • Changingman

      I was so close to wearing my denim under my grey peacoat yesterday, but didnt have enough color variations in my pants and shirts in my wardrobe to wear them with. One of my goals is to learn how to incorporate more color in my wardrobe. 90% of my wardrobe is blue, black, grey!

    • http://mrsprezzatura.blogspot.com Zulhilmi Rahman


      I am finally relieved that we bring back the pleated pants & you’re wearing it right.
      Man, I thought I was the only one in this world who’s still wearing them.

      Good style, bro.
      All of them.

      Zulhilmi, from Malaysia

    • Rory

      Looks 2 & 3 are great but I don’t like look 1. It veers too close to “throwing on everything in your wardrobe because I can’t decide what to wear”.

      • Jack

        I think it’s the pants

    • Brian

      I enjoy reading your website and following what you all do here. I truly appreciate what you are doing here and I salute you and your team for following your dreams. I just wanted to give a shout out to you for staying true to who you are I love the pajama shirt idea. Keep up the good work peace and blessings in the New Year.


      Much Love, Much Respect,


      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Thanks Brian! All the best to you.

    • ChiGuy

      I dig the fit of the topcoat. I’ve seen it in some of your posts. The question is, why is Banana making coats in size “small” that can fit a guy who’s 6’2″ and 190? That’s why it’s so hard for us really small guys (5’4″, 135) to find stuff off the rack. But I learned to cope a long time ago :)

      Love the new site changes.

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Good point. American retailers’ sizing is all outta wack. BR is not the place for you…

        Thx for reading.

    • Craig

      I agree Dan. I think the pants in this video fit you better. I understand that tastes and style differ, but I have believe that the menswear has gone a little too tight (especially in the pants). My guess is that these pants in the first photo still have a very clean line to them, even though they are bit more room than your usual pants.

      Ever thought about doing a shoot based on more classical tailoring? Just food thought.

    • Ishaan


      I have a pleated tweed pant which is part of suit. Problem is, I get the balloon effect when I wear them because of my side pockets. Any advice on how to correct it without stitching up the pockets?

    • Ashley

      Good article, I particularly like looks 2 and 3. Thanks, Dan.

    • Miguel

      Really liked the layering, I’ve been trying that more often now after seeing a few articles like this one, keep up the good work.

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        It’s functional too. Hate dragging a huge coat around when most of the day it’s not that cold…

        Thx for reading Miguel.

    • kien

      Love the topcoat in look 2. I’m inspired to seek out some coats in moleskin material as it is a material l’ve tried.

      • Brady

        Saw that very moleskin top coat was down to $150 in stores

    • John

      Great post! That denim jacket is awesome, the topcoat over a cardigan is something I’ll try (if a find a topcoat that fits over a suit jacket, but it’s slim enough to wear on its own that is) and the third look is definitely inspiring!

      I like the frequency of the posts too!

    • Joe

      Very nice. It’s clear right away that the pants in look 1 differ from your standard fit (incredible what a few quarter inches can do). I’ve always thought a single pleat, facing the pockets (not sure if that’s forward or backward, I can never remember which is which), that lines up with the crease can be very elegant looking. I’m curious what prompted the fuller, longer, pleatier cut?

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        I think my style is just maturing. It doesn’t always have to be super slim…especially in a winter tweed. A slightly fuller cut can actually be more flattering, not to mention comfortable.

        More on this soon…

        Thx for reading.

    • Brandon

      It’s great to see how organically your website has evolved. I’m constantly checking for new post as inspiration not only in my day to day dress. But also when I’m designing for projects. Keep up the great work SB team.

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Thx Brandon.

        We’re just getting started with our website buildout…

        Stay tuned for some new updates!

    • Kiel

      I want something Blackwatch Plaid real bad. I just learned the name of it from your tuxedo post.

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Classic stuff.

      • Brody

        @kiel. Club Monaco has a pair right now on sale for $ 99 from 150. You can go to their website if you don’t have a Club Monaco near you. Good luck

    • Brady

      That green tweed is so sharp!

    • Mr. Vanvouver


      Best advice I’ve read from your site is ” just do you “. And It’s served me very well. Thank you !!! I have learned so much from your original blog, to all that it is now. Keep killin it in 2013 and beyond.

      Ps did you pick up the Jordan i’s in the New York knicks coloway ?

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Thanks brother. I like to think that is our overarching message.

        It’s virtually impossible to give personal style advice to a mass audience. Our strategy, rather, is to highlight individuals with great style and discuss why it works for them.

        After all, personal style is just that: personal.

        Thx for your support.

    • Shawn

      Love the Levi’s denim jacket, fits with almost everything! I also love the new pleated pants pattern you have going on, I think (my humble opinion) that pleats, if worn by someone’s who’s style-confident and knowledgeable, can look badass!

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Agreed player.

    • Jerome

      I love those forest green trousers. Good information on those slight adjustments.

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Thx Jerome.

        I’m over the super-slim sh-t. It’s gone too far I think. More on this later.

        • Real-Type

          And not a moment too soon. The slim look is so Lin-on-the-cover-of-GQ. I am predicting the the pocket squares are the next in line for a disappearing act. Their absence can be a cleaner and less predictable look. In some ways, they have become the sartorial equivalent of neon lights on the bottom of a car – – let the amateurs have their way with them.


          • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

            I feel that way about tie bars. Not pocket squares.

    • AK

      I have that same exact BR moleskin topcoat in a camel color (purchased about 3 years ago?). Mine is a medium though, and I’m 5’10”. Seeing the way yours fits in look 2 makes me wish I could go back in time and grab a small off the rack.

      Solid post. Keep up the good work. 2013 is looking to be a good year for you and your crew.

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Amazing how much difference one size can make.

        A matter of inches, but the eye picks up these details in a big way.

        Thanks for reading and the kind words AK.

    • TO

      The guy who is like “you don’t have a seamstress!” right? Haha. So dope- one of my favorite posts from you Dan- seriously.

      Love the tidbit insight on the topcoat sizing!

      • http://tsbmen.com Dan Trepanier

        Damn. You have a next-level memory.

        Thanks, as always, for the support TO. Hope all is well with you and Rory.