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.
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,
Photography by Alex Crawford.