Ask Dan: Dining in Style, eBay Hustles, Whip Game
July 27th, 2014
Q: As a big gear-head and fan of your site I was curious about your preferred ride. I figured that when everyone was living in NYC you guys just walked everywhere or used public transportation, but what about now that half of you guys are in LA where, lets be honest, you need your own vehicle. What is you favorite car? Or motorcycle perhaps? Also which car (today or from the past) do you think says “gentleman” the best? – Mitko
A: Hey Mitko. You’re right, your whip game in LA is sort of like your shoe game in NYC. After living in the Big Apple for 9 years, I didn’t have a car when we picked up and moved to LA on a whim. Therefore I’m currently driving my late grandmother’s old Chevy Impala, which to some looks like an old cop car and to others looks like an old drug dealer car. She liked her privacy and had all the windows tinted dark black, too. I’ve already been pulled over twice for “suspicion”. If I had my choice, I would be driving a vintage Porsche ala James Dean (I’ve always loved the sleek body and the timeless appeal) with a vintage motorbike on the side ala Benjamin Button.
Q: I have been following your blog for years now…great job! As most men who visit this blog have a sense of style, we also have a huge taste for food! Any advice on how to best wear/condition your outfit while eating that prime steak?! Should our ties be tucked in, or flapped over the shoulder? Cuffs folded? -Marzan
A: Good question Marzan. I know some guys who roll their jacket and shirt sleeves up over their elbows at the dinner table – mostly to show off their surgeon’s cuff. I always think that looks a little douchey. My advice is to keep your jacket on and leave your sleeves alone; you shouldn’t be spilling on your forearms or reaching too far across the table. As far as the tie goes, if I’m wearing a roomier jacket I’ll sometimes keep it buttoned t0 hold the tie from flailing into my soup. More often, though, I’m wearing jackets that are a little too trim to keep buttoned while seated, so my trick it to discretely tuck the tip of my tie into my trousers to hold it in place. Otherwise, place the cloth napkin on your lap, keep your elbows off the table, turn your cell phone off, and try your best not to spill on your new suit.
Q: Kilted tassel loafers…how do you guys feel about them? Too much grandpa style and not enough modern feel? I recently thrifted a pair of Bass ones in burnished burgundy and they’re really rad shoes but they don’t have the more elongated toe that seems to be popular with tassel loafers though. -Josh
A: I love them. Sure, they’re old-school and have a ‘casual grandpa‘ feel, but that’s their charm. If you pair them with a more current look – like a trim trouser or jean with minimal break – you can create an attractive balance between old-school and new-school. If the low vamp seems like too much “foot”, try wearing them with socks in the same color, or a complimentary contrast.
Q: Hi, I wear a size 36R sports coats, which makes it difficult to find an interesting selection off-the-rack or online. I stumbled upon a blazer on eBay by an Indian manufacturer, but I have never heard of the brand. The seller has good feedback and the coat looks nice in the pictures, I just don’t know what to expect in terms of quality. I know you have a lot of experience with eBay…any advice? -John
A: Hi John, I’m glad you asked this. There are a lot of scammers on eBay, so always be weary. eBay is the only place that I only buy name brand goods – unless we’re talking about little handmade things or random accessories. Knowing which brand manufactured a product is a a good litmus test to determine general quality. Those “made in India, sold direct with no middle man at best price” menswear items are usually garbage; slapped together with glue and the cheapest fabric possible. There’s probably very little consideration given to fit and proportion, also. Keep in mind that people are selling anything and everything on eBay to make a quick buck…and the descriptions are left entirely to the seller. If you’re not 100% sure what you’re buying, don’t bid on it.
Q: I am 5 feet 6 inches. How wide should the bottom of my pants be for a suit (for example 16 inches)? Thanks. -Bob
A: Hi Bob. Trouser width has more to do with your weight/girth than your height, in my opinion. If you’re a slim 5’6 135lbs I could recommend going as slim as 13.5″ with no break. If you’re a stocky 5’6 200lbs, on the other hand, I would balance out your broad upper body with something around 17″. Of course, I would have to see these on you to give you better advice. Tailoring is all about balance and proportions, which can be different for every body type. Feel free to send us a picture to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get you a better answer. Cheers.
Thanks for reading. As always, feel free to submit any style questions using the Articles of Style Contact Page.
Yours in style,
Dan Trepanier & Articles of Style