ASK DAN: Sweat-Free Shirts, Tinder Styles, Wearable Tech

May 29th, 2015


Sweat-free Shirts

Q: Hey Dan, what’s the best material for a non-casual summer shirt under a jacket? Last year had some funerals & weddings that required jackets & ties where I was damn close to chopping my shirt up like a tuxedo vest. These Southern California summer events are still too warm with my most light weight jackets.  I’d like to get one “perfect” summer dress shirt, but with a decent collar & placket & also a breathable body. Can it be done? Does linen beat seersucker when it doesn’t get to billow? Is moisture wicking still useful when contained by a jacket? Can ice packs be sewn in without looking lumpy?

A: Ah, the curse of the summer sweats. It doesn’t get much more breathable than a pure linen shirt (although a linen/cotton blend will wrinkle and billow less) but I’d bet you’re overheating issue lies more with the jackets you’re wearing. An unlined jacket in a lightweight breathable fabric (like linen, hopsack, tropical wool, fresco, etc) will make a much bigger difference in terms of staying cool than the right shirt fabric. So to answer your questions in order: yes it can be done, seersucker will billow less than linen, moisture wicking can only help, and you’re better off staying in the shade and using your pocket square to wipe your brow.

Tinder Styles

Q: With all these new dating apps and gadgets, it seems like guys are going on more blind dates than ever. So my question: what to wear when you meet someone for the first time? And more, importantly, what to do?? Thanks, love the site and looking forward to the clothing line!

A: First dates can be nerve-racking, sure. I think your outfit should be appropriate for the date, and the date should be appropriate for your match’s profile. Ultimately I say keep it simple and non-committal. Anything too long where exiting early would feel awkward should be avoided (think elaborate multiple course dinners, opera or theatre shows, walking tours, etc). Make it easy and non-threatening to enter and exit at any time. A drink at a local restaurant or bar with a cool vibe is a great start. As far as what to wear, I would keep it simple, casual, and non-intimidating. Perhaps a trim leather jacket, henley top, dark jeans, and simple loafers. Not too dressy, but not too sporty. You want her to think that you got your shit together, but not that you take yourself (or your fashion) too seriously. Good luck out there player.

Wearable Tech

Q: Hey Dan, do you think wearable technology – like the new Apple watch or the Google glasses – will ever be stylish? It seems right now that they are not made for the fashion-forward crowd. Is there a way to make them cool?

A: We discussed the new smart watch trend here, but ultimately I don’t see them becoming synonymous with “cool”. Things that look futuristic today tend to age poorly, and truly innovative personal technology is usually created by people with very little—or no—sense of style. Conversely, great clothing design is, more often than not, dreamed up by people who have trouble operating TV remotes. The two expertises seem genetically mutually exclusive. “Cool” things are usually made by hand, have a sense of artistry, and a history behind them that the wearer wishes to identify with. History is cool, and there is a history of what it means to be cool, and that usually doesn’t involve being up with the latest gadgets or devices. Just my two cents.


Thanks, as always, for reading. 

Yours in style,

Dan Trepanier

Shop Custom Menswear Made in America


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  • mikes

    Thanks Dan! The unlined seersucker jacket feels great when there is a breeze, but without one … phew! My only-lined-in-the-sleeves linen jacket might be better if I have a seersucker shirt made with a crisper collar.

  • JoeFromTexas

    I was wearing a sports coat one summer day in Texas (to say that it was very hot would just be redundant) and someone asked me “Aren’t you hot wearing that?!” I could have explained that the coat was completely unlined and unstructured, even in the arms, and that it was a very lightweight jersey material. But instead I just replied that I’m hot when I’m not wearing it too.

  • Sam Parrish

    I have to disagree on the wearable tech. I do agree that right now google glass looks damn ridiculous, and smart watches aren’t much different. But it’s a bit early in the game to assume that they always will be. If they made “Glass” look like a pair of glasses I would wear, I’d wear them. It’s pretty cool to take inspiration from the past but I also think It’s cool to adapt to the times as well as be forward thinking. I also think that functional items, if designed really well can be very aesthetically pleasing and therefore stylish. To write off certain items as “uncool” in the early stages of development is a bit of a non-starter for me. Well that’s my $0.02 anyway.

    • JoeFromTexas

      I feel like an old curmudgeon when wearable tech comes up. I tend to think of it as garish and intrusive (If I’m being kind). But you’re right, this is just the beginning and who knows where it will end up. I thought Twitter was a stupid idea that would go nowhere. What do I know?

    • AFH

      It’s over. Not wearing the tech watch will be like not having a Facebook account – you’ll know one or two refuseniks but most will realise the pros outweigh the cons. DT is way too invested in his watch collection to see the writing on the wall here.

    • AdamE

      For now, I am in the anti-camp, but it depends on whether they can actually turn into something useful, hardwearing and attractive. I have no interest in a smartwatch with an 8hour battery life and that is redundant with my iPhone, maybe once they have something more attractive, and with a value add over the devices I already have, then we can talk about it.

      I don’t think the writing is on the wall for the classic watch, I think there will always be a place for it, and that may well be larger than the place for smart watches, only time will tell…

  • Shawn

    Regarding heat and sweat, I think there is also a genetic/physiological issue: if I take myself as an example, not matter what lightweight/breathable fabric I use for the shirt and no matter how much unstructured the jacket is, I will always sweat like a motherf*cker. My father before me is the same, and his father too. There’s not much I can do except have a good hygiene to make sure sweaty =/= smelly.

  • Nick_L

    Dan’s response to Wearable Tech was the most eloquent critique I have read since this craze started.

  • TO

    Nice! I’m enjoying these Q+As more and more.

  • facelessghost

    “You want [people] to think that you got your shit together, but not that you take yourself (or your fashion) too seriously.”

    That’s a nice, concise statement of what should probably be your goal every time you get dressed. Easy to lose sight of.

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