Some questions are better answered publicly since others might be asking the same thing, or, one of you has the perfect answer. If you’ve got a style tip, question, or anything else you’d like to pass along, you can send those in here. If you’d rather your question not be featured in a future mailbag, just go ahead and say so in your email. Feel free to hit the comments with other options for answers to this most recent batch of questions. Top Photo Credit: Tracy O.
Q: Dressing for the 1st day on a job/internship
This summer I’ll be starting my junior year internship at a top 10 health consulting firm in Chicago–which means I’ll now need to update my wardrobe to have a better repertoire of business-professional/business-casual clothing. I’m looking for suggestions on what to wear on the first day, and I think many others would value similar advice. So, what do you think would be appropriate on the first day of an internship in a business-professional/business casual type of environment? – Sean
This is a good question, especially because many think the advice of “dress for the job you want” is fool proof. Thing is… it’s not. I might want to be a starting linebacker for the Green Bay Packers, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to show up to work in shoulder pads and a helmet (okay… bad example). As an intern, you want to be professional… but you’re still an intern. You gotta know your role. So walking in on the first day in a power suit, white dress shirt, & full Windsor knot in your silk tie might be seen as… overkill. A good rule of thumb is to dress slightly better than you’re expected to. So if most interns will be in pleated khakis, billowy shirts, and dated looking ties, try slim cotton trousers, well shined lace-up shoes, a tailored shirt, a cotton or silk knit tie (keeps the flash to a minimum), and maybe a simple watch. It’s the first day, so it’ll be okay if you happen to be over or under dressed. Observe while you’re at your gig, then adjust accordingly.
Q. Avoiding Shoe Creases
I have creases in my shoes (Allen Edmonds Fairfax) and I want to know how to keep them to a minimum. They are in what I consider a normal location when someone walks in them (seen above), right below the laces. I have shoe trees but they may not fit the shoe right and I confess that I am not very consistent at waxing/conditioning. – W.
Ah, see… leather’s gonna crease. And it’ll be a little more visible on a pair of wholecuts like the Fairfax. That’s one of the advantages to a cap toe or a wingtip. The lines of the stitching can visually “hide” some of the creases. That said, the Fairfax is a killer shoe. Embrace the creases. Gives em’ character. Like wrinkles on a person’s face, it shows they’ve maybe seen a few things here and there. But if you wanna mimize the creases, make sure you’re putting cedar shoe trees in them after every wear, and consider using shoe cream instead of polish. Shoe cream (like Meltonian) sacrifices some of the shine for conditioning/keeping the leather from drying out. Another cause might be that the shoes just don’t fit the best (wearing shoes with a last that’s too long for your foot can often increase creasing). But chin up (literally, don’t obsess over them creases)… creases are normal.
Q: Elbow patches on sportcoats? Yay or nay?
What’s your opinions on elbow-patches on sport coats? I know they’re usually a fall/winter thing, but I’m thinking about picking one up. Yay or Nay? -Pem
Overall? Yay. But Nay until you have the basics covered like a navy wool, and a polished cotton in grey/or mid blue, etc… Elbow patches are a nice, professorial detail, but those patches are inherently casual. Even though they’re tacked onto a sportcoat, it’s awfully hard to dress up elbow patches. Sure, they’re a bit rugged even (think, shooting jacket) but a crisp white dress shirt just looks a little less sexy under a tweed blazer with patches. If it’s got patches, it’s a beer blazer. Not a cocktail blazer.
Q: Why bother with a watch?
Bear with me, but I just don’t understand the appeal of wearing a watch. I’ve been dressing nicer for awhile now, and I like it a lot. But I just don’t get wearing a watch. Most of us are already carrying a phone. - Jeff
Here’s the existential answer: What is life? If we start dying the day we are born, then would it not behoove us to appreciate our fleeting existence, instead of passing from one distraction to the next, until our hearts and minds are quickly dissipated into irrelevancy like a fart on a windy day? A mobile phone is a stunning achievement in technology, but for most, it does little to further the greater human experience. They are effective devices for communicating, but they’re also a gateway to becoming addicted to fleeting, wasteful distractions. Wearing a wristwatch on the other hand, is a constant, visible reminder that your life is not unlimited. Each flick of the second hand is a tangible signal of your eventual demise. We are all dying men, and our perishing only accelerates when we fall oblivious to the inexorable period at the end of our sentence. A wristwatch reminds us that we are always running out of paper and ink.
Here’s the short answer: It looks better than pulling out your mobile to check the time.
Q: How would I go about writing for Dappered?
Send an email to email@example.com with the subject “Writing for Dappered“. Be specific. What do you want to write about? Come up with an idea, and make a quick argument for why you think you’re the right person to write that piece for Dappered. Try and tackle something that hasn’t been covered before, or take a new position on something. Compensation will vary depending on the length of the piece as well as photos & graphics provided (that’s a key, the pics… keep that in mind). Flattered that you’d ask!
I’m looking for the double zipper sport coat that Jude Law was wearing on the daily show this week. Could I get some help?? – Nick
Actually, that just looks like a flight jacket, not a sportcoat. And that’s an… interesting outfit he has going on there. Air tie, pinstripe, higher-waisted trousers… and the jacket with the bottom zipper unzipped quite a bit? Outerwear, inside, can always seem a little forced. But the feeling you get from Jude Law though, is that he doesn’t take himself too seriously. As to where to get the jacket, try your local Army/Navy surplus store. Challenge is going to be finding one without the usual, standard ribbing at the cuffs and hem.
Q: I’m a PR Flack, and I’d like to buy your attention with free product
Hi, I hope you’re well! At your earliest convenience, can you please let me know your denim sizes along with your mailing address? Thank you! – Tim@somerandompragency
Allow me to analyze. Let’s see, you never bothered to mention what brand you represent, you’ve never done business with Dappered before… ever… and you seem to be implying that you honestly think:
- Dappered and its writers would accept freebies (nope, sorry. we very much do not)
- We’re dumb enough to open up our doors to a Trojan horse. Once the jeans are in, you think you’re in too. I can see the annoying emails now: “How’d you like them?” “They’d make for a great review, when do you think you can write one up?” “Could we run a contest where readers have to tweet out our website, like our facebook page, and then sign up for our email blast list to win a pair of our CRUMMY DENIM THAT’S SO CRUMMY I WON’T EVEN SAY THE NAME OF THEM IN THE INTRO EMAIL?!?!“
UPDATE: Hand to God, this email just came in this morning. A follow up. Onions. Or, just plain ignorance.
Got a question or a style tip? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional answers to the above questions can go in the comments.