What are you going to wear? Sometimes it’s good to look at a few suggestions then add your own tweaks and ideas. That’s what these are for. This one is less about a specific scenario, and more about how to tone down the stuffiness on a suit that’s usually all business. Pair a pinstripe suit with a white dress shirt, silk tie, and conservative oxfords, and you look like you’re ready to either sell exotic derivatives, or assist the Ambassador to Liechtenstein (“Your kindle… Madame Ambassador.) But there are plenty of scenarios where something that stiff just won’t work. Here’s one look that hits the middle. Looks good for a dressed up event, yet not too goofy for a suit & tie workplace.
The Suit: J. Crew Factory Thompson Jacket & Pant in Pinstripe Wool – $236. Not a bad price, considering that their other Thompson suits are closer to $300 (if not over $300). Slim fit without being tight. Lowered button stance. Fused, but one of the better fused suits out there. Comes with darker brown buttons that won’t clash too much with black leather shoes & accessories (as opposed to super light brown buttons). If you think someone will notice that difference between the buttons and your shoes, they won’t. And if they do, they most certainly won’t care. Don’t over-think it.
The Shirt: Charles Tyrwhitt Sky Twill Slim Fit Non-Iron – $29.99. Loosening up a pinstripe suit = skip the white shirt. Go with light blue instead. Shipping is a steep ten bucks, but still. $40 for a CT shirt is a good deal. This is one of those shirts for $29.99 deals that they run from time to time, and might not work for everyone. More on Charles Tyrwhitt here, and more shirts for $29.95 here.
The Tie: TheTieBar Silk Knit – $25.00. These things used to be fifteen bucks. Costs really are going up everywhere. Available in 2″ or 2.75″ widths. Strongly consider the 2.75″
The Scarf: J. Crew Navy Cashmere w/ Natural Dot – $88.50 w/ SHOPNOW. A splurge, even with the 25% off select full priced items code SHOPNOW. Nice choice by the designers to go with a toned down “natural” dot, instead of a stark white. Super soft cashmere.
The Watch: Orient Producer in Black – $175 w/ DAPPERED30. They made one in black? Outstanding. Review of the original here. This is the type of outfit where you can get away with wearing a watch with a bit more visual interest. Dress chrono, square dial, whatever. Code knocks 30% off (there are more than a few codes like that floating around. Use whatever you want).
The Gloves: Nordstrom Perforated Leather Gloves – $32.90 ($49.50). Subtle perforation keeps it interesting without going full driver. Ships & returns free, which is extra nice when it comes to gloves.
The Money Clip: Maxx&Unicorn Co. Solid Brass Money Clip – $32.98 ($38). Well that’s attractive. Made in the USA. Sold on Huckberry.
The Card Case: FormFunctionForm The “Small Package” in Life Red Cavalier – $52. Also made in the USA. Minimalist design, fantastic chromexcel leather.
The Shoes: Calibrate Chelsea Boots – $135. Coulda gone monk straps here too, but then the anti-monk strap crowd would just roll their eyes. Chelseas are a perfect play here, especially this time of year. Show a bit of that elastic side panel and you give off a way different vibe than a pair of conservative oxfords and dress socks. Ships & returns free through Nordstrom.
The Belt: J. Crew Classic Leather Plaque Belt – $39.99 ($59.50). This might be too risky for some. While still dress-belt slim, many don’t feel like they can pull off that solid rectangle of silver up front. But it does dress down the pinstripes even further. Go with your favorite dress belt if you don’t want to go this route.
The Briefcase: Jack Spade Dipped York Brief – $139 ($248). Certainly more casual than a standard brief, but not a messenger bag or anything. Dipped for your (laptop’s) protection.