If you’ve got a style tip, question, or anything else you’d like to pass along, you can send those in to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d rather your question not be featured in a future mailbag, just go ahead and say so in your email. Want more than one average Joe’s (HA!) opinion? Check out our forum, Threads.
“I am contemplating a couple of sportscoat upgrades. I am looking for something that I can move in that is easy to care for. I have – and have enjoyed – the JCrew Factory Cotton/Elastane jacket. But I could probably use something a smidge sharper for the office. Which investment would you suggest: A Bonobos unstructured blazer, or, one of the Spier & McKay sportcoats?
– Gus S.
I don’t think you can go wrong with either. The Bonobos options has zero lining in the back, but Spier uses a quarter, butterfly style on most of their sportcoats. There’s not much of a difference there. If you prefer slim lapels, then Bonobos is your jam, with J. Crew Ludlow like 2.5″ wide lapels. If you prefer something less trendy? Then go with Spier. But I do have one question: are you going for slim or contemporary/standard fit? I ask because if you’re going slim, I’d go with Spier. Part of the Bonobos template for their slim jackets is to cut the tails shorter than their standard fit. Even if it’s a non “short” sized jacket. And that trend is (thankfully) just about dead. I’d go with a length that’s more timeless if that were the case. But if you’ve never ordered from Spier, than your first suit or sportcoat purchase returns for free. Bonobos is always free shipping and returns. So getting two, comparing & contrasting, and sending one back, is no harm no foul. As long as you can float a bit of cash on a credit card.
Q: Translucent shirts/polos and being hairy
I picked up, for a steal, a great linen polo from BR last summer. Now that the heat has arrived, I want to wear it, but it’s thin, white, and lets just say…translucent (zing). It doesn’t help that I am half wookie, but I tame the fur during the summer with a trim. How do I wear this thing, enjoy the breeze, survive summer, and not scare myself/wife/civilization?
Question. Is it possible that you might be overthinking it? You say you already tame the mane with a trim. I’d honestly ask your wife if she thinks it’s a little much. People don’t notice what we consider to be our foibles nearly as much as we think they do. (Not that being hairy is a foible. I mean, we’re apes.) That said, if you’re still concerned, I’d save it for the real hot days, and I think I’d keep everything but the top button buttoned. If it’s linen and translucent, it’ll be breezy enough. The real risk is in having one too many buttons undone. At that point you risk looking like you’re purposefully showing off that pec forest. But bottom line, don’t worry about civilization. We’ve been through worse.
Q. How to get a perfect, gap-free collar?
I have never been able to find a jacket off the rack on which there isn’t a collar gap. Yesterday, I returned a sport coat to SuitSupply because the tailor at their store thought they wouldn’t be able to eliminate it by shortening the collar, as the gap isn’t just at the back but along the side of my collar, too. My posture isn’t great, which is probably the cause. It seems to me that everyone’s collar sometimes separates from their shirt when they move around, but in my case it’s true when I’m standing still, too. My question is whether you know if it’s possible to eliminate this issue with made-to-measure jackets?
First, Suitsupply, for as awesome and flat out game-changing as they are, they seem to cater to a certain type. That type being a slim, flatter-rear, stands up stick straight type. So if you don’t fit into that type, God help you. Now, back to your question. Can your collar gap be rectified via made-to-measure? I think it can. Just depends on how “good” the company is that you’re working with. If it’s some true bespoke joint, then they better be able to make it fit perfect. But if you’re talking about online companies? It’s a toss up. I’d suggest Black Lapel, and give them ALL the information that you can. They ask about shoulder slope, posture, and a bunch of other things, on top of all of the measurements that you have to take. There’s also an option to upload a few photos of yourself. I’d do that too, and don’t fake your posture. Stand how you stand. And TELL them about your collar gap problem. Meanwhile, if your posture really is quite poor, and there’s not a known medical reason for it? You might want to get yourself to a physio to see if your work environment or your bed or something else is monkeying with your posture.
Q: Dressing well when you’re short
“Could you do some articles on how to dress well when you are 5’9 and under?”
I don’t believe in those lists that say “short guys shouldn’t wear this!” or “heavy dudes shouldn’t wear that!” or “super skinny guys should NEVER wear…” I mean, c’mon. I think the keys for dressing well when you’re less-than-tall is the same as it is for everyone else. Dial in the fit, nail the details, and don’t settle until you’re happy and comfortable. But don’t overthink it at the same time. Also, be honest with yourself. Are you buying jackets that are regular lengths when you should be buying the short option? It’s just a label. Go with the short option. Also, you shorter fellas are especially gonna want to get to know a good tailor. Why? Because it’s the small things that make something look (and feel) like it fits great. Like showing a bit of shirt cuff when wearing a suit, and having a little bit of pant break but not too much cloth pooling at your ankles. Here’s a post about where to look for clothes when you’re not super tall. But bottom line, nail the fit, nail the details, and above all learn to get comfortable with yourself.
Q. Black Suit options?
“I am in need of a black suit. I don’t plan on wearing it a lot and don’t want to spend a lot of money. What are my options?”
– Joe B.
I think this is a perfect time and place to pick up a J. Crew Factory Thompson. They have it in wool, offer slim or classic fit pants, and the off the rack fit is pretty decent. Also, since these are suit separates, you won’t have to spend cash at the tailor on getting the pants hemmed. Yes, it’s fused. No the wool isn’t amazing. But it’s still wool, and not some blend or heaven forbid a synthetic. And they do go on sale every so often. Usual price is $299. One last thing, don’t try to re-purpose it later as a tux. It’s not. It’s a black suit.
Q. First Two Pairs of Dress Shoes?
In last year’s 1500 Wardrobe Shoes, you mentioned that instead of the Jack Erwin/CH combo you could do two pairs of the Massimo Matteo cap toes from Zappos. Zappos sell them in Black, Brown, and Tan, which two color combinations would you recommend?
Black and Brown. If you’re going with the basics (which is what the $1500 wardrobe is all about) then start with the basics. I know, I know. Borrrrrrrinnnnnnnnnnnng. But the flashier tan can wait, even though that shade of shoe leather is featured all over the menswear blogosphere/interwebz.
Q. Why do all of your clothes fit so poorly?
“Do all of his (Joe’s) clothes fit so poorly?”
-Reddit user, in response to one of our posts getting some rare attention over there.
Thanks! Like I said in a previous question, not all of us have butts flat enough to fit perfectly into Suitsupply trousers. Lucky you though. Anyway, what you’re seeing on Dappered is a reluctant model trying on mass market clothes in an attempt to give at least some perspective to the readership. And most mass market clothes don’t fit a frame like mine which has some (hopefully strategic, well earned) lumps and bumps to it. We also don’t tailor anything pre-shoot, or use any photography/modeling tricks to make it look better than it should. We try and show you what it’ll look like in real life, off the rack. Magazine shoots, Instagram shots, and perfectly curated WIWT pics by the (often stick thin) menswear obsessed is NOT real life. Plus, how crappy can all of the fits on this silly website be? We’ve been around for almost a decade. I mean, it can’t all be crap. And if it is, that’s a mighty good trick, no?
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