I think of this as the sort of trim and tailored and yet casually undone look that’s great for a dinner in the city with the windows of the restaurant thrown open to some warmer weather. When you’re not in business armor it’s good to dress sharp without losing your devil-may-care element. So roll up your trousers, show some ankle, unbutton an extra button. And take away these two things from this outfit:
Pick your impact pieces (your shoes should always be one of them). There are two elements to this outfit that elevate it beyond the typical humdrum blazer, dress shirt and loafers combo. There’s the jacket, which is featherweight, rakishly rumpled, nicely cut, and in an unexpected, versatile light gray. And then there are, of course, the silk leather-soled slippers (also lined in leather, for comfort and durability). They’re easy to throw on and infinitely more interesting than a pair of plain lace-ups, loafers or sneakers. It only takes those two elements to steal the show—the rest of the outfit consists of affordable, basic and decent pieces. The shirt (Banana Republic, taken to a tailor) and trousers (Theory) each came in under $80, and the scarf (Reiss) and pocket square (on-sale Polo Ralph Lauren) nail the details for less than $40 apiece.
Your impact pieces don’t have to crush your wallet. Someone might call this a “high-low” mix, because the jacket (Maison Margiela) and the slippers (Gucci) have retail prices that are far higher than those of the other pieces. But that would be a misnomer: I picked up the jacket from yoox.com for under $200, and the slippers at a 50% discount for $275 from Gucci’s online sale. So each designer item cost me less than an irresponsible bar tab. That’s the real trick—if you figure out your size by trying on a few labels through online or brick-and-mortar stores, you can take that knowledge to the vast Internet, where discounted items for men are almost absurdly easy to find. Yoox in particular carries an embarrassment of what are called “off-season” items and gradually further discounts them. If you time it right, you can find high-end designer label items at sub-J. Crew prices.
Does it take a little time to figure out how to apply this knowledge to get the results you want? Of course. But then the same goes for all good things in life. Make your style one of them.
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