I wanted to show how the same base elements of an outfit could be mixed with different pieces and accessories in order to create multiple moods for separate occasions which may have varying levels of formality. If done creatively, you can use a limited clothing palette to maximize and stretch your wardrobe for many outings.
For this experiment, I am going to start formal and work my way down. Now, because I am going to keep some of these pieces for even the most casual of outfits, I cannot start with evening wear or a tuxedo. Or maybe I could! That will be for next time. This time, however, I am going to start with something business formal, especially since this is for the Dapper Professional. I shall start within the realms of what I consider acceptable formal business attire.
Just for background, I work for a litigation consulting firm. In the legal world, I do sit in on formal meetings as well as formal court proceedings. Since I am hired in a creative capacity, I can dress a bit more artistically and get away with it, unlike my clients or even some of my peers. That said, this is not a guideline for what to wear to every meeting or on how to dress to nail that interview. This is purely an exercise in stretching the boundaries of my clothing in ways that I would actually dress.
Click here for Part 1 of 2 (@StyleDriver explains Outfits #1 and #2).
Let’s still keep the same blazer, shirt, and pants as the last two looks, as well as the same pocket square as our previous look, but now let’s remove the vest and swap the tie out for a silk ascot. Drastic change in formality levels, as we are now well into the casual range. I wear outfits like this usually when leaving a destination, going shopping on the way home after a mini getaway, or driving around on a beautiful day. Add a pair of driving gloves while behind the wheel and you can look extremely put together, but also be quite comfortable while sitting in a car. Perfect travel look. I have worn ascots while flying too. Yes, the ascot is looked upon as pretentious and comedic by most, but I still wear them, as I think they add a perfect finishing touch to any open throated shirt. I have worn them with crew neck and v-neck sweaters too for an even more casual look.
Now we loosen the ascot, unbutton the shirt further and swap the pants worn for every look so far for some very preppy tennis shorts. The pocket square has also been traded for a brighter color and bolder pattern, taking us almost as casual as we can possibly get while still wearing a blazer. I have worn this look after spending the day at the beach – changing into this right out of my bathing suit for the ride home and all of the stops along the way, including informal dining at seafood stands and outside ice-cream counters. I usually have a straw boater-style hat on as well as the obligatory sunglasses to take everything where it needs to go! Perfect for after beach day strolls or summer nighttime get-togethers by a fire or a cozy patio.
So there we have four looks created from basically the same starting point, representing the full spectrum of formal to informal. I had a fun time putting these outfits together and writing about them. I hope you have enjoyed sharing the experience as well!
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