Before we get started I’m going to assume a couple of things. If your reading this post, you know something about my daily style. If not, check out my daily looks on Instagram NOW! I’m not a big suit and tie guy or even a fan of having to dress up in general. I moved to California for a reason you know. Jeans are part of my daily uniform and casual attire is what I feel most comfortable in. That being said… there are many occasions in life which call for us men to dress up. I’m not talking about a wedding or a funeral. If you didn’t know you need a suit for those, your momma didn’t raise you right. But… how do we, as men, dress for nice a nice dinner out with our wife or girlfriend without wearing a suit? That’s been my issue as of late. I’m going to break this discussion into three posts. Today’s is your top half, next week will be pants, and two weeks from now, shoes. I’ve got three suggestions that have worked well for me on what to wear on your top, so here we go.
I have to be honest, I hate suit jackets. I own a ton and hate the idea of wearing them. Thats why they are crushed in the back of the closet. If I absolutely must wear one, I’m doing everything in my power to make sure the shirt underneath is as casual as possible. I often stay away from collared shirts. That’s not to stay they won’t work. My preferred method to the collared shirt is to make sure it has a nice hem (thats not to long) you can always leave it untucked. Still looks put together, but not too stuffy.
The other option is to avoid the suit jacket all together. I call these options the ‘overshirt’. Its basically a jacket that you can wear as your dinner coat. Some great options can include leather jackets, button ups, or hoodies cardigans. Here are a couple great options…
Dressing up while still maintaining a casual style has been a growing challenge. I’ve been struggling to find options that allow me to still feel like I’m still dressing like ‘me’ but a little more dressy. I recently came across Barena, a brand that was founded in 1961 and is inspired by the rich heritage style of the designers home city of Venice. Although the picture below may look just like a regular “blazer”, I assure you, it’s not. Combining the smart look of a tailored jacket with the comfortable feel of a cardigan, Barenas Jacket will make a versatile addition to your casual roster. This slim piece has been meticulously crafted in Italy from a soft virgin wool blend and is lined through the sleeves for a smooth fit. Raw edges amplify its unstructured appeal. I could’t find a link to the black one, however they are available in store at Barneys (not on website for some reason). I had my jacket tailored with a little shorter arms. I can then layer a long sleeve tee underneath and have the arms come out the jacket. Giving the jacket a little pop (like some people do by wearing a pocket square with their blazers)
So we now have some cool options for your overshirts and some unique jackets options, we next need to pick the appropriate shirts for underneath. In my day to day outfits I don’t censor my tops. By this I mean, I enjoy graphic tees, tees with designs and distressed tees. But in this case, I suggest a more subtle and simple tee. Please stay away from V-necks, they are not a good look anymore. I apologize if I hurt anyones feelings but better you find out now. I would suggest a scoop neck if your not a crew-neck kind of a guy. Here are some of my favourite basic tees. I’ve had a lot of practice buying tees and all these suggestions are tees I own. These are also good suggestions for tees that don’t wrinkle like crazy. Nothing bothers me more then tees that I feel like I need to iron (never going to happen) Also – go for a longer length tee, something thats will hang a little below the jacket.
Hope you found these tips helpful. Stay tuned for next weeks post as we examine some options for pants. Subscribe to my blog and don’t miss any updates.