In reviewing last week’s projects, I noticed that two of my clients had something in common, mixing formal with casual. To avoid looking too snotty or too scruffy, wearing a little bit of both works.
“These are their stories.” dun dun dun
(I’ve been watching too much SVU.)
For a wedding he was attending, we had a three piece suit custom made. It was navy, with a very subtle blue pinstripe—three button vest under a two button jacket. Oh, it was magnificent! Really. The lining was beautiful and the wool, so soft!
Now that you’re picturing this really stellar suit, try to imagine how I reacted when my client says, “Don’t I need cowboy boots too?” Ah, what? (Have you ever been in a situation in which you couldn’t tell if the other person was joking or serious?)
Like so many swanky mountain resorts, the general stereotype for Aspen is that you should run around in fur trimmed everything and Native American inspired garb. This isn’t false, but you don’t need to dress in theme either. He thought it would be funny…
The next thing I know, I’m at a saddlery shop combing through shelves of lizard accented and flame stamped cowboy boots. I chose the least cowboy looking black pair available and now know of a great source if anyone is in need of bedazzled belts, cowboy hats and bolo ties.
For the record, I wouldn’t normally advise combining the two, but this particular guy has the humorous personality to pull it off; in a way, people expect this from him!
He was her plus 1 to a charity event at an art gallery in San Francisco. This is one of the only times that dressing for guys is trickier than for girls. A skirt, dress or pants—all will work for women, but for men, do you wear jeans? A suit? Also, this was during the week, no dinner involved, so it’s expected that people may be coming from work and don’t have all day to dolly themselves up.
What were the options:
jeans vs. dress pants
white vs. eggplant (purple) dress shirt
blazer vs. cardigan
The combo most likely to be seen: jeans, white shirt, blazer.
The most formal: a suit
SF is relaxed, but still polished, especially at these types of events. To avoid looking like you take yourself too seriously, but also not to seem like a slacker, I suggested he mix. Go with the brown dress pants, eggplant shirt and because those colors are dark, throw on the gray cardigan to lighten it up (also, brown shoes and belt). Don’t forget to button a few; it pulls everything in (literally & figuratively).
In searching for a cardigan image, I came across this. (Or maybe I just felt like including it. :))