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Renounced MC/CBD in favor of toned down "sharp casual" ?

post #1 of 56
Thread Starter 
You came to SF looking for an answer to a clothing question. You got caught up, and next thing you know, you're wearing suits, jackets, dress shirts, ties, wingtips, dress pants, etc. Eventually, you come full circle and realize you look like Pee Wee Herman in the real world and decided to tone it down a notch. Anyone here tone down the formality?

You retain your SF fundamentals, tailored fit is paramount, and you still wear ties, but also mix up a bit more by toning it down some. You deftly combine formal with smart casual. You wear more textured jackets with no ties, or with corduroys, or sometimes even jeans. Jackets with more casual puckering placket OCBD shirts instead of only with crisp formal dress shirts. Lug soled boots, suede shoes...instead of only leather soled dress shoes. You ditch the SF-approved disco70s porn-star Mabitex pants and wear more appropriately fitting dress pants. And so forth.... You now look stylish instead of awkward and overdressed. You might even look younger. People notice your outfits because they no longer look like a corporate uniform, or worse, Bud Collins.

A poster who perfectly exemplifies the more balanced and versatile look I am describing is NOBD. (I am sure there are others, but this one comes to mind) Dressed sharp, but not overdressed. He does not look like an office worker drone. He doesn't look like Pee Wee Herman. Instead, his outfits perfectly balance the fine line between going to the office and going on a date to a swanky lounge. The look works equally well in both situations. That is the most natural look one can hope to achieve.

Have you done this? Renounced MC/CBD in favor of toned down a little more "sharp casual" ?
Please post more examples of the look I am describing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by NOBD View Post

It's brown, same jacket (and tie):
KnsHC.jpg
Quote:
Originally Posted by NOBD View Post


Edited by Reevolving - 12/13/12 at 3:47pm
post #2 of 56

This is interesting. I think I am in the middle of this process. I started by wearing suits to work, then realized I was a bit overdressed for my environment, so I started a migration towards the casual side of coat and tie. That means fuzzy or tweed sport coats (linen in summer), more casual trousers like cotton twills and corduroys (without discarding flannels), OCBDs, and casual ties like wool, linen or madder. I haven't moved into the sportcoat with jeans and no tie territory, because well, I do like ties... shog[1].gif

 

I don't think everyone can pull off NOBD's look, though. Gotta be young and/or fit...

post #3 of 56

Will Reevolving's reemergence bring Vox back?

post #4 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by EMartNJ View Post

Will Reevolving's reemergence bring Vox back?

Considering Vox posted this today, Reev could be on to something (though, its Sunday)

post #5 of 56

All that spalla inlove.gif

 

The shoes though... uhoh.gif

post #6 of 56
Interesting topic. I find myself going in cycles alternating between suit wear and more casual business dress.

Overall, when I am commissioning suits I am selecting more "country" fabrics such as tweeds over worsteds for and I am favouring odd jackets and trousers over suits now more than ever though I generally am not going tieless.

I have been following a program of moving to a boot only footwear rotation. My last six footwear purchases have been split equally between balmoral and derby; two of the derby boots have been in grained leather.

Tie purchases of late have been favouring wool and cashmere over silk though this does not necessarily reflect a more casual bent.

Shirts have favoured checks and stripes mostly in the blue range to work with odd jackets and suits but also given the fact that I have more than enough blue solids.

Trousers acquisitions have been tweeds, corduroy and flannel. Once again not necessarily casual in nature themselves but certainly with a more "country" esthetic.

Of course, part of the reason is that I work in an environment (academia) where there are no hard and fast rules regarding what is appropriate and what is not plus I have acquired the staples and more so I can choose to branch out.

Chances are though that at some point I will revert back to a higher level of formality.

I think it is healthy to expand the flexibility of one's wardrobe otherwise what we wear resemble uniforms more than clothing.

Great topic and I'm looking forward to the responses.
post #7 of 56
Yes. I often feel overdressed in suits and have tried for about a year to "tone it down" a bit. My first aproach has been a move towards softer, more muted neckwear. Nothing loud or bright: wool, flat finishes, solids. Secondly, I have tried to incorporate more navy blazer combinations. Brown shoes always seem to help, yet I have always felt that brown is far richer than black. But, less formal nonetheless. For the spring, I am going to try the gray odd jacket ( the cucinelli look) and lighter trousers.
I find all this difficult as it adds volume to my wardrobe which I am not a fan of...simple is best for me with few options.
post #8 of 56

This is actually a problem I've run into as somebody who's at kind of an entry level. Right now, I aim for this kind of look with a mostly-thrifted wardrobe, but I'm trying to figure out what I should be saving for. Unfortunately, articles like that ASW "Basic Wardrobe" post or Manton's "If you do not own the following things" thread, while great, are aimed at people who are in a serious city look five days a week.

 

My stop-gap has been tweed jacket, OCBD, jeans, and Weejuns, but that's not doing it for me anymore. I'm seriously flirting with the idea of ditching jeans for everyday wear and doing something different with shoes, but I'm not sure what I should go for. Ideally, I'd like to have a wardrobe as well-put-together and consistent as the one Manton outlined in that thread, but for dressing in a range of formality from navy blazer/gray flannels down to sweater/chinos. It's made more difficult because I don't want to own a whole bunch of clothing and I have very little money.

 

If anyone has any advice, I'd love to hear it.

post #9 of 56

If this garners more attention, it'd be cool to have a CBD WAYRN thread. The third pic of NOBD is along the lines of how I dress daily, and I feel its most sensible for my age and environment.

post #10 of 56
I thought CBD stood for "Conservative Business Dress." I have the sense here that it might mean "Casual Business Dress" or something else. Please clarify.
post #11 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by EMartNJ View Post

The shoes though... uhoh.gif

+1
post #12 of 56
I find personally that suits may be more formal than a sports coat/trousers combo, they are also more subtle - though my taste in suits is pretty conservative. When I want to tone things down, I find I'm going to options other than sports coats.
post #13 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by YRR92 View Post

This is actually a problem I've run into as somebody who's at kind of an entry level. Right now, I aim for this kind of look with a mostly-thrifted wardrobe, but I'm trying to figure out what I should be saving for. Unfortunately, articles like that ASW "Basic Wardrobe" post or Manton's "If you do not own the following things" thread, while great, are aimed at people who are in a serious city look five days a week.

My stop-gap has been tweed jacket, OCBD, jeans, and Weejuns, but that's not doing it for me anymore. I'm seriously flirting with the idea of ditching jeans for everyday wear and doing something different with shoes, but I'm not sure what I should go for. Ideally, I'd like to have a wardrobe as well-put-together and consistent as the one Manton outlined in that thread, but for dressing in a range of formality from navy blazer/gray flannels down to sweater/chinos. It's made more difficult because I don't want to own a whole bunch of clothing and I have very little money.

If anyone has any advice, I'd love to hear it.

Although a tweed jacket, OCBDs, and jeans are fine for casual wear, if you want to diversify your wardrobe, I'd suggest looking for more casual equivalents of the items on manton's list. Then you can combine your items in ways exactly analogous to the "fits" you see on SF and be virtually guaranteed to have a put-together look. If you stick to equivalents of the basics on manton's list, you can develop a nice compact, yet versatile wardrobe. For example, I have a jacket made from a blue barleycorn fabric and a shawl collar navy blue cardigan that I wear in winter as casual "blazer equivalents". I wear them, for example, with charcoal gray flannel trousers, mid-gray corduroy, or tan corduroy trousers that I own. In summer, an air-force blue, half-lined jacket made of a wool/linen/silk blend is my blazer-equivalent and I own a pair of tan wool trousers with a twill weave that are slightly dressier than chinos (which would also work for you), as well as a pair of tan and a pair of gray linen trousers. I would suggest you start slowly, by upgrading your shoes. I really like monkstraps, but they're not for everyone. You might like chelsea boots or chukka boots and, depending on details, all of these are appropriate with anything from jeans to the navy blazer/gray flannels look. A pair of brown wingtips would be similarly versatile. Lastly, and most importantly, find a good alterations tailor and make sure everything fits.
post #14 of 56

The OP is describing something a lot of men go through, I think. Not just in this forum, but in life in general, when they start to learn about dressing well and start wanting to do so. I have a theory about this, and also about why men dressed so much better (on average) in decades and centuries past. It's all about fathers. In my grand father's generation fathers would teach their sons about appropriate dress just like they would teach them about cars, girls, or baseball. Nothing over the top, but a young man knew that his light tan sport coat was not supposed to be worn in the fall and his brown tweed was. These days those simple rules are no longer taught so young men go into the world not knowing what "grown up" attire looks like. They see people wearing suits so they wear suits, discover blazers, then sport coats, and eventually realize that black suit =/= tuxedo. Anyway, I'm probably completely wrong but that's my theory.

post #15 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLibourel View Post

I thought CBD stood for "Conservative Business Dress." I have the sense here that it might mean "Casual Business Dress" or something else. Please clarify.

It does stand for "Conservative Business Dress":

http://www.styleforum.net/t/33066/conservative-business-dress

"Business Casual" seems to lack a common acronym, so it's understandable why folks would mix up the two.
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