1. Welcome to the new Styleforum!

    We hope you’re as excited as we are to hang out in the new place. There are more new features that we’ll announce in the near future, but for now we hope you’ll enjoy the new site.

    We are currently fine-tuning the forum for your browsing pleasure, so bear with any lingering dust as we work to make Styleforum even more awesome than it was.

    Oh, and don’t forget to head over to the Styleforum Journal, because we’re giving away two pairs of Carmina shoes to celebrate our move!

    Please address any questions about using the new forum to support@styleforum.net

    Cheers,

    The Styleforum Team

    Dismiss Notice

Simplifying a Traveling Consultant's Wardrobe -- Seeking OneNess with Foo

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Metlin, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. Metlin

    Metlin Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,043
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    I'd skip the black shoes and just bring brown. Brown will go with both the grey and brown or taupe. Black only works with the grey slacks. Personally, I only wear black shoes with suits.

    Yeah, that's what I figured -- and that's something I'm trying to avoid (i.e. "rules" with any of the combination). For instance, if I wore brown shoes the previous day, I will have to wear the same shoe two days in a row with brown or taupe slacks.

    I'm hoping that by simplifying, I wouldn't have to worry about such things (i.e. pick up a shirt, slacks, wear the shoes, and walk out).

    That said, I may consider brown or taupe for summer (past summer, I was unfortunate enough to travel to Orlando and South America -- one greasy hot with tourists and the other quite rather cool).
     
  2. RSS

    RSS Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,042
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    Location:
    No.1 Nonsuch Place
    If traveling for less than a week ... I make certain most everything coordinates (apart from formal wear). But fellows ... that's as far as I'm going. I'm NOT doing the one trouser ... thingie. That would require sending too much to charity. Moreover, I'd get VERY bored.
     
  3. Metlin

    Metlin Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,043
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    If traveling for less than a week ... I make certain most everything coordinates (apart from formal wear). But fellows ... that's as far as I'm going. I'm NOT doing the one trouser ... thingie. That would require sending too much to charity.
    R. -- unfortunately, I'm pretty much traveling every day of the work week. I wouldn't do the OneTrouser thing, either. However, I would like to buy a few shades of the same color (i.e. gray). Maybe have a couple of light brown, taupe, and navy for variety.
    For my work week, I'd like to introduce variety through sport coats and ties. Funnily enough, the vast majority of my suits are also charcoal/gray. I only have a handful of navy suits.
     
  4. RSS

    RSS Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,042
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    Location:
    No.1 Nonsuch Place
    R. -- unfortunately, I'm pretty much traveling every day of the work week. I wouldn't do the OneTrouser thing, either. However, I would like to buy a few shades of
    If you are traveling that often ... I not only forgive the OneTrouser idea ... I endorse it.

    BTW, I find grey trousers the most useful. I prefer a medium grey ... but various shades -- from medium light to medium dark -- should work fairly well. Personally I'd avoid too light or too dark (charcoal). That said ... I have a pair of charcoal trousers I very much cotton to.
     
  5. Metlin

    Metlin Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,043
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    If you are traveling that often ... I not only forgive the OneTrouser idea ... I endorse it.
    Hahahaha, why thank you.
    Agree on all counts. I usually stay away from the darker shades since my suits tend to be charcoal or dark gray. I'll probably buy a couple of weights as well, just to allow for some seasonal variation.
     
  6. landshark

    landshark Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,716
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    I thought about this some more and I think I may have a good solution for you.

    Charcoal or dark gray trousers. However many pairs, weights, etc. you prefer.
    Blue,White, and Blue&White striped shirts
    1 Navy Sport Coat
    1 Light Gray Sport Coat, possibly with a pattern
    A reversible belt of black and dark brown (though I'm sure two seperate belts would be easy to carry)
    1 pair of black shoes
    1 pair of brown shoes.
    As many ties, socks, pocketsquares, etc. as you prefer.

    It's pretty boring and minimalistic, but it should serve your purposes well. You can always get different sportcoats of navy and light gray, with different patterns, weights, etc.
     
  7. OttoSkadelig

    OttoSkadelig Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    970
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2010
    Location:
    The Dark Side of the Spoon
    metlin, you are on the right track... lock down the pants (primarily) and the shirts (secondarily) as your base, and express your personality or give in to your sartorial flights of fancy via your sportcoats, ties, and shoes. it's simply too difficult to try and coordinate otherwise, especially if you are packing in one shot for 3-4 days. believe me, as someone who likes patterns and lives the same life as you do, i have found myself in very sticky situations before i decided to give in and rein in the complexity.

    i said shirts (secondarily) because you can still play around with different weaves and very subtle checks and stripes that give you a bit of variety without necessarily causing clashes. it doesn't have to be all solids. in addition to the blues and whites, also consider pale pink and (if you're feeling up to it) a lilac or two.

    for the pants, personally, i am a big fan of medium gray... on the lighter side of medium. it is, quite simply, the most versatile color and looks terrific with almost every hue of shirt and shoe. charcoal is a cliche and evokes thoughts of orphaned suit pants. i am also very partial to a dark, crisp navy, which is also extremely versatile... provided, as you have noted, you are not carrying around a blue blazer. which, as a person of style, you should not be anyway.
     
  8. TimelesStyle

    TimelesStyle Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,007
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2010
    Good advice, both on the shoes and the trousers.

    I have a couple of wrinkle-free gabardine ones that I wear for travel. I like BB's chinos, but they aren't what I'd wear to work.

    As far as the shoes are concerned, I prefer AE's rubber soled shoes -- they look exactly like leather soled ones, and are very well made.



    I will post some pictures -- perhaps that would be useful. I mostly wear a navy blazer, a couple of gentle herringbone and houndstooth patterns, or dark tweeds.


    Fair enough, wasn't sure if you were leaning enough towards the "casual" end of B/C to warrant cotton trousers.

    While AE isn't exactly my taste in shoes, I understand where you're coming from here too.

    I'd also like to add:

    If you will have more than one pair of nice shoes with you, I highly recommend one pair of slip-ons. You know better than most why you'll want these for the airport.

    Regarding the sport coat: If you're worried about the "security guard" look, don't get a plain navy blazer, get something a little more distinctive.

    While "Regent" is probably the wrong fit for you, something like this for colder months definitely won't have you confused for a rent-a-cop:

    http://www.brooksbrothers.com/IWCatP...=&sectionsize=
     
  9. GusW

    GusW Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    19,128
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    With the assortment I suggested you don't have to take a blue blazer. Take a tweed jacket one week, a plaid wool and silk blend the next , etc.

    I would stick with brown shoes.

    If you do take a Blue blazer, avoid black shoes, (avoid brass buttons too) make sure it is perfectly tailored, wear a pink or stripped shirt and a PS and you won't look like a security guard.

    I see many guys traveling a lot with a thrown together Blue blazer, black shoes and grey pant look and for middle aged guys it adds 10-15+ years to their look and makes most guys look very "middle management". Yet I also see guys with a sharply tailored blue jacket, spread collar stripped shirt, pocket square, grey pants and brown shoes looking like interesting people and very stylish. It is all about how you put it together.
     
  10. Metlin

    Metlin Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,043
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    I thought about this some more and I think I may have a good solution for you.

    Charcoal or dark gray trousers. However many pairs, weights, etc. you prefer.
    Blue,White, and Blue&White striped shirts
    1 Navy Sport Coat
    1 Light Gray Sport Coat, possibly with a pattern
    A reversible belt of black and dark brown (though I'm sure two seperate belts would be easy to carry)
    1 pair of black shoes
    1 pair of brown shoes.
    As many ties, socks, pocketsquares, etc. as you prefer.

    It's pretty boring and minimalistic, but it should serve your purposes well. You can always get different sportcoats of navy and light gray, with different patterns, weights, etc.


    Yup, I do some of this already -- and I'm with you on everything except the striped blue/white shirts. Given that at least half my sport coats have a pattern of some kind, I'd prefer the outfit to not look too busy.
     
  11. Metlin

    Metlin Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,043
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    metlin, you are on the right track... lock down the pants (primarily) and the shirts (secondarily) as your base, and express your personality or give in to your sartorial flights of fancy via your sportcoats, ties, and shoes. it's simply too difficult to try and coordinate otherwise, especially if you are packing in one shot for 3-4 days. believe me, as someone who likes patterns and lives the same life as you do, i have found myself in very sticky situations before i decided to give in and rein in the complexity. i said shirts (secondarily) because you can still play around with different weaves and very subtle checks and stripes that give you a bit of variety without necessarily causing clashes. it doesn't have to be all solids. in addition to the blues and whites, also consider pale pink and (if you're feeling up to it) a lilac or two. for the pants, personally, i am a big fan of medium gray... on the lighter side of medium. it is, quite simply, the most versatile color and looks terrific with almost every hue of shirt and shoe. charcoal is a cliche and evokes thoughts of orphaned suit pants. i am also very partial to a dark, crisp navy, which is also extremely versatile...
    Otto, that's a great suggestion re: variety in the weaves on the shirts themselves - thanks!. I think that would introduce a very subtle variety factor while remaining fairly pattern agnostic. Yeah, I do own a couple of other lighter colored shirts (e.g. pink) and do wear them. Once again, the problem is seasons -- if I'm in two countries in the same week, I'm hesitant to wear a "summer" color when it's winter elsewhere (my job entails travel to Brazil and Argentina, so their seasons are a tad off cycle [​IMG]).
    I'm curious to hear this, since the navy blazer is considered a staple. No?
     
  12. Metlin

    Metlin Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,043
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    Fair enough, wasn't sure if you were leaning enough towards the "casual" end of B/C to warrant cotton trousers.

    While AE isn't exactly my taste in shoes, I understand where you're coming from here too.

    I'd also like to add:

    If you will have more than one pair of nice shoes with you, I highly recommend one pair of slip-ons. You know better than most why you'll want these for the airport.


    Absolutely. I currently rotate between a Ferragamo and Clark's slip-ons. Incredibly comfortable and convenient.

    I love that -- it's a great looking piece. I wish they made them one size smaller (38S), but that gives me a good idea of what to look for. Thanks!
     
  13. Metlin

    Metlin Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,043
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    With the assortment I suggested you don't have to take a blue blazer. Take a tweed jacket one week, a plaid wool and silk blend the next , etc.

    Hmm, I never thought of that -- although, I do rotate between my jackets (and I have a couple of blue blazers that are included in the cycle).

    Any particular reason for this recommendation? I think there are occasions when black looks like the dressier option (especially to some of the more conservative folks).

    My blazers have all been altered to fit fairly well -- however, I'd like to stay away from a patterned shirt as I've explained earlier (clashes with jackets that have patterns).

    Indeed. But on some level, it is like the black suit. Yes, it's wrong, but there are times and places where people would think you're nuts for saying that it's wrong to wear 'em.

    You can add a couple of elements to look different, but if you deviated too much from the "approved conservative look" (which, for a lot of people I work with, are white/blue shirts, gray slacks, and a navy blazer with black shoes).

    I do agree with you on the brown shoes, though. [​IMG]
     
  14. koolhistorian

    koolhistorian Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    411
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Location:
    Romania
    Firstly I have something with the security guard obsession - the security guard look is mainly a guy who has an ill fitting, polyester laden clothes with low quality shoes, plastic tie, etc. Frankly, and I am wearing a blazer quite often, I had never been taken for a security guard!
    A good fitting navy blazer, with a nice shirt (stripes, checks, patterns) a good pair of shoes, some tasteful accessories and you are not a security guard!
     
  15. OttoSkadelig

    OttoSkadelig Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    970
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2010
    Location:
    The Dark Side of the Spoon
    Yeah, I do own a couple of other lighter colored shirts (e.g. pink) and do wear them. Once again, the problem is seasons -- if I'm in two countries in the same week, I'm hesitant to wear a "summer" color when it's winter elsewhere (my job entails travel to Brazil and Argentina, so their seasons are a tad off cycle [​IMG]).

    well, pink is not necessarily a summer color... i'd say it is warm, and offbeat. with a navy suit, for example, it is very crisp and not summery at all.

    I'm curious to hear this, since the navy blazer is considered a staple. No?

    yes. but also security-guardish, a bit yachty-preppy, and unimaginative [​IMG]
     
  16. Fred H.

    Fred H. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    844
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    Location:
    Sittin' on the Dock
    Metlin, I sure don't envy your travel schedule. That's a LOT of time to be in the air and away from home.

    You know, I presume, that for a reasonable fee AE will make shoes for in whatever leather you desire. Given that option, why not go with some consistently well-received colorways, such as chocolate brogue suede and/or walnut?

    I like your idea of sticking with gray and suggest you go with mid-gray to light-gray. I've had good luck with Zanella, Canali, BB, JBRichards (Nordies house brand). The Zanella's often have some very interesting tone-on-tone patterns.
     
  17. Fred H.

    Fred H. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    844
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    Location:
    Sittin' on the Dock
    I'd like to stay away from a patterned shirt as I've explained earlier (clashes with jackets that have patterns).
    Strangely enough, a blue/white Bengal stripe (or other variants), can be enormously versatile. SpooP posted one recently that went well with a patterned SC as I recall. I've been wearing Bengal stripe shirts for 30+ years and I can tell you that they can work in MANY situations. EDIT: Here's Spoo's BS shirt: [​IMG]
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by