The Essential Cotton Suit featuring Marwan Helal

August 31st, 2012

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My longtime homie Marwan (as featured herehere and here) was one of my first major style influences. He’s been wearing slim jeans, fitted button downs and sharp loafers since high school – when the rest of our crew was wearing baggy rocawear jeans and oversized throwback jerseys.

Marwan’s always had a clean and classic sense of style, and he’s living proof that if you invest in the the right items, you don’t need a huge wardrobe.

Here he shows us the versatility of a summer staple: the khaki cotton suit.


1. All Business

With a simple patterned shirt and striped tie, it’s perfectly appropriate for a warm day at the office, or a summer wedding.

The cotton suit is not strictly summer-only either. In my opinion it can be worn from roughly April-September (on the East coast) – that’s roughly half the year.

As always, though, dress according to the thermometer/weather report, not the calendar.

  • Khaki cotton suit jacket by J. Crew
  • Khaki cotton suit trousers by J. Crew
  • Beige check shirt by Rugby
  • Navy club tie by J.Crew
  • Tie bar by
  • Brown leather belt by Rugby
  • Brown leather laceups by Florsheim
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  • Andrew

    Mannn… that looks good as. This is what I called inspirational men’s clothing ideas.

  • Kristina Kherson

    I love this look for males! There are very few male fashion blogs out there so I’m really happy I stumbled upon this! I actually found this featured blog on !

  • Ambyr

    I love the All Business and Business Casual looks. They’re sophisticated and have a great mix of colors. Great shoot!


  • Emanuel I.

    Like it very much.
    I have one in a drker tone of beige…

  • KD

    One of the best posts yet, anyone have an idea of what the Hugo Boss boat shoes are called?

    • Leeroy Jenkins

      I too would like to know what the boat shoes are. They’re niiice.

  • TTG

    Great looks. The Navy pants in look 2 look great, the fit is on point. Not too sure if i’ll be rocking a scarf as a belt anytime soon but this guy wears it well. Good job SB team.

  • MJ

    I think I’m in love…

  • Gary

    Great looks! The only thing that bugs me a little is the pushed-up coat sleeves. Too Miami Vice for my liking. I’m also not confident enough to pull off the non-traditional (scarf?) belt, but he does.

  • Gazman

    Must be fun playing model for the day. Good looks but the scarf-for-a-belt is completely naff! You’d come across as a total dork wearing that.

  • Ann

    Off topic, but Dan you are in a picture on the Mr. Porter site for fall essentials (you’re wearing a cardigan).

  • Joe

    In case any are interested in the other side of things (much of this already covered in this blog)…

  • GR

    this is your best one for a while!

  • BJ

    Love the idea of the belt in look 4. just not sure I can pull it off

  • Dre

    Marwan, what kind of RL shades are those? Amazing style man.

    • Marwan


      Thanks, that’s kind of you to say.

      Regarding the shades, I picked them up at a Ralph Lauren outlet in Michigan. I don’t know the exact style number or model. They’re tortoise shell, plastic aviators. Wish I could have been more helpful.

  • Adam

    Yay, for the home town shoot in Windsor Ontario!

  • 2nd Take

    This is great combination of fashion and frame. We @ 2nd Take love confident men.
    The one where Marwan adds a non-traditional belt gives him power to own his style.

  • Shilu

    hi. i am a regular viewer of ur nice blog. great post and great ideas. thankx for sharing.

  • Kebab

    Fuck he looks good

  • MT

    Any insight into what model of tassle loafers he’s wearing in look #2?

    • SB

      Allen Edmonds “Grayson” model.

  • TO

    Who did the photography in this one Marwan? Looks real clean, and some nice riverside spots as always! Nice post.

  • Raymond

    Absolutely love this site, great work TSB! I put together a similar look to the un-conventional belt in the last post of my blog.

    • JordanMawby

      Love this site and yours looks really nice to, keep up the good work.

      • Raymond

        Thank you very much! TSB is definitely an inspiration!

  • Luca

    I guess his outfits look so good because he has the perfect frame for them. And that means hard work in the gym. He is living proof you don’t need expensive clothing to look good, I mean this guy looks better in a j crew suit than some dudes weighing 230 lbs look in tom ford

  • Michael

    I see your of the opinion that wearing the individual pieces of the suit separately is okay but some say that this can cause uneven wear on each piece so that when worn together, such wear can be noticeable. How do you feel about this?

    • SB

      Yes, I thought about this while writing the captions for look 5.

      A good dry cleaners shouldn’t fade colors.

      If you’re worried about this, one solution (though not ideal) is to always clean both pieces together. As always, clean as infrequently as possible (only when dirty).


      • Alan

        I think people Michael is talking about “wearing” through actual wearing rather than via dry-cleaning. Of course plenty of people wear suits and then leave the jacket hanging up in the office most of the day. The trousers naturally take the brunt of the wear.

        I myself would rarely wear a pair of suit trousers as a separate. Unless you’re on holiday, then I personally think investing in a separate pair of chinos is pretty wise. In this case the jacket is still a very wearable piece on its own, but good quality chinos at keen prices are not hard to come by right now – so why risk it?

        • Michael

          Yes, Alan we are on the same page. And Dan, while it wasn’t one of your examples above, where a summer suit (with the versatility of being able to use the jacket and pants separately) might come in handy in my opinion would be when traveling if I wanted to pack light.

  • Doctor Style

    This man knows how to dress, no doubt. Every post he’s featured in is pure gold. Bravo, TSB!

  • Vali

    Awesome outfits as always, Marwan has style in his blood!

    One question, how are the Tods gomminos holding up on wearing them outside? I’ve always wanted a pair, but those soles make me look away every time I think about getting them

    • katal

      I have a pair of Tods gomminos and I’ve found that as long as I’m careful and only wear them on flat, smooth terrain, they’re fine.

  • Danny

    That is a great lookin’ suit, especially the color. I see it’s J Crew. What suit is it?

    • AJ

      I would guess this is a cotton khaki suit in their Ludlow fit. Their factory outlet carries a similar suit in the Thompson model which is cheaper but may need more tailoring especially with a tapered ankle to look like this.

      Marwan kills it yet again!

  • Shawn

    Always love it when Marwan is featured here! Great post!

  • Al

    Much respect to Dan and the team for another great post. And what can I saw about Marwan? Dude looks so fresh every time he’s featured! Hope you can still feature him even though he’ll be in Kuwait.

  • GeoffP

    Marwan Kills it here! Great post…great variety and he makes great use of the suit in may different ways!! No Dan….but he kills it none the less

  • TT

    Really great use of lower price-point items here, too. Excellent post: simple, classic, affordable.

  • Gary-A

    This post makes me really kick myself for letting the “just my size” J Crew khaki linen suit on Ebay slip away from me…..

  • Adyna

    Being working late..but I just can`t finish work without reading the new post :D The all business and “ just wear it“ are my fav! Good luck to Marwan in Kuwait! Can`t wait for the new web site..been thinking obout it today..wondering how it will look.

    Best to the TEAM!

  • Henri

    I’ve loved every single post with this guy in it. Good stuff.

  • Desmond

    Awesome post. That first look is killer! Its great how u showed the best way to get all the miles out of a simple 2piece suit.

  • Oli

    Marwan kills it every time you feature him

  • Angel

    Great post!