The Smooth Operator feat. Frans Nieuwendam

March 10th, 2014

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2. OG Weekend Casual

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“My days off are often spent in cafes meeting up with friends and colleagues or catching up on my reading (currently, The Book of Absinthe – A Cultural History). Here I am at one of my favorite Alphabet City haunts, Cafecito. It’s like my Cheers, but with rice and beans!

The jacket is a 60’s vintage piece, gifted to me by a friend. I love the fact that it’s a traditional pattern rendered in a bold, seasonally appropriate pumpkin color that sometimes elicits compliments from random women in the street.”

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“I typically take a more casual weekend approach with this jacket. I paired it with a denim cutaway collar shirt, a silk scarf, grey flannel trousers and brown pebble grain boots.

On my lapel is a black/gold African Dogon mask. I like to use accessories with an interesting provenance. I believe this pin was made by the American accessories company Swank, perhaps in the 70’s or 80’s. It was part of an African heritage series that pre-empted later forays into what contemporary marketers call the ‘urban market’.”

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What we can all learn here: Casual tailoredwear is a real thing (and has been for years). The denim cutaway collar shirt, wool/cashmere textured jacket, and soft flannel trousers are all considered casual weekend pieces to Frans. Believe it or not, that’s how they did it back in the day, before the mass production of the t-shirt ruined our relationship with “fussy”, “uncomfortable” weekend tailoring.

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  • 60′s Vintage Blazer
  • Denim Dress Shirt No Label
  • Grey Flannel Trousers by Suit Supply
  • Silk paisley scarf Vintage
  • Copper rose bead bracelet from Rio flea Market
  • Brown Pebble Grain Boots by SuitSupply
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  • http://unseenflirtspoetry.wordpress.com Unseen Flirtations

    As a firm believer of smart casual, with the emphasis on smart, worn casually, this is something of a masterclass in the craft. I nod.

  • Dave Coakley

    Best dressed man I’ve seen on this site. Impeccable taste mate.

  • dwdj

    Mr. Nieuwendam is a definite favorite of mine on this site. Absolutely fantastic. The pewter owl is really understated and fantastic. I love when jewelry doesn’t need to be gold or silver based and can instead be a more matte metal.

  • John B

    I really like his backstory. Of course, I also like the clothes, especially the tweed suit and the coat. It would be a shame to alter the lapels by the way. The last look doesn’t look that costumey, especially without the coat. Then again, I really like plaid suits.

    The card holder on the waistcoat pocket on look #1 is a really subtle, but amazing detail.

  • jon

    INSANE

  • Isaiah

    Be sure to bring him back for a spring summer feature I’m curious about the Italian in the summer looks he would pull off

  • agf

    TSB hall of fame

  • eddy

    Frans for president i was just drooling from pic to pic. what an ensemble. I think i have been duly inspired to cause a fashion shock in my neigbourhood. Great article and kudos to TSBMEN for bringing this to us

    • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

      Thanks Eddy! Let us know how that “fashion shock” goes, haha.

  • TO

    Mr. Nieuwendam is an elegant writer with a great story to tell. I love how he mixes elements from the past with the present so seamlessly in this feature as well as in its narration.
    It is inspiring how far his astute awareness of his own presentation has taken him in his life journey.

    I really appreciated the uniqueness of the two-tone lace pocket square, his MTM fabric choices and spectacles throughout, and that spectacular vintage orange blazer.

  • Justin Faulkner

    Incredible article!

  • Jason

    How’s the quality of Suit Supply shoes? Is it comparable to an Allen Edmonds? Both are in the same price range $300

    • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

      I don’t own any Suit Supply footwear, but I know where and how they are made. When it comes to shoes I usually recommend buying from companies who specialize in footwear. Cheers.

    • Juan

      I am a big fan of theirs, but the shoes are just not worth it in my opinion. A pretty good company that does for shoes what SuitSupply has done for suits is Meermin.

      Spanish-made and great raw materials, all for a mere €160. I recommend you try them out, best bang for your buck as far as I’m concerned.

  • khordkutta

    Who Da Champion

  • Nate

    I don’t know what to say…. A legend. What a find TSB.

    • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

      Indeed. Some legends are true.

  • JoeFromTexas

    Great looking post, but I especially appreciated the years of wisdom thrown in. I actually really like that he acknowledges that the last look can come off as costumey, but for certain situations in the industry he works, that’s exactly what he’s going for. In some sense, clothing is a costume in that he dresses for the role he is playing.

    I also really like the accessories. I’ve always had the opinion, probably unpopular here, that buying jewelry or certain accessories for myself was vain and I avoided it. That’s not to say that I don’t wear jewelry or believe no one should. But any jewelry/accessories I wear are either functional or have a story and sentimental value, a leather money clip and ring from my grandfather, lapel pins found in roadside flea markets on a family road trip, cufflinks for fathers day, a watch that was a thoughtful gift, wedding and class rings, etc.

  • Juan

    There’s only one word that comes to mind: impeccable.
    Impeccable fit, impeccable style, impeccable taste. Bravo, bravo, bravissimo!

    This gentleman has shown the world you don’t need to wear fashion-forward pieces to be “creative”, and that tailored classics are “boring” only if you wear them in a boring way.

    Also, LOVE the fact that he’s wearing SuitSupply in every single look. Goes to show the incredible quality of their pieces.

    • Robert

      Do you work for suit supply?

      • Juan

        I wish! I just enjoy their products and am glad someone’s offering quality garments at an affordable price, especially for a college student like me.

  • cam

    This gentleman looks so comfortable and confident. It’s like his clothing is secondary which I think is perfect. Loving the slight nod to Run DMC with the no laces ;) Great feature Dan

  • Jeanscuffed

    I don’t know how this will come across but just looking at the guy’s face he seems cultured. It’s like how someone gives off a certain vibe and that’s what I picked up from him before I read his story. All 3 looks were top notch. I perticularly liked the blue donegal tweed 3-piece. Excellent choice with the orange tie and the textures were eye grabbing. I also wanted to add that I were surprised at how thin the lapels were on the vintage jacket in Look #2, especially since it was dated way back, but I also liked how he went with a scarf instead of a tie or just an open shirt with nothing there. Great style choices Frans! Love your background.

    • TO

      I was surprised at how narrow the lapels were as well. They have a really nice shape to them. Amoungst a sea of wide lapels that is most vintage shops, what a refreshing find !

      • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

        Very “Mad Men” era. Also cool that they are “clover bottom” (rounded lapels).

  • Wieczorek

    TSB’s all time best features:
    #1 – Frans Nieuwendam.

    • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

      That’s a bold statement! But Frans is definitely worthy to be in the conversation. Thanks for reading!

    • Changingman

      Agree ,both my all time favorite styles and editorial content. Early 70′s in England, late 70′s NYC, thats like a dream for me. One question for Frans if he sees this. Did you come across the suedehead street fashion of early 70′s England?

  • Adam

    Great looks! Very jealous of the Navy Donegal suit from look #1 and that sport coat from look #2. Textbook on dressing in a way that reflects yourself, very classic/timeless, but with some personal flair!

  • Shawn

    Damn this guy has it! I really like looks # 1 and # 2! Interesting life story too!

    • Shawn

      Didn’t notice the lace pocket square in look # 1 at first, it’s original, to say the least!

  • cuponoodles

    I feel that I’ve seen this guy around a time or two in SuitSupply before…Great feature!

  • Miguel

    Excellent article, truly a gentleman, everything he wore fit right and a nice mix of different materials on his outfits.
    The first two outfits are what I aim when I’m shopping around, by the way digging those DMonks.
    Thank you for the article and the tips.

  • James

    For me best dressed guy on here in a long time.