1 Piece/3 Ways: The Off-White Spring Suit

April 17th, 2014

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It’s no secret that I love suits. Nothing makes a man look sharper and more sophisticated. And from my experience, a well-tailored suit can open doors and bring opportunities, especially in LA (as I wrote about here).

Most guys already have a navy or grey business suit, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Once you start dabbling with different fabrics, fits, constructions, etc. it really opens your eyes (and the eyes of others) to the value of stand-out tailoring. It’s also never been easier to build a tailored wardrobe that extends beyond the every-guy basics, thanks to affordable off-the-rack options from brands like Suit Supply and J.Crew, as well as a number of reliable Made-to-Measure clothiers.

I write a lot about the merits of investing in high-quality, perfectly fitting, staple business suits. The bespoke suit that gets you the job and stands up to conference room gunfire. What I don’t write about enough, I think, is the other side of the spectrum; investing in affordable options to keep your wardrobe fresh, unexpected, and most importantly, fun. After you have the workhorse staples (navy, grey, pinstripe, etc) I would consider investing in suits that are a little more style-forward and casual-friendly for all those times that you’re not punching the clock. After all, suits don’t have to be synonymous with business.

Here’s a great example. An off-white cream suit is a rarity, but such a beauty. Especially in a cotton/silk blend. This color of suit is synonymous with Spring, as well as sophisticated men of class and wealth. Think Jay Gatsby or Michael Cane in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (every man of class and wealth has his secrets).

Here’s some ideas on how to make the off-white suit a stand-out piece in your Spring wardrobe.

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1. Spring Wedding

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Want to be the best-dressed man at that big outdoor wedding coming up? This is an easy win.

Just make sure the groom is not wearing a white/cream suit as well, because you don’t want to show him up on his big day. Or maybe you do, that’s on you.

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I had to go full Gatsby and bring out the big guns on this one; 18 karat gold shades, gold collar pin, vintage Rolex, custom crocodile shoes.

The double-breasted cream suit just calls for luxury finishes.

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Thanks to my friend, and former agent, Andrew Weitz for the custom made pocket square.

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  • Shawl Collar

    That shawl collar suit in the last segment is fantastic. Any information on it?

  • http://www.paulevansny.com/ Paul Evans

    always better to be over dressed and than under

  • The LA Job

    “My name is Michael Caine, not many people know that”

  • Ryan Gosling

    Good on you, Dan. I love the looks here.

  • cam

    Look 2 #sowavy

  • Got dat Heat 4 niggas – AHVB

    To the haters on this site that try to #lowkeyhate on Dan by mentioning that some of his featured guests look too “costumey” — I think the last paragraph of his post sheds some light on the intent. Good work Dan.

    “I don’t think you need an occasion to wear a tailored jacket or trousers. I wear them in casual situations all the time, because I feel good in them, and people tend to respond positively to tailoring by choice. Of course, it also helps my business, and my brand. I’m quietly trying to bring back Hollywood glamour, and make lightweight casual suits in cool again in LA…more on that later. Once I’m gone, if I’m remembered as that guy who was often over-dressed, at least I’ll be remembered for something positive.”

    Ya got my support, mang.

    • Tat

      Yeahhhhhhhh, I don’t think people, myself included, who accuse various guests of being costume-y do it because they’re wearing a sports jacket.

  • AFH

    I love the jacket a lot, and I like white trousers. But I prefer to keep my white trousers a bit cheaper and machine washable – they don’t stay clean in my world too long!

    • tommyjohn_45

      Was just about to mention this… Every pair of light pants I own seem to end up with some sort of random oil stain on them that can’t be removed. No matter how careful I am and if I apply stain remover asap. Can’t make myself spend anything of value on light pants for that reason.

  • Celestrium

    Tip: Have all your suits made with three pieces. The versatility your waistcoat adds to your wardrobe just skyrockets.

  • TO

    Killer use of the Madison suit from Suit Supply!! Most gents wouldn’t realize it’s versatility without seeing a demonstration like this.
    Dan, did you order this one online as well, or did you pick it up on your trip to NYC? Wondering if you checked out the blue wool/silk/mohair version which is one of my favourite suits right now, in addition to this one (and you could say is my new summer ‘uniform’ ;) )

  • TT

    I don’t believe in the concept of being over-dressed, period. I think it’s a word that’s often misused: wearing a tweed overcoat in July? Overdressed. Wearing a suit when everyone else is wearing flip-flops and sweats? Dressed well. People seem to say “overdressed” when they often mean (not maliciously, necessarily) well-dressed.

    • Howie

      What a great point. Saying someone is overdressed makes a huge assumption that everyone else is dressed correctly for the situation. We all know that is almost never the case.

  • MS

    “You can wear them with literally anything and they instant class to your look – even if it’s just a tucked-in t-shirt (more on that later).”

    This is cryptic.

  • Herbert Morrison

    You should make something yourself with Ariston cloth in these colours (if you haven’t already) but all in all you still hold it down. I’ll have to go see my buddy Tim @ Suit Supply to see if their clothes fit me, but otherwise another solid post Dan. Buona Pasqua to you, Wes and everybody else celebrating in NYC & LA. Have a nice weekend.

    • TO

      Yes you have to come by!!

  • Jeanscuffed

    Exceptional presence Dan! Look #2 is nice AF….I do have a question for Look #3: I think you mentioned in one of your previous posts (or I saw on another blog) that you cuff your more sturdier fabric trousers which makes sense, but I see Look #3 you have on hopsack trousers. I’ve never felt the fabric, but it would seem hopsack has a looser/grainier feel. My question would be does the cuff on the hopsack trousers make the ankle floppy or does hopsack have a sturdier feel than I expected?

    • WideEyesTWBlog

      Not speaking for Dan, but personally I cuff heavier fabrics, not necessarily sturdier. This is mainly because they don’t drape quite as smoothly, so a cuff helps weight the bottoms down a bit. I also think it’s a bit more congruous with the over all ‘look’ of heavier fabric – hefty fabric gets a hefty cuff.

      • Jeanscuffed

        Ok I got you on that. That makes sense. I was referring to the hopsack material. Have you ever dealt with such fabric?

        • WideEyesTWBlog

          I have, but not a lot (and don’t own any pieces myself). My feeling is that it is a heavier, but looser fabric – so a heavy fabric that still breathes well. I think it’d be fine cuffed, as again, the weight of the cuff will help the rest of the fabric fall smoothly. I’m not quite sure what you mean by floppy, as I think the cuff also helps give and hold shape at the ankle. Might have to let Dan chime in more here…

  • Miguel

    Dan, all three outfits look terrific, those two SS suits are on point, great outfits to try on this spring,

    Thank you.

  • kid_icarus

    Good looks! Definitely got that Gatsby/old glamour vibe going on.

    I feel you on the constant “why are you so dressed-up?” questioning. I’ve always worked in a very casual atmosphere in NYC, but eventually I grew tired of wearing jeans, t-shirt, and sneakers every day.
    I, too, feel good when I dress nicer. I got tired of waiting for occasions to dress up, and decided that every day is an occasion to do that.

    • AdamE

      I get the same “why are you so dressed up?” daily at work (or the “job interview?”)… I am more dressed up not because i need to, but because I want to (even when I dress down and go more casual, I would say I look more put together than 90% of the people here)… That said, the added benefit I have noticed is that people take me more seriously (which is a huge asset, being in a position where I am not a manager but provide strategic support and advice to management).

      I love that statement though “…decided every day is an occasion…” couldn’t agree more, everyday you get a chance to put your best foot forward…

      • WideEyesTWBlog

        I get the same – I work in a law firm and am the only person (attorneys included) who comes to work in a tie almost every day. My response to “what are you all dressed up for?” has simply become: “Life.” With a smile :-).

        • Q Pete

          “Life. With a smile” I like that!

  • Jeff P.

    Good Lord those croc Scarpe’s (first look) are beautiful. Just the right amount of business and “F you” attitude. Perfection.

  • Shawn

    Damn, all three looks are killers. That suit is a win from Suit Supply S/S 2014 in my book! I especially like the trousers in look # 3, they pair nicely with the jacket and reptile loafers! Great job Dan!

  • Jaime B.

    Dan, that first look is ON POINT. Although, chances are the groom will be really mad you’ll be better dressed..