Classic with a Twist featuring Paul Kim

December 31st, 2011

As I’ve mentioned, I’m currently studying Menswear Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City

The program has been a valuable experience in many ways. With one semester remaining I have already benefited greatly from understanding the technicalities and nuances of pattern-making, fabric composition, clothing construction, etc.

For example, when I’m dealing with clothing manufacturers, both domestic and international, I am able to communicate using a technical vocabulary, give very specific instructions, hand-inspect the quality of their work, and revise samples for review and improvement.

Apart from the curriculum, another advantage of the program is simply being around other creative people with similar interests. I certainly have some stylish classmates. Paul Kim, featured here, has my favorite style of the bunch.

Like me, he loves tailored clothing and styles it with modern, youthful punches. He does “classic with a twist” (which just about every menswear designer is experimenting with these days) as good as anyone I know.

Paul was born and raised in South Korea. Prior to coming to the United States, Paul was a professional dancer who performed backup for a number of famous Korean singers and bands. This gave him the opportunity to meet professional stylists, which fueled his passion for clothing and eventually lead him to fashion design.

Here, he gave us a glimpse at the personal touches he puts into his wardrobe.


1. Subtle Colors, Unique Details

“I typically try to play within basic color combinations. This way I always have a simple backdrop to add subtle details.

I almost always try to dress somewhere between dressy and casual.

Here it’s dark denim with a blue shirt and navy pinstriped blazer under a classic tan trench…with a few different touches like the white & navy polka-dot socks, large safety pin on the chest pocket, and handmade studded patch that make the outfit a bit unique.”

  • Dark rinse jeans by H&M
  • Tan trench by Lago & Filo
  • Navy chalkstripe wool blazer by Rugby
  • Vintage tie (from Paul’s father when he participated in the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games)
  • Brown leather tassel loafers by Lago & Filo
  • Brown leather belt by Zara
  • Linkson Jack

    The regimental tie carries it – nice formal/ informal contrasts.
    Similar ones can be found here

  • Marcel

    Stylish just as almost every soutk korean young men. I was so stunned when living in south korea..

  • Anonymous

    He is so sharp!

  • Vladimir


    Happy new year and continued success in 2012. Mr. Kim’s got crazy style for sure and I really enjoyed the post. But could I suggest something. Since Christmas and new years just passed I thought it would’ve been great if you had done a post on what to wear for holiday dinner parties, work functions, I’d like to see a post on what you would wear on valentines day, thanksgiving, to the night club, first date, etc. Thanks for putting out a great product.

  • Wilacho

    This gent has obviously a very personal style. Very well put together! Congratulations!!!!
    Love the belt in look number 2. Who is the designer?

    • Anonymous

      maison martin margiela

  • EB

    Wow, that man got style! Big up!

  • mensfit

    I adore the deconstruction and reconstruction. It’s true, alot of hard work goes into making these things effortless

  • Ambyr

    He has great style. I really like the look with the polka dots peeking out. Very chic and still manly.

    Happy 2012

  • Dani

    Ha ha awesome post!

    Imagine that… Apparently some rumors are true (so YOU DO go to FIT!). I took a course with Paul Kim a couple semesters ago and noticed his style right away!

    American Prep and the Vintage look are definitely personal favorites…

    See you in class boys ;)

  • Ali

    Hi, in the 5th outfit, which pair of Uniqlo pants are those? That cut is exactly what I”m looking for, thanks in advance!

  • ben

    i can tell this man likes pokadots kkkkk

  • Cho

    Cool! I love that trench coat.
    He has similar silhouette to me :)-I’m Korean too. zz

  • Chris

    This guy has an almost indecent amount of swag.

  • Michael

    The guy’s on point. Especially love the henley and blazer (2nd outfit), the Rolling Stones patch (4th outfit), and the Dr. Martens (5th outfit).

  • sugarbaby

    lago&filo good!!!

  • Keaton

    Dan, I was wondering if bowties come in different sizes. I’ve seen some that you wear that are the perfect size and in proportion, but the people I see around the city are wearing ones that look huge and look wider than their face. Any help?

    • Joe

      Bow ties do come in different sizes, but they’re not always acknowledged. Most of them are adjustable to fit various neck sizes, but paying attention to the length and (especially) the height of the bow is important if you don’t want to look like Ronald McDonald. My experience is mostly with The Tie Bar ( Their regular butterfly ties don’t work well for me because they’re a little big for my face, but the diamond-tip ones are shorter and work great.

      So basically, there are different sizes, but it’s more like the width of a long tie than the size of a shirt–the fit is more about maintaining the proportions you want rather than about achieving some objective notion of “fit.”

  • Steven

    So Dan I must know where can I find a pair of those “Shoes Vintage”? They look just wonderful.

  • Evan

    Love the heirloom pieces such as the Olympic tie.

  • Jules

    The first three looks are incredible!

  • TO

    Exceptional. I tend to love Koreans’ style, but here it is also very personal.

    What did Paul’s dad participate in in the Seoul Olympics? Very curious to know, tie’s probably the coolest detail.

  • senior

    Excellent post Dan. Great work.
    When is your fall collection coming out?
    By the way great seeing you have advertising for Their suits are well done.

  • Joe

    Some cool looks, but I have to ask: Dan, what’s your take on clip-on bow ties? The difference from self-tied is just so obvious that I don’t think they’re ever a good choice.