Friday, September 18, 2015

Whatever's Clean 13 FOR MEN - cool colors, warm weather

I particularly love working with menswear - their garments are so beautifully designed and well made that it's gratifying to put things together into outfits...

For a warm weather trip, I'm still including a blazer, cardigan and sweatshirt. Maybe it's from living in Chicago, but I find that there's no destination that doesn't, from time to time, require something warm. At a minimum, the blazer or cardigan comes in handy when you want to be more "dressed" for some activities. And if you never actually need your sweatshirt, that's good!

This starts out like any other menswear wardrobe, but the blazer is cotton, and unstructured (i.e. unlined, but still meticulously finished inside.) The trousers are linen, and the tie is a lighter-weight fabric and overall "look." But you still need this kind of look for a lot of vacations; unless you're going to a tropical destination (about which I know NOTHING), a blazer and dress shoes will get you into virtually any place you want, sort of a black-tie event!

Navy blazer – Steven Alan; black oxfords – Calvin Klein; belt – Nordstrom
black over-the-calf socks – Pantherella; blue shirt – Lands’ End; linen tie –  
Todd Snyder; linen trousers – J.Crew

More linen! I'm a big fan of linen for hot weather, although it can wrinkle atrociously. If the humidity is high enough, the wrinkles will fall out...

Linen cardigan – Ralph Lauren Black Label; linen shirts – J. Crew; tie –
 The Tie Bar; loafers – 1901; linen trousers – J.Crew

I have a really strong personal dislike for cargo shorts, and for clothing with writing on it... If you're in a city or town specifically to attend an event that suggests a garment with a logo, then go for it. (I will definitely be wearing an Irish rugby jersey when I'm in Wales next month!). But I think it looks much nicer to avoid these garments for vacation wear. 

A pink belt? I tossed this in to show one way in which a touch of whimsy and humor can be introduced into an otherwise conservative wardrobe. And I like looking at men's legs well enough to be a big fan of no-show socks!

Shirt – Thomas Mason for J. Crew; tee shirt – Sunspel; beltPakerson; no-show
 socks – Sperry; suede sneakers – Lacoste; linen shorts – Club Monaco

Another pair of shorts, a simple short sleeve linen shirt, and a lighter-weight sweatshirt finish off our 13 pieces. These are easy to wear with virtually anything else in your suitcase (except maybe shorts with the blazer are a bit much...)

Sweatshirt – J. Crew; white linen shirt – Club Monaco
chambray shorts - Waterman

This has a lot of possibilities:

I want to do this one more time, with warm colors for warm weather. If only I could just toss these things into a bag and drag Belovedest off for a few weeks....


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  1. You should offer up an article on men's packing for GQ, Janice!

  2. I love the men's capsule for warm weather and this would suit my hubby to a T - except for the shorts. We've been married 22 years, live in subtropical Queensland and he's never worn 'street shorts'. ::Shakes head:: I even have to sneak boardshorts for swimming into his luggage when we go on holidays. Gotta love our dear hubbies' quirks! :)

  3. Have you done this levels-of-dressiness Whatever's Clean 13 for women? I know you've done other posts on the topic, but I would love to see a few using this formula!
    - Kaci

  4. Janice,
    Believe it or not, I once saw a gentleman turned away from an expensive, upscale restaurant in Cape May, New Jersey. The dress code was "only long pants". He had an a perfectly acceptable pair of twill Bermuda shorts with a short sleeved shirt, a nice leather belt, and penny loafers, looking quite good. The next man in line had on crummy distressed jeans, and because they were "long pants" he was accepted. Go figure !

  5. My husband had early "clothing trauma" so I've been providing "therapy" for years. Must show him this (or provide a summary).

  6. I'm really liking this series. Of the three men in my life (dear hubby and two sons), two of them prefer not having to think about what they are going to wear. The "whatever's clean" method is perfect for them. Have you thought about doing a casual set? My husband works from home all the time and my son is a sophomore in high school. Most of the time both of them wear very casual clothes. however, on occasion, they each need to wear business casual attire. Any ideas?