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Unexpected Layering, Pt. I

January 9th, 2013

The best thing about menswear is that it’s very simple.

A gentleman only wears a handful of shapes in a few traditional silhouettes, all from a simple collection of wardrobe staples.

The key is organizing and pairing these classic shapes in creative ways.

Here’s a few examples that I hope will get you thinking differently about the pieces in your closet.

1. Shawl Under Jacket


Too cold for just a blazer, but not cold enough for a bulky overcoat?

Slide a shawl cardigan under your jacket and you’re all set.

Keeps the body insulated and serves as a pseudo-scarf covering the neck (especially when “popped”).


If you haven’t invested in a tweed jacket yet, I highly recommend it.

It treads the dressy-casual line perfectly and can be worn a million different ways.

Gotta love them winter textures!


The nappy texture of suede shoes was meant for the cold chills of winter.


Pima Corduroy Trouser in Chestnut

  • “Huxley” eye glasses by Warby Parker ·
  • Forest Green Donegal Tweed jacket ·
  • Blue chambray shirt by Rag&Bone ·
  • Burnt orange wide knit tie by Corneliani ·
  • Wool/Linen shawl cardigan by Club Monaco ·
  • Brown wool flannel pocket square by Armstrong & Wilson ·
  • Brown Leather Plaque belt by JCrew ·
  • Tan suede wingtips by Bass
  • · Brown corduroys by H&M

2. Turtle Under Shirt


As a general guideline (not “rule”), layers look more natural when they get heavier toward the outsisde. By that theory, there’s no reason a thin turtleneck can’t be styled under a heavy shirt.

I picked up this awesome corduroy shirt at Wal-Mart when I was back in Canada. Yes. Wal-Mart. It’s made by their house brand George and it was eight Canadian dollars – which is a small handful of mixed coins.

Although there are often expensive items featured on Articles of Style, if you know what you are doing, you don’t need a lot of money to have style and look great! Post on this topic coming soon…


A few classic pieces, thoughtfully put together, is all you need.

The best casual looks are the simple ones.

  • Gold Plated hand-engraved shades by Matsuda ·
  • Brown moleskin topcoat by Banana Republic ·
  • Camel turtleneck sweater by Gucci ·
  • Rust corduroy shirt by George (Wal-Mart) ·
  • “Stella” Watch by Brera Orologi ·
  • Brown woven leather gloves by Hilts and Willard ·
  • Jeans by APC ·
  • “New Standard” Raw denim jeans by APC ·
  • Brown suede boots by Massimo Dutti

3. Bootlegger Chic


My inspiration comes from all over the place (as I wrote a little about here).

This fit was largely inspired by the movie Lawless (you should check it out, for the menswear alone) and the awesome rugged layering of 1920s hillbillies.


You’ve heard us say it before. Pristine is not real. Casual menswear looks better with some authentic worn-in character.

This look is a great example. It works better because the chambray henley is soft from years of wear, the cardigan is starting to pill, the workbooks are naturally scuffed, etc.

So invest in long-lasting clothes and let them tell your story!


Funny enough, a reader sent us a question a while back asking if a henley  + waitscoat + cardigan was a good look or “too many buttons”.

I wrote him back with something like “sounds like too many buttons brother. Keep it simple”.

I take that back, because I’ve been loving this combo lately.

The key is a band collar shirt (rather than a knit henley) with a deep placket that hits below the waistcoat stance, and a cardigan that is both chunky and rugged.

My apologies guy. Do you!


Pima Corduroy Trouser in Chestnut

  • Brown felt hat (vintage) ·
  • Shawl collar cardigan Vintage JCrew ·
  • Pinstripe chambray band collar shirt by Zara ·
  • Brown donegal tweed vest ·
  • Brown American Bison Belt by Trafalgar ·
  • “Iron Ranger” Brown leather boots by Red Wing
  • · Brown corduroys by H&M


Thanks, as always, for reading.

Yours in style,

Dan Trepanier


Photography by Alex Crawford.