Ask Dan: Suit Wardrobe, Small Feet, Dirty Denim

July 19th, 2014

Q: Hey guys.  I only own two suits.  I have a medium gray and subtle navy windowpane.  I’m in the market to add a third to my collection but I’m curious, what is the next color/fabric/style I should get?  I live in western NY where we see all 4 seasons to the extreme and I want to know what the next most versatile, useful one I should purchase to get my money’s worth. Thanks! -Derek, NY

A: Hey Derek. Hard to say without knowing what you do for a living, your skin tone, etc. But it sounds like your off to a good start. If you’re operating in a more conservative environment I would consider staying in the navy/grey arena and adding a (very) subtle pinstripe to your rotation. If you’re in a more relaxes/creative space, or you often break-up your suits into separates, I would consider adding something in the taupe/brown family, which are usually more flattering and versatile than guys realize. I would also take a close look through your shirt/tie collection to choose something that jives with what’s already in your wardrobe. Hope this helps!

Q: Hi Dan. Is it okay for men with really small feet to wear shoes made for women, since often my size is not produced? Of course, I mean in situations where the shoes look exactly the same as those made for men? – Pawel, Argentina 

A: Sure, why not? If the shoe fits. There are plenty of women’s shoes that are designed to mimic menswear shoes, they’re just smaller and narrower. In his profile “Tailoring for a Small Frame” our friend Dennis Thompson wore a pair of women’s chukka boots and nobody could tell the difference. Keep in mind they might not be as well made, but they also might not be as expensive. You can also try kids sizing for a similar experience. Good luck mate!

Q: Hi Guys.  I am thinking of buying some white denim.  My concern is about stains/caring for them.  I have not seen too much on that topic.  I am not a messy person but I hate stains.  I googled this topic and one blog suggested applying scotch guard.  I have no idea if this is sound advice. Do you have any suggestions?  I don’t want to spend a lot of money on them just to ruin them sooner than later. – Justin, UK

A: I don’t like the idea of spraying chemicals on clothes, so I would avoid the scotch guard to keep an organic cotton feel. Personally, I wear my white jeans a lot and they get a little grimy at times. Usually nothing too serious for a little bleach in the wash cycle, though. In my opinion, like most menswear, they look better with a little worn-in character. When I see a guy in jeans that are too crispy white, I sometimes wonder if he’s really living in them. That said, if dirt and stains will ruin your day, you may want to go with off-white or khaki to save yourself some headaches.

As always, you can submit your style questions via the Articles of Style Contact Form.

Yours in style,

Dan Trepanier

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