Desert Styles

March 30th, 2015

The team and I just spent most of last week getting lost in the Mojave Desert and sleeping under the stars in Joshua Tree national park.

The desert is a great place to feel small and think big. It’s also a place where your wardrobe can literally save your life. The harsh dry conditions call for lightweight fabrics and wide brimmed hats for skin protection, and of course, a desert boot. This trip was a perfect time to test out some lightweight layering as we get ready for Spring.

Today’s post is inspired by the desert and is a reminder that style should begin with function, and always be appropriated to your surroundings.

Sandy Linens


I usually use my surroundings to help determine my color palette for an outfit. In the dusty desert, for example, it seems appropriate to go with faded sandy colors like taupes, off-whites, and light browns.

The white linen safari jacket was made for similar conditions. It was the perfect lightweight layer to keep my white ass from roasting in the sun. The henley is pure linen, which has become my go-to for knitwear after moving to the West coast.


I’ve had these desert boots, the classic beeswax by Clarks, since college. The crepe sole provides great cushion for walking and grips well jumping from jumbo rock to jumbo rock – 0r pounding the inner city pavement.

This is also another example of menswear that gets better with age, per the Japanese concept of Wabi-Sabi.

  • Brown Felt hat by Stetson ·
  • Vintage Ralph Lauren sunglasses via Kings of Past ·
  • White linen safari jacket by Ralph Lauren (Vintage) ·
  • Olive/Brown Henley by Guess x Marciano ·
  • Slim brown leather belt Vintage ·
  • Slate chinos by Helmut Lang ·
  • Beeswax desert boots by Clarks

Dusty Blues


A duster is a long lightweight jacket worn by cowboys to keep the trail dust off their clothes. They come in many shapes, to the point where the term “duster” basically represents any super-lightweight long jacket that is meant to cover-up clothes rather than provide warmth.

I only have a couple dusters. They are surprisingly hard to find. This one, which is admittedly more of an unlined trench in shirting weight cotton, is a piece that I look forward to pulling out every Spring.

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  • Brown Felt hat by Stetson ·
  • Light blue cotton trench by Burberry Prorsum ·
  • Band collar shirt Vintage ·
  • Vest by Pendleton Vintage ·
  • Brown suede boots by Massimo Dutti
  • · Khaki Chinos by RRL Vintage

Khaki Cotton Trouser

Natural Sunblock


You know I’m all about linen, and greens with browns.

Here’s another super-lightweight trench for Spring. This one is actually just a shell of a jacket. I found it in a military surplus store and removed all of the lining (body and sleeves) myself. It’s not a quick alteration but it makes a world of difference, especially in the heat. Now it’s just one lightweight layering of cotton to block the sun (or a light rain). Article on “alterations you can do yourself” coming up soon…

  • Felt hat by Borsalino ·
  • Military surplus trench coat (tailored) Vintage ·
  • Linen crewneck pullover by Hugo Boss ·
  • Tan suede desert boots by John Varvatos
  • · Brown Linen Trousers

Coffee Worsted Trouser

Thanks, as always, for reading.

Yours in style,

Dan Trepanier

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