Suits and Tees – Simple and Sexy

March 11th, 2012

I’ve been doing some interviews lately and this question almost always comes up: “what originally drove you to be interested in style and want to dress well?”

As a kid who grew up shoveling shit on the farm, then spending long hours in the gym training for basketball, it’s kind of a hard question to answer.

In truth, I’ve always admired charismatic men with, for lack of a better term, “charm”. Men who understand how to attract people and leave an impression. They carry a certain confidence or “swagger” in their presence that draws people, both women and men, to them. Dressing well is a part of it. In my opinion, it’s the first part in helping build personal confidence.

Anyway, all this roudabout as a segway to a short story. The other day I was standing in a deli in the East Village and overheard a group of attractive 20-something girls having a conversation about the style of some of the men that they know. After looking closely I recognized one of the girls and joined the conversation as my sandwich was being made. One of the girls was complaining to her girlfriends about her boyfriend’s unflattering clothing choices. So I asked them “okay, so what do you find attractive on a man when it comes to style?”.

The girls looked at each other, joked a little, and came to an agreement on a similar answer. The list of adjectives was: confident, clean, put-together, “successful” and not too “uptight”.

In my opinion, a suit contrasted with a t-shirt is an example of an outfit that achieves all of the above.

Here’s a couple examples as Spring rolls around the corner.

1. Lightweight Layering

A comfortable t-shirt with a thin cardigan under a sharp slim suit is the type of look that gets me excited for Spring.

The combination is clean, confident, put-together and not too uptight. Something about it says “self made man”. I think that’s part of the reason women respond well to this kind of layering.

It’s also the type of look that can take you from morning to night, to morning.

When the girls pull the skirts out, you can ditch the socks. It’s a temperature adjustment, not a season adjustment.

Remember to keep cedar trees in the shoes at all times, in a ventilatated area if possible. Also try not to wear them two days in a row. If sweating or odor becomes a problem, invest in some no-show loafer socks – in colors that match your shoes.


Essential Worsted Suit in Navy

  • White t-shirt by Alexander Wang ·
  • Polka dot pocket square No tag ·
  • Tortoise shades by Persol ·
  • Watch by Montblanc Timewalker ·
  • Nato Striped grosgrain watch strap by Corvus ·
  • Navy/grey striped cardigan by Rag&Bone ·
  • Black leather driving shoes with bamboo bit by Gucci
  • · Navy suit

2. Un Peu Parisien

Planning a trip to Paris this summer with my girlfriend. Been dreaming about it. A French inspired look.

The look is easiest to pull-off with: 1) a quality t-shirt in a solid color or simple stripe that fits close to the body and has a clean neckline 2) a suit cut from a casual textured fabric,  like a corduroy for example. The heavier fabric also helps keep you warm for the nighttime chill. If it gets colder think scarf first, gloves and/or hat second, coat third.

Fresh lowtop whites. Works every time. These full leather Chuck Taylor’s might be my Spring/Summer go-to.


Chestnut Corduroy Suit

  • Navy stripe t-shirt by Sunspel ·
  • Aviator sunglasses by Christian Dior Vintage from Noel Vintage ·
  • Watch by Montblanc Timewalker ·
  • Brown alligator watch band by Montblanc
  • · Khaki corduroy suit

Thanks for reading.

Yours in style,

Dan Trepanier


Photography by Alex Crawford.