This picture is from this past weekend. We decided to skip the crowds and celebrate Valentine’s Day a few days early and take advantage of Chicago’s Restaurant Week at the same time, we got all dressed up and had dinner at Farmhouse Tavern (by the way, I highly reccomend everything I mention in that last sentence). While I wear a tie almost every day and try to look my best at all times, I don’t really dress up all that often, so I was excited by a chance to do a little extra with my ensemble.
I already had the brown blazer and the charcoal trousers that I really liked (thank you Frank and Oak, who will be getting a full review at some point. I absolutely love their clothes and service), so I decided to use that as a base to build on. I snagged the shirt during the last few days of Charles Tyrwhitt’s winter sale (a steal at $35, normally $160. CT will be getting a review in the future as well). It is my first shirt with french cuffs, so I got to order some cuff-links as well. I wanted to look sharp and stylish, but not super formal or over the top, so I opted for a pair of Navy and Pink silk knots. You can’t see them in the picture, but the navy comes across as the main color, allowing the pink to more sublty compliment the shirt.
Next I moved on to the tie and pocket square combo. The pocket square was another first for me, and I wasn’t really sure where to start, so I looked for some professional advice. A GREAT resource is Tie Society. Check out their services sometime (you may have heard of them as the Netflix of ties), but my favorite part is that they will give you tie and pocket square matching advice. Even better, they don’t limit themselves to their own selection, and are really interested in helping you look good. I’ve talked with Jake at Tie Society countless times and he has really helped me improve my look. Back to the point - I had my eyes on a dark grey wool tie with light ‘cornflower blue’ pinstripes from The Tie Bar, and was originally thinking of a navy-based pocket square. In the end, after discussing it with Jake, I decided on something lighter and more classic and went with white linen with lavender edges (also from The Tie Bar, and you guessed it, review coming). The white lightened the whole outfit up a bit while the lavender tied it to my shirt. I love tie clips, so I threw on a dark grey one as well.
Lastly, after talking to Jake I decided that while it is OK to wear brown shoes with charcoal grey pants, the shoes I had were a bit too dark to go well, so instead I opted for a pair of black half-brogues from Allen Edmonds that I scored on eBay for only $30. I ordered a pair of great heart-patterned socks from Nordstrom for the occasion, but they didn’t arrive in time, which was a bummer, so I went with a pair of grey and black argyle socks I have that are accented in lavender.
And the FINAL touch: a goddamn stunning woman on my arm. Honestly, the key to looking good, ever.
Anyway, like I said I was pretty proud of the final outcome. I followed a lot of ‘rules’ I have found while matching patterns, colors, textures, etc. to put together something that looks like a good outfit, and not a collection of separate pieces of nice clothes. I wanted to give you a taste of my style, and where I am on the sartorial spectrum. You won’t find me at Pitti Uomo or NY Fashion week or in any street style pics, but I think I’ve got the basics down. Future articles will spend more time on individual aspects of outfits such as this (blazer fit, trouser break, cuffing, etc), and will include the afforementioned reviews among other topics, but this is just glimpse! Let me know what you think, what you would have done differently, any input you might have!