Two emails hit the inbox recently, both with questions about what to wear on the two best days of the week. Let’s take ‘em one at a time:
Dave in Alpharetta, Ga., writes:
I am struggling with what pants to wear on a basic, lazy weekend morning to run errands and get coffee. I don’t really want to wear warm-up pants in public. And I don’t necessarily want to wear the same tired pair of jeans. And I definitely don’t want to wear any tight pants. What do you suggest?
We can all relate to this scenario. How do you look put-together without overdoing it? For me, it’s grocery shopping on Saturday or Sunday afternoon. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve exited the bedroom, all ready to hit Whole Foods in maybe jeans and a crewneck sweater, and my wife says, “Why are you so dressed up to go buy bananas?”
The answer to Dave’s query truly depends on how he feels about the tailored-fit sweatpant movement taking place. Sometimes called “joggers,” they fit better than track pants; the lack of bagginess and extra material makes it look less sloppy. I cannot get onboard with wearing sweatpants with button-downs and other nicer tops, though, as many brands and blogs out there are trying to push. But with, say, a long-sleeve tee-shirt, zippered vest and some clean, casual sneakers, Dave would be all set for running errands and hitting the local coffee shop.
WEAR WITH THESE
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George in Seattle writes:
Alright, need some help. I’ve been invited to give a 2-hour financial seminar to the school of business at a local college. It’s on a Saturday morning on campus, but I can’t wear jeans and a hoodie given the event. But I don’t want to wear a suit either. What do you suggest?
As it happens, I went to an event similar to this last year at UCLA. A sports media colleague invited me to watch him and several other executive-types speak to students about the business of sports. So I’ll use that as my guide.
My colleague wore a navy blue windowpane sportcoat (similar) with a light blue button down and khaki slacks. No tie. Easily the best-dressed guy on a panel of a half-dozen people. Everyone else was unmemorable, except one guy, an entrepreneur in sports and entertainment who happened to be the richest guy—by far—on the panel. Dude did not GAF. It was Saturday and he was wearing jeans and a sweatshirt, putting off a “screw your biz school get-together, thankyouverymuch, you’re lucky I’m here” vibe.
So, George is going to want to aim for the former and not the latter, clearly. It’s very diffcult to go wrong with slacks, button-down and blazer. The key there is to look like you meant to wear it, and not just put on a suit without a tie. If a louder sportcoat (worn with neutral shirt and slacks) is not your thing, try going with neutral slacks and coat and wearing a shirt that pops either in color or pattern, or both. If it’s cold, you could also get your color from a sweater, worn under the sportcoat. A pocket square, if you’re really feeling it, is another way to subtley stand out.
Couple quick notes on the above:
• $595 is steep for a sportcoat. J.Crew had a red chambray in its Ludlow line for around $250 but it’s disappeared. Keep an eye out, or also check this Indochino version.