Daily Outfit: Second Skin

I love this leather Jacket from Zara. A little while ago, when I was coming out of my six-month hiatus from dressing like an adult, I really wanted a leather Jacket that wasn’t the standard black or brown colour. I considered white, because they’re relatively accessible, however the colour never really sat right with me. I happened to chance upon this in the Zara store in Sydney, and it was the only XL they had in the store. Needless to say, I grabbed it and ran to the counter.

Today’s outfit was:

Blue/grey leather jacket – ZARA Man, Sydney
Orange and white check button-down shirt – Polo Ralph Lauren
Midnight blue silk necktie with skull motif – Thrifted, An Affordable Wardrobe Shop
Gold-tone tie clip – gift
Black leather belt – re-purposed from wedding ensemble
Navy jeans/slacks – Versace Jeans Couture, thrifted from Material Pleasures
Black leather Chelsea boots – Country Road

I love the colour, the cut, and the buttery-soft feel of the Jacket. I’m actually a little creeped about the texture actually; it makes me feel a little Buffalo Bill. The leather so soft though, you can’t even imagine! I’d never encountered leather that soft ever, except in Glove form!

Daily Outfit: Thrifted-Monday:

Today, being a Monday, I set out to bring my A-Game. The more I write about it the more I agree with myself that dressing up on a Monday is so important. I think it works in the same way that casual Friday does, just in reverse. On a casual Friday you’re dressing down, allowing yourself a taste of the weekend earlier than you probably should. On Monday, however, you’re steeling yourself for the working week; and you can do so by dressing up.

I’m feeling extra chuffed with myself today, because with the exception of the loafers and belt – everything I am wearing is second hand, meaning that I am looking sharp (mostly) on someone else’s dollar.For today’s thrifty kick-arse outfit I’m wearing:

Navy wool v-neck sweater – Etsy
Blue and white check shirt – T.M. Lewin, thrifted
Gold-tone brooch with Napoleonic coin – thrifted
Navy canvas belt – Sportscraft
Pale-orange pleat-front chinos – Polo Ralph Lauren, Etsy
Brown suede loafers – Raphael Steffens

Granted, there are minor floors with most of what I am wearing. The chinos, shirt and sweater are all a size or two too small for me as a result of vanity-shopping, the brooch fastening is broken and held-together by Bluetack, and the shirt has a few little stains I’ve never been able to get out in the wash. However, I’m pretty confident that viewed askance, you couldn’t tell that I prefer to shop second-hand.

Daily Outfit: Julep

I have been craving a Mint Julep since I purchased this gingham blazer, which is actually a whole suit, in November of last year. There is something so Southern Gentleman feeling about the garment that I find myself worrying that the acquisition of this is just the latest step in my evolution into Colonel Sanders (The KFC guy – I feel old having to explain that). This is probably why the blazer has not got a lot of wear since I purchased it. I really wanted to pair the navy with a pop of bright orange today, to really play the colours off one another.

Today this Southern-influenced gentleman is wearing:

Navy and white gingham blazer – Larsen’s Store for Men, Etsy
Orange cotton polo-shirt – Trenery
Saltwater crocodile leather bracelets – R.M. Williams
Brown leather belt – Country Road
Riley 3D tapered jeans – G-Star
Brown leather shoes with buckle detail – Raphael Steffens

Of course, what I hadn’t anticipated was that being made in Florida, the jacket would be understandably constructed in favour of a warmer climate. So getting about Canberra in nothing but this light-weight blazer and a thin cotton polo-shirt was not exactly a fun activity. I am fairly certain that the blazer not only failed to provide any protection from the wind or trace of warmth, but actually succeeded in draining warmth FROM ME!

Daily Outfit: After Gianni

I have a turbulent love/hate relationship with the designs of Gianni Versace. I think it started when I was in early high school and I was only starting to appreciate fashion. I believed that Versace was pronounced ‘Ver-sah-chae’, and was subsequently humiliated when it was publically corrected. This theme was continued later in life when a Versace-obsessed ex-boyfriend of mine disappeared from my life, leaving me heartbroken and hateful. Versace became a symbol of my ex, and for years I vehemently loathed the house of Versace.

However, lately I have come to admit that I actually really admire Gianni’s sense of style and humour in his work. His sister Donatella has a much more serious sense of style, which is beautiful in its own right, and I personally feel that the company has matured with Donatella at the helm. However, I still love the cheeky and gaudy aesthetic which Gianni championed, and when I saw the necktie I am wearing today on Etsy, I had to snap it up.

For today’s Gianni Versace inspired outfit I am wearing:

Black leather and sheerling jacket – Barneys, NYC, from ASOS
Blue and white striped button-down shirt – Polo Ralph Lauren
Navy and gold rococo patterned silk necktie – Gianni Versace, Etsy
Black leather belt – Raphael Steffens
Lightly distressed bootcut jeans – Armani Exchange A|X, thrifted
Black distressed leather shoes – Raphael Steffens

I tried to tie as many Versace-inspired elements from my wardrobe into today’s outfit as I could. It’s a poor attempt when faced with Gianni’s back-catalogue, but I think I’ve managed to allude at least to his aesthetic. The buckle straps on the jacket, the OTT shoes, the boldly printed necktie against the subdued shirt, the leather and the denim in a corporate setting… What do you think?

Daily Outfit: Seersuckered In

Today’s ensemble is an exercise in persistence.

A year or two back I purchased a blue and white seersucker blazer from a Church Fete I was attending with my mother and grandmother. I saw it on the rack amidst hundreds of sad old faux tweeds, and fell in love instantly. My best friend Mags, not so much. Like several other items of my clothing (A skull-print singlet, a coral bomber jacket), she exhibited an instantaneous and almost violent dislike to the blazer. 

In hindsight I can’t blame her really. It was, I’m fairly certain, a women’s jacket, which fit me poorly, and which I styled horribly. There were also several items in her wardrobe which I was less than delicate about (my apologies, Mags).

More recently I replaced the original Jacket with a blazer from Etsy. I was adamant that I needed a blue and white seersucker blazer to complete my wardrobe. Mags inspected this new blazer and gave it a begrudged nod of approval, however, I never truly believed that she approved. As such, I have not worn this blazer since buying it.That is, until I decided to wear it today with the following:

Blue and white seersucker blazer – Meeting Street, Etsy
Orange wool vest – Etsy
Blue and white checked shirt – T.M. Lewin, Thrifted
Black resin and silver Medusa head cufflinks – Versace, ebay
Brown leather belt – Country Road
Lightly distressed ARC jeans – G-Star
Brown leather Shoes with crosshatch detail – Raphael Steffens

I was skeptical as I was getting dressed this morning that this ensemble would work. I was convinced that it wouldn’t. However, when I was dressed and standing in front of the mirror, I suddenly felt that not only was the ensemble working, but that the blazer was in fact, somehow tying all the elements together. I’m giving the ensemble a 9/10. I’m not sure Mags would approve though.

Daily Outfit: Business Casual

Business Casual is a funny term. It is, according to the ever reliable Wikkipedia, the most common form of dress required by workplaces in America. It’s also highly open to interpretation. I’ve often thought that I slot easily into the Business Casual slot, because I wear jeans to work almost every day. However, I’ve been reading up on Business Casual in preparation for a thorough wardrobe overhaul, and I’m starting to feel somewhat of a square peg in a round hole.

It seems that affectations of a Business or Corportae wardrobe, such as neckties and blazers, are placed towards ‘Overdressed’ on the spectrum of Business Casual, and items like cufflinks, collar-stays and tie-tacks and bars are completely off the scale all together. It seems that I am something of an anomaly – a hybrid of Business and Casual, but closer on the spectrum of Business.

Today’s outfit is decidedly more Business Casual aligned, given the leather jacket. I am wearing:

Blue leather jacket with military collar – ZARA Man, Sydney
Orange and white check button-down shirt – Polo Ralph Lauren
Navy silk necktie with palm tree motif – thrifted
Gold-tone tie bar – gift
Navy and orange ribbon belt – Polo Ralph Lauren
Riley 3D tapered Jeans – G-Star
Blue leather boots with buckle detail – G-Star

I am developing a complex. I am starting to think of my wardrobe as the Mullet of clothing aesthetics. Business up top (almost always blazer and shirt with all the trimmings – cufflinks, necktie, tie bar), and party down below (jeans, jeans and more jeans.). I change it up every now and then, as I did with a sportier jacket; but at the end of the day I am living the sartorial equivalent of the world’s most iconically bad hairstyle!

Tangerine Dream:

These orange ‘Andrew Pant’ Chinos by Polo really seem to divide people. They either love the colour, or they hate it. No one gets around to discussing the shade of orange (dull tangerine to bright peach, they seem to change), or whether the pleating at the front works for or against my body shape (I’m thinking against); or even whether I should be shot for walking around with exposed hemmed cuffs! Everyone is stuck on loving or hating the colour.

Case in point: yesterday I had lunch with my friend Ben. Apparently when he saw me exit the building his immediate reaction was a voice screaming in his mind “OH NO HE DIDN’T!!!” However, apparently as I turned to face him and walk in his general direction, his opinion of my neon-bright Chinos changed, and he grudgingly admitted that the Pants were in fact, working.

Today I wore the following:
navy wide-pinstriped wool Blazer – Ermeneglido Zegna, thrifted
blue and white micro stripe Business Shirt – T.M. Lewin, eBay
orange and navy silk Necktie – Robert Talbott, Etsy
goldtone Cufflinks and Tie-Bar – gifted from my other mother
brown leather Belt – Country Road
light orange pleat-fronted Chinos – Polo Ralph Lauren, Etsy
brown leather Shoes with buckle detail – Raphael Steffens

At the end of the day, I do wish that the Pants were a little darker in colour, a little closer to the Hermes orange that so often (and tragically) haunts my dreams. I used to entertain a madman’s dream of becoming very rich and famous and commissioning a pair of Jeans made from Brikin Bags and lined in Silk Scarves from Hermes… I can only imagine the sort of reactions that would inspire!

For now I will have to content myself with these humble Chinos, purchased from Etsy, and the love/hate reactions they inspire in my friends and colleagues.