ask randy: chinos or jeans?

So what would you recommend for a night out at a fancy steakhouse with some good friends? They say jeans are OK in a pinch, but I don't think it'll be appropriate for an expensive meal. I was thinking black (or grey) flat-front chinos with a nice striped button down collared shirt, black shoes, black belt. Now all I need is a nice autumn/winter jacket. :)


Good question. Whether or not you should wear jeans is really dependant on the restaurant and its atmopshere/clientele. I generally think that if it is a 'special' dinner at a 'fancy' place (i.e. a restuarant where they serve you from the right and take from the left), I would say pass on the jeans. If the place is a bit more casual and hip, I would say jeans are definitely an option -- I would however stick to jeans in a darker wash, paired with a chocolate brown lace-up demi-boot, brown belt, nice striped sport shirt and a sport coat (see below).

My general feeling about chinos is that they should left for the weekend. I tend to feel that they are more casual than jeans sometimes especially if they are in shades of beige (sorry). Instead I would go for a light weight wool in a charcoal grey, a collared striped shirt (I'd skip the button down collar if you can, too casual), black shoes, black belt and a why not spoil yourself and pick up this sportcoat -- the velvet blazer is the jacket for the season.
Posted by double R at 8:06 PM | 0 comments read on



wednesday night, we went out to celebrate shawn's birthday and we decided to check out the new hot spot in yaletown, george. it claims to be vancouver's premier cocktail bar and lounge. overall it is a pretty sexy place, the cocktail list was extensive and the ones i sampled from the list (i'm into champagne ones lately thanks to fides) were pretty good. the food was just o.k. -- i know that this is not the focus of the place but for the price point it should have been a bit better. the mood and the atmosphere was mixed, but probably because it is just gaining its footing. i imagine that in a couple of years it'll be that fabulous place in manhattan that it aspires to be.

that being said, i'll probably pop in for a drink or two in the future.

happy birthday shawn!

Posted by double R at 11:18 PM | 0 comments read on



last saturday i finally got around to using the gift certificate that was given to me last year for a spa treatment. i elected to go for the massage because i felt it would help ease some of the stress that i've been feeling lately. i've never really had a professional massage (and i would not count the beachside one that i received in boracay this past summer summer), so i didn't really know what to expect. needless to say i can say that i was pleasantly surprised. the aromatherapy, the music, the mood -- 60 minutes later i was totally relaxed.

the whole experience was really cool. you can go for a swim, a steam, or relax in the relaxation room. a complimentary light meal was served, there was a selection of juices, coffee, tea and a cooling cucumber compress you could use for your head. the spa at the century is a favourite for local visiting celebs (from j.lo to ben), where autographed pictures behind the front desk contributed to me feeling like i truly got the star treatment.

i could certainly get used to a day at the spa!
Posted by double R at 11:19 PM | 0 comments read on


ask randy: business attire overhaul.

Hi Randy...I too have a "axe Randy" question...I am tried of wearing business suits to meetings/training/appointments, etc...but, I still would like to wear a sport jacket of some kind when going into these meetings to look sharp. Should I go out out and do the mix and match thing - ie. different colour jacket and pants. Is that still business like or better yet still okay to combine? I'm a pretty casual type of guy and sometimes wearing those monkey suits the whole day is quite uncomfortable. I need something business like when going into the office but yet can wear it that evening as well without looking so formal. Also, I would like to overhaul my wardrobe as my pretty wife has suggested in recent months/years. Let me know...Thanks. Oh by the way, my body frame is not your slim build type and sometimes I get caught in between the large is too small and the x-large is too big.


Well first of all, using separates and mix matching pieces can be a bit difficult, but if you get it down, it ends up being very sharp. To me, when it works, it looks put together and very polished. I would say that a key piece to invest in for this season would be a tweed sport coat with a strong sort of Saville Row influence -- think of yourself as a Filipino living in London. Pair that with a pair of charcoal grey trousers, a lavender dress shirt with an interesting tonal pattern and a bold rep tie, you're all dressed up and ready to go. You can add mileage to this look by dropping the tie and adding a wool/cashmere v-neck sweater, say in a bold purple (the colour of the season it seems for men). Separtes dressing requires a bit more coordination but i think it will give you what your looking for to battle your wardrobe blues.

In terms of suits, i don't think they will ever go away. When you're investing in a new suit, to bring new life into the idea, get a three piece one...the vest is making a come back. If you get an interesting navy tonal pin-stripe suit with a vest, you can wear the vest separately with say the same pair of charcoal grey slacks, lavender dress shirt and a new fabulous camel wool car coat.

Lastly, being in between a large and extra large is something i can relate to. First of all, throw the whole size issue out the window. As you know European sizing is totally different from North American sizing. Everything is all about proportion and fit. Always try things on. If you always go for a size 42, try a 41, or try a 40, and see how it feels. Does it make you bulky? Does it create a streamlined, trim effect? Look for the shoulders of a jacket to really hug you -- even if you're not a waifish model, you can still get that sartorial, slim look. As for dress shirts, look for shirts that have details such as darts or shirts without extra pleats to help flatter your frame. If you can afford it (it's actually not that much more), find yourself a shirt maker that can custom tailor your shirts -- that's the way you can ensure that you get the proportions right!

Hope this helps!

Posted by double R at 4:29 PM | 0 comments read on



i really want to see this movie. i've been listening to the soundtrack over and over. actually i've really wanted to see the musical since 1996. it did come to town back then and actually i had tickets, but unfortunately the run was cut short...hopefully i'll have a chance to see it when i'm in london or nyc next time i'm there.

today i went to an indian restaurant for lunch -- i won't mention the name, but the food was great, however it took so long for us to get it that it seemed like they outsourced the cooking to india (laughing out loud).
Posted by double R at 4:23 PM | 0 comments read on



whoa...it's weird having two full days off in a row. now that the wedding is over and there is no rehearsal, it is kind of nice to have my weekend all to myself -- i'm not used to it. i'm looking forward to the upcoming snowboarding season, potentially a road trip to seattle next month, san francisco in the spring and maybe europe in the summer. it's nice...though i do miss the creative process and the studio work that dance provides. we're still trying to figure out what to do next season, but we have a few ideas in the works.

on a completely other note, i can't wait to see this movie...as tom coates says, it "looks moving, interesting, depressing and er... kinda hot. Um."


oh by the way, thanks for all of the advice -- i ended up getting this one. i thought that the 60 dollar one was way too much iron for me.
Posted by double R at 11:38 PM | 0 comments read on


random thoughts.

1. pet peeves -- the subscription cards that they put in magazines. i mean i can understand 1, but how come there are like 12 million of them?

2. my old iron finally died. i need to buy a new one. what is the difference between a 20 dollar iron and 60 dollar iron? help me out!
Posted by double R at 1:29 PM | 0 comments read on


ask randy: the pink dress shirt.

I have an "Ask Randy" question: Is the "pink dress shirt" a fad that I should stay away from or should it be a staple of a male's wardrobe. Do you have any suggestions on how to wear pink and any examples of websites? Keep in mind I am of very dark complexion so I don't know if I can pull it off that well. Thank you Randy.

DJ John

Thanks John for your question...a very good question i might add. I think pink is still en vogue, but generally we should make it a bit more interesting than just your plain pink cotton broadcloth and matching tie (a la Regis on Who Wants to Be A Millionaire in 1999). What I would say is that you should go for texture in general in a pink dress shirt, with an interesting weave or tonal pattern. In general, to make it not look so severe, I would not pair it up with a dark pant or suit, but rather make it look more interesting with a lighter grey or even a tan. Also, chocolate looks fabulous with pink! Check out this website for some ideas...

That all being said, it is fall, and I generally would stay away from pink until the spring -- but since you live in California, I don't know if it makes a difference...:)

Finally as far as a person with a darker complexion wearing pink -- I generally don't subscribe to such rules. If you feel comfortable and confident in rocking pink, I say go for it -- always remember that you wear the clothes, don't make the clothes wear you
Posted by double R at 9:55 PM | 0 comments read on


best place to live.

although sometimes i wish i lived somewhere else, vancouver is a great place to live...
Posted by double R at 12:32 PM | 0 comments read on


ask randy: what to wear to a panel discussion.

Dear Randy,

I have been invited to participate as a speaker/presenter in a panel discussion (topic:Sacred Traditions: Aesthetics, Community and Cultural Significance) as part of Bindlestiff Studio's Alamat Project. Though the topic itself is not an issue (I am very much looking forward to it), I find myself in a sartorial bind. Randy, what should one wear when speaking in events such as these? I want my intellectual side expressed without looking stodgy and old fashioned. I want to make a statement without the clothing distracting from the topic at hand.

Thanks for your advice!!!


Dear LaraGitara,

Thanks for your question -- my very first question for this column, 'Ask Randy'! It sounds like you're looking to convey a sense of intelligencia, but at the same time, looking fabulous doing it! What I'm feeling is:

- a smart black turtle neck sweater, with a cut that's close to the body but not tight
- chandelier earrings to express playfullness and femininity
- a pair of heather grey dress slacks, with some fullness at the bottom
- fabulous black boots with a heel
- tie your hair back, in a chignon
- reading glasses if you wear them (if not, borrow some!)
- an ivory wrap for extra fabulousness, and to transition you to drinks afterwards!

Good luck!

Posted by double R at 12:24 AM | 0 comments read on


ask randy.

ok people, get ready for a new feature of this blog..."ask randy"...

stay tuned...:)
Posted by double R at 7:08 PM | 0 comments read on


the wedding.

well, they finally did it! rodney and jeanette are officially married. i think they could have not asked for a better day -- even though it was brisk, the sun was out and it was a perfect fall day. the ceremony was beautiful, one of my favourite moments of the day was the sun pouring through the stained glass windows while my dad's choir sang...

my head again is too full -- so much stuff happened the past week. i'll have to 'cheat' and leave you with some of my favourite pictures of the day...

click here for more...thanks to john for taking these...
Posted by double R at 5:00 PM | 0 comments read on

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada