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!


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