So...I love getting questions and I especially loved the question I got e mailed last week. Not only was it from my good high school friend Jake (and former junior prom date), but he asked how could he be a bit "out of the box" for his dental school prom. I cannot tell you how much I love when a man thinks beyond a suit, tie and button-up for formal occasions. There is much, MUCH more out there! The things men could do with clothes if they only thought a little more about it astounds me. The layering possibilities are endless. In this post we explore the world beyond the tired old suit and tie main stay. We mix it up (Color! Pattern! Texture! A denim jacket under a blazer?! YES!!). We do this on a budget too, after all, Jake is in dental school. No gold fillings yet folks...
We start with Jason Schwartzman as inspiration. I adore everything about this man. Clothing? Check. Absolutely amazing musician? Check. Married to a stylist? Check. (Ok that's my favorite part but I digress). The man owns a great sense of personal style. He works with what works for him and he's not afraid of some color, pattern and quirkiness, he's an original and I heart you Jason!
After I got Jake's message I started going through my GQ and Details tears. Part of my daily job is Men's styling so I dived right in to pull the images of examples I love the most. I always look for different ways to wear things. Experimenting is a phenomenal idea. If it doesn't work, just try something else, not the end of the world.
Case in point, love the leather jacket over the shirt and tie instead of a blazer. It's unexpected and fun. This could also work with a hoodie instead. The denim paired with it keeps it sleek, just make sure the denim is dark. You know what else would be amazing?! A denim jacket paired under a blazer or try it as the outer piece if that seems a bit much for you.
Classic plaid $26.90 Forever21
Faux leather trimmed jacket $36.90 Forever21
Denim jacket $39.99 JC Penny (also comes in other colors)
"Vintage windbreaker" $34.90 Forever21
Leatherette jacket $43.90 Forever21
Classic and Sleek jeans $26.90 Forever21
Again with the unexpected! The black and white knit is graphic and cool. He doesn't look like he's trying too hard it's effortless yet totally effected.
Red stripe hoodie $28.90 Forever21
The polos under the blazers in these next two images are awesome. I am especially fond of cotton pocket squares. You could also use a bandana as a pocket square to add a shot of pattern if you're really feeling it, or just use a printed pocket square. I am feeling redundant.
Classic jacket $52.90 Forever21
Solid trim polo shirt $14.90 (more colors) Forever21
Purple polo $19.99 JC Penny
Box of 7 cotton pocket squares $25.00 Brooks Brothers
Red white and blue check pocket square $20.00 Brooks Brothers
Pattern AND texture AND color! ohhh my!
Pinstripe vest $23.90 Forever21
Stripe knit tie $9.90 Forever21
Stripe Polo $11.99 JC Penny
Saddle shoe Nordstrom
Sleek modern cap-toe Nordstrom
Love the v-neck under this with the blazer and the denim. The pocket square and boots are a nice touch although these boots are a touch too editorial. A desert boot or timberland would be just as effective and not so over the top.
I've had this tear for almost a year now, the white t-shirt is perfection. Also love the army green pant.
Lee Regular fit color jeans $24.99 JC Penny
Clark Desert boot Nordstrom
Dockers JC Penny
Green crew neck $5.90 Forever21 (I am over the v-neck)
Distressed blue wingtip Nordstrom
Favorite inspired images and items to add your personal touch. It's all about how you mix it. These simple pieces could be dressed up or down.
woven career pants $33.90 Forever21
4 piece tuxedo vest $29.99 (more colors) JC Penny
This would look great under a hoodie or leather jacket (or over the t-shirt below)! Be creative!
"Fancy Me" $13.90 Forever21
Red Dockers Nordstrom
Cardigan Forever21 (shirt and tie would definitely work under this)
Gray jeans JCPenny
Shawl knit jacket $32.90 Forever21
Sperry Top Siders Nordstom (They don't have to be dress shoes...)
Camo Converse Nordstrom
Green Adidas Nordstrom
Sperry Top Sider Nordstrom
I hope this helps get you started Jake! XO!