Dapper Without A Suit

“Comfort and simplicity are two keys that I follow when it comes to fashion.” —- Fawad Khan (Pakistani actor)

I have a confession to all of you: Despite that, I call myself The Dapper Runner even if I don’t even own a single suit. I don’t have a plan of getting one at this time.

Yes, that is right!

The main reason for not owning a suit is the hot and humid weather in Metro Manila. I can’t stand wearing layers and layers of clothing on my daily commute simply because I sweat profusely even during the cool northeast breeze of January. I just bring an extra shirt in my bag instead. Also, I don’t attend parties and formal events.

Several self-proclaimed style gurus may claim that not owning a suit makes a man underdressed. I beg to differ. I consider it impractical and way too flashy on the Philippine setting. Unless, if a man is a lawyer or hotshot banker that requires him to wear suits. I believe that every Juan can be dapper without owning a suit. It also depends where we are located, how much our clothing budget is, and the industry we work for.

As you can see I usually wear white or light-colored button-up shirts with either dark jeans by Uniqlo or navy trousers because of my previous job in a financial services firm. We were lucky enough that business casual was acceptable. As long as we follow the company’s dress code and not looking sloppy, we’re good to go. I also wear business casual when I go to church on Sundays.

When going out on weekends, I just wear my favorite all-occasion combination of chambray shirts, white or black t-shirt, and chinos. Polo shirt and walking shorts combo are fantastic during summer. We have incorporate comfort in weekend clothing.

I also have a small collection of layering such as a rain jacket, a sweater, a blazer, and a windbreaker. I wear them when needed.

Before I wrap things up, here’s some friendly advice to you guys:

  • Retain and utilize your timeless clothes especially your favorite plain shirts and trousers.
  • Donate those faded and dated ones to the charity.
  • If your clothing needs refitting, go to your tailor.
  • Mix and matching can sometimes be tedious if we are not familiar with the color wheel. You can stick with the basic colors such as black, white, navy, gray, olive, and tan. Those colors are very easy to mix and match. It’s also nice to have shirts with tattersall and the more common plaid pattern.
  • If you believe that you need a suit, don’t buy ready to wear. Go to your trusted tailor and get a bespoke suit.

At the end of the day, being dapper is all about the right amount of confidence (and practicality) on what we wear.

The Quest for the Right Style

Back in May 2015, I decided to upgrade my appearance, financial planning strategy, and outlook on life after getting bored with the daily routine and all sorts of clutter for the last six years. I also became really curious about the growing popularity of the gentleman’s lifestyle revival here in Manila at the same time. Coincidentally, I was preparing for a job interview for the position that I badly wanted.

I wanted to transform from a guy on fauxhawk and skull shirts to a more refined young professional. First, I took off my earrings and stopped wearing those. But, I didn’t know what’s next.

It all started a few years ago with my fascination with dressing up like David Beckham and browsing male fashion influences from Fashion Beans. Then, I went to a barber to get a fresh haircut. After paying off my loans and saving more than enough money, I started buying timeless clothes and made to order shoes over trend. As a result, I became more confident and got a position in Human Resources. I will share with you the most appropriate business casual wear for men with the right fit and color combination without breaking the bank in the future.

style_2016

The toughest part, however, was cleaning up my closet. I realized that there were too many well-loved clothes that were too dated and no longer fit my more athletic physique. So, I decided to pile those up and donate to the charity right before Christmas of 2015. I didn’t just improve my style, I also helped less fortunate people who are in need of decent clothing.

Currently, I’m developing my own capsule wardrobe after being inspired by the tutorial videos by Paul Nagaoka on YouTube. Settling on minimal yet timeless clothing made my life easier and helped me to save more money. As you can see above, that is my usual midweek workwear. Since I live in a hot country, I don’t really wear jackets.

I still admit that my style of clothing is still a work in progress. I’m not a guru and I’ll never be like one. I have lots of things to learn.

The quest for the right style has just begun.