What I Wore – Catching Up the Last Year

What I Wore – Catching Up the Last Year

Time Flies…

It’s actually been almost sixteen months since I last wrote up a “What I Wore” post – here’s October 2019. One of the main reasons I started this blog was to have a journal of sorts where I could record thoughts about outfits I’d worn, and reflect on them. I think I need to return to this approach…

Finding Work/Life Balance

In the last eight months or so, my work has had to take priority over a lot of #menswear content, which means no new posts here but resulted in some extended breaks from Instagram as well. If you’re still following along, thanks for sticking it out! 2020 has been a challenging year for all of us, and certain things needed reprioritizing. Covid has changed so much about our daily routines, and finding a new balance has been key. As much as I enjoy everything tailored, I was finding myself less inspired to dress up while working from home, juggling digital learning with my kids and ensuring a sustainable distribution of household tasks between my wife and I. Even posting to Instagram felt like an unnecessary chore on top of everything else we were managing.

Now I’m not going to draw any connections here, but under extended lock-down with my family, I’d found myself more regularly enjoying a pint or two, maybe with some snacks. I got a bit fat. It was a slippery slope I was on, and it took longer than I’d like to admit to feel the impact of these decisions. Feeling like so many things were beyond the scope of my influence, I ended up relinquishing control over things that were in the scope of my influence. I’m happy say I have a better handle on things now.

Personal Reflections

I mentioned work being a bigger focus, and looking back it wasn’t just the sheer amount of work to be done, but a change in role occurring in early 2020 combined with the pandemic definitely impacted me. In my last position, I was at the centre of many processes, involved actively with many departments and people. In my current position as a project manager, I’m much less integrated with day to day business activities, and work more regularly with a core project team. So the hustle and bustle was changed, and the number of people I would interact with in a day shrank dramatically. Then, work from home started. And we stopped seeing friends and family. And it all piled up, and up, and up.

I’m still working too much. But I’m eating better. I’m spending better quality time with my family. I’ve added some positive structures to my day to better distinguish being home and working from home. Getting outside and being active. Here’s to successful start to 2021, and wishing you all the same!

Plans for 2021

For better or worse, I’ve come to the realization that I’ve focused so much on the tailored part of my wardrobe, that the casual side has been left wanting. This year, I plan to address that by looking for some pieces that can be casual and comfy, but still incorporate some details I love from a sartorial viewpoint. I’m looking to add versatile pieces that can work with a wide range of aesthetics.

Don’t worry, I’m not completely abandoning the world of tailoring – quarantine hasn’t changed me that much.

What I Wore – Summer 2020

With all that catching up done, let’s look at a few outfits from the last year or so.

Kent Wang MTM Sport Coat

Looking back at a jacket I’d commissioned in the summer, I’m pleased to say I still really like this one from Kent Wang. The shade of green in this fabric from Gladson Ltd. is particularly cool – just a hint of a teal undertone makes it work really well with the charcoal and tan checks in the fabric. This outfit is generally well balanced, with the vibrant burnt orange grenadine from Aklasu doing a good job to match the visual interest of the sport coat’s fabric. Mid grey fresco trousers offer a low contrast addition to the outfit. I’m looking forward to wearing this one some more!

Tobacco Linen

Tobacco Linen – simultaneously the best kind of tobacco, and the best kind of linen. This gorgeous fabric from Hardy Minnis was offered by Spier & Mackay in their Neapolitan cut with jetted pockets, and sold as a suit. I’ll admit, I purchased with the intent of wearing mostly as separates, and mostly that’s what I’ve done. After spending more time in sweatpants than I ever cared to this past year, expect to see some fun with this suit in 2021. Yes, as a suit.

This outfit does show how beautifully this fabric can work as a separate, and as a piece worn semi-casually. Lighter wash denim and my blue striped shirt from Cavour are a nice foil to the warmth of the tobacco linen.

Chunky Navy Hopsack

Maybe this one is peak #menswear. The wide stripe linen button-down shirt was ubiquitous last summer. You saw them everywhere. If you were smart, you grabbed yours from Spier & Mackay; the same place I bought this killer chunky hopsack sport coat. The masters at E.Thomas knocked it out of the park with this blend and weave. Lots of texture. Matte finish and a dry hand. Breathable. Everything you’d want in a summer navy jacket. This one has essentially replaced my more traditional hopsack.

Summer Tweed

Definitely another #menswear feel here. Derek over at Die! Workwear had this fabric made up years ago, and due to popular demand has brought it back a number of times. Most recently in collaboration with Spier & Mackay. This slubby wool/silk blend was on my list for a few years, and I’m thrilled to own it. The lighting in this shot really adds drama, but I think the deep saturated red tones in this rhubarb matka tie from Vanda pair really well. Faded light blue striped shirt introduces a subtle pattern, finished off with a deep burgundy paisley square from Amide Hadeline.

What I Wore – Fall 2020

Collaro Honey Denim Flight Jacket

When I ordered this jacket, I was looking for something that would work casually, but could pull double duty when required. Collaro is a wonderful company to order from. The products are top notch, as is the customer service. So far, I’ve mostly worn it casually. The jacket is less cropped than your typical flight jacket, and in this shade of denim it is decidedly casual. Doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work with tailored trousers and a button down shirt, but I think that’s about as far as I would take it.

Charcoal Tailoring from Cavour

Cavour has been producing some truly excellent tailoring through their house line for a few years, and you’ve probably seen me in a few other of their pieces. Last year, they introduced a second model of sport coat, dubbed Mod 2. This cut adds some length with a corresponding drop in buttoning point and replaces the extended shoulder with spalla camicia. All in all, it makes for an excellent fit. At the same time, they offered a Mod 2 cut of their RTW trousers. Much more room through the seat and thighs, and extra fabric at the seams for those that require alterations. This sport coat is made up in a killer charcoal herringbone tweed from Loro Piana. The trousers shown here are in Crispaire – a first for me. The drape is outstanding, as is their ability to hold a crease. Check out this cashmere herringbone button down shirt as well. Gorgeous! I accessorized this charcoal outfit with a grey wool challis tie from Cavour a few seasons back, and my cream waves II square from Vanda. Since the grey in the tie is a bit warm in tone, the cream square works to extend that warmth in the context of the white shirt.

For more on charcoal tailoring, check out this post.

The Reverse Uniform

You know the uniform: grey trousers, navy jacket, white or blue shirt and some kind of tie (brown and burgundy come immediately to mind). You probably also know the reverse uniform, which is, well, the reverse. Navy trousers, grey jacket. In this example, I went with my brushed cotton grey gingham button down. Gingham is a tricky one. It was super trendy for a while, and you’d often see it in a saturated colour under a too-tight suit with small lapels. For some reason a tie clip was always involved. Now, this one being such a light grey adds a ton of versatility. This shirt can easily be worn under a sport coat, but the jury’s still out on whether it can support a tie. Otherwise, I think this is a great way to wear a navy trouser-based outfit.

What I Wore – Winter 20/21

Tweed all the things!

I wore this last week for a “dress up tweed” challenge on Style Forum. I’m wearing that beautiful Cavour mod 2 jacket in Loro Piana charcoal herringbone tweed, my mossy green tweed tie from Amide Hadelin and light brown tweed trousers from Spier & Mackay. Both the shirt and square come off neutral here, which plays well with the relatively low saturation of colours through the tweed pieces. There’s an overall earthy tone to everything that is subtle, but quite interesting after a closer look.

Turtlenecks and Sport Coats

I know I didn’t invent anything new here. Up until recently, I’d avoided turtlenecks for fear of beard-interference. Now that I’m not sporting such a heavy face sweater, I figured I would give it a go. I picked up this taupe merino one from Spier & Mackay recently, and am loving it. I wore it here with my oatmeal Donegal sport coat and a pair of off-white corduroy five pocket trousers. My inspiration came from @Lenn.castillo, who is a master of tonal looks like this. For me, several things come together here. A uniform piece of fabric (without buttons or traditional collar) adds an interesting block of solidity to the look, and in this tonal example works really well. There’s a good chance for more turtlenecks in my future…

What I Wore – to be continued

It feels good to be writing again. I’ll have more to share soon. All the best!


2 Replies to “What I Wore – Catching Up the Last Year”

  1. Well done for taking a risk and sharing some of your personal challenges to put the article in context. I too experienced big swings in employment and gained weight in the process. Now I’m managing myself much better with a decent outfit or two along the way. 2020 was a challenge for all of us. At the very least it was strange to have so many of our favorite brands on sale with nowhere but the internet to show them off. Let’s hope our path to social and psychological normalcy continues and that we appreciate it more than before.

    1. Hi Connor,

      Thanks for commenting. I didn’t want it to be a woe is me introduction, but felt the need to address the fact that things haven’t been all that normal lately. Instagram always shows the best, but maybe not the entire truth. I’m very fortunate in many ways, and I’ve realized how important it is to appreciate that.

      I’m glad to hear you’ve taken some steps for yourself as well!

      Here’s to the continued success of the brands we love! For now, we can support them online haha!


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