Diner en Blanc: The All-White Affair

What happens when you bring 3500 of your closest friends to the Lincoln Memorial for an all-white affair? You get an amazingly wonderful time with an incredible backdrop. For the third year in a row Diner en Blanc, the invitation only pop-up picnic, returned to Washington DC. Naturally yours truly was in attendance and of course I had to find something to wear.

The All-White Affair: All White at Diner en Blanc 10

I already had an all-white look but I didn’t want to make it feel like Groundhog Day. To keep an annual event, fresh you cannot wear the same thing over and over again. I wanted to wear something different. Since I’ve been a fan of the short suit this season, I figured it’d be fantastic in all white. August in DC is notoriously hot so my suit in linen was the obvious choice to at least attempt to keep cool.

The All-White Affair: All White at Diner en Blanc The All-White Affair: All White at Diner en Blanc 15

Because DC usually holds the all-white affair so late in August, white outfits can be hard to find. Women can always Rent the Runway but guys have to hunt down end of season sales. My advice: grab things now and you’ll be ready for next year. The bonus is there are some great sales so get some fantastic deals. Try shopping my looks.

The All-White Affair: All White at Diner en Blanc6 The All-White Affair: All White at Diner en Blanc1

For those that do not know, Diner en Blanc is a secret party where guests do not know the location until moments before it’s set to begin. Created in France, this invitation only event now happens in over 70 cities worldwide. And there are strict rules to attend. Everyone must wear all white; bring their own table and chairs, along with their own table settings with full china as well as an elegant picnic dinner.

The All-White Affair: All White at Diner en Blanc3
There has been some backlash about the all-white affair saying it is pretentious, exclusive and too much effort. However these critics do not understand the spirit of the event. It’s about friendship; it’s about meeting new people and it’s this great camaraderie that makes for a truly amazing experience. For me, it’s one of the most diverse events Washington has to offer.

The All-White Affair: All White at Diner en Blanc 14 The All-White Affair: All White at Diner en Blanc 12

To be invited to Diner en Blanc you have been a member had, attended a preview event or have been invited by a member. However there is a waiting list for invites. Rumor has it that Washington’s list is 20,000 people long. My advice get on the list now, it’s an evening you don’t want to miss. I’d love to hear your thoughts about Diner en Blanc, drop me a line or leave a comment.

The All-White Affair: All White at Diner en Blanc8

Shop My Looks/Details

Shorts White Linen – Michael Kors; Dress Shirt White Linen  – Michael Kors; Blazer White Linen Tallia; White Sneakers –  Stan Smith Addidas; Sunglasses – Gucci; White FedoraDobbs (similar)

Celebrating National Bow Tie Day

Sunday is National Bow Tie Day but I’ve never really given much thought to it. Nowadays, there’s a special day for everyday of the week so it’s only natural that the bow tie gets its day. But for this day would I be really celebrating National Bow Tie Day?

Celebrating National Bow Tie Day

The answer wasn’t so much a yes but it seems like it will be more of a day of remembrance. I think that’s because when I think of bow ties I think of my dad. It’s been a little over 3 years since he passed away. And while life does go on, I think about him constantly.

Celebrating National Bow Tie Day.-3jpg

I get my sense of style from my dad. He was the one who taught me how to tie a bow tie. He ‘d say, “It’s just like tying your shoe.” After he helped me a couple of times, I picked up tying a tie pretty quickly. Then I proceeded to steal all of his out of his closet!

Celebrating National Bow Tie Day - tie the tie2 Celebrating National Bow Tie Day - tie the tie

For my look on this day, I’ll be wearing clothes that would remind me of him. It’s a combination of things you might not think match but surprising work well together. A striped blue and white shirt with a green plaid bow tie was my first choice. He’d love the pattern on pattern although my mom would question if that really matched. He’d ignore her. Then maybe add white pants and a khaki blazer; after all it’s still summer. If he was wearing it on a Sunday, he and my mom would head of to church.
National Bow Tie Day.-5 National Bow Tie Day.-4

I’m glad that Daniel Wellington asked me to sport my watch on National Bow Tie Day. Time passes by so quickly and when I look down at my watch, I’ll be celebrating National Bow Tie Day thinking of my dad.

National Bow Tie Day Daniel Wellington_edited-1 National Bow Tie Day.-6

Shop My Look Details

National Bow Tie Day on the wall

Dapper Sheffield Watch – Daniel Wellington (Get 15% off your watch, use code: DCFASHIONFOOL); Khaki Blazer – Tommy Hilfiger; Blue and White Striped Dress Shirt – Ralph Lauren; White Slacks – Polo by Ralph Lauren; Green Plaid Bow Tie – Harrison Blake; Burgundy Monk Strap – To Boot NY

National Bow Tie Day on the wall-2

Photography by John Robinson Photography – Check him out!!!

A Dapper Gent Meets Ken Downing

So what does a dapper gent wear when he is going to meet one of their favorites in the fashion industry? That’s just the question I asked myself as I prepared to go meet Ken Downing.  The Fashion Director and Senior VP of Neiman Marcus was in town to discuss “The Art of Buying,” a talk hosted by the Fashion Group International of Greater Washington, DC.

More with a Dapper Gent

In a room filled with the stylish women and dapper gents of DC to hear a fashion heavyweight give his take on how the industry is changing in today’s environment, I knew my look had to be on point. I mean even the office of Covington Law Firm at CityCenterDC where the event was held was posh.

A Dapper Gent headshot A Dapper Gent standing by door

In the new normal of social media and fast fashion, Downing’s thoughts on how brands and designers need to adapt to meet the needs of their customers was truly insightful. Downing said, “The race to be first has made fashion last.”

He went on to say, “Customers are tired of looking at clothes 7 months later.” Easy access to fashion shows has put designs out to the public in real time. They are seeing the looks on celebrities and being inundated with images. By the time the clothes actually come out consumers are tired of looking at them or similar looks hit the market earlier through fast fashion. As result the trend is moving to a more see it now, buy it now philosophy. Rebecca Minkoff has had success with this and Zachary Prell just put some of his clothes online immediately during his show during New York Fashion Week Men’s.

A Dapper Gent down the stairs

As I listened to him, I thought about my outfit choice in terms of his words. Downing: Washington is a cute city and has fashionable people. It is not a conservative town. As a Washingtonian, I couldn’t agree more. I photographed my look in Capitol Hill. The sleepy part of DC was an ideal setting with its tree lined streets and the fantastic Eastern Market. This area exemplifies Washington’s cuteness. My maroon blazer with floral tie was anything but conservative.

A Dapper Gent post close up

Downing: I look at fashion through the eyes of an architect. I try to look at selecting my looks in a similar way. Choosing colors and patterns that work together along with a great fit are architectural building blocks for a fantastic look.

A Dapper Gent in front of home

Downing: The day of wearing all one designer is gone. We do wear high to low. As a self-proclaimed dapper gent, I do not normally wear one designer head to toe. I like to mix it up. While I do have certain favorite brands, a good variety of brands makes for a better wardrobe.

A Dapper Gent buttons up

I think this dapper gent looked great and exemplified DC well. I hope I did DC proud when I met Mr. Downing. Thoughts?

Shop my Look/Details

Burgundy Blazer – Armani Collezioni;  Floral tie – Paul Stuart ; Striped Dress shirt – Hugo Boss; White slacks – Polo by Ralph Lauren ; White floral lapel pin – Hook and Albert ; Brown Penny Loafers – Tom Ford ; Watch – Tommy Hilfiger

 

A Dapper Gent heading downstairs

Photography: BC Petrie Photography

Made to Measure Suit from Blank Label

I have been so excited to sport my new made to measure suit from Blank Label. Earlier this summer I had the pleasure of hosting a dinner with some good friends sponsored by I.W. Harper at the Blank Label Pattern Room. The dinner was to celebrate the return of I.W. Harper Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey back to the United States after a 20-year absence.

Blank label and Iw Harper

The unique experience of holding an incredible dinner in a different kind of setting was a treat. The Blank Label Pattern Room was a terrific setting. There was such great camaraderie and we learn about the reintroduction of a great whiskey. We also had a chance to check out Blank Label clothing.

 

IW Harper & Made to Measure Suit from Blank Label - Beam2

I had previously had a shirt made by Blank Label but I really wanted to get a full suit made. There’s nothing like having a suit made to your own measurements. Where a full-bespoke suit can cost thousands of dollars, require several fittings and take several months to deliver, a made to measure suit from Blank Label offers a more affordable alternative.

 

IW Harper & Made to Measure Suit from Blank Label - Closeup IW Harper & Made to Measure Suit from Blank Label - Beam

After taking my measurements and discussing how I like my fit, I was able to pick out a blue plaid linen suit with a light blue lining. The thing I really liked was that I was able to add some little details that were individually personalized for me. The suit arrived in a matter of weeks just in time to make the trek to Men’s New York Fashion Week as well as be a great go to for these hazy hot humid days of August.

IW Harper & Made to Measure Suit from Blank Label - Smile IW Harper & Made to Measure Suit from Blank Label - Closeup 1

Individuality and personality are key tenants in my effort to Live Like Mr. Harper so my Blank Label suit was an ideal way to showcase my style. I put together my look by pairing the suit with a blue striped dress shirt and tonal tie. Adding a green floral lapel pin helped to bring out the green in the plaid. I finished my ensemble with a double monk strap in beautiful bordeaux.

IW Harper & Blank Label - Hilfiger Watch IW Harper & Blank Label - To Boot NY

 

Whether it’s tailored and off the rack, made to measure or bespoke, the well-dressed man’s suit should be well fitted. When it does you not only look great but feel great too. After all isn’t that how you Live Like Mr. Harper?

IW Harper & Blank Label - Lining

Details

Plaid Suit – Blank Label (mention DCFashionFool); Blue Striped Dress Shirt – Polo by Ralph Lauren; Blue Tonal Tie – Ralph Lauren Purple Label; Green Floral Lapel Pin – Hook and Albert; Bordeaux Double Monk Strap – To Boot New York; Watch – Tommy Hilfiger

 

IW Harper & Made to Measure Suit from Blank Label - Pose

Photography by John Robinson Photography – Check him out!!!

I am working in partnership with I. W. Harper Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and I am being compensated for my participation in this campaign. All thoughts/opinions are 100% my own. Whiskey is intended for those whom alcohol is legal and appropriate. Please Drink Responsibly.

Mixing Patterns

Over at Ties.com, the challenge for the Style Guru Society was to mix it up with patterns … different shirt, tie, pocket square etc. While I’m all about mixing patterns, sometimes subtlety works the best.

Ties.com Mixing Patterns

There’s nothing wrong with shaking things up with bold patterns. In fact, from time to time I will even engage in a little power clashing, Power clashing is taking different patterns that seemingly do not go together to create a look that surprisingly works. It’s fun make a statement but this isn’t something I can do every day. (I’ll talk about that in a future post.)

BCP_7606WEB BCP_7600WEB

For this challenge however, I didn’t want go too wild. I wanted to show that by mixing patterns you can create a well-put together look that doesn’t have to be over the top. Fall is just around the corner and suits tend to be darker. Navies, grays and charcoals will be out on the forefront as the weather gets colder. You can liven up these traditional fall shades with some bold colors. Adding some patterns only enhances your outfit.

BCP_7607WEB BCP_7625WEB

My suit is a great charcoal color with a tonal pattern in it. It’s almost unnoticeable however it’s a bigger pattern so for the dress shirt I selected a mini-checked design. Pattern scale is important when mixing patterns. Here I’ve combined the larger scale of the suit with the smaller scale of the check in the shirt.

For the tie, I went with a purple polka tie, another different pattern. I love how the polka dots looked against the checked shirt and they look great against a striped one as well. Wearing a polka dot tie you doesn’t mean you have to stick with a solid shirt.

In addition, I added a paisley pocket square, my final pattern in my mixing patterns challenge. This pattern is totally different from the others that I’ve already shown but it’s of the same color family as the tie as well as the purple check in my shirt. Lastly details are important and I personalized my look with a pair of cufflinks passed down from my father. He had a great sense of style and I think they helped to finish off the look quite nicely. As a result, the challenge was accepted with great success. Love to hear your thoughts.

BCP_7609WEB

Shop My Look/Details

Grey tonal suit –BurberryChecked dress shirt – Polo by Ralph Lauren; Purple polka dot tieTies.com; Multi-color paisley pocket squareTies.com; Purple socks (not shown) Ties. com; Cap toe shoes- J. Fitzpatirick (similar)Church’s 

 

Photography: BC Petrie Photography

NYFWM: Loris Diran Spring/Summer 2017

Change was in the air for the Loris Diran Spring/Summer 2017 collection. In the past few seasons, Diran presented his designs on the runway. While always an enjoyable show, this time he opted for a presentation.  It was a great opportunity to get a closer look at his clothes. As a result, this was a wise choice.

Loris Diran LookC

Casual yet elegant was the theme behind this Loris Diran Spring/Summer 2017 collection. Diran featured suiting in a variety of silhouettes in muted summer colors. The color palette was reminiscent of  the beautiful dimming colors at dusk. The structure was much more relaxed then when compared with collections from Suit Supply or the Hart x Hart collection. Softer shoulders and non-traditional shapes was the theme, offering a change from the traditional suit. Thus providing a nice alternative for the upcoming season.

Loris Diran LookA

Along side these pieces where the more casual elements. Oversized jackets, shirts and sweaters were shown over joggers and other slim fit slacks creating athleisure looks. However these looks seemed a little more refined than what is regularly seen on the streets today. Despite this softening, the collection seemed to take on a more masculine feel than previous ones.

Loris Diran LookB

Favorite looks included the two toned blazer, the oversized zip cardigan with matching jogger pants and the blazer with light embelishment around the collar and pockets. The latter looked like a masculine interpretation of a ladies Chanel blazer. And just like Chanel, it will be highly coveted.

See more of Loris Diran’s collection in slideshow

NYFWM looks recap for 2017

New York Fashion Week was a few weeks ago but I’m still going through thousands of photos so I’m still reliving the moments of that exciting July week. Before I write about my impressions of the season, I thought I’d do a NYFWM looks recap of what I wore while I was up in the Big Apple.

NYFWM Looks Recap 4

I’ve mentioned before that when I travel I tend to stick to one color scheme. This way I can mix and match even though most of my outfits are well pre-planned. I like to do this because I adapt and come up with some additional looks if something unexpected popped up.  Or if I changed my mind on what I had planned. So for this latest season with a few exceptions I stuck to my usual plan wearing a lot of blues with whites and creams.

NYFWM Looks Recap 1

I’ve already written about a couple of looks that I rocked while in New York (I.W. Harper Style and A Suit with Shorts )  If you haven’t seen them,  please check them out. But here are three more looks that made an appearance during the week.

NYFWM Looks Recap 7 NYFWM Looks Recap 8

First was up was my floral blazer with tonal pants. I love this blazer by Billy Reid. Everybody is always looking for what’s new, now or next but I believe that great style and a fantastic wardrobe involves mixing new with great pieces already in your wardrobe. I picked up this blazer last year and it quickly became a favorite. I paired it with tonal plaid pants and finished with a solid tie. I love pattern mixing. This time I mixed a big patterned blazer with a small almost unnoticeable pattern in the pant.

NYFWM Looks Recap 9 NYFWM Looks Recap 5

It’s summer so of course I wanted to wear white. Next up in my NYFWM looks recap was how I incorporated white. I found this blazer by Hardy Amies on Gilt. A neutral backdrop is a great way to make a pattern pop and my blazer set against all white pants and shirt easily became the center of attention. This even holds true when I added by bright baby blue loafers.

NYFWM Looks Recap 3

Lastly in my NYFWM looks recap was my blue linen plaid suit. You’ll get the details on this beauty in an upcoming post so you’ll have to come back and read my follow up posts! Until next time, stay fashionable and remember you too, can be a fool for fashion!

NYFWM Looks Recap 2

Details

Floral Blazer – Billy Reid; Tonal Plaid Pants – Gucci; Blue Dress Shirt – Ben Sherman; Blue Tie – Ralph Lauren Purple Label; Suede loafers – Ferragamo; Fedora – Goorin Bros.; Blue Lapel Flower – Hook and Albert; Sunglasses – Retrosuperfuture

 

Pattern Blazer – Hardy Amies; White Pants – Gucci; White Dress Shirt – Brooks Brothers; Baby Blue Loafers – Gucci; Sunglasses – Dior Homme