Suits have a bad rap. Menswear bloggers today are dedicated to making suits and formal wear look as casual as possible. For example, Dan Trepanier has an article on wearing Henley’s with your suit and HVRMINN wears Nike’s with his sharp DB’s. It seems that the suit (and its traditional accoutrements) has not shaken its pariah status among the masses. Don’t get me wrong; I’m all about dressing down a suit, but I’m still a standing fan of the classic suit worn. To my knowledge, there’s only a few men that can make wearing a suit look natural and easy, and I have the pleasure of featuring one of those masters. I present Chad Park from B&Tailor.
When normal people think of sprezzatura, they think of the peacocks of Pitti Uomo. As opposed to the #menswear movement, which is about making men’s clothes look cool, pitti guys put a twist on classic menswear. Thanks to this, guys who want to be sprezzy wear bold suits, white pants, and go sockless with their footwear, all in the name of “elegant nonchalance”. After a while however, it still looks like these gents are trying too hard. Why advertise sprezz when your choices are actually carefully crafted to appear lazy? It is a result of all these feelings that I think Chad Park truly embodies what it means to be sprezzy.
It takes a certain kind of person to wear a tailored suit and make it look so easy. Maybe it lies in the awesome photography. Maybe it lies in his naturally neutral expression. Or maybe it’s because Chad was born to Jung Yul Park, a master tailor who started B&Tailor in 1980, and tailoring just runs in the blood. Either way, we can all agree that Chad (Chang woo) Park is an excellent dresser and is on his way of becoming a master tailor himself, if he isn’t already.
The blend of Italian and Korean are clearly evident in the styles of B&Tailor, whose suits are crafted with soft shoulders and are detailed down to the hand-sewn lapels. From suits to coats and shirts, these guys make it all. They even make some truly interesting pieces, like a 1950’s Hollywood Jacket style blazer and even denim (as in jean) trousers!
B&Tailor has begun to partner with other haberdasheries to sell their products. Their oldest partner is The Finery Company, headed by Australian Joe Ha. They started to work together only 2 years ago, but both of their Instagram and Tumblr accounts are filled with both Chad and Joe hanging out and fitting people in their international trunk shows. B&Tailor has a newly developed relationship with a Swedish company for their suiting line and they plan on having a MTM partner in New York soon!
Let’s talk about Chad’s style. If I could describe it in layman terms, it would be a “Korean’s take on Italian style with some American influence”. For example, he’ll wear a large lapeled, soft-shouldered suit with the classic striped shirt and pattern tie. Quite the combination!
You won’t see skinny suit on him or anyone else Mr. Park associates himself with. He is built for comfort and timeless style rather than current trends. Not surprisingly, Joe Ha has been seen wearing the same B&Tailor suit that he had ordered three years ago. True style is classic. Chad prefers single pleated, high-waisted trousers with a large cuff, but the way he wears it says timeless rather than “1980s business man”.
Its almost like Chad Park and B&Tailor have a small love affair with post-war American suiting. Their DB’s are a bit longer than modern suits, with large lapels and a lower button below the pocket opening. This is a classic 1945-1950 cut for a Double Breasted jacket. Combined with fuller cut trousers and a cuff, you have a look that would pass in both 1946 and 2016.
Even the classic notch lapel designs follow that classic vintage look. Just check out the size and angle of these lapels! Very reminiscent of the mid 1940’s. I just love how they roll toward the button. Gone is the trend of skinny “1960’s/Mad Men” lapels. If you want something to stand the test of time, you have to go with this size.
Sometime’s Chad and his associates will only fasten the bottom button. Very unconventional but not unheard off, if you’re familiar with how the trend was prevalent in the 1940s-1950s on both single and double breasted jackets.
This love affair continues with the style of letting your open shirt collar rest on the lapels of your suit. The 1930’s-1950’s had this style as “sportswear” or casual, as we call it today, but we’ve all seen how the 1970’s hijacked it and ruined the look for everyone. While it can be hard to remove the disco association from your head, it’s hard to deny that Mr. Park and Mr. Ha can rock the look. They do it with button-ups as well as with polo shirts!
While the sprezzatura in Mr. Park can be seen in the cut of the suits or even his posture, I think that it’s his pattern combination really shows his effortless nature. Some guys prefer to have a plain shirt and patterned tie (or vice versa) to ensure they don’t overdo it, Chad tends to wear patterns on patterns in his jacket, shirt, tie, and pocket square. It’s almost as if he’s saying “f*** you” to what others think and just rocks whatever he wants to wear because he can (and it all works). To me, that is true sprezz. It’s much different than Pitti Peacocks who tend to go for crazy patterns; all the patterns that Chad wears are already classic staples of suiting.
Just the way he wears the clothes exudes effortlessness. Just by the pictures, you can see his nonchalance captured in extraordinary photography. The way he lounges around the store, looking out the window, or even just walking around Manila or Shanghai on a trunk show, are all examples of his sprezz. Most guys will pose pensively or give a little smolder, but the photography on B&Tailor’s Tumblr account simply show Chad in a slice-of-life fashion, just standing casually in an expertly tailored outfit.
Even his ties are worn without effort. Many guys will wear end their tie at the top of the belt line (as it should be), but Chad doesn’t do it that way. Having a much longer tie length than normal is something I’ve only seen on Pitti Guys, who are often wearing it with crazy patterns or colors. However, on someone who wears classic colors and patterns, it can look fantastically nonchalant.
Chad Park and the rest of the team at B&Tailor and The Finery Company have become my newest style inspirations. In fact, they’ve given my love for classic suiting new life. For a while, I was obsessed with crazy print ties, skinny fit pants, and matching odd jackets, vests, and pants. Thanks to randomly finding them on Tumblr, I’ve begun to combine my vintage style with my modern style.
You’ve probably seen it if you’ve been following my Instagram: I begun to get my pants cuffed, gotten them cut to be straight-er legged rather than skinny, and added suspender buttons. I even have gained the confidence to combine bolder patterns with each other. It’s all about crafting a personal style that can stand the test of time, as Chad Park has. Here’s a recent look inspired by Mr. Park. Call it plagarism if you may, I prefer to call it affection.
Linen-Wool Suit from Suit Supply, Shirt from Brooks Brothers Red Fleece,
Thrifted Wembley tie, Pocket Square from H&M, Suede Bluchers from Zara
Always a pleasure,
Street x Sprezza