Because this is a blog, and not a newspaper, I’ve decided to focus more on individual outfits and blog about them. Doing so creates more content for my readers and lets go more indepth on why I picked what I wore and how I came up with it! Without further ado, here’s Street x Sprezza’s first entry into our new weekly series “Inspiration for Less”. And who better to be inspired by than Chad Park?
Chad Park is one of my style icons. He uses his Italian education to create amazing sartorial pieces. With large lapels, high-waisted pants, and sharp pattern mixing, you could say that this style is very 1930’s inspired.
After seeing the following images on his tumblr (which shares its name with his father’s tailoring shop), I decided to try my own hand in something very similar. I realy love the idea of having patterns fill up your shirt and tie, but ground the outfit in a solid suit. The beige suit works wonderfully with the saturation of blue in his shirt and tie. This is a great spring sartorial outfit!
It’s important to note that I am not a tailor nor do I have a fancy job that allows me to spend loads of money on suits. I rely mainly on ebay or thrift stores to buy my clothes! As a result, I try to find inspiration from my style icons and try to replicate the look within my means. Here’s my try!
I don’t have a beige wool suit, but I do have a khaki chino suit! I’m not sure how the spring-summer temperatures are in Korea (where B&Tailor and Chad Park are from) but its very dry here in the Inland Empire of California. A chino suit is the go to for spring suiting, along with linen and other cotton suits. It’s lightweight, soft to the touch, and extremely comfortable. It does wrinkle, but that’s what makes this a casual suit and not one you would wear to court or a board meeting.
I am extremely fascinated with pattern matching. As you can see in the previous pictures, Chad combined his print blue tie with a striped blue shirt. Instead of matching it exactly, I decided to play with the pattern on the tie and go with a light red striped shirt. Doing so adds a bit more color to the outfit and makes mine a bit more different than the inspiration, instead of flat out copying it. I also added a paisley pocket square to have more fun with the colors, as opposed to the more conservative choice that Chad made (white dotted pocket square).
Suit from J. Crew, Shirt from Brooks Brothers, Thrifted Tie, Shoes from eBay, Pocket Square from H&M
Chad Park is a bespoke tailor (although they do have RTW and MTO), so the price of the exact suit will reflect that. According to this, a blog post from one of their partners, a price for a 2 piece suit will start at $2350 AUD (approx. $1698 USD); this doesn’t include fabric choice or other details. A MTM shirt costs $250 AUD ($180 USD) and his shoes (probably Zonkey Boot, their shoe partner) cost about 599 Euros ($671 USD) . There’s no way that I can afford that!
I believe that you can dress how you want on a budget. Obviously, I wouldn’t recommend if you have a strict, conservative view on suits. However, if you like to add some variety and fun to your closet with sartorial pieces, go for it! You don’t have to sit at the sidelines, wishing that you were rich or famous to wear these items. You can always go out and find pieces that will work for you at an affordable price. Here’s what I paid for these items and a little back story on each.
J. Crew Crosby Fit Chino Suit: It was on clearance and they had an extra 30% off clearance, so I copped it at about $270 for both pieces? Add in tailoring (jacket let out, pants taken in, hemmed, cuffed, suspender buttons) and it was about $320 total. Definitely cheaper than the $2000 suit! J. Crew suits are half-canvassed, which allows a much better drape than H&M or similarly cheap priced suits. I’d always recommend getting a suit from them on sale instead of just buying a full-priced cheaper suit. My only qualm is the very thin lapels and lack of high waist. I guess that’s why you go bespoke!
Brooks Brothers Black Fleece Shirt: Purchased while in NOLA and they were having a sale. Got it for $40. Very good price for a shirt that fits well looks the way it does!
Necktie: Shirts and suits have similar models no matter where you go. Unless you’re a stickler for design and shape (like I am) most suits will look the same! In contrast, neckties vary greatly. I always find it best to thrift these items as much as possible, since you’re never going to see it again. Tie was about $2 from goodwill. Very cool design that reminds of me of the 1930’s brocade variations. It is very thick (due to the silk and interlining) but who cares! It still looks great.
Pocket Square: H&M for $12. Free for me, since I had a giftcard! These items are probably the only things I will get from H&M now.
Shoes: Interwoven leather spectator derbies from Allen Edmonds, copped on ebay for $40. Another one of those items that you don’t see anymore! Woven shoes were big in the 1930s-40s and came back in the 80s and 90s. eBay is a great resource to use when looking for shoes. If you’re like me and you wear a different pair almost everyday, use eBay and buy quality brands! Always look at pictures and determine if the pre-wear is worth the price! I only wear these shoes once in a while, so they’re great for the price! I won’t have to worry about replacing them any time soon.
Total for outfit: Approx $402? Seems a bit pricey, but it pales in comparison to the actual inspiration (approx $2000+). Plus now I have great items that I wear very often. For example, the suit can be broken down to use as just chinos and the jacket can be used as a sportcoat!
As you can see, you don’t have to spend loads of money to dress up nicely! If you’re the guy who works in a conservative office, maybe buying the cool print ties from goodwill won’t work for you. However, the lessons learned from this article will help you find whatever you need!
If you’re an upcoming dandy who wants more suits, ties, and shoes, then follow this example! Deals are to be made everywhere, whether you buy it from a retailer or pre-used from eBay. Don’t get me wrong; this isn’t an excuse to always buy second-hand or to be too frugal. There is a huge art and investment in hand made, tailored goods. There is so much detail and control in bespoke suits and shirts. I much prefer the lapels and fit on the Bntailor suit. Since I am still working, I am at the mercy of mall retailers and eBay; the former will only have what is trendy, and I don’t see big lapeled-high waisted suits coming into mainstream fashion any time soon! If I have more money in the future, I will definitely be buying bespoke. For now, these pieces will do. They are still great quality, and will still last me as long as I need!
The lesson here is this: don’t let price get in the way of dressing how you want.
Always a pleasure,
Street x Sprezza
Photography by Scott E. Pictures of Chad Park taken from B&Tailor.