The Dapper Advisor
Men's Fashion and Style Advice From Your Favorite Academic Advisor.

All Black & Blue

Suit by Suit Supply, Shirt by Stafford, Tie by John Ashford, Shoes by Florsheim (thrift)

It’s no surprise that brown, blue, and green are some of favorite colors to wear all year-round, but I enjoy incorporating some black every now and then as well. I just rarely ever do it, especially when it comes to black shoes. When I first started building my wardrobe, I constantly read that a quality pair of black shoes are essential for every man’s wardrobe. However, at the time I found myself wearing brown or burgundy shoes with just about every outfit. Nowadays, I find myself reaching for a pair of black shoes more often.

This black tie was the very first tie I ever purchased. I spent about $30 for it and at the time I thought it was a great deal. Today, I usually spend $1-$3 for all of my ties, even for the “luxury” brands.

These black cap toe oxfords are also a thrift store find. They were about $10, and it only makes me laugh to think that I spent more on my tie than I did for my shoes. You live and you learn!

September 19, 2014
LEAVE A COMMENT

Ready for Business

Suit by Stafford, Shirt by Stafford, Tie by Jos. A. Banks (thrift), Shoes by Andres Marseilles (thrift), Briefcase by Vintage (thrift)

Nothing screams “ready for business” more than a chalk stripe suit. For some reason, I always associate chalk stripes with bankers and boardroom execs. In fact, every time I wear this suit, I feel like I should be hosting a meeting with the President of a Fortune 500 company. 

It has been quite a while since the last time I wore this suit, seen here, because I hated the way the trousers draped over my shoes. Fortunately, I managed to taper the legs and add a 1 1/2 in. cuff. I also slimmed the body of the waistcoat so that it could create a more flattering silhouette. 

Also, when wearing a power suit like this one, you should pair it with a no-nonsense briefcase to hold all of your important documents and or laptop.

September 17, 2014
LEAVE A COMMENT

Self Made Alterations: Chapter 2

image

In Chapter 1, I talked about finally making the conscious decision to learn how to alter my own clothing. And if you follow my instagram acount, you’ve noticed that I started posting some of my finished projects. A few weeks ago, I started with dress shirts and simply slimmed the sleeves and the body. Then I moved onto tapering trousers and adding a cuff. Fortunately, my mother was a seamstress in Trinidad, so she gives me pointers and helps me avoid making silly mistakes.  So with her help and the occasional youtube video, I am getting better with each alteration I perform. I will eventually post tutorial videos on the blog but for now I am still perfecting my craft. Similar to when I taught myself how to play the guitar over the summer, I continue to come to the realization that consistency is key!

September 15, 2014
LEAVE A COMMENT

White Denim All Year-Round

image

Wearing white pants after labor day was once considered a fashion don’t. However, today it is common to see people wearing white, all year-round. In fact, after browsing through my archives, I realized that I wear the same white denim jeans all year round. Mainly because I really love the way they fit, especially after getting them tapered and shortened.

There are so many rules in fashion that it is almost impossible to avoid breaking several of them on any given day. However, I think it is pretty safe to say that wearing white after labor day is no longer considered a fashion don’t; at least for me anyway. 

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

September 12, 2014
LEAVE A COMMENT

Story Leather Interview

I recently got the opportunity to interview with Jonathan Ly of StoryLeather.com. Story Leather makes custom made to order leather cell phone cases, wallets, and totes. All of their products are handmade and constructed with genuine leather. On the story leather blog they have style stories where they interview bloggers, and I was fortunate enough to be this week’s feature. So please check out my interview below and be sure to shop Story Leather for all of your custom leather needs.

Story Leather: On your blog you had mentioned that you had made the conscious decision to dress for the role that you were aspiring for, “How did you know what to wear?”

Akil: I learned what to wear by modeling my wardrobe after the respected veterans in my field.  In higher education professors, deans, and presidents tend to dress relatively conservative and business oriented.  Analyzing what key players in my professional industry wore provided me with a realistic vision of what my wardrobe should consist of. However, because I started my career at a young age I decided to construct my wardrobe based around classic menswear pieces, but with a modern fit. By doing so, I gained the respect from my peers and supervisors, all while gaining the respect and trust from my advisees.

Story Leather: You’ve also mentioned that thrift stores we’re your best option, “With thrift stores being so random in their selection how did you go about finding what works?”

Akil: Thrift stores are extremely random in their selection, especially the ones that I regularly visit. However, the keys to success for shopping at a thrift store lie in having the patience to sift through cluttered clothing racks, as well as having the knowledge to decipher quality brands and fabrics. Although most items found in thrift stores are vintage and outdated, menswear has remained relatively the same over the years. Therefore, visiting a tailor and making minor alterations can help eliminate the fear of wearing something that clearly looks like you found it in a thrift store.

Story Leather: When did you make the decision to become the Dapper Advisor? Was it influenced during your time as a student or afterward?

Akil: I decided to become the Dapper Advisor while I was a student in graduate school. During that time, I became very interested in style and dressing well for my career. So I started the platform as a way to monitor my style evolution. It eventually became a platform to share my style and menswear knowledge with others as well. As I was finding my own personal style, I found that many of my peers wanted to improve their style, but did not know where to begin.

Story Leather: As the Dapper Adviser, what are a few simple rules that every young professional can follow when trying to dress the part?

Akil: When I first started doing my research on style and menswear in particular, I tried to follow all of the “menswear rules” that I found on the Internet. However, as I began to learn more and created my own style, I found myself breaking a lot of those said rules.  Now, the only rules that I “abide” by is never leaving home without a watch (even though I rarely check it for the time), keeping my shoes clean and polished, and staying well groomed. I have learned that a nice outfit can be ruined if it is not accompanied with a fresh haircut.

Story Leather: Lastly, “How do you adapt your own style to the ever evolving fashion world?”

Akil: Although the fashion world is ever evolving, it does not have much of an effect on my style. I do not view myself as a trendy individual. I appreciate diverse styles but I believe in keeping things simple and only wearing clothes that look good on me and flatter my body. I think a key component in finding an authentic personal style is staying true to the things that you enjoy wearing, not “adapting” to emerging fashion trends. Not everything is a style fit for me and I’m okay with that.

Story Leather: Did you have any final thought’s you’d like to mention to any young professionals out there?

Akil: Being a young professional can be tough, especially if you start your career at a young age like I did. Therefore, it is important to remain confident in your abilities as a professional. I enjoy wearing a good suit and tie to work, because I am able to leave lasting impressions with a lot of people. However, I believe that there is no substitute for hard work. In other words, a nice suit and a smile will definitely open doors for a young professional, but having a relentless work ethic as well as being knowledgeable in your field are the things that will really help you gain the respect and admiration of others.

 

September 11, 2014
LEAVE A COMMENT

Just Passing Thru

image

Blazer by Uniqlo, Shirt by Tailor4less, Tie by Brooks Brothers (thrift), Pants by Levis, Shoes by Church’s (thrift)

When I was an undergraduate student at Buffalo State, I rarely ever saw any faculty/staff outside of the classroom or outside of their office, almost as if they were not allowed to socialize with students. So I decided that once I started my career, I would make sure that I remain accessible to students. For me that means eating lunch on campus and just simply passing through the student union or library. I realized that by remaining accessible, I am able to build stronger relationships with my students and as a result it makes my job as an advisor so much easier. 

image

image

image

September 11, 2014
LEAVE A COMMENT
One of my coworkers definitely made my day with this feature. His blog  aims to shatter the stereotypes about Millennials, showing that Millennials are as hard-working, industrious, creative, and community-oriented as any previous generation. Check out his blog here.
September 08, 2014
LEAVE A COMMENT

Because I’m Happy

image

Blazer by Uniqlo, Shirt by Stafford, Trousers by Vintage (thrift), Shoes by Zara

I have a story to share that is completely unrelated to menswear, but it’ll explain the mood in my photos. So, yesterday afternoon, I received a warning notice on my car stating that it was time for me to renew my campus-parking permit.  A trip to the parking services office brought some news: I was informed that I had 3 unpaid parking tickets on my account, and I would not be able to get a new parking permit until those tickets were paid in full (with additional late fees). The tickets were issued back in November and I knew that I already paid them in full, as time passed I felt the headache coming up. The next step was finding proof of payment and checking my account statements. Low and behold, they were no-where to be found which meant I had to pay for them in cash. However, according to a staff member in the student accounts office, cash payments are deemed “untraceable” unless you keep your receipt.

image

So I did the next best thing: called parking services office and have them search the system for trace of payment. During this entire 2-hour ordeal I started to get very frustrated and even doubted myself as to whether or not I actually paid for the tickets. But I chose to remain positive and patiently waited for the student assistant to check the system. After about 20 minutes of scanning, she found my payments and I was able to receive a new parking permit. 

image

On the surface this might all seem like a ridiculously long and drawn out story about my war with parking services, but I actually learned some important lessons from this situation. One:  Hold on to important receipts, especially for transactions paid in cash. Two: it is extremely important to remain calm under pressure. Truth be told, if I had lost my cool with the student assistant, I might have been forced to pay for those tickets again and run the risk of getting more tickets for parking on campus with an expired parking permit. And last but not least, treating people with respect and courtesy can definitely open doors for you. It just goes to show that it is one thing to dress like a gentleman, but even more important to actually be one. 

image

September 04, 2014
LEAVE A COMMENT

Last Days of Summer

Suit by Hickey Freeman, Shirt by Stafford, Tie by Vintage (thrift), Shoes by John Lobb

The day after Labor Day is the commonly referred to as the unofficial last day of summer, so I wanted to get some wears out of this suit before the weather began to change significantly. However, I am actually excited for the fall because it is my favorite season. I have never been a fan of hot weather, unnecessary sweating, beaches, or anything thing else that is closely related to the summer.

I am still keeping things simple so I paired this suit with a solid kelly green tie. It is always funny to me when I look back at some of my older photo’s, seen here. I used to experiment with color blocking and different patterns, but nowadays solids and stripes are all I really need. 

September 03, 2014
LEAVE A COMMENT

Back to School

Suit by House of Darby, Shirt by Stafford, Tie by Brooks Brothers (thrift), Shoes by John Lobb

School is back in session and I must admit that I am pretty excited to connect with my students again. During the summer months, campus is extremely quiet and very laid back, so it is very refreshing to see the campus lively and busy again. So I decided to wear a suit and tie in order to start the new academic year off right.

This summer was a very productive one (even though my blogging activity suffered as a result). I managed to pick up a couple new hobbies such as teaching myself how to play the guitar and learning how to sew, seen here. So as a result, now I will be able to perform some minor alterations and hopefully save some money along the way.

August 29, 2014
LEAVE A COMMENT

After Work Candids…

I am extremely fortunate to work with several different photographers. In fact, most of them are not even actual “photographers”. Just some good friends with a great eye for detail. However, sometimes I get the honor of working with professional photographers that just have a knack for capturing some great shots, and this photo shoot in particular is one of my favorites, and not just because I am wearing this salmon colored blazer. 

After work, my friend Kourtney Leanne took some photos of me visiting some restaurants and bars around the city and captured some great candid shots that I usually wouldn’t think of featuring on the blog. Kourtney definitely has the “photograher’s eye” and is a pleasure to work with. So check out more of her work here and feel free to contact her if you’re in the market for a young professional photographer.

August 20, 2014
LEAVE A COMMENT

Self Made Alterations: Chapter 1

image

Since my suits, jackets, and trousers often need alterations, I can honestly admit that I have accumulated hundreds of dollars in tailoring bills over the past couple of years. In fact, I used to visit my tailor at least once a week to get my thrift store finds altered and dry cleaned. However, I have learned a lot over the years and I no longer purchase anything that needs too much work. For instance, my most recent trip to the tailor, seen here, included only minor alterations to the pants and jacket. In comparison to my earlier years when I would get several things done such as tapering the legs of trousers, shortening the pant length, adding a cuff, shortening the jacket sleeve, slimming jacket sleeves, taking in the sides a jacket, and even shortening the length a jacket (which is extremely expensive).

Therefore, I decided that it was time for me to start saving some money and learn how to perform alterations on my own. Of course, there are some things that I would feel more comfortable getting done by a professional, but I know there there are several alterations that I can do on my own, such as tapering the legs of trousers. Especially since there are videos like this one on youtube. So stay tuned for some of my DIY alterations and hopefully I do not ruin too much of my clothes along the way.

August 19, 2014
LEAVE A COMMENT

Vintage Prints

image

Hat by Olney, Shirt by Vintage (thrift), Shades by Vintage (thrift), Pants by Levi’s, Shoes by Zara

I have been frequently visiting some of my favorite local thrift stores these past couple of weeks and purchased everything from unique furniture and vintage lamps to curtain sheers and vintage cameras. In fact, I spend most of my time in the furniture section, since I am still vigorously decorating my new apartment (more on that soon). However, I came across this shirt and felt like it was ideal for the summer.

image

I really appreciate its slim fit and printed details. The print actually reminds me of an Aztec design that I came across in one of my art books, except this design is more subtle. The white buttons also really stand out and complement my white denim very well.

image

image

July 31, 2014
LEAVE A COMMENT

Made to Measure Shirts

image

Suit Hickey Freeman (thrift), Shirt by Tailor4less, Shoes by Zara, Briefcase by Vintage (thrift)

Made-to-measure (MTM), custom, and bespoke are all words that are constantly being thrown around in the menswear world today. Years ago one would have to seek out a skilled tailor, choose their fabric (or “speak for” the cloth, hence the word “bespoke”), get measured, and wait 6-8 weeks for their garment to be made. However, today one could visit an online made to measure retailer like Tailor4less, and get their suits, shirts, or jackets made perfectly to their liking.  

image

image

The process of ordering a MTM shirt can seem overwhelming at first with all of the shirt options available, but Tailor4less has made the process quick and simple. I simply chose a slim fit, a cotton fabric, and a cutaway collar style. They have all of the options to create a really unique dress shirt such as the placket style, but I wanted something simple that I would be able to wear all year round. After, I decided on all of the little details like the pleats, cuff style, and pocket stance, I chose my fabric. The last step was to insert my measurements, luckily I know my measurements down to the centimeter because I frequently visit my tailor. However, for those who might be a little un-sure about their measurements, Tailor4less offers approximate size guides.

image

image

The only accent I chose to add was a monogram of my initials on the shirt cuff to give it a custom feel. However, I wish I went with white letters instead, but I still like how this shirt came out, especially the fit. All in all my experience, with Tailor4less was quick, simple, and pain free. And the best part was that I only waited a few days to receive my shirt in the mail. So if you’re interested in creating your own MTM shirt check the brand out here.

image

Disclosure: I wrote this post while participating in a program on behalf of Tailor4less and received this shirt as compensation as part of my participation.


July 28, 2014
LEAVE A COMMENT

Thrifted Summer Suiting

Suit by Vintage (thrift), Shirt by Stafford, Belt by Tommy Hilfiger, Shoes by Henry Grethel (thrift), Bag by Humawaca (thrift)

A few months ago I visited one of my favorite local thrift stores and I found this vintage light blue pinstripe suit. The pants were bell-bottoms and the jacket was very billowy in the midsection, so I was a little apprehensive about making the purchase. I usually stray away from clothes that need a lot of alterations because it would defeat the purpose of shopping in a thrift store. However, since the suit was constructed from a lightweight cotton and the jacket was half lined with natural shoulders (no padding), I knew it would be an ideal summer option. So I made the purchase and quickly visited my good friend and tailor, Joe Chayban of Chayban Custom Tailors.

I decided to take in the sides of the jacket so that it would create a more flattering silhouette. The trousers were originally bell bottoms, so tapering the legs was essential. So I got them tapered, shortened, and I added a 1 1/2 inch cuff. After getting all of that work done I still paid under $100 and I couldn’t be happier. 

July 25, 2014
LEAVE A COMMENT
12345»