Limited Summer Palette Continued.

Summer temperatures have arrived! Custom linen trousers by Leviner Wood, a cotton polo and suede shoes in an effort to look somewhat put together in the heat. The polo is actually beige, but photographed pink…

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The Urban Adventurer’s Jacket

I don’t wear a suit everyday. I haven’t even been wearing a sport coat every day, either. My world, and that in which I live, has become increasingly casual. But, as we know, casual doesn’t have to mean a mess. I still dress deliberately.

One of the more useful wardrobe pieces to see near constant use, is the safari or field jacket. I’m down a number of pockets when not wearing suits and sports coats and really tailored clothing doesn’t allow for a bunch of kit to be stashed away anyway. The jacket solves that problem with its wealth of bellows pockets. I’m saving up to get a luxury custom-made suede version from a wonderful looking company called Stòffa. In fact, their idea of casual suits me to a t.

Agyesh Madan wearing his own creations.

In the meantime, I make do with a older version from J. Peterman and a newer (and far less expensive) find from outdoors outfitters, Cabela’s!

J. Peterman Safari Jacket cica 1988

Cabela’s Safari Jacket. On sale now! Click through.

The trick is to avoid the temptation to go full-on Red Buttons in “Hatari” and avoid cargo trousers. I pair my jackets with tailored trousers or white/off-white linen-cotton jeans. Desert boots work well as do suede driving shoes and loafers. I will wear a t-shirt or polo shirt under the jacket if it’s very warm out. Otherwise a long-sleeve popover or what-have-you maintains that semi-professional look. Chambray looks like it was invented for the purpose.

What carries you through your urban adventures during your more casual days?

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Wearing a Work of Art: Canali

When I don’t have garments made for me, I rely on a few tried and true brands that are very well-made and fit me well. When I tried on my first Canali suit, I smiled. As Franco slipped the suit coat over my shoulders, he, too, smiled. “Canali,” he said “makes you look like the athlete you once were.”

It was easy to overlook the back-handed compliment. He was right. After a few tailoring tweaks and a tan, I wore that suit to have my driver’s license picture taken. It remains one of the best photos of me ever.

Every time I wear that suit I get compliments, even though its cut is now out of fashion, and I feel great. That’s a fit and feeling that I crave now that I’ve entered my middle age. A luxury, an Italian suit, has become a necessity.  Which makes me want to try Canali’s more casual lines. As we become a more casual society, more and more men need help with what I call “the middle ground,” dressing well, informally. Why wouldn’t you turn to the masters of smart casual — the Italians?

I frequently travel with a navy Kei Blazer, it’s unconstructed, which makes it feel like a sweater, but keeps things smart. This season, as I experiment with a limited palette of pale colors, I would choose Canali’s “Ash Blue Linen and Silk Kei Blazer.”

The hot weather has me thinking almost exclusively of cream, white and beige trousers. Casual chinos in a cotton and silk blend sound like my favorite sort of low-key luxury.

Since the heat makes me ruin silk ties, I opt for an open collar. Rather than the expected polo, why not add a floral motif and a full buttoning placket?

And for the all-American touch — blue suede shoes. (Although rather more elegantly interpreted as a driving moccasin.)

“One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art.” said the Wilde one. Why choose between the two? Especially when we have elegant interpreters of smart casual like Canali to clothe us.

(N.B. this post was written in collaboration with Canali.com. But only because I believe in the quality and wearability of this very storied Italian brand.)

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