wear it well

    Day to Night: How to Dress Up Your Look Without Changing (All) Your Clothes

    7th February 2014

    A button up and jeans can get you a long way… 

    We all have those days where we’ve completely overbooked our calendars and have no time to change clothes before heading out for the night. So how about wearing something that you can just make a few stealthy “Mr Rogers” swaps to completely transform your look? Thankfully, it’s as easy at it sounds.

    Screen Shot 2014-02-06 at 8.22.47 PM

    Get the Look:

    Button up shirt: J. Crew Secret Wash Shirt, $50

    Jeans: Joe’s Paolo Straight-Leg Jeans, $169

    Sunglasses: Ray Ban Club Master, $150

    Sneakers: Converse Jack Purcell, $60

    Blazer: Club Monaco Made in America Blazer, $575

    Bow tie: Jack&Jones Page Mix Bow Tie, $27

    Shoes: John W. Nordstrom ‘Ethan’ Loafer, $175

    Tell us:

    How do you take a work look from day to night?

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    • Marc

      I know I’m going to get flak for it, but really – jeans and a tie? I know it “can be done”, but I guess I’m just not a fan of the look or perception it may portray.

      • Tod C

        No I am with you, especially as it is a bow tie. But Megan is spot on that changing shoes and throwing on a blazer is an amazing transformation. I use a blazer to smarten up a look all of the time.

        • Marc

          Blazers are great, I agree. Nothing like a casual blazer to pair with dark wash jeans and be ready for 80-90% of situations outside of work, weddings, or funerals.

        • Ron

          Agreed. I’d skip the tie with this and be good with a blazer. Go with a pocket square if you want to add some color instead of the tie.

      • Mathieu Bilal

        And if you didn’t wear a tie during the day, why put one on at night?

        • Enrique Ollero

          Sometimes you’re out for an entire day and you don’t have the opportunity to change your look entirely before going out at night. A recent personal example is that my company took all of the employees out for a fun afternoon at a family fun center that included bowling and lazer tag. Right after that I knew I was going out to a nice dinner with visiting friends who were about to leave town and I knew I wouldn’t have enough time to get back from my work event and change before going out to dinner. So I wore jeans, a t-shirt, and boots to the work event, then threw on an OCBD, a tie, and a blazer and went straight to dinner.
          No tie – not even a collared shirt – during the day, tie at night.

        • average joe

          Most of men in 2014 are entrenched in a business casual hangover from the mid 90s which took its cues from Regan-era suit and ties in an effort to attract and inject energy into America’s workplace by letting men wear what they wanted. A few select professions not withstanding, most of us are not required to put on a tie during the day, but we do so at night because we enjoy the art of dressing well. That said, one can still dress well sans tie.

          • Marc

            Wouldn’t you rather inject a tie into your work wardrobe over your casual wardrobe? Even with business casual being the norm, the norm for public is a hoody and jeans.

            • average joe

              I agree with you Marc, but sometimes the cart really does come before the horse.

            • Ron

              The tie can be kind of a signifier of importance. Many men choose not to wear a tie at work, but outside of it in the evening, showing that their time with friends or family is worth dressing up for, while their job is merely a job.

      • Adam Wyatt

        I always thought it was a good look. A good way to dress down your tie, just like dressing down your blazer. And it’s something that’s really easy to pack that can upgrade your look a lot.

        • TJ

          Only if it is a very casual tie.

      • average joe

        I think the denim and tie look is ok (for right now) This is the look that was pretty big when I was in high school in the early 90′s right before the onslaught of grunge. I think its a little fad-ish – but its more street wear than anything else. If you want to put on a full suit or blazer with non-denim trousers that is certainly acceptable and has been timeless for many years now – nothing wrong with wearing the standards. But if you look at street wear right now: the tunics, the kilts, dropcrotch, red high tops, etc, all of that plays into the standards of every day standard menswear, and blazer, denim, and tie is the least edgy of all of those which is why so many men easily gravitate to it. Go into any gastropub this weekend (Tod gets a free pass cuz he’s not stateside) and it’s gonna be all blazers and denim. The only thing I would add to all of this is: If you’re gonna wear a tie, tie it! No clip ons!

        • Tod C

          Yes I do denim and blazer as it is safe so lots of people like the look – where I live even a pocket square is considered worth mentioning so I play it safe frequently. My wife for instance really likes it.

          @disqus_EfnDee2b83:disqus is right but given the state of how your friends dress most likely that is all they can handle. I usually go for one level more put together than the people around me.

          We have beer commercials here where one guy in the crowd is the good hair and blazer guy so it is usually worth being him rather than angry ball cap guy :->…

        • Marc

          Unfortunately, I think I’d have to wake myself up if everyone was wearing blazers in a pub. I wish people cared about their appearance here. In regards to actually tying a tie – yes, please, please, please use a real tie. Also, if you’d like to mix it up, here’s a link for 18 different knots – big fan of the trinity knot.

      • Enrique Ollero

        I have zero problem with pairing jeans and a tie. I do it all the time. In this colder months I’ve really enjoyed pairing dark jeans with a buffalo check flannel shirt, polkadot knit tie, and charcoal flecked wool blazer. Now I wouldn’t pair neckwear with all denim universally, for instance I wouldn’t wear a tie or bowtie with light “dad-jeans” or looser fitting jeans. Then again I wouldn’t wear “dad-jeans” or looser fitting jeans to begin with. But with the right color and fit I see no problem pairing neckwear and denim.

      • Junior

        I think if you get the textures right it works much better. However, even as regular wearer of bow ties (wearing one right now), I don’t think I’ve ever worn one with jeans. I simply think that the tie needs to be more “in fashion” in terms of material (ie; wool), texture (silk knit) or width, to be worn with jeans. While you can argue that the right bow tie is very fashionable – I’d agree – it simply carries that ever present notion of being “old fashioned” that makes it a tough fit with jeans.

        Unless of course you’re going for that hip grandpa look, then I’m sure GQ will be waiting on the corner to snap your picture.

        • PdxTony

          Good points. I think that retro is a certain look too. Look at how jeans, leather jackets, bombers all create a certain look and more importantly, feel, when incorporated into an outfit. It seems to me when a bowtie is worn it does pull in that same old fashion, retro look to the outfit as a temporal sartorial counterpoint to a modern outfit.
          I am not a fashion expert and have never seen an article on this counterbalancing different eras in an outfit as points of interest anywhere so maybe I am totally off base

      • WideEyesTWBlog

        Haha, and flak you get. But yeah, I think a tie with jeans is perfectly fine, you just have to pick the right tie (no shiny silk numbers), and the right jeans (sharp dark blues or blacks, if you ask me). I personally love to wear a pair of raw blue jeans with an OCBD and a knit tie…but hey, to each their own!

        • AJ


      • AJ

        Jeans and a tie is fantastic. Although I like a regular tie (with texture) rather than a bow tie. And yes, GQ will be there to snap your picture.

    • Joshua

      I’d simply wear the night look all day. But I don’t like those loafers; I’d wear my dark brown dress shoes.

      • Ron

        Yeah, I’m also not really a fan of those loafers, or loafers in general.

        • Style Girlfriend

          Man, not a loafers crowd here…good to know!

          • tedbert

            Count me in for the anti-loafers. No lace – no deal.

          • Jeff K.

            Not everyone is anti-loafer. I hate, hate, hate shoe laces. So whatever I can wear sans laces is a winner in my book.

          • Tod C

            Actually I keep thinking I don’t like them but I have a pair I wear a couple of times a week as they are the right choice for an outfit. Keep it coming Megan, you have talked us out of lots of preconceptions.

            • Style Girlfriend

              Woo hoo! Will do, Tod :)

          • jt

            I prefer the loafers over the canvas sneakers. But I would lose the bow tie the sports coat and loafers class it up enough

    • Enrique Ollero

      This was basically my entire Christmas vacation in the Philippines. I’d leave my apartment in the morning and have plans all day, and then I’d have no opportunity to change before going out to a nice dinner with relatives or family friends. So I’d usually wear a pair of jeans or slacks, a button front short sleeve shirt or polo, and a pair of Toms during the day. Then I’d throw on a knit blazer, maybe some neckwear depending on how fancy of a place we were going to, and changed into a pair of loafers. Little adjustments would make all the difference and would save me from the embarrassment I felt years ago when I was visiting the Philippines and had my first taste of kobe beef in a very nice restaurant while wearing the t-shirt and pair of shorts I had been wearing during the day and didn’t have the change to change out of.

    • WhenToWear

      A bow tie with jeans looks affected. Both outfits could have been saved if chinos were suggested instead of denim. Slightly dressier and more acceptable in business casual environments.

      • Tod C

        -1. I tried chinos at work again the other day and the old man comments I got have them back in the closet. Denim looks a lot better, chinos is the uniform of people who don;t think about it.

        • WhenToWear

          It can be hit or miss for a lot of people, they end up buying a pair that is less expensive and they end up being a billowy mess. While I’m all for denim and sport coats, I still don’t believe denim has a place in most professional business settings; which is why I think a trimmer pair of chinos, in navy or grey would have been more appropriate. Besides, a large percentage of guys still buy denim in odd cuts, while chinos for the most part, are usually sold in a slightly tapered straight leg.

          • Tod C

            I work in high tech so my environment is very denim positive so that might be part of it. It is also a place that attracts bad dressers but values youth and forward thinking highly. Style is both reviled and rewarded in the same environment so it is a tricky area to negotiate. I get great reviews for wearing a yoda T shirt with a blazer here despite it being a somewhat ridiculous look.

            Chinos and polos are what the old guys wear (and yes you are right usually cheap ones). I don’t think people around here can tell the difference between a decent pair and a cheap one so there are perception issues to deal with as a put together look with chinos is pretty rare.

            But as I guy in my 40s I need to avoid looking past it so I need to avoid looking like the guys who are.

    • Ben Forman

      It’s a small thing, but I absolutely cannot stand tucking in shorter hemmed shirts. They ALWAYS come untucked, so I would just switch from a sportier shirt to a dressier one.

    • jdgoodstone

      Yes to loafers