Suited

Dapper is the goal.

Also, that is what the bride-best friend expects to see of me. So that is what I set out to look. The dress code was semi-formal. Personally, it looks more semi-formal if the suit and pants don’t match—a belief I dare to have even if fashionistas and designers would disagree. Also, I wanted to look distinct.

  • Black cotton dress pants
  • Gray cotton-blend piqué blazer
  • White cotton shirt
  • Purple silk necktie
  • Purple silk pocket square
It's all in the details.
It’s all in the details.

I made certain that first three items are to my size and fit. Or they came as close as possible. The necktie and the pocket square may have the similar deep shade of purple but I picked a tie that had a visible pattern that would make it different from the pocket square. While it would have been easier to just go with striped ties, I felt like it wouldn’t have the same festive look.

Small Secret

It may sound insignificant and contradicting from someone who hates formal gatherings but I like wearing neckties because it gives me a chance to use that thing.

That thing I use.
That thing I use.

The thing functions almost like a tie clip. It isn’t made of hard materials but of cloth. And it’s worn at the back of the necktie instead of in front. It couldn’t be seen from the photo I took but at both ends of it are slits made to connect to the buttons of the shirt, which would keep the necktie in place. The thing has done good work for me since 2009.

Such SimilariTIES

I have a number of purple ties plus a pink one as a bonus.

So much purple!
So much purple!

As I was assembling the pieces, I wondered. Family weddings had red, blue, or yellow as the motif. Meanwhile, most friends and classmates chose purple as their motif. It is quite a popular choice. As to why it is, that escapes me.

Shiny Solution

Black leather belt should be paired with black leather shoes. The leather belt was new so there was no worry about that. But I had to shine the loafers.

Now here’s the problem: we were out of shoe wax. And the wedding was the following day!

I went online and looked for alternatives to shoe wax. I found out that I could use petroleum jelly – or even Vaseline – to make the shoe shine. Thankfully, there is petroleum jelly at home. So, I began rubbing some on the loafers. And I could instantly see it shimmer under the light. That was just the excess jelly thought so I wiped it off and even if it wasn’t as shiny as it was moments earlier, it looked way better than it was before the jelly rub.

Leather and jelly?
Leather and jelly?

Shady Shirt

I’m going with an almost unpopular and unknown choice: using a gray undershirt.

Frankly, I didn’t run out of plain white undershirts. But I have to come to experience the benefits of using a gray undershirt. It could hide the visibility of the undershirt beneath the dress shirt. Then again, the blazer would hide that fact and it wouldn’t be as appreciated or noticed. Funny to notice something that is almost invisible, isn’t it?

Grey Shirt, Uniqlo
Grey Shirt, Uniqlo

Also, I made sure that I was using V-neck shirt and not a crew neck or a square neck. Gives the same less visible effect. And no! A sleeveless/tank top/wife-beater will not have the same results.

While the Uniqlo shirt isn’t exactly an undershirt, it’s fit and light enough to slip beneath the shirt. The only problem I had with it was dressing inside the car caused the shirt to bunch around the shoulders and elsewhere—which is a whole other story altogether.

So what did I look like?

A rare moment captured on photo: me in a suit.
A rare moment captured on photo: me in a suit.

Forget distinct. There were two other guys who had the same idea of wearing a gray blazer and black pants: a photographer who wore a red shirt and a kid who wore a blue striped shirt. Based on the comments, compliments, and reactions I received, I looked the part. I was dapper. That or friends just wanted to flatter or lie to my face.

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