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The Outfit: Summertime Professional

I’m not one to let mother nature tell me how to dress. If I want to go suited to work or for a day off around town then by God I’m gunna do it.

But this isn’t my first rodeo either (First time in my entire life I’ve ever used that phrase. Goddamn I’m a badass.) I’m well aware that walking around downtown Chicago in 100+ degree weather isn’t ideal for a classic, black suit.

It’s like this except I don’t wear tank tops

So I found a picture among my inspiration file that was more of a Fall piece but it just managed to have a very simple, classic sort of look to it, that I wanted to recreate into a lighter summer outfit.

I like everything that’s happening here. Everything

But some changes needed to be made, to suit the whole weather situation. First, the black pants had to go. I needed a lighter color to stave off the heat and also give it a lighter, summer look. The blazer he’s wearing is too heavy for the weather as well. I needed the lightest constructed blazer in my closet.

What I came up with was this. The pants are Banana Republic’s Classic Fit Plaid Wool Dress Pants. Wool is lighter than a lot of materials like polyester. These pants retail new for $108, but this pair I picked up for about $39 because it was part of the previous season’s line on clearance.

The Blazer is another Banana Republic piece from the Spring, 2012 line. They call it a Utility Blazer. It’s light, its comfortable, and its construction is just a little bit on the unique side (the kind of attribute I appreciate). I also like that this piece will work for just about any season. Brand new, this retails for $250. But this was another great clearance pick-up, costing me only $90.

The tie is just a simple pick from JC Penny’s Van Heusen line. It was the one pop of color I wanted in an otherwise neutral outfit, just like the inspiration picture. It provides a place for the eye’s attention to wander to. Penny’s charges around $15 for these ties.

The shirt is one of H&M’s slim fit dress shirts. I’ve said a lot of good things about these shirts. They’re so cheap that you can’t help but like them. Just $14 dollars for that shirt. The only issue I’ve found is they run smaller and the sleeves are a bit too long. Still worth it.

For the footwear I went with my boat shoes, again aiming to keep as cool as possible. Anything you wear sockless in this temperature needs to be cleaned up though.

For a simple accessory I chose one of Target’s Merona watches. Its absolutely worth your time to take a quick look at these next time you’re near a Target. The bands are a little shoddy looking but bands can be switched out. The watch face options are really classic.

So if you picked this all up for brand new, it would run about $470, which is quite a bit of cash. Banana Republic is not known as the affordable branch of GAP, but the quality is there. So is the design in my opinion. But with a little savvy shopping, I managed this whole outfit for around $250.

Had a lot of positive comments about this outfit, one from a particularly beautiful stranger I met at a bar. Numbers were exchanged and good conversations had.

But that’s just my approach to a comfortable, professional summer outfit. I’d love to hear yours