Refined, Yet Understated, Part 1 of 2
Choosing what to wear is a form of problem solving. Depending on the situation or event you make a determination on what is or is not appropriate attire and then execute. Black tie or business, for example, each point to a fairly specific dress code. But it’s not always so cut and dry.
Last week I was involved in a promotional video shoot for the Capella DC, a new luxury hotel in Georgetown. The video would follow a couple spending a few nights at the hotel beginning with check in and then taking advantage of all the hotel’s amenities. The guidance I received as far as wardrobe was that it should be “refined, yet understated” and “elegant but not flashy.” Not terribly specific, but it got me in the ballpark.
I definitely wanted to nail the production company’s vision for the piece so I put together several options for them to choose from. We ended up going two looks: one casual and stylish, the other a little more elegant. Here is what I decided on for the more elegant of the two looks.
Before going any further, I should point out that the beautiful woman at my side is in these shots is the lovely and talented Willow. Willow was my companion for the shoot and was a true professional. I definitely got an amazing masterclass from her. And her great personality helped make a very long day not short on fun. Back to the wardrobe.
For elegant and classy, you really can’t go wrong with a slim black suit. It’s a piece that can easily be pushed into a formal direction, but that exudes an element of casual sophistication when dressed down a bit.
With the focus in menswear often on details and accessories, it’s nice to take a step back once in a while and choose something that’s clean and simple. A white shirt can be plain, but in the right context it can also look sharp. And for this scene, which had Willow and I enjoying a light snack, some champagne, and the amazing views from the Capella’s rooftop, it fit the bill perfectly.
This Look: Black suit by Stile Benetton (similar here), White slim fit French cuff shirt by Brooks Brothers, Black cap toe oxford shoes by Cole Haan, Black leather plaque belt by J.Crew, Coral silk pocket square by Brooks Brothers, Watch with black leather band by Timex, Sterling silver cufflinks by Tiffany (similar here).
As a fan of light and versatile travel packing, it was nice to be able to showcase the same basic look as we transitioned from a rooftop appetizer to a formal dinner. Adorning an unbuttoned collar with a tie is a no-nonsense way to turn a casual but sophisticated look into something more appropriate for an elegant dinner setting.
Have to say that if you are a fan of rye whiskey, the bar at the Capella is second to none. Even if you’re not a fan of rye, definitely check it out just to get to know Tom, one of the bartenders. Super nice and down to earth guy with some great mixing skills and knowledge.
This Look: Black suit by Stile Benetton (similar here), White slim fit French cuff shirt by Brooks Brothers, Black cap toe oxford shoes by Cole Haan, Black leather plaque belt by J.Crew, Burgundy pocket square by The Tie Bar (similar here), Black and grey striped tie by Calvin Klein, Watch with black leather band by Timex, Sterling silver cufflinks by Tiffany (similar here).
Many thanks to the entire crew of Videographic Films, the incredibly gracious staff at the Capella DC, the beautiful Willow, and of course Rob McIver Photo for all the great shots. It was a fun day.
And as always, thanks for reading. Stay tuned for Part 2.
He Spoke Style
Photography by Rob McIver Photo.