The Polo Ralph Lauren Boat Shoes

Craig of That Dapper Chaps shows us how he styled the Polo Ralph Lauren boat shoes from Tessuti

I have to be honest with you Tessuti is not a name that I’d heard of previously, and I’m not sure how I have managed to miss it! Established in 1985 they now have fifteen stores across the UK and you can check for your nearest store HERE.

With a strong online presence too, they offer a huge range of designer clothing from the likes of Boss, Barbour, Michael Kors, Vivian Westwood and Paul Smith to name but a few, and they cater for men, women and kids.  Being a fan of Ralph Lauren I chose a pair of Polo boat shoes.

My flatlay ensemble as seem on my Instagram page

The obvious styling would be to put them with shorts and maybe a nautical inspired shirt or sweater, but I wanted to show you that boat shoes can also create a smart, office appropriate look. In an age when most offices offer their workforce a smart casual option there’s no reason why the boat shoe can’t make an appearance.

A closer look at the deatils on the Polo Ralph Lauren boat shoes from Tessuti

Getting all tied up

So, keeping things ‘smart casual’ I chose a pair of light tan chinos from H&M. The rolled up hem makes the look slightly less stuffy and shows off the stripped socks giving a nod to that preppy look that Ralph Lauren is so well known for.

The full look, including my wool coat

The classic Polo branding on the Ralph Lauren shoes

On top I wore a blue cotton shirt by Shirt Mill and a vintage blue and tan diagonal striped tie to bring the colour palate together. With a brown plaited elastic belt by Brydon Brothers to match the shoes (as a belt always should) I added my Nelson Martina brown leather watch and a few bead bracelets to complete the look.

This look is appropriate for office or pub

If you like the shoes as much as I do you can buy a pair yourself HERE. If you like the idea of boat shoes but prefer a different colour Tessuti also offer a pair in navy blue. Whichever pair you choose be sure to post a picture to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and tag myself and Tessuti to get noticed!

The navy Ralph Lauren Polo boat shoes

Find Tessuti

    

The Chambray Shirt

That Dapper Chap shares the history and origins of the Chambray shirt and shows us a few of his favourites.

What makes a shirt a ‘Chambray’ shirt?

Following a recent post on Instagram of my new shirt from Racing Green, I had a question from a fellow instagrammer asking me what makes it a ‘chambray’ shirt.  A lot of people assume that because they are predominantly blue that it is simply a lighter weight denim shirt. While the chambray shirt is at the more casual end of the shirt spectrum, and similar to denim this is a misconception and I’ll explain why. 
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Chambray Shirt available at ASOS £25.00

 

Polka dot chambray shirt from J.Crew £82.50

The Origins of Chambray Cloth

Going way back in time chambray fabric is directly linked to the French town of Cambrai where a particular type of cloth was made in linen yarn. The term ‘chambray’ is all down to how the garment is woven. When cloth is made there is a weft and a warp, which make up an interwoven criss cross pattern and holds all the threads together. On a chambray shirt there is traditionally a white or cream coloured weft and a blue warp. Denim is similar in its construction but the threads are woven differently, producing a different look and texture when finished. Chambray will often have a higher thread count compared to its denim cousin.

A close look at the chambray weave

 

A patterned chambray shirt by j.Crew £82.50

 

Collarless chambray shirt by Next £25.00

The Chambray Shirt

Once again, as with a lot of menswear, the Chambray shirt originates in military design and was a standard item worn by the US Navy.  These days you’re more likely to seem them worn by office workers and factory workers alike. The chambray shirt is a versatile wardrobe staple and one that can be worn formally under a suit with a tie or thrown over a plain white T and jeans.

The Classic Ralph Lauren shirt from Mr Porter

Styling a Chambray Shirt

The chambray is a classic mens item because of its colour and versatility, and it can be worn in a number of ways. I’d categorise these as: Casual, Smart Casual, Smart and Formal and I confess to have worn mine in all of these situations and I’ll take you through each option in turn using the same shirt in each styling.

The shirt I am using is by Racing Green and is available online now for £30.

The racing Green chambray Shirt

Casual

For a casual look on those Sunday mornings when that hangover has taken hold and all you want is some aspirin and to chill out on the sofa (and we’ve all be there) I’ve worn sports socks, joggers and my favourite battered T-Shirt with the shirt over the top for comfort and warmth.

The shirt over my favourite T by Instagrams GreyCardigan

 

Smart Casual

For a smart casual look wear your shirt with chinos or something a bit less casual than jeans and joggers, although a pair of smart denim jeans would be fine. A collarless chambray shirt would be great here. Wear a great cardigan or sweater over the shirt, something plain will look great but a classic pattern, such as fairisle will work just as well. Add some boots or some Chucks and you’re all set.

The chambray shirt under a Uniqlo fairisle sleeveless sweater

Smart

Think work to pub, something smart enough for the office but which won’t get you beaten up in the boozer. Below I have styles the shirt with a more causal blazer, this one is a cotton, unlined Jasper Conran blazer. I’ve teamed it with a knitted tie. So while its a smart look it isn’t to stuffy.

You could just as easily wear a waistcoat instead of the blazer in warmer weather or in colder weather under a heavy coat. A smart cardigan would also work here.

The shirt worn under a cotton blazer with a knitted tie

Formal

Okay, some will argue that you cannot wear a chambray shirt in a formal way. While I personally would wear a cotton shirt or a cotton mix, I wouldn’t rule out the chambray shirt as a contender. You can see below that with a bow tie and a double breasted blazer, it works. Would you question the wearer?

A formal affair with a Double Breasted blazer and bow tie

However you decide to wear your chambray shirt, consider your options and make the most of this most versatile of shirts and when you do, make sure that you post an image to Instagram and #thatdapperchap!

THANKS FOR READING!