Often it’s the simplest things that are hardest to pull off. Think modern art, the perfect steak, those monks that spend a lifetime cross-legged in a cave trying to attain transcendence. Simple is tough. Simple is daring.
So no, we’re not advocating that you dress like a monk (even if their outfits are comfy and warm.) But injecting some simplicity into your wardrobe can be a revolutionary act. Too often “casual” can be seen as a crutch — a slippery slope that leads to sweatpants caked in Cheetos dust. But done right, there’s no reason that casual can’t be as suave as a suit. All it takes is a few high-quality basics, one or two guiding principles, and some confidence, because the success of a pared-down outfit is commensurate with how little it appears you tried. The stakes are high. The rewards are higher.
Thankfully, men that don’t want to be casualties of casual can turn to Vancouver-bred, LA-based designer Dana Lee for guidance. Her eponymous brand specializes in clean and simple, unfussy but tailored pieces in a range of soft hues. From tees and button downs to sweaters and chinos, she’s got you covered top to bottom.
“With a really simple, unembellished garment, you can wear it with a lot of different things, integrate it into your wardrobe for years,” she says. Her fascination with straightforward fashion began in the dim back corners of Army & Navy and Eaton’s in downtown Vancouver, where as a shy teenager she browsed rows of deadstock racks alongside shuffling pensioners. “Just me and a bunch of old ladies,” she recalls fondly. “It’s a shame that they don’t exist anymore.” She was referring to the stores, but, more than likely, it’s also true for her senior shopping partners.