Basics Training: Mastering the Must Haves
The wisdom of our fathers, whether subtly impactful over the years or overwhelmingly influential from jump, is a common theme of Savoir Faire. As a family-owned brand, run by men raised proudly at the hip of eminently graceful, gentlemanly forebears, we aim to share the wisdom that has so shaped not only our style, but our lives as a whole.
While many of the more fashion-focused among us may have at one point bristled somewhat at the idea of dressing like ANY dad, let alone our own, there is an undeniable weight and applicability to those time-tested adages. This is particularly true when building a classy, tasteful, versatile wardrobe. It all starts with the basics.
Across generations of stylish dressers, even the most elegant and extensive of wardrobes can be broken down into an unimpeachable set of basic elements: the must-have items that provide the foundation upon which a gentleman can establish his own stylish take.
And as in the culinary arts, where it is often said the true mark of a great chef is reflected in their mastery of cooking eggs (or perhaps a roasted chicken...making it a true chicken or egg argument), for many men the mark of true style is not how well one can wear a fashion-forward garment purpose-built to steal the show, but how frequently one can steal the show in otherwise basic garments. In other words, how one can operate easily and fluidly within the framework of core foundational items, and still seem fresh and fashionable. This article will help guide you to such an end.
Luckily for men, this idea of foundational versatility allows for a failsafe approach to situational dressing (you can, quite literally, NEVER go wrong with a well-fitting navy blazer over a crisp button down shirt, and a pair of well-tailored chinos), while also setting solid parameters for value: yes, you may be spending more on an impeccably made, Italian hopsack tropical wool navy blazer, but you can wear it twenty ways to Tuesday, at work and on weekends, with equal, show-stopping aplomb, for years on end. And with a trim modern fit and subtle vintage-inspired details, it will be as stylish and sharp on day 3000 as it is on day 3.
And therein lies the beauty of the basics: they are always appropriate, yet ever ready to be remixed. Explore our Basics Training collection and read on for the ways we take the everyday and make it exemplary.
Our flagship garment, and in many ways the epitome of Crémieux's approach to menswear, is our Ocean Hopsack Tropical Wool Navy Blazer. Cut in a trim European fit, we masterfully mix the traditional (a 3-roll-2 button front, patch pockets, horn buttons) with the modern (soft shoulder construction, pick stitching throughout, dual vents).
But what sets this garment apart are the subtle details: the fluid, multi-seasonality of the Reda Super 120s Italian tropical wool in a breathable hopsack weave, the kissing buttons on the cuffs, the detachable throat latch on the chambray undercollar. All told, this is a navy blazer your father would be proud of, without being anywhere near your father's navy blazer.
Wear over a turtleneck for a dash of elegance, add a pop of color or texture with one of our hand-rolled Fazzoletto Pocket Squares, or add a tie and vest for some stylish layering. Or change it up and choose our McLellan Blazer in a double breasted, peak lapel execution for some left-of-center lavishness.
Our quest for innovation, to offer the most meaningful, modern updates on Preppy classics, is best captured in our signature one-piece collar shirting. The standard-bearer of this group, our Cuba Button Down, offered in a rich cotton pique knit, is truly a modern marvel.
Offered in a trim European cut, the sleek shape means no extra blousing when tucked in for the workweek, nor sloppy flapping shirt tails when the weekend calls, and the luxury fabric means it will become your favorite shirt no matter how dressy the occasion.
But the calling card beyond the body is the painstakingly designed one-piece collar, the result of years of research and engineering and the product of 350 separate hand operations during the manufacturing process. The collar placard sits flush to the chest, giving it a clean silhouette, while its one-piece engineering means the collar stands tall and firm, without the need for starch, all day and into the evening.
Cop in traditional white and blue cotton for your standard workaday go-tos, and change it up with a rich alternate shade for fall or a bright pop for spring or sun-soaked schlep to the resort. Your every day shirt, far from everyday. Or if you are opting for a double breasted blazer, then go with a spread collar shirt, like our Dobby stripe, because some sartorial rules simply are not meant to be broken.
A true must-have pant, chinos are at once the most commonly worn and sartorially challenging item in many men's wardrobe. The reason for this challenge is that it takes a deft hand to add interesting elements to this benchmark garment without going too far in the name of bells and whistles. And when building an item that every man must own, it is hard not to make one that must appeal to the everyman.
Fortunately, we don't market to the everyman, and our signature Boat Chinos exemplify the delicate balance between interesting, vintage-inspired design details and a clean, versatile everyday silhouette. The key to this balance, and tip-top bottoms in general, is working from the ground up.
Beginning with the cuff - a standard 2" cuff with a slim-but-not-skinny 7" leg opening - we take a throwback element (a cuff) on an old school garment (chinos) and give it some modern mojo. The cuff looks sharp on its own, but also serves a functional purpose: by adding some weight to the hemline, it allows the trim leg to drape properly and not bunch up or crumple despite the slimmer leg opening.
To offset the sleekness of the overall silhouette, we add single micropleats - the secret weapon of the Boat Chino - for a sneaky bit of roominess in the thigh, and a touch of elastane to the fabric, allowing for freedom of movement and shape retention while keeping the leg shape trim and modern.
Add to this mix a split tail, and a buttoned watch pocket, and the devil is truly in the details. Execute an elegant twist on the trad by grabbing a pair in an alternate color like olive or denim blue. Or partake of a more modern garment entirely while still maintaining the soul of Continental Prep, with our Stretch Cotton Milan 5 Pocket Pant. With a luxurious blazer and well-appointed shirt on top, nobody will ever know the difference except you. And perhaps your Instagram followers...