Interviews with stylish dads #6: Nicolas
After a few weeks of absence (due to birth, busy evenings and too short nights, even if they are still short today), the interviews of stylish dads are back. Well, at least one, to get back on track!
This time, it’s Nicolas who lent himself to the game of questions and answers. Nicolas ? Nicolas, who? Nicolas a.k.a @cravateclub75 ! Obviously, we talked about style and fatherhood, as with the previous interviewees.
The idea through this series of exchanges is also to be carried by the answers of the person, to dive a little more into his world, beyond what we see of him on his Instagram account. So, with Nicolas, we also talked sneakers, and even sneakerhead… Did you know?
Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Nicolas, I’m 44 years old and since we’re here to talk about style and fatherhood, I’m the proud daddy of two little girls, 3 years (and a half!) and 2 months old. I am a freelance in corporate and institutional social networks, and I invite you to go to @lookoom.co to learn more about these aspects.
How do you define your style?
Although I’ve prepared myself for this question – I’ve read all the interviews with stylish dads on your blog, I’m not sure how to answer it. Let’s just say that my style is variable, depending on my mood, the weather, the amount of sleep my daughters give me, etc. I have a few basics: a good look, a good dress, a good outfit, a good outfit. I have a few basics: the OCBD shirt (mostly blue), the chino and the plain sweater or grey sweatshirt have been in heavy rotation at my house since high school. It’s the foundation of my casual day style.
When I’m working, I like to practice the “cool suit”: sport jackets, striped shirts, jeans or chino. I also like suits a lot, but more informal. My green corduroy suit is one of my favorites, along with the navy flannel suit with a spaced chalkstripe. I also favor informal details: patch pockets, faux 3 buttons, wide lapels on pants. And lately, when I put on a suit, I often try to “break it up” with a fun shirt, loafers or sneakers, a mismatched cardigan, stuff like that.
Considering your handle on Instagram, I have to ask… how important is the tie in your style?
I’ve been wearing ties for a very long time, only for pleasure, not for obligation. But the Covid crisis took me away from it. So for the last year and a half I’ve only worn them twice and I’ve even put part of my collection – I must have a hundred of them in my drawers – on sale on Vulpilist, buy them! (They’re right here for info: ties on sale from CravateClub75).
But I can’t wait to get back to it, it’s great the tie to twist an outfit : you can play with colors, patterns, textures. Not to mention the way you tie it, which can be very formal or a little more relaxed.
Where does your inspiration come from?
I’ve been away from physical stores for a while now. I’m full digital today. Except for Ardentes Clipei (@ardentesclipei), my regular tailor who I visit sometimes without even buying anything, I rarely go to a store.ent in a store. Too many people, too many salesmen who don’t care about the clothes they sell or their customers… But maybe that’s my bitter old man side coming out!
So my influences I find online and since the demise of blogs and Tumblr, it’s mostly on Instagram. There is obviously the clique of the usual French and Francophone suspects: @g_tandre, @sideadjuster, @lastrolab, @bienluienapris, @kevismanzi, @mistraldpec, @alexramius, @sartorialworld, Les Indispensables (@lesindispensablesparis)… and apologies to those I forget. It’s a “community” that I really like because it’s friendly, we share a certain vision of style and above all it has a certain sense of humor.
Outside of France, I’m very US: I’m ultra fan of @acutestyle and his passion for blackwatch – which I share even if I’m less affected than him – @brokeandbespoke, @oxforclothbuttondown, @ethanmwong, @chasehwinner (and all his New York clique), @pickering_place, @afterthesuit, @hwilberg,… There are also a lot of very interesting things in Asia but the list would start to become very long.
Finally, I obviously follow brands whose artistic direction, approach, products, etc. I like: Drake’s, Berg&Berg, Brut Clothing which is one of my rare vintage influences, Rowing Blazers… but the idea is not to turn this exchange into an advertorial.
Among your clothes, which ones do you prefer ?
That’s easy! I have three.
The first is a blue striped OCBD from Gitman. It was a gift from my mother, I wore it on my first date with my future wife and it served as a blanket for my oldest daughter during her first days in the maternity ward.
The second one is my navy flannel suit with the chalkstripe. My first order from Romain (Ardentes Clipei). I would like to take this opportunity to stress the importance of choosing the right tailor. I had a first experience with another tailor and he was too prescriptive with me. As a result, I ended up with a very nice suit that didn’t really fit me. Romain takes the time to listen and to know his customer and that is priceless.
The third one is another suit, still from Romain: my green velvet. This is the third green velvet suit in my wardrobe. The first one was from Hackett’s, in the great Jeremy Hackett days, and I sanded it down to the point where the stripes had disappeared in the crotch! Then I got one from Wicket, also very good. It’s the perfect suit for a “cool suit” style: it’s still a suit, which many people consider very formal today, and at the same time the fabric makes it very informal.
Is there a crazy piece of clothing, you put what you want behind this term, that you would like to wear without having taken the plunge yet?
Yes, slippers for example, especially the kilim ones. I love them but I can’t imagine wearing them. There’s also the Dude’s vest in The Big Lebowski. I would love to wear a tuxedo or a dinner jacket but I never get the chance. Overall, I’m still pretty wise and preppy in my choices.
Did your style evolve when you became a father?
The style as such not really. On the other hand, I have much more days without, even weeks without. The weeks of school vacations are quite fatal for the sape for example. Between regurgitations and painting sessions, I often switch to the jeans/t-shirt/hoodie combo. But normally, I dress like I used to. I think dressing “right” is also part of raising your kids.
Have you ever had a piece of clothing damaged or even ruined because of one of your children?
No, my fingers are crossed! I hope you won’t jinx me…
If you do, I’m sorry in advance but we can update the article if you want!
Have you ever bought any purely fun clothes for your kids?
Yes, a pair of Air Force One’s – I have a long history of sneakerheads – that my oldest had to wear twice. And a Ralph sweater. THE Ralph sweater, with the American flag. And recently I got a subscription to Gamin Gamine (@gamingamine) which I really like. They’re not fun clothes per se, but I like the basic, comfortable style.
I saw what they were offering and I really like the neutrality of the pieces. Do you think that gendered clothing is something that speaks to you for children or not at all?
Not at all. I have nothing against little dresses and so on. But pink for girls and blue for boys, and especially messages like “princess” and “superhero” exasperate me.
And you managed to avoid, I think in particular, the gifts that we can receive?
My wife is known to hate pink so we avoided the worst, I think. Actually, thinking about it, we didn’t receive anything really gendered. Lots of dresses but not too many frills or little hearts. We had educated our entourage well
When your daughters are older, do you think you’ll let them decide what they’ll wear or will you guide them?
I reassure you, at 3 and a half years old my oldest daughter already decides from time to time what she wants to wear. She doesn’t decide what she buys, though… she gives her opinion when her mother orders on the internet, but she chooses from the wardrobe. So we put everything on education. And we keep our fingers crossed. Afterwards, I remember some of my teenage wanderings and in the end, it worked out pretty well. I hope so!
Are there any clothing-related values you’d like to pass on to them?
I’ll probably bore them with a few sartorial sayings “dress appropriately”, “you have to know the rules to break them”, “buy less buy better”… The point I’ll probably be quite vigilant on is the origin of their clothes. I try to pay attention to it myself because it’s an issue that has a lot of consequences, both social and environmental. But I guess the only time they’ll listen to me is when I tell them to dress the way they want to, without letting anyone tell them what they can and can’t wear.
Which origins do you favor, France? Europe ?
Made in France can be a big scam… I try
to pay attention to the whole production chain. But there are also a lot of products, especially when you buy online, about which it is very difficult to find information. And then there are the good resolutions and the reality. I’m far from perfect but I’m working on it.
What is the place of second hand in your dressing room, as well as in your children’s?
I don’t use second-hand clothes much. But I don’t have the patience or the expertise of some to find the nuggets that exist on the web. And as I said, I don’t go to physical stores very much. Finally, for the girls, for the moment, the second hand is the clothes of the older girl who goes to the second. When you know how kids are breaking down their clothes, I have a negative preconception about what we can find. But we’ll probably be more interested in it once the older one grows up.
What is your favorite family outing and what is the perfect outfit to go with?
A walk in the country in autumn: leather Timberland boots (not the yellow ones), jeans or chino, OCBD, shaggy dog and Barbour. Or, in the city, a trip to the museum: sneakers, jeans or chino, OCBD and an overshirt with lots of pockets for all the kids’ accessories.
Ah the pockets!
Pockets and dads, a long love story.
And on the flip side, an outfit you wouldn’t wear with your kids?
I told you that I have a long history of sneakerhead. Back in the day, I used to carry around Jason Markk wipes to remove any stains that might occur. It was almost like Gollum and his precious. Since then, I’ve calmed down and reverted to a piece of common sense peasant advice, with all due respect: wear your clothes…
Continue reading: https://styledepapa.wordpress.com/2021/05/05/interviews-de-papas-styles-6-nicolas/