Debonair. Charismatic. Suave. A classic “rat pack” – where Neal Caffrey lacks in scruples, he makes up with incredible dress sense. USA Network’s White Collar (running 3 years now) is a guilty pleasure and smorgasboard of well cut suits, designer brands and beautiful scenic-scapes, but what many fail to realise is that while Neal Caffrey is often togged in the finest suits from Gucci, Paul Smith and Prada- he wasn’t always. When our favorite White Collar smooth criminal first started, he was just out of prison, broke and before he met June at the thrift store, he would have to make good with whatever he could get his hands on. Any man can walk into a big label boutique and walk out looking like a million bucks, but it takes someone with Neal’s panache and style to make any outfit look luxuriously bespoke.
White Collar Style: Dress Like Neal Caffrey
The gauntlet is thrown, the challenge is set. How does one without Neal’s incredibly good fortune (meeting June) and his white collar skills (scamming $120 million) dress Neal Caffrey style? Here’s 5 easy tips to pull off that White Collar Style under $800:
1. It’s all about the suit ($350 – $450)
It might not be bespoke or couture like Neal’s wardrobe but you can still look like a sartorialist by observing 2 key suit rules- First, it’s all about fit, even if you’re buying off the rack ($299 to $399), please do spend ($50 to $70) on a good tailor to get the suit jacket taken in and tapered to your physique. Second, if you’re not up to the hassle there’s always Indochino, the online atelier covers the whole gamut including shirts, ties, cufflinks and yes, tie clips.
2. You can afford his shirts: Thomas Pink ($100 – $140)
The shirt is essentially the backbone of your outfit- it’s the first thing you throw on and the first thing the ladies button. While the suit is the frontline in your sartorial arsenal, the shirt is the support that adds flavour (and texture) to otherwise crowd-blending formalwear. Thomas Pink sponsors White Collar and while you might not be able to always afford Prada, Paul Smith and Gucci suits, shirts from Thomas Pink are one affordable luxury you should be able to afford. Or if you’re not intending to spend that kind of cash- just remember, your tailor is your best friend, get him to alter shirts to your build.
3. Keep refreshing your collection of Neck Ties ($5 – $60)
Neal has always been a snazzy dresser and if you’re lacking the walk-in wardrobe in the corner of his apartment, his wallet or otherwise have a partner who frowns on splurging on new shirts and suits each week, neck ties are like the outwear counterparts to underpants- wear a different one every day; Most importantly, neck ties can instantly brighten or darken the tone and style of your look without enormous expenditure. You can either go expensive with John Varvatos [here] or classy and ridiculously affordable [here]. The smooth criminal pays attention to details: Do buy vintage tie clips (they’re the only ones that can fit slim neck ties), alternatively- search ebay for [tie clip 1"]. Also, get your hands on some pocket squares.
4. Classic, functional shoes ($90)
Make the ultimate style statement with these fashion shoes with high-reaching upper, plain round toe and polished finish. I expect Neal Caffrey’s shoes to say “I’m dressy but in a pinch, my ankle high half boots give me the support I need when I’m trying to escape from irate mob bosses or FBI agents.” [Shop here]
5. Don’t forget the hat ($80)
Neal Caffrey’s style and modus operandi is all about one-up-ship and keeping 2 steps ahead. When folks were using button down cuffs, he was about the cufflinks, when slim ties were in again, he was adding vintage tie clips. Where men were into classic dressing once again, he went completely retro with “rat pack” linen hats. [Shop here]