According to Vince Granado
This is my first (and hopefully not last) [Editor's note: definitely not last!] post for my dear friend Mary. My name is Vince Granado and I am an American expat living in Vienna, Austria. I moved here for work 5 years ago and I now consider this Imperial city as my home. Did I mention I met my beautiful wife here as well? It is a city of art, music and coffee and maintains a strong tradition to its rich history.
Anyways, living here for 5 years now has allowed me to learn the art of dressing appropriately for the occasion. I think it’s something that is much more common here than Stateside. One can see this in the evening gown and dinner jacket attire of the ball season to the coordinated jumpsuits of the Nordic -walking clubs that crowd the jogging paths every morning. In Vienna, there is a uniform everywhere for everything.
One thing I like a lot is the seasonal uniforms. Here in Vienna, once October comes around you’ll see the tweed jackets and flannel pants start to come out. In the spring, the linen and cotton suits start showing up. Topcoats, cashmere scarves, and shearling gloves are not uncommon with even the blue collar workers out here. The men know how to dress here, and it’s almost like it’s expected of you once you reach a certain age. For sure you won’t see a man wearing sweats and sneakers in any of the fine coffee houses out here, or in any casual setting for that matter.
With that said, I have come up with a casual uniform set for men that has worked for me in most of the casual social situations I have found myself in. These are my go to clothing on the weekends and after work. I can’t tell you how many times tourists ask me where something is when I’m walking in Stephansplatz, or how the Viennese shopkeepers on Mariahilferstrasse now speak to me in German rather than assume I’m a tourist. It feels good to blend in.
|Clockwise from the left: Jacket – Blazer from Mango ($249, more affordable option from Uniqlo, $49), Watch – ($195, more affordable $54), White Oxford Shirt – ($70, more affordable $49), Silk Knit Tie ($15), Levi’s 511 Jeans ($35-$50), Belt ($29), Bass Weejun Loafers ($60), Chinos ($59)|
All the pieces in the kit are versatile and work well with each other, and most likely with clothing that you already have. I would say that they can be used in nearly every casual setting1. Even better, these selections are pretty affordable. Besides the blazer and the watch (but I also included affordable alternatives) there is nothing over $75 in the kit, and if you keep your eye out you can easily get any of these items on sale.
This set revolves around one item, the white oxford cloth button down shirt (OCBD for short). This to me is the epitome of casual elegance. Gentlemen, my brothers, if you don’t have this item in your kit, you need to procure one immediately. The versatility of an OCBD makes it an essential piece that can paired with suits to swimming trunks (sometimes I even use mine as a night shirt). I would even go as far to say that if you are going only own one shirt, own this one. Moreover, there are so many makers and fits of this shirt that anyone with any body type can find a good fit. You just have to try on a few. My personal favourite is the vintage oxford from J.Crew. I just want to emphasize the most important rule in dressing. Get the right fit!
I have included some sample pictures of how these look on a real person (me).