Sunday Styles no. 63

Well, happy Sunday, everyone! And, more importantly, Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful dads out there! OBVIOUSLY, this gives me a chance to dedicate today's Sunday Styles to the international man of mystery known as my dad…or, as I call him, "Pop."

As is my way of doing things, I'm going to start off on the sartorial side of things. This is my father in his 20's…for 95% of my life, he has been in a suit. Apparently, this whole thing started way before I was born too. To be fair, he was a tried and true Japanese business man and they all wear suits, but my father was never schlubby. You know those guys who "wear suits" but don't look right in them or don't take the time to care for their clothing?

Yeah, my dad has never been one of them. So, let's start off with the fashion-focused things my father has taught me…

Wearing a Suit? Make Sure It Fits!

My father wouldn't be caught dead heading to a conference or a business meeting in anything but the best fitting suit. Whether it's about finding the brand that works best for you and going from there or getting custom suits made (which happened later in his career once he found his tailor), if you're going to go through all that trouble to wear a suit, don't half-ass it.

You Need a Great Tailor & a Great Barber/Hairstylist

The Matsuo clan (me included) has always been a little crazy about maintaining good hair, so it's no surprise my father (and my mother) taught me about good haircare early on. My mom was a master of hair trims (can we say perfect statement fringe and severe Vidal-esque bobs?) until she introduced me to my first stylist (who ended up being my stylist until I moved to LA…she even did my hair for my wedding.)

Meanwhile, my father has been sculpting his iconic pompadour the same way since his 20's. (He's now in his 70's.) I will never forget the time he found out his barber was retiring and dragged me to the shop to study how his hair was cut so I could recreate it…being in cosmetology school, it made sense for me to learn anyway. I would end up cutting my father's hair for years until I moved across the country.

He now goes to…(drumroll)…my first and only stylist from back east. My mother, sister, sister-in-law, AND step-mother-in-law also go to her. She's the best.

Ok, digressing.

The other thing? A tailor. My father has been with the same tailor for decades at this point. The man has my father's measurements and all my father has to do is pick out fabrics. From there, he gets his custom suits and shirts…with monograms…naturally. (Yes, as I write this, I realize my father's a little bit of a baller.)

My mother still complains about the sheer number of suits and shirts my father has amassed over several decades. To be fair, it is pretty astonishing.

Take Care of Your Shoes

Growing up, I recall watching my father polish his shoes often. His loafers always looked perfect. He polished, he rain-proofed…he has never let a pair of shoes deteriorate. He's all about quality leather and quality maintenance. I don't think he has a cobbler because he's never needed one.

Despite years of commuting and walking from the house to the bus stop or the bus station to the office, I've never seen his shoes fall apart. He still does the same commute in his 70's and trudges to the office. Rain, sleet, or snow.

Now that I think about it, not only does his shoe care impress me, but his stamina. Just thinking about all that walking and trudging makes me tired. (I'm starting to think he's much more young at heart than I am.)

Basic Colors Will Never Lead You Astray

If you stare into my father's closet, you will see a sea of black, navy, white, beige, and denim in high quality fits and fabrics. He is fierce about sticking to a very limited color palette when it comes to his wardrobe. Some might find this limiting, but I find it refreshing and convenient. You will rarely ever have issues with matching and instead of being a trend-chaser, you'll comfortably find yourself in the "timeless" category.


So, there ya have it. A list of sartorial lessons from my father. Clearly, these are incredibly useful, but the other things he's taught me are a little bit more important…

My father taught me from a young age to always perform at your best and give whatever you do everything you've got. Not only for your own reputation, but to learn to be reliable and always have follow-through. In my father's world, you don't half-ass anything and you finish what you start. This might seem like a lot for some people, but it's become second nature to me.

He has also taught me that there's nothing wrong with having to prove yourself. Though he has always had massive amounts of faith in my ability to perform (in school, work, the arts, and in life in general), there was none of that "you're a special butterfly and nothing you do is ever wrong" mentality. Sure, everyone's special in that they're unique, but if you wanted to show that you were special in a certain arena, having to prove yourself was just a natural way to show it.

This has become integrated into the concept of respect. General respect towards others is a given, but to take that respect a step further into allowing yourself to rely on someone, to go to them for their opinion, their help, their partnership? Well, that's when you get thrown into the proving grounds again. It happens at work often. I'm a respectful person, but if you want to really get into things with me and work with me, you need to show me you can hang…that you've got the same work ethics as I do. Otherwise, move along. Doesn't mean I like you any less, but don't expect me to come running to work with you. Maybe I'm a little tough on people, but it's just how I am.

I could keep going about a lot of things my father taught me…a lot of it has to do with your occupation, but I'd end up writing a novel, so I'll leave you with one last bit:

Lead By Example

My father is the hardest working person I know. He will work inexhaustibly until the work gets done. He keeps things going in offices in over 30 countries and even when things are going down, he's not standing there with his hands up just complaining about the situation. He's staying up late to talk to people overseas or on conference calls early in the morning with other offices overseas or he's at the office working with his teams locally.

He won't quit until things are running smoothly and he won't leave anyone high and dry.

Sure, growing up there were times I felt like my father's work might have been priority over his family. (It's a common thing. Don't pretend you don't already know that.) However, I've come to appreciate what he did for us. It's old school. We were always his priority because his priority was to provide for us and that came in the form of working harder than any other human being on the planet.

So, Happy Father's Day to my "Pop"…he continues to be a source of inspiration for me through the years. (Also, thanks for giving me my cheekbones!)


  1. Namiiii, Finally i get a post on men's fashion/style (thanks to your dad). Based on this article me and him would get along great, i am just as crazy about my clothes/suits fitting perfectly and taking care of my clothes. Hopefully I will see more posts about this topic. Your the best!

    1. I'm the worst person in the world for not responding for almost a month. Forgive me, Alex!!!
      I promise, promise, promise to write more about menswear. I've already discussed with the hubby and it might actually happen. :)