Susan Vaz knows it’s the details that matter most. “I created Band of Boys for those who live for the details,” says the marketing exec turned Auckland-based designer, who launched the brand in 2013. “As a working woman in Auckland who cares about her style, I think carefully about what to wear each day and I want my boys to be able to do the same and care about how they present themselves.”
To that end, Susan has followed this ethos for the past 6 years with designs that are minimal, but nevertheless bursting with details to make them wearable and instantly covetable. Made from the best breathable cottons in India, Band of Boy’s designs are considered and always deeply personal.
“As I’ve gotten older, I’ve tended to dress more for myself, being a lot bolder and showing my personal style,” says Susan, “The brand has evolved with my own personal style and it is getting bolder as it matures as well. We need to be teaching our boys how to express themselves and to wear what makes them happy, there are no rules to follow. Your outfit should always be intentional, not just an afterthought, no matter what your age” she explains.
Below, a look at Susan’s “classic with a twist” style, plus her tips on going bold.
A pop of colour makes everything better.
I’d call my style classic with a twist. I tend to wear clothing in neutral colours as my base and add a little bit extra with accessories—jewellery, bags, definitely shoes, or a fun jacket or knit. I like to wear lots of jewellery and shoes are absolutely where I have the most fun; shoes make or break an outfit for me. Boring accessories are not an option, especially at Band of Boys where our hats, socks and other accessories are some of the pieces that carry our boldest designs.
Good fabric and fit comes first, always.
I am big on fabric and most of what I wear is made from cottons and natural fibres. The feel, fit and texture of a garment has to be perfect because comfort is everything. I believe that clothes should make you feel comfortable, literally and figuratively, so you’ll find a lot of soft fabrics and fluid silhouettes in my closet, and if I buy something that doesn’t fit well but I still really like the material, I’ll get it tailored. This same feeling flows in to how I approach fabrics and styling within Band of Boys. I don’t believe anyone wants to spend a day feeling that their clothing is holding them back.
Look for super-versatile items.
I like to find ways to wear my garments in lots of different ways. I’m most happy when the pieces I own are getting good use and are serving me well. This is how I approach the design of Band of Boys garments; I try to create pieces that can be worn with lots of other things in the range so that you don’t end up with a garment that becomes hard to pair with anything else. In saying that though, we do love ourselves a statement piece, so if you find something you absolutely love, just buy it and don't ever have any regrets!
Take note of all the rules of fit.
I’m a big believer in tailoring. You should always look like you are wearing your outfit and not the other way around. This comes down to how well something fits you and this fit should always be a key consideration when you’re looking for your next piece. Band of Boys styles are always based on what will be the most flattering cut and this is why we love skinny legs for our trackies and our favourite hem lines are the ones that are created to take some of the bulk out of the front of the garment. These tops will give you an elongated silhouette and they’re the ones to wear with bulkier pants. When looking at a whole outfit, go for something that has volume on either the top or the bottom, not in both areas.