5 Style Resolutions for a Better 2018

TEXT: Peter Minkoff

It seems that that 2018 can’t arrive soon enough, what with all the bad things that have happened to the world in 2017. Every new year fills us with hope that once the sun rises on January 1st, we can get a clean slate and are able to start fresh. In order to do so, many of us still put pen to paper (or open the notes app on our phones) and create a list of all the things we’re going to change. Most of them we don’t stick to, but the more items we put, the likelier it is that we will do some of them.

Now, as awful as the year has been in many aspects, it has been a fantastic year for fashion and the runways have given us plenty of food for thought. Life is too short to stick to the same styles, and one of the best traits of the millennial generation is their refusal to conform. They mix, match and experiment with not only different cuts, patterns, textures, but also aren’t afraid of putting diametrically opposing styles into a single outfit. This year, be that level of fierce, and make sure that at least a few of these style resolutions find their way to your wardrobe.

Say Yes to Plaid

Plaid is one of the most interesting, but, for a long time, under-appreciated patterns out there. However, this pattern is a total chameleon. Why? Because it’s conspicuous, which makes it incredibly suitable for statement pieces, but still subdued enough that you can mix and match it with different patterns as well as with basics. The best part is, it looks amazing on both men and women. If you’re not sure which plaid piece to add to your wardrobe this year, a double-breasted blazer is a great way to start, although it’s a tough call since plaid pants look ultra-sophisticated yet relaxed at the same time. So, when in doubt, go for both.

Don’t Beat It, Join It

By now, it is obvious that athleisure isn’t going anywhere. The trend turned lifestyle has even made it into the official dictionaries. So, yes, it is here to stay. Some have been fighting it, but why should you keep fighting? Athleisure is all about stylish convenience, comfort, and versatility, and there is absolutely no need to shun it: Embrace it already. Start with a great pair of Adidas Gazelle sneakers — a brand like this is always a good way to go — and once you go down the athleisure rabbit hole, before you know it, you’ll be wearing your pressed button-downs with hoodies and track pants with polished blazers. Give it a try — once you go athleisure, you just might never go back.

A Show of Support

One of the resolutions that will combine your love of fashion with your social-awareness is going local. By this we mean shopping from small designers and local shops. This way, not only will you be helping local economy, but you will also allow young artist and visionaries to be more visible. It’s not just noble, it’s good for the evolution of your style. New designers and small brands offer pieces that you won’t see on everyone else. Plus, they have insanely innovative and unique designs that are bound to help you step up your style game and assert your individuality.

Show No Fear

Most people never experience the joy that comes with playing with different colors, and that’s a damn shame. Fashion is supposed to be playful, it’s supposed to bring joy and fun. So stop perceiving clothes as purely utilitarian and actually start having some fun with them. Try colors you haven’t dared to try before. Who knows, you might actually end up discovering that you ‘pop’ in colors you never even dreamed of putting on your body. After all, it’s not like a chemical experiment, so even if you fail a few times, what’s the harm? At least you dared to step out of your comfort zone.

That Being Said…

Most of the times the sentence ‘I have nothing to wear’ comes as a result of having too many options that clash with one another. Statement pieces are amazing, they are the cherry on top of the sundae of each outfit; they tell a story. But if you layer too many at the same time, they will cancel each other out and create a busy hot mess. Therefore, it’s paramount that you take the time to go shopping for some quality basics (emphasis on both quality and basics). While statement ones are the cherry, basics are the pillar of every outfit, and once you have enough you will never be pegged with the question, ‘What do I wear today?’ ever again. Shop for simple tees and sweaters in neutral hues, dark jeans, simple outerwear. This is the foundation, and you should never forget it. After all, you can’t eat the cherry on top without the sundae, right?

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Designer Profile: Troubled Collective

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Starting a clothing brand is definitely not easy especially in Toronto, which is not seen as a major fashion capital. Both Brandon Schulz and Mack Cathmoir of TROUBLED COLLECTIVE understand the trials and tribulations of managing a successful menswear label in 2016 that extends beyond just printed graphic t-shirts.

Mack and Brandon are life long friends that, at an early age, realized that they did not want to settle for the conventional nine-to-five job. So instead of TROUBLED COLLECTIVE being just a side project, they both dived in head first and made the brand their full-time priority.

On most days Mack spends endless hours on his notebook sending out emails and making calls as he handles the operations for the brand. For Brandon, his life on a daily basis is about sewing for hours in his bedroom, which he cleared out to put a sewing machine in, as he’s in charge of the majority of the pattern drafting and designing.

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They came up with this idea in 2012, but it wasn’t until after a whole year of planning and sleepless nights that the brand became a reality with the launch of their Spring/Summer 2017 collection which will be available in the coming months through their online shop.

All the pieces featured ride the waves of what’s currently in demand in menswear: a mix of monochromatic sportswear and activewear. The collection is a combination of tapered sweatpants, layering t-shirts, bombers, and hoodies.

Brandon and Mack want to make us feel confident, comfortable and relatable when wearing TROUBLED COLLECTIVE. As of right now, the label specializes in menswear but hopes to venture out to further creative realms such as music and art.

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For more information on Troubled Collective please visit their website.

Shop All Weekend: Toronto Centric Menswear Gifts

I think it’s safe to assume that most of us are in the middle of our holiday shopping, hopping from mall to mall, shop to shop, trying to get the holiday shopping done before the the big rush comes in the next few weeks. We get it: some of us are really want to give something special to our friends and family, and try to buy something that is not from the generic shops, and chain malls. For those who want to go that extra mile, and purchase gifts with a little more of a personal touch, and more of a local vibe, here are some Toronto-centric menswear holiday gift ideas, to help you out for your holiday shopping.

October’s Very Own Merchandise

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You must be living under a rock if you didn’t  know that Toronto is home to one of the most popular artists in hip hop and music. Rapper, and Hip Hop Mogul Drake reps the city hard. He single handedly re-named the city (who doesn’t refer to Toronto as The Six), refers to himself as the “Six God”, and recently opened up a restaurant on King Street West. If you’re looking gifts for a Drake fan, or just some Toronto-centric gifts, I don’t think you can go wrong with picking something up from the October’s Very Own Flagship store on Dundas West. Along with the recently opened Los Angeles OVO store, we’re one of the two cities in North America to have a shop filled with Drake’s OVO merch. The store is stocked with OVO merchandise from hats, t-shirts, and hoodies, to stickers and iphone cases, so whatever your budget, you can snag a gift from the 6-God.

Adidas NBA All Star Game Jersey

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Everyone that follows basketball in this city knows that the NBA All Star game is making it’s way to the Air Canada Centre next year. The recently revealed All Star jersey pays homepage to the city. Adidas has outfitted the jerseys with many Canadian and Toronto-centric easter eggs within the design of the jersey, including a silhouette of the Toronto skyline on the back of the jersey. These jerseys make the perfect gift for any fans of basketball, but unfortunately they won’t be available until January, so if you’re late on your holiday gifting, this would be make the ideal make up gift.

Nike Air Max 1: The Six

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You know how you know our city has become a big deal? When sportswear giants Nike has finally blessed the city with it’s own signature sneaker. Nike took the classic silhouette of the Air Max 1, and outfitted the sneaker in a clean black and white design, and a bunch of Toronto references that would make any Torontonian proud. The sneakers would make the perfect gift for any local sneaker head, but you need to act fast as they are already sold out at numerous retailers, so you’r next best bet might be eBay,  or Grailed.

Legends Leauge Apparel

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Bryan Espiritu’s Legends League is a local streetwear institution. It has become a staple in the city for those looking for quality streetwear pieces with a Canadian and Toronto twist. You’ll be able to get all the streetwear staples at Legends Leauge, everything from graphic t-shirts and snapbacks, to hoodies and accessories.

Need & Wants Studios

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If everything mentioned above still feels a little too commercial, and not Toronto-centric enough, gifting a gift from Needs & Wants Studios is the way to go. Sean Brown’s Need & Wants makes some of the best varsity and bomber jackets in menswear today. The brand’s line of bombers and varsity jackets are highly sought after, thanks to the signature inverted sleeves Brown incorporates in most of his jackets. Brown makes all of his jackets in house and in the city in Toronto, so you know the quality is going to be top notch.

 

 

Shop All Weekend: Black Friday Menswear Sales & Releases

I don’t know when it exactly happened, but over the years, Black Friday has morphed into an event that has spawned campouts and long line-ups, from what used to be a day of deals that was generally known for electronic deals has changed into a deal that is worthy to be marked on your calendar, if you follow the menswear scene. Many brands have caught on the Black Friday hype and begun to offer not only great deals for a limited time, but are also releasing specific products that fall between Black Friday to Cyber Monday. We rounded up some of the best menswear drops and sales that will be taking place this Black Friday.

Best Online Deal

Band Of Outsiders

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Not too long ago, Band Of Outsiders was one of the most sought after brands in menswear. After a long successful run, Scott Sternberg’s company shockingly filed for bankruptcy and closed its doors, which left many fans of the cool preppy aesthetic brand at a loss. It’s not all bad news for fans of Band, as the brand is making a one-day revival through online retailer Filene’s Basement. The retailer will sell the remaining stock of Band of Outsiders at 50 percent off. To sweeten the pot even more, the online retailer is gifting an additional 25 percent off on top of the already reduced price for three days, between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This might be your last chance to ever get your hands on some Band gear, so be ready to be in front of your computer come Friday.

Best Local Deal 

Sydney’s Toronto

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Sydney’s, one of the local Toronto menswear boutique, is giving you a really good excuse to skip the malls this Black Friday, and come to their Queen West boutique instead. The store which stocks some of menswear’s most coveted brands is starting their Black Friday sale early by offering 50 percent off on selected merchandise in store. If you’re tired of purchasing fast fashion, and looking for well made menswear pieces at a discounted price, it would not be a bad idea to stop off at Sydney’s for Black Friday.

All Other Black Friday Online Sales

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The beauty of Black Friday in 2015 are how good the deals are online. Brands are not waiting until Cyber Monday to begin the markdowns online. Both GQ, and Highsnobiety both have a great list that is still being updated of all the great deals to be had today.

Sneaker Releases

Puma Blaze of Glory Black R968 Friday Pack

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Some brands like to take Black Friday literally and incorporate the colour Black into their designs for their Friday drops. The best Black Friday inspired designed sneaker has to go to Puma this year. The brand is releasing two of their most iconic footwear silhouettes, the R968 and the Blaze of Glory in all black with contrasting black and white soles. Both the R968 and the Blaze of Glory will be available at select Puma retailers starting today.

Where To Buy: Livestock

OG Air Jordan 1s

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Air Jordan releases are a big deal: they normally sell-out in record time from the excitable mobs who have been in those long line ups and campouts. To start the holiday shopping season, the Jordan brand is releasing a pair of Jordans so clean, that it will be hard to not pass up on. The original Air Jordan 1 are getting a black and white color combination that features a black leather upper with a contrasting white sole and tonal laces. I guarantee you these Jordans won’t last long, so be prepared to either stand in line or be at your computer come Cyber Monday.

Where To Buy: Capsule Toronto

Shop All Weekend: Fall/Winter Turtlenecks

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The Menswear market is always looking to find the next big trend that can universally be adapted and worn by all men. Sometimes, all the stars are aligned, and you have a trend that is appeased by all menswear enthusiasts. Whether you’re a sartorial type of guy who’s only into suits and ties, or the guy who’s solely into sneakers and streetwear,  or a boots and flannels type of guy, whatever menswear lane you fall in , a turtleneck is a can’t miss foundational menswear piece for Fall/Winter 2015.

The beauty of a turtleneck is it’s ability to merge effortlessly with other pieces in your wardrobe. Whether you’re wearing one  with a classic winter flannel suit for casual fridays at the office , or pairing it  with a top coat and sweatpants on the weekend, you’ll always look like you understand the men’s style game with one on. Add to fact that the extra fabric around the neck will protect you from the cold weather, and acts as a functional barrier between you and the fall/winter elements.  Hopping on the turtleneck trend this season is a no brainer,here are four of our favourite turtlenecks of the season.

Nike Tech Fleece Funnel Neck

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Nike’s Sportswear version of a turtleneck is the perfect sweater for those of you who live that active lifestyle who need something functional for running outdoors during fall/winter, or someone who is simply into the relevant sportswear trend within menswear. The Nike Tech Fleece Funnel Neck is comprised of Nike’s tech fleece for extra warmth and comfort, a zip hem for better ventilation, articulated sleeves, and a adjustable funnel neck for warm coverage.

Where to Buy: Nomad

Ami Oversized Turtleneck

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We can find Turtlenecks for all shapes and sizes. Not all Turtlenecks are created equally, there are a wide variety of this stylish item to choose from for this fall/winter. This oversized Turtleneck from Ami is the perfect chunky turtleneck to be worn in the middle of winter under your winter parka , or on it’s own right now during the cool fall weather. The timeless turtleneck from the Parisian based designer is made from 100 % wool, and features a ribbed collar and sleeves. .

Where to Buy: Jonathan + Oliva

Atelier New Regime

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Montreal based Atelier New Regime has designed a sweater for the modern man, that is made by creatives who want to voice their opinion through fashion and menswear. The brands injects a bit of personality and flare to the turtleneck by introducing a french terry cotton turtleneck with the playful wording of “THE BLOCK IS HOT” across the chest of the sweater. Safe to say that you might need a bit of swagger to pull this turtleneck off, but if you can, get ready for heads to turn to the direction of your chest.

Where To Buy: Atelier New Regime

Cos Merino Roll-Neck Jumper

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One of the smartest and most sophisticated style moves to take this season is to swap out your dress shirt and replace it with a turtleneck. To pull this off you need a Turtleneck that is slim enough that it doesn’t look out of place under a suit jacket. This Cos Merino Roll Neck Jumper is the perfect sweater to be worn under a suit as it features a regular fit, long sleeves, and ribbed edges.

Where to Buy: Cos