MEET THE BOULEVARDIER

Meet Marq Frerichs, men’s style columnist for The Style Notebook.

I strolled into my local espresso joint this morning with men’s fashion on my mind and was struck yet again by how stylish Toronto men can be. Take credit, Toronto boys; you really are doing far better than anyone would care to admit or give credit. No, we’re not New York (’cause we’re not American), Paris (we have Montreal), or Tokyo (goes without saying). We are here and damn right.

So, the patrons—oddly, all men—ranged in age, height and body type. Yet each one of us was carrying off a certain “x.” There was an unlaboured care for the way we presented ourselves to the world. As in “I just grabbed these clothes off the chair,” “I was in a rush”—laissez faire. Let’s not kid ourselves though: each man spent that little extra time on himself before walking out the door. The second look in the mirror, the switching of the scarf, cocking his hat at a jauntier angle.  No matter where I go in our fair town, I can spot the stylish by their conviction of dressing, a quiet pride in taking care of oneself.  That gentlemen is true style.

So to qualify—I am stylish because I wear who I am, not who I’m told to wear. At the tender age of nine, I demanded a kilt and a gingham short-sleeved shirt (unfortunately there were no combat boots available in my size. Isn’t it crazy that kids these days have such options?). Needless to say, my style wasn’t well received in the ‘hood, Kensington Market circa the mid ’70s, the age of the matching acrylic Adidas track suit and gym bag. You may remember the look. Your creepy phys-ed teacher lived in it, and it’s just one little nugget of my bespoken past.

But enough about me and more about us—us being men and the often forgotten side of the fashion world. What is “men’s style” in Toronto? That’s what this column is about: The hows, whys, whats, whens, and all the other stuff that makes us men with style.

Neighbourhood by neighbourhood, East vs. West, the simple and complex, tips and tricks, grooming, shoes, boots, brogues, flip-flops, sandals, neckties, shirts, jeans, pants, slacks, hats, scarves, glasses, sunglasses, jackets, blazers, vests, waistcoats, bags, briefcases, sacks…

All of that and more. I shall be discussing, pontificating, rambling or ranting about our style.

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