As event producers, we hear this a lot: “But I have nothing to wear!”
The holidays don’t make it any easier. For many people, the holidays mean condensing a year’s worth of cocktail parties into three weeks. Gentlemen, we feel your pain. Between office parties and family dinners, your wardrobe is currently being put to the test, and above that you’re expected to be ‘festive’.
We’re here to help! Or, rather, the friendly and fashionable folk at Ed Williams Menswear in Crowfoot are.
Boom President Derek Macdonald acted as our model. We started with the Calgary dude basics – favourite black boots, dark wash jeans, and a white t-shirt. The challenge: find three looks to take us from Christmas dinner to office party to New Year’s Eve party-town.
Our guide: Lowell Williams (Ed’s son), a sharply dressed old soul who knows SO MUCH about menswear.
To start: Lowell has these tips for menswear:
In most cases the quickest way to date how old a guys clothes are is based on the fit. Long gone are the boxy “Sienfieldian” shirts and the baggy straight leg dress pants, for the last few years a tailored closer fit has become the standard in men’s wear. This doesn’t mean that your clothes should look painted on at the sacrifice of one’s comfort. They should just look like they fit you as if they are made for you, sometimes that means just shopping somewhere with a good tailor who can alter garments to your specifications… Cough cough.
In my experience fashion isn’t necessarily atop every man’s list of priorities or interests, as a result the proposition of going out to buy yourself clothes can be an intimidating proposition. Many guys will enlist a wife, girlfriend or friend to help them navigate the dreaded shopping trip. An alternative to relying on a companion would be to doing your shopping with a local independent retailer. Unlike department stores where it is often difficult to find a salesperson to do anything more than ring through your purchases, local small business make service the #1 priority with respect to the customer’s experience. Another plus with most independent retailers is unlike the chain stores the majority of them don’t operate on a commission heavy salary for their staff. As a result the consumer is more likely to get an honest opinion from the salesperson rather than feel like they are being loaded up with things that they might not necessarily want.
Lastly, the whole shopping local concept can be applied to deciding which clothing brands to look for. Given the low Canadian $ there isn’t exactly great value in buying many foreign brands, especially those out of the US or the UK where we have seen a 30-35% increase in the cost over the last couple years. Not to mention the fact that many large global collections that have become known as a brand for doing one or two things very well like making jackets, but then grow their collection by licensing out production of their shoes or shirts to another factory. The result is usually not good as the quality tends to suffer causing the collection to fall short of the expectations that made the designer noteworthy in the first place. Fortunately there is an abundance of great Canadian designers who often are overlooked for brands that spend huge amounts on advertising campaigns. Designers like Antonio Valente and Samuelsohn are made right here in Canada and are considered by most in the industry to be among the best quality garments in the marketplace.
LOOK ONE: Family Dinner
LOOK TWO: Office Party
LOOK THREE: New Year’s Eve Party
Visit their site to browse the holiday gift guide and prepare for their infamous January sale. We can’t speak highly enough of these guys – professionalism and care at every step of the process and some of the best menswear we’ve found anywhere.