Philip Sparks’ Essential Rules of Style, Pt. 1

No doubt, Canada’s most promising menswear designer is Philip Sparks, whose tweed suits, cable-knit sweaters and slim-fitting dress shirts offer a nostalgic twist on modern, tailored clothing. In advance of his fall/winter runway presentation, in Toronto next month, we caught up with Sparks for his essential rules of style. Part one of a two-part series.

On winter suits
I’m a big advocate of seasonal suiting. I hate those floppy, four-seasons wools. For fall and winter, go for a substantial tweed or wool. It’s going to keep you warmer, and the fabric’s natural body will give your suit a sense of structure.

On summer suits
Go for cotton or linen. They’re naturally crisp fabrics, so they’ll hold the tailoring well. I’d lean towards a light colour palette, and as long as your suit is well tailored, you can look as formal as someone wearing a dark wool suit – and you’ll be more comfortable.

On keeping warm
An essential piece in every guy’s wardrobe is a well-tailored winter coat. You should have a nice, long coat you can wear with a suit.

On bad shoes
You know those shoes that have the square toes? Don’t buy those.

On good shoes
Get a great pair of black or brown brogues with a thicker sole and a rounded toe. And if you’re wearing them with blue jeans, go with brown shoes. It just looks better.

On jeans
Every man should own a pair of deep indigo, straight-cut stovepipe jeans in raw denim, without any washing to them.

To be continued next week.

Above, an image of Sparks’ fall/winter 2010 collection.

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