Style Tips from Harry Rosen’s Head Buyer

In this new series, we’re asking our favourite menswear retailers from around town to answer a few questions about the fashion of the moment. We’ll go from large chains to small boutiques, and we’ll deal with clothes both dressy and funky. The idea is to learn what the insiders are thinking about as they travel from runway show to factory. We start with the big boys: Jeff Farbstein, head buyer for the venerable Harry Rosen chain across Canada. (Full disclosure: Harry Rosen is a marketing partner of ours. However, there was no consideration received for this article.)

XY Canada: What are three items a guy must have this fall?

Farbstein: (1) A great sports jacket, in either a vintage, hand-crafted look — for a modern, casual style — or a cashmere or tweed jacket for a more luxurious, dressed up look. A sports jacket works for many occasions and is a key piece for fall. (2) Outerwear. Every man must have outerwear to brave the elements, such as an active wear piece from Victorinox that is water & wind proof. Or a dressier version like the Loro Piana 3/4 storm system coat – both work well for our Canadian climate (3) Something selfish.Whether it’s a fur-lined leather jacket or a new party suit from a brand like Etro, fall and winter is a time to splurge on a luxurious piece that you love.

XY Canada: What are your own personal favourite style elements this fall?

Farbstein: (1) Layering . Adding a sweater, a sports jacket and a great scarf over a shirt and tie can really make a statement and complete a look. (2) Accessories. Women have always had great accessories, now men are catching on that accessories can make an outfit – especially outerwear accessories in winter like scarves, gloves and hats – but a great pair of jewel-toned cufflinks also add great style.

XY Canada: Do you think men’s style in North America is going more formal, more casual, or just eclectic?

Farbstein: Men tend to be dressing more appropriately for whatever they’re doing – so men’s style in North America is broadening in scope rather than going more or less formal. They have distinguished wardrobes for work, weekends, going out, etc. – it’s not just work vs. home that needs to be addressed any more.

XY Canada: How many buttons should a stylish suit jacket have?
Farbstein: For the fashion-forward, a 2-button suit shows off more of the body – it tends to show the waistline more, fits much closer to the body and has side vents. But a 3-button suit shouldn’t be overlooked as a timeless style statement.

XY Canada: And how many buttons should one do up?
Farbstein: On a 2-button suit, the top button. On a 3-button suit, the middle button or the top and middle button for a statement.

XY Canada: And how wide are the trousers on new suits?

Farbstein: The look of trousers on new suits is getting narrower – approximately 20 cm circumference for the straight leg look.

XY Canada: What do you think of the skinny jean?
Farbstein: Ouch. This look is not for everyone. It is definitely more flattering on the tall and slim gentleman.

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