Spring Style Do’s and Don’ts

As we head into spring, we’ll be shedding our winter wardrobe of layers and more layers for less clothing—finally. But if this means busting out your fave pair of boardshorts and mandals, then, please heed my advice: don’t do it, dude.

I understand you’re itching to ditch the wool, and I totally get about wanting to shed socks (personally, I hate those things). But the new mild weather isn’t any excuse for you to look like one of those tacky American tourists who insist on eating turkey legs at Disney World. You know the ones.

Men might shop less than women, but that doesn’t mean you have to remain at odds with your closet. That’s why I’ve enlisted Leo Petaccia, Founder and lead stylist of Toronto’s Two Dudes Shopping Co., to help you sort out the do’s from the don’ts when it comes to spring fashion.

At Work

You’re gunning for that new promotion/job interview/pretty co-worker, and you want to dress to impress.

Do add some colour. “Amp up your go-to grey suit by adding pops of colour via your shirt, tie and pocket square combo,” Pettaccia says. “And get the hell out of your comfort zone for once.” To do so, he recommends the following basic formula:

One handsome purple and white striped, two-ply cotton shirt ($89) from Yorkville’s Suitsupply.


One rich knitted, yellow tie ($29) from the good folks at The Tie Bar. (Yellow is “an oft underused and under-appreciated colour match for the regality of purple,” says Pettaccia.)


One crazy pocket square ($69) by Etro “to kind of throw things out of whack, but in such a way that colour coordination get preserved.”


Dude who just pulled off a rather difficult look to pull off.

Don’t “be the guy whose suit is practically louder than one of Don Cherry’s quietest,” Pettaccia says. For example: if one element of the look is bold—say your shirt and tie combo—then the rest, like the suit itself, should be simple, and unassuming.

On A Date

You finally scored a date with that Tinder babe. You check your closet, and everything you own basically reeks of rejection and failure. Now what?

Do take a risk. A risk is “something the ladies love to see every now and then,” says Pettaccia. He recommends a handmade hat from Coup de Tete, which sells “one of a kind, rakish hats real men used to wear.” They come in a wide range of styles, colours and sizes, too.

Don’t take liberties with wearing a top hat. “Remember, we’re going for brooding, early 1900’s outlaw here,” says Pettaccia. “Not stupid comic book villain.”

At Play

You want to pull something on quick and comfy for some serious downtime with some Netflix and your sweetie without looking like a schlub.

Do invest in a good pair of designer sweats. For your lazy Sundays, Pettaccia recommends these Nikes pants ($115) from Nomad on Queen West. “And while you’re at it, throw in a pair of mint green New Balances ($180) from Capsule in Yorkville,” he says. Hey, everyone loves a fresh pair of kicks.

Don’t even think of wearing this to dinner with her that same night.

Happy shopping, gents!

Brianne Hogan is a freelance writer based in Toronto, something of a humorist, and considers herself more Bridget Jones than Samantha Jones. Though she won’t reveal which parts, she will admit to liking emotionally unavailable men and drinking lots of wine.  You can follow her on Twitter  @briannehogan.

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