When you are born and raised in Toronto. You understand we have an inferiority complex. There is an underlying belief that we deserve more shine than we get. It’s in our blood to compare ourselves to New York, Los Angeles, Paris, London and Tokyo’s of the world. We do belong on the global stage. Our city is many things. It’s diverse, charming, and efficient, but one thing we suck at? Getting a fit off.
Men in the city can easily be categorized into a few style archetypes. There are the guys who attempt to replicate Drizzy’s swag (and his beard) with year-round flannels and Tims. Sneakerheads who wear “heat” but somehow are still wearing motorcycle or ripped denim with their Air Jordans 1’s. There are the Lululemon bros. Then there are the dudes who wear their corporate branded fleeces and hoodies on the weekend like it’s a badge of honor.
Before the nickname The Six (insert the vomiting emoji). Toronto was known by its other nickname, the Screwface Capital! The nickname which was born out of the local music scene was self-proclaimed due to how we treated our homegrown talent. During those years, the thinking was if you had talent, you had to be recognized in other more global cities first. We only began to warm up to you only if you got some shine elsewhere first.
While we no longer boo up and comers at concerts, the idea of rejecting the new new has permeated to other parts of local city culture.
When your clothing is forced to be utilitarian it’s inevitable that it’s going to take an aesthetic hit
Understandably, we are always cautious and late to adopt trends from a style point of view. It’s fucking cold here up north. Functionality always comes first. It’s hard to wear a blazer when you’re worried about wind chill. Boots are a necessity here in the winter. It’s sweater weather here for 8 months out of the year. When your clothing is forced to be utilitarian it’s inevitable that it’s going to take an aesthetic hit.
Even with frostbite like temperatures, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make an effort. The Big Apple is just as cold in the winter, right? The boom of the internet, and the thriving subculture online menswear subculture should mean the average Toronto Mans should be better versed in the fashion and style game. Yet when you take in our local street style, it lacks the je ne sais quoi that you would see on the streets of Soho in either London or New York.
Do we really need a Drizzy street style photo snapped up in Soho wearing tie-dye before we think it’s cool?
When faced with something new, a natural tendency for a Torontonian is to put up a screwface. It takes time for us to warm up to new things here. We like the tried and true, and it’s on full display via our clothing choice. Proof? TORONTO MANS ARE STILL OUT HEREIN 2019 WEARING FUCKING JOGGERS
Just like how it was in the local music scene, there is a sense we need fashion capitals to walk the walk first before we even attempt to adopt a trend. Do we really need a Drizzy street style photo snapped up in Soho wearing tie-dye before we think it’s cool? I hope not.
Talk to any local and there’s an overwhelming sense of pride from living in the four one six. You hear things like “Were just as cool and London!” Or “ We’re just like New York, but smaller and cleaner”. While these hot takes can be debatable, what is not are the cities we aspire to be compared to, often carry themselves with hardly unmatched bravado. World-renowned cities strut their swagger in every way possible. And they certainly do it with what they wear. Those cities don’t wait for trends to bubble up before they adopt them, they start them. If we want to shed out secondary city status, it’s time we start dressing with a big city attitude.