Friday, December 16, 2005


I don't know who was dressing Stephen Harper for the debate last night, but kudos to them.

I know, everyone else is analyzing the exchanges and looking at who scored what point for which demographic. But being the Hipster that I am, it being Friday and the fact my unilingual ass had no idea what they were saying -- I would like to examine Mr. Harper's cool threads.

Firstly, he gets bonus points just for ditching that mock turtleneck. Like, who wears those anymore besides your grandpa? If you're wearing the same outfit as the mannequin in the front window of you local Tip Top store, you're already in trouble. But at least he hasn't tried to bring back the mandarin collar, so thank goodness for small miracles.

Now, on to his kick ass suit from last night. Here's Harper:

Now, my first clue that Harper had a pro putting his outfit together was the pocket square (you, know--the hanky in his pocket?).

From GQ:

"Puffy or multipeaked pocket squares are dorky. Yours should be, well, square—like Sean Connery’s."

Done and done. He's was the only one wearing it and it stood out and looked great.

Next, the suit itself: a dark, crisp suit with small lapels. Its slimming, and yeah, yeah, looks good on TV. Now, I couldn't tell whether it was a 2-button or 3-button, but if it was 2, then he's really keeping upo with the trends (I actually don't like the 2-button, but hey).

On to his shirt: I LOVE that colour blue. Everyone wears blue shirts these days, but the often don't wear the right colour. Exhibit A:

Hey, Gilly--1993 called and they're looking for their shirt and they're pissed.

But the light, almost sky, blue shirt he was wearing really stands out against the blue suit and softens and warms the whole outfit. Oh, and I have just always thought its a great colour (diverse too--almost goes with anything).

Now, onto the tie. He didn't fall into the trap of wearing a slim tie (again, see picture of the Dorq Quebecois above) and you can't go worng with wide, vertical stripes. The gold bands look particularly good against the blue shirt and add a flash of colour without looking obnoxious.

All in all he looks professional, business-like but with a modern flair. In other words, Harper doesn't look like he opened his closet, looked at his 3 suits (blue, black and pinstripe) he bought 7 years ago at the Moores sale (3 for $299.00) and tossed it on.

He looks like everybody else who's wearing a suit these days--and when you're trying to show you can relate to average Canadians, that's a good thing.

Finally, I'd like to offer some advice to the mockneckers out there. If you feel the need to wear a sweater, take a page from GQ:

"If you’re going to own one sweater, make it a charcoal gray v-neck. It goes perfectly with a dark suit in fall or winter and with jeans or cords in spring."

UPDATE: See? Even the fashionistas agree with me:

"Fashion designer Paul Hardy agreed that Harper was the most stylish. "The pocket puff totally won my vote. He had the perfect shade of blue shirt," said Hardy from his studio in Calgary.

"Frankly, I just thought (his outfit) was so modern. I was very surprised because I wouldn't expect him to be on the pulse."

Not sure if I like the term "pocket puff", though.

But here's the money quote:

"A part of what made Trudeau so attractive to everybody is... he had verve. He had panache. He had style. Remember that portrait he had - the cape coat over his shoulder? Normally you have to be a gay man or an Italian art director to get away with that," he said.

Which one was he?

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