STYLE

Designer David C. Wigley shares tips for men on breaking formal fashion mould

03/10/2015 05:00 EDT | Updated 05/09/2015 05:59 EDT
TORONTO - David C. Wigley wants to help men diversify their approach to formal wear by considering a fresh take on black tie.

"They kind of get stuck in this pigeonhole that you have to always wear a black tux if you're dressing up," said the Toronto-based designer, whose garments are produced in the city.

Wigley stayed true to his style mantra with the unveiling of the fall-winter collection for his menswear label, Worth, at Toronto Men's Fashion Week.

The new line is inspired by the Norwegian fairy tale "East of the Sun and West of the Moon," a childhood favourite of Wigley's about a young girl given to a polar bear who transforms at night into a prince.

The collection is split into two categories of looks: for day, lumberjack-inspired styles with plaids, tweeds and furs, with more ornate separates fashioned from lush, luxurious fabrics for evening.

"I don't really want to take men too far out of their comfort zone, so you'd like to stick to silhouettes that they know — staying with the traditional tailored tux pant and fitted blazer — but using fabrics that you wouldn't typically expect like sequins and bright coloured velvet," said Wigley, who also helms womenswear label Clan Gordon and unisex line Ease.

Here are Wigley's suggestions for men seeking to break the formal wear mould — and look good doing it.

— Select a lone statement piece.

"I always do recommend that they do stick with the black pant and the simple shirt and let that one piece do the talking; so if it is a sequined blazer, then that's what the attention is on."

— Find a flattering fit.

"If it's cut in the proper way, it should still flatter your body," said Wigley.

"I feel sometimes when guys aren't a typical model size then they want to sort of go up a few sizes and cover it — but that actually (has) the opposite effect.

"When you have a tailored pant leg with the proper rise and whatnot, it will lean you out and slim you down."

— Pick a print.

"It's sort of the most versatile thing to work in, especially when you're working with a base of neutrals," said Wigley, who paired a blazer emblazoned with bright blooms with a cream sweater and dark denim for his own ensemble.

"I'm really into floral, and floral is becoming such an accepted men's pattern. For so long it wasn't and now it's everywhere."

For men preferring to go bold with a strong choice of colour, Wigley suggested men consider adding neons. And for a bit of shimmer, he recommends a twist on the conventional leather jacket with one steeped in a rich metallic copper hue.

"It just flatters every skin tone."

— Be assured in your style choice.

"I think the best thing you can ever wear is your confidence. You can put on anything, and if you feel empowered by it, it shows."

— Follow @lauren_larose on Twitter.

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Online:

http://www.bydavidcwigley.com

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