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Toronto's Unofficial Uniform?

One of the great things about Toronto is our diversity - and this is often reflected in our attire. Though we're not quite at the same level as London in terms of daring and individuality, there are plenty of unique looks out there. I've personally seen more women trying more extreme looks, but generally I don't notice a wallpaper look here.

Or I didn't. Last night, however, something finally struck me. What is with the jeans and button down shirt thing?

I like the look, don't get me wrong, it's hard to go wrong with such a generally flattering ensemble (assuming the jeans are the right size). However, as I ventured out last night, I noticed that a huge majority of the guys on the town sported this new uniform.

I've always distrusted guys in uniform. I don't like suits, I don't like khaki slacks, and I never could really get behind school uniforms (though I've heard the arguments before and they're plenty reasonable). Simply put, it disturbs me when large groups of people are all wearing the same thing unless they're some kind of sports team.

To see what was a refreshingly non-slobby look among lads about town was great - when it reflected some style and ingenuity. Now, everyone just blends together.

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What's the matter guys? Are you looking for ideas? Is it some kind of tribal male identification thing - you and your friends all sport the same look for the sense of unity? Is there less fear in the tried, true, and approved by the masses look?

Ok dudes, I'm thinking maybe Maxim is too busy airbrushing gorgeous people to throw some ideas your way. So let me free-associate for you.

The Black Market is a nice, cheap (though weird smelling) place to find unique tees (don't make the mistake of buying something too big - it's a shirt, not a tent). Maybe you'll find a baseball tee from some city league in Winnipeg, or a shirt with a big picture of James Dean (style icon). Don't be afraid of a little something different - show some character.

Try to venture outside the black slacks (fancy) and blue jeans (casual) paradigm. No, I'm not suggesting you wear those cargo shorts to the bar. You could head to Kensington market and check out some vintage cords, or even some of those grandpa pants (just make sure they're long enough, the cuffs should hit the ground. I don't need to see your ankle socks) - find the right shirt and you've got a really singular look.

All I'm asking for is a little ingenuity. I know girls have more options (we have that whole world of skirts that most men are afraid to venture into - though I did see a guy last year at the Red Festival sporting a long jersey number and it looked super hot). Show no fear, dudes. Clothes can be a billboard advertising the kind of person you are. As it stands, most of what we're seeing is "I'm Just Like Everyone Else!"

(I know there's a chick clubbing pseudo-uniform, too - don't think I've not seen those black minis and skimpy tank tops, but by and large there's still more individual interpretation and variation on a theme there).

Be brave, boys. We like to see a little chutzpah.


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