My Style: Brian Paquette

Portrait of interior designer Brian Paquette

Photo: Laura Gehring for Blackbird — Courtesy of Brian Paquette

The three essential things a man should know about style are...

Forget what you think you know, get measured and be comfortable. There is nothing sexier than a guy who can dance just as easy as he can give a toast in his suit, and no bigger turn off than a guy who is constantly primping and adjusting his outfit. Relax already!

Please describe your style in three words.

Preppy, refined street, comfortable.

What is the biggest mistake one can make when getting dressed?

Thinking too hard.

Do you believe in role models?

Of course. We are not islands in this world and without some guidance our boats will veer too wide or not wide enough. Some of my biggest role models include Billy Baldwin, David Cafiero, Grant K. Gibson, Darryl Carter and Thomas O'Brien.

What are your favourite fabrics?

In my work I keep it simple and stick with natural linens, wools, and cottons as much as possible.

Are there any style combinations that you object to?

Confidence level usually weeds out the weak combinations. If it isn't "you" it will wear you instead of the other way around.

Which city has the best-dressed men?

Probably some Eastern European city or maybe Paris. Italians can make a good suit of course but I'd be lying if I denied that the dudes in Boston pull off Nantucket reds and ill-fitting Polo shirts pretty well.

Would you say that you are conservative or bold?

I have my bold moments but keep it pretty conservative most of the time, favouring vibrant pops of colour rather than cuts.

What are the rules, if any, in the way you dress?

Fit, function, precedent and a bit of technology. I like classically referenced clothes that show innovation reflecting the way we live today.

Celebrities and style...

Often don't coincide.

One garment/accessory that you can never have enough of?

Well-fitting khakis from Wings + Horns.

A man should always look like...

I don't believe in rigid rules but rather subtle and honest comfort in one's skin. Be you and the world will see you.

Who taught you what you know about style?

I was taught to be myself on the beaches of Rhode Island and in the mosh pits at punk shows.

How do you select your clothing every morning?

I keep it simple and let the day’s activities decide for me. Being comfortably outfitted is extremely important.

What is your biggest regret?

Not writing the lyrics to every Death Cab for Cutie song.

Do you have any shopping rituals?

Much like antiquing you must let things find you, and when it's right, it's right.

We will never see you wearing...

Never say never…

The most stylish person you have ever seen...

That's a hard one, but Pony Boy from The Outsiders had it going on in a good way.

What is the first thing you notice on a man?

His eyes, that's everything. If that grabs my attention my next sense to win over is scent.

Which new designers do you follow and why?

Alexandre Plokhov is doing something really great. Junya Watanabe will always be a major inspiration for me as well.

The only article of clothing that a man needs to pay close attention to is...

Good shoes. If you give up comfort there, think of all the walks you'll miss out on.

What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?

An A.P.C pea coat from five years ago and a vintage Army "RANGER" t-shirt, now fairly tattered and full of holes.

Is comfort an enemy of style?

Not necessarily. I like my khakis to feel no different than sweatpants at the end of a long day. If things fit well, you should barely know they are there.

Which designer never fails to impress you?

I think less of individual designers and more about how a particular store curates an amazing collection of the season’s best. For over seven years, Blackbird here in Seattle has done this seemingly effortlessly.

Who would you like to see next in My Style€?

One of my good friends Dan Pelosi, who does creative direction at a retail branding agency called Crack in Portland, OR, has been a big influence on my personal style. From him I learned about comfort and daring uses of colour. He’s fantastically talented.

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