By SHERI RADFORD
Christopher Bates never travels without his favourite pair of pants, which he designed himself and describes as “tight, black, Turkish-waxed-denim jeans.” The former Vancouverite says, “They almost look like rubber or leather. They’re really bad-ass. And they look great with a crisp white dress shirt. Or you could go all black with it and be more aggressive.” Bonus: they never wrinkle, even when crammed into overstuffed luggage.
If anyone knows how to look good while travelling, it’s Bates. The Toronto-based menswear designer finds himself on the road a lot these days. All of the dress pants and jackets he creates are sold as separates, and they follow a disciplined and cohesive colour palette, making them perfectly suited for mixing and matching—ideal for a busy traveller with myriad activities planned and limited suitcase space.
Bates’ clothing line, most of which is made in Canada, can be found at Holt Renfrew. This season’s highlights include superfine Italian merino wool sweaters and naval-inspired blazers and shorts. In the fall, be on the lookout for a red-carpet-ready navy tuxedo with black trim and a motocross-inspired leather bomber. “There’s a nice mix of sartorial as well as more urban style, which I feel is how guys are dressing nowadays,” he says.
Despite his move to Toronto four years ago, Bates is still a Vancouver boy at heart. Whenever he makes it to the West Coast, he hikes the Stawamus Chief, does the Grouse Grind and visits Stanley Park. He also stops by Eatery Sushi for wildly inventive sushi and Opus Bar for drinks. And he’s dressed fabulously for all of it—usually in his favourite jeans.