Real Streets, Real Style: The Men Of The Toronto Film Festival

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Real Streets, Real Style: The Men Of The Toronto Film Festival

Words by The MR PORTER Team

25 September 2023

One of the unexpected side effects of the Sag-Aftra strikes? A total dearth of red-carpet looks from which to glean fashion inspiration. However, this sudden style vacuum has also served as a reminder that it’s not just the A-list and their stylists who can show out in stellar outfits. Take for example the Toronto International Film Festival, which was admittedly low on film stars compared to previous years, but nonetheless packed out with brilliant outfits from men whose names we don’t know – but really wish we did. Below, we’ve highlighted seven folks in particular whose considered style piqued our attention.

01. Downtown prepster

Hipster prep was the order of the day for this visitor to the Toronto International Film Festival, who took the foundations of the Ivy League wardrobe – chinos, Oxford shirt, loafers – and gave them a contemporary streetwear makeover. It’s the details that matter here, with the pleated, turned-up chinos, the chunky soles on the tassel loafers, the Yankees cap and the flash of gold Casio watch combining to winning effect. It’s all very Mr Brendon Babenzien at J.Crew, which is nothing but a compliment.

02. You’ve got your “style” badge

We’ve recently reported that oversized trousers aren’t going anywhere and, well, this attendee at TIFF proves just that. The truly well-dressed – whether they’re celebrities or just one of us common mortals – know that a thought-out mix and match of textures and volumes can truly make an outfit, after all. Opting for all-black Nike kicks and a simple T-shirt, he swapped out a classic leather biker in favour of a racing canvas jacket. Don’t underestimate the power of accessories here – even an understated bag, as is the case here, will make your outfit feel instantly more put-together.

03. Youthful tonals

We love a tonal look, especially one that plays with 2023’s favourite colour: luxe brown. That said, the trouble with a head-to-toe neutral outfit is that it can sometimes read rather dull. However, this young gentleman has mixed in just the right amount of green by way of his adidas sneakers to achieve a youthful nonchalance that Kendall Roy could never. If you’ve been looking for a way to incorporate chocolate hues into your closet, but don’t want to look like an off-duty financier, follow this dude’s example.

04. The new boilersuit

A garment that was first introduced in the 19th century to protect factory workers from oil, soot, grime and more workplace perils, the modern day boilersuit has evolved into the sophisticated man’s onesie. This gentleman here has opted for an airy denim boiler with a grandad collar for maximum comfort. Note how he’s also paired it with a caramel-toned trench coat to accompany him in the autumnal Toronto weather, as well as another workwear touch with his Carhartt WIP backpack. And we’re also fans of how he’s added a pop of pastels with his Nike Air Max 1s in his otherwise neutral-toned fit.

05. The colour rule breaker

Thought red and green had absolutely no business together outside the month of December? This impeccably turned-out attendee is here to prove otherwise, deftly pulling off this tricky colour combination, with darker, more muted tones of either shade that don’t immediately scream “the holidays are coming!” Elsewhere, he’s wisely stuck to a neutral palette with a timeless white shirt (albeit one with a generous collar, to add a touch of dimension) and a softly checked linen jacket that strikes just the right balance between smart and “what, this old thing?” Finally, the matching tote bag and on-trend loafers pick up on the scarf with their red undertones and pull everything together tidily.

06. It’s all in the shoes

We are officially crowning this dapper dresser with the coveted Most Stylish Mr Steven Spielberg Lookalike Award for, well, obvious reasons. Sure, some would argue that this accolade doesn’t stack up against the People’s Choice Award that the legendary director won for The Fabelmans at last year’s event, but in our eyes, it’s just as prestigious. And while this festival-goer’s resemblance to the cinematic titan is uncanny, it’s his confident casual threads that caught our attention. His linen chore jacket, light-wash denim and an assortment of silver hardware all point to a love for traditional workwear pieces. And then there’s his Teddy Boy-adjacent black and white creepers. All he needs now is a 35mm film camera and a contract from A24 and he’s set for the director’s chair.

07. Organise your chaos

Listen, we love it when an outfit is perfectly arranged, like a symphony orchestra playing their socks off in unison to nail “Eroica”. But then sometimes you need an aural (and sartorial) shakeup from the likes of celebrated Californian noise mongers Deftones. Take this guy here – you can see the band’s iconic cat tee poking out, setting the tone for the rest of his ensemble. So, sure, he may have cranked up “Be Quiet And Drive” while throwing together this racket, but you have to admit that it works. His ears have taken a pounding – and this meeting of black and blue is hard to beat.