This Gentleman Journalist is passionate about prints, textures and colours
Some people prepare for a marathon by training hard, testing technical gear, eating right and getting enough sleep.
Nicholas Mizera was already an avid runner at a high cycle in his training when he decided to register for the 2015 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon. But what he didn’t have was the right suit. Yes, you read that right — suit. He would need it, you see, in order to break the Guinness World Record for fastest half marathon in a suit.
So Mizera, author of the fashion blog The Gentleman Journalist, reached out to Indochino, a brand with which he was already familiar through his work as a fashion blogger and journalist. And before long, two indigo blue suits in lightweight, sweat-wicking Indotech fabric — complete with white spread-collar shirts — arrived at his doorstep. He added a black bow tie, blue suspenders with white dots, black dress socks and a pair of New Balance running shoes to smash that record with a time of 1:35:47.
So why did he do it? One need only peek at the motto embroidered on the inside of his smart wool jacket to understand his thinking: Look Sharp Run Hard. Because Mizera, who has also worked in retail fashion, dresses up more than he does down, and experiments with mixing prints, textures and colours. He’s a guy who breaks fashion rules. And he’s a guy who pushes himself outside his comfort zone, especially when it comes to fashion — an art form he’s been passionate about since opening his first GQ magazine, way back when.
“Reading all those (men’s fashion) magazines, I read about all these sartorial rules — no black with navy and no black and brown — and now I literally don’t care about that,” says Mizera, 30, who lives in Hamilton with his wife Jenna Pettinato and works as an Opinion/Blogs editor at Huffington Post Canada. “I feel like all those rules have relaxed over time. And it’s a lot more fun and a lot more expressive for men. ’Cause you’re never wondering if you’re fitting into this class — like, fashion as a class idea. You’re fitting more into self-expression.”
It’s empowering, says Mizera, who finds freedom in this form of personal expression. Like mixing a floral shirt with a horizontal stripe tie or brown shoes and a black belt. Here he sports the indigo blue Indochino suit jacket he wore to break the world record back in 2015, with grey Ted Baker chinos, a white Eton spread-collar shirt and Splash micro-floral tie. He accessorizes with Gotstyle dress socks, brown Exton shoes from Le Château, Mr. Porter pocket square and a vintage floral tie clip he found at Courage My Love in Kensington Market in Toronto.
“I think that now men’s fashion isn’t so much a classic-suits-and-ties
kind of thing, but people are understanding that fashion is a broad spectrum of things from athleisure and again, your Tshirt and jeans can still be a fashion staple of someone’s personal style,” says Mizera. “It’s all valid.”
Most eye catching piece:
My collection of floral ties. I’ve got tons of them — one for every occasion. I’ve got neutral ties, I’ve got fall-themed ties, I’ve got cherry blossom ones and these that are more micro, I’ve got tons of these.
Quirkiest wardrobe item:
A camouflage blazer ... it’s very slim fit, one button blazer that I got from Zara. I got it ages ago when I moved to Toronto for the first time. And that was after I had left retail, so I could start building up my wardrobe in not black, white or grey. So it was kind of a moment of liberty and freedom …
The way I wear it is like a neutral, though. It doesn’t feel weird with other patterns and it doesn’t feel as big as it is . ... I wear it like a grey or black piece.
Wardrobe must have:
Navy blazers … my favourite colour but it’s also just a very versatile, year-round piece. You really can’t get more classic than that ... something with more soft
shoulders just because it looks a bit more relaxed.
This (vintage floral) tie clip. It was $2 and it’s gotten me the most compliments of anything in my entire wardrobe.
A green polo shirt from Joe Fresh that I purchased for St. Patrick’s Day. But I abhorred it. I was a size up even though it was the smallest size they carried. It
was the kind of green that just looks bad against my skin. So I got rid of it.
Loves to shop at:
Recently I’ve been going out of my way to shop local. It’s a way for me to get to know the Hamilton stores since I moved here in November. And it’s also kind of
an opportunity to push myself out of boundaries. So while Newman’s (Menswear) is really spot on with my style — they have lots of prints and are fresh and young and sporty — I do like trying more heritage brands like the stuff they have at O’s Clothes, like flannels and whatnot. Kitsu is really nice because they’re a little urban and they kind of pushed me into that direction.
Ridding your closet of:
Anything that’s not worth getting tailored. It’s not a knock against fast fashion because I’ve managed to keep fast fashion shirts going on for six or seven years, but right now I’m kind of emphasizing the higher quality and fewer items. So if it’s worth tailoring, it probably hits that mark.
I’ve been splurging more on athleisure because apparently it’s very expensive. And I’ve also been splurging on those heritage items ... there was this incredible motorcycle sweater that I got from O’s by Deus Ex Machina, an Australian label. And it’s so thick and heavy, a little slouchy, and kind of out of my wheelhouse because it’s not tight and stuff. It’s a beautiful dark green colour and I absolutely adore it. That was a big splurge.
Beauty item you can’t live without:
Layrite. It’s a pomade … ever since I adopted this kind of hairstyle back in the Crow’s Nest in Toronto, I would always buy Layrite.
“I really love navy,” says Nicholas Mizera, sporting an indigo blue Indochino blazer over a white spread collar Eton shirt with a Splash micro-floral tie. His grey chinos are Ted Baker. “I don’t wear a lot of green or red. I tend to avoid those, aside...
“I feel like I have a lot of tie clips but I always go with this because it’s neutral, it’s really subtle and most of my ties are two-inch or skinnier, mostly because I’m a slim guy and I like keeping things proportional, I guess. So I only have a...
Mizera accessorizes with socks from Gotstyle and brown Exton shoes from Le Château.
Nicholas Mizera: “men’s fashion isn’t so much a classic-suits-and-ties kind of thing.”