Summer is arguably the most difficult time for fashion. The hot weather makes layering impossible, the colour grey a death wish and don’t even try wearing a full suit to work – or can you?

We sat down with the creative director of 455 Custom Suits, Noah Parker. Noah is a recent Ryerson University grad with a passion for fashion and a knack for entrepreneurship. He and his brother Jake Parker along with their friend Ben Badiuk make up Toronto’s hottest and youngest custom suit shop. The group has bonded over the years through a love for menswear and have truly taken the custom suit world by storm. Their motto is to provide affordable quality menswear, without the snobby atmosphere. They are breaking the stereotype that suits are an inaccessible and elitist piece of clothing one suit at a time.

“Growing up fashion was never really a priority,” Noah recalls. Rasied in Burlington, Ontario, Noah never really had a chance to learn about fashion until moving to Toronto. “I took a trip to Italy with a friend because his father worked in fashion. That trip made me realize that I wanted this to be my career.” With only a year under their belts, 455 is growing rapidly, beyond their beautiful space and garments, 455 has also gained quite the media attention from The Toronto Star, Styledemocracy and Ottawa Life.

“We want to prove custom ideas, that’s what sets us apart from the rest.”

We talked to Noah about everything from summer fashion do’s and dont’s, what he’s wearing this summer and the most important summer men’s fashion tips:

New ties dropping this afternoon, WE CAN HARDLY CONTAIN OUR EXCITEMENT

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HOLR: What’s your favourite summer fashion trend of all time?

NP: I love vibrant printed shirts like Miami vice style, I’m into obnoxious florals. In the last couple months starting to pick up on some more ‘skater’ trends.” Noah is wearing black and white old school classic vans with blank cuffed pants and printed socks. “I like a no break hem, dress shoes without socks, and striped t-shirts with tapered dress pants. That’s a great casual but classic look.” Although 455 is a suit company, Noah is no stranger to a casual look. “I’ve always been into Parisian fashion, think pin-stripe horizontal or vertical. I also love a two-toned suit in the summer, and a classic dress shirt with no tie. When it’s above thirty degrees you don’t need a tie. Function over fashion sometimes.”

HOLR: What’s your least favourite summer fashion trend of all time?

NP: I don’t love pants with more than one break, oh and when you see guys with crazy bright basic golf shirts and then they pair them with brown pants or cream pants. You’ve got to tone it down [laughs] Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you have to shy away from winter palettes, I wear navy all year round.”

HOLR: Are there any pieces in your closet your wear season to season?

NP: I like jersey knits for t-shirts. I have what I like to call a ‘swocket’ it’s a sweater jacket hybrid. Super lightweight almost feels like a crew neck but structured like a jacket. I wear it all year round. I love an unconstructed jacket, white dress shirt and chinos.” Noah is obsessed with classic t-shirts and tailored pants – what is he not into you ask? “Graphics tees. I personally think they’re on their way out. They used to be super popular but I’m not a huge fan.”

The last of three by @oxfordandhenley , 2 well dressed dudes! #fourfiftyfive

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HOLR: What’s the biggest misconception about men’s fashion?

NP: That it’s easy. Everyone always thinks guys have it easy and you can just throw on pants and a shirt and be done. It’s more than that. You have to look like a million bucks or people are going to notice. I think another big misconception about menswear is that it’s not an industry of its own. We’re a testament to that, and that’s something 455 is trying to change.”

“Your fit matters, I don’t care where your suit is from. If it looks good and fits – that’s what matters.”

HOLR: Tips on keeping cool while also not looking too casual?

NP: Definitely wear materials that are lighter. Wear linen – some people don’t like the wrinkled look, but that’s the point. If you have to wear a suit to work, try to find one with lighter lining. At 455, we have natural linings that make your suit less heavyweight. Also wearing an undershirt helps, most people think more layers will make you hotter but it will save you sweat marks, and you can replace the undershirt during your day to feel fresh and new. And don’t be afraid to take that suit jacket off. I’d rather be the guy that looks fresh and cool without my jacket than the guy over sweating in his suit.”

HOLR: Favourite stores to hit in the city?

NP: I’m actually not super into big brands, I prefer to keep my basics inexpensive. I find Forever 21 mens is quite good and underrated. No it doesn’t last forever but it’s pretty good. I also like my clothes to tell a story. There’s a shop around the corner from us called Mystic Muffin, they sell crewnecks and graphic tees with their logo on it. I like that, I like supporting people with cool unique items rather than just going to regular shops. I’m also really into Black Market on Queen St. West, they have some cool cheap pieces as well.

HOLR: 5 ultimate men’s summer fashion tips?

  1. Make sure your hem length is appropriate
  2. Go get your peacock outfit – That Miami Vice, cool bowling shirt that makes you stand out.
  3.  Have your summer suit outfit ready to go.
  4.  Don’t be afraid to wear white sneaker with a suit, get a good pair of white sneakers that you ONLY wear with a suit, keep them clean and only wear them for special occasions.
  5.  Go get yourself a vibrant watch that doesn’t match the colour of your belt – go to a cool vintage shop and find a piece of clothing that is unique to you and that has a story.

“Gotta be proud of what you’re wearing, where you got it from, and how you made it”

Interested in learning more about Noah Parker and 455? Book an appointment today at their Toronto Shop!