Paul Mason, the man famously known as Fashion Santa, came to town, as he kicked off The Ritz-Carlton Fashion Santa Tour with an invitation-only party at the hotel’s Avery Bar last night.
Mason — whose charitable tour continues over the next week with stops in his hometown of Toronto, Washington, D.C., and Miami — schmoozed with Ritz guests, residents and a select group of locals at a cozy, fireside fete benefiting Cradles to Crayons. But before the party’s piano performances and chorus of live carolers began, he managed to sit down with the Track and bestow unto us the gift of his holiday fashion do’s for men.
Even decades before his Fashion Santa persona was born, Mason worked as a model, walking for designers like Gianni Versace, Dior and Armani, and even graced the cover of Vogue. So in the spirit of giving, we pass on his sage style must-haves — in his own words and wrapped in a big red bow:
- Accessories. You should accessorize because this is the time to bust them out — bowties, ties, cufflinks, pocket squares, all of that. A watch is great. And if you’re into shoes, bring out the patent leather loafers, if you have them. Bring out the bling. Every brand makes them, so they’re all out there at every price point. A dark suit. Everyone should have one and it should be essential to every man’s wardrobe. You can go from daytime, when, say you don’t wear a tie, and then you can slap a tie on it and make it formal. So that suit can be key in letting you go from the office to a party and look smashing.
- Texture. This is the season for those rich textures and colors. It wouldn’t hurt to invest in a velvet blazer. I know you can’t wear it everywhere, but this is the time to wear it. They come in some really deep burgundies, the navy blues are beautiful, obviously green if it’s a nice dark (shade). Honestly, I think I’m the only one who can get away with bright red. But that can also translate into silks and satins. So you can actually combine all the different textures. That’s not to say you can’t do wool and tweeds, as well, but I just find that the holidays are synonymous with velvets and satins. Everything in the holidays is shiny and glistening, so if you’re going to have fun with it, do it now. No one is going to say, “Oh, look, that guy’s way over-dressed,” because you kind of expect it.
- Fit. If something is ill-fitting — even if you spend a ton of money on it — it’s probably not looking like the amount that you spent on it, so I would be consciously aware of fit. You don’t have to break the bank for fit. I hate if this sounds really pretentious, but there’s no reason not to have something fitting well because there are so many options. If you can’t afford a designer brand, go with a better-fitting lower-cost label.
- Capture it. Because I’m the selfie king, you should always capture your look. At the end of the day, you might as well take a record of it when you’re at these holiday parties.