Everything Old is New Again (or, ‘Pump It Up’)

Brace yourself, Yukon.

There are strange things coming to the North this summer, and I am not just speaking of the various transients descending shortly.

I guess it is not a for sure, but if Toronto and Montréal (the so-called meccas of Canadian fashion) are any indication, the Klondike will soon be under the same fashion upheaval that is currently being experienced in these cities.

You see, living in Toronto I get a first-hand glimpse of what’s in style clothing-wise for 2009.

Every day, I walk up Yonge Street or down Queen, and I get my very own catwalk. And the great thing is it’s not just skinny models; there’s all kinds hurrying up and down the main arteries of T.O.

They walk with gumption and with a certain swagger that says I know what’s cool this spring, and this is it.

Let us begin with the most startling style that hipsters have taken on.


Yukon men are no strangers to growing facial hair for certain events, primarily Rendezvous or the occasional pub crawl.

But that typically lasts a few days, a week max.

The moustaches I’m talking about are in it for the long haul.

While enjoying a few beverages at a Toronto watering hole, recently, I counted 14 “lip caterpillars” … it was a startling revelation as I found myself wondering if it was just one of those nights.

It wasn’t.

And with the moustaches come the accessories.

The sunglasses made famous by John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd and Tom Cruise are back.

Some are going with the all-black look while others elect for neon frames.

“Grampa” hats are in, too.

This one I am the most pleased about, mainly because I’m a hat guy and find it refreshing to see headwear being worn that has a little style.

That said, the look loses its appeal when everyone and their dog owns a fedora (please note I haven’t seen a dog wearing a fedora yet, but living in Toronto, I know it’s coming).

Leather is back as well.

I spent a couple of weeks in Montréal, and every vintage shop along St. Laurent was littered with various non-vegan-friendly styles.

“What happened to my pumps?”

Daily, it seems, I am asking myself this.

Don’t get alarmed. I’m talking about Reeboks, not the pointy-toed stilettos that accentuate the calf so nicely.

Mine were of the tennis variety.

The very same style made famous by American tennis pro, Michael Chang.

The year was 1989 and Reebok Pumps were all the rave.

That and “hyper-coloured” T-shirts.

Ah, yes – hyper-colour … what a brilliant concept.

Elementary-school kids blowing germs on one another.

What’s the worst that could happen?

Now, granted, I have yet to see a hyper-coloured T-shirt; but I’m sure that, like the dog fedoras, they are coming.

The pumps, however, are back as are any high-top sneakers, for that matter.

A few years ago, if a man walked out of the house wearing tennis pumps, neon sunglasses and a tiny leather coat, while sporting a moustache, there would be stares of concern.

The police might even be called. But today, at least in Toronto and Montréal, it’s all the rage.

That’s why I’m a strong believer in the tickle trunk.

Rather than throw out your clothing that seems to have seen its final days as being trendy and cool, drop them in the trunk for a few years and, before you know it, you’ll be the coolest hipster in the Klondike.

*George did not feel comfortable offering a fashion inside to the ladies. That said, he urges you to get as many leggings as you can and some pink gumboots. (He wishes he were making this stuff up.)

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