Who is Charlottetown's best-dressed man?

Rhme or Reason's Shane Ross presents the first of two columns judging Island men by their threads.

Published on May 25, 2012
Shane Ross, The Guardian’s new columnist, reveals his identity while sitting on a bench in Charlottetown next to a statue of Sir. John A. Macdonald. Followers of The Guardian’s Twitter and Facebook accounts have been getting clues all week about the identity of The Guardian’s new voice.
Photo special to The Guardian by Alanna Jankov

The Guardian is making an exception to the rule today and posting Rhyme or Reason in the free section of the website to help Shane Ross in his quest for Charlottetown's best-dressed man.
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When it comes to men’s fashion, Charlottetown will never be mistaken for New York, Paris, Milan or Moncton, but if you look past the baggy pants and wife-beaters, you’ll find some sharp-dressed dudes in this city.

But who is the best-dressed of them all? I’ve been watching, asking around and taking notes — sounds weird, I know — and came up with a very unscientific list. There may not be any Zoolanders in this group, but they all have their own sense of style.

Kevin Yarr: Journalists are not known for being good dressers. Even news anchors like Bruce Rainnie you only see from the waist up, and I’m guessing he’s wearing a pair of Wranglers over his tighty-whities. But Yarr, Rainnie’s colleague at CBC, is an exception. What sets him apart are his felt fedoras. He has about eight of them in his closet, and never leaves the house without one on his head.

Doug Bridges: Maybe it’s just because he seems to be everywhere — as the MC for chamber of commerce events and Rotary club dinners, in TV commercials for Camp Gencheff, at the Metro Credit Union — and he’s always wearing a jacket and tie. Curious to see what he wears when he mows his lawn.

Rick Christopher: Here’s another guy who rarely dresses down. In fact, I’m told by his colleagues at Veterans Affairs that he refuses to dress casually even on casual day. But he still puts his loonie in the jar.

Henk van Leeuwen: A shirt and blazer are standards for the executive director at Culture P.E.I. But he makes this list because of his tan leather man-purse. Ha, a man with a purse! Does he keep his makeup in there? He says his wife bought it for him at Roots before a trip and he used it as a carry-on for his passport, book and other stuff. Now he can’t part with it, and when you’re six-foot-four and fit, who would be dumb enough to tease him about it?

Robert Henderson: The Liberal MLA may be taking a hammering from the Opposition over tourism contracts and liquor store closings, but nobody is calling for a public inquiry into his snazzy, ostrich leather cowboy boots.

Tim Banks: What’s Tim Banks doing on this list, you ask? Good question. After all, his style has been described as “hobo chic.” I’m sure he cleans up when on APM business, but he was actually spotted stepping out of his Porsche wearing a purple Puma track suit and orange sneakers. He gets points for his I-don’t-care-what-you-think attitude, which some say goes beyond just his clothes.

Rob Lantz: For someone who’s colour blind — he can’t tell grey from green — the Brighton councillor can mix and match with the best. Perhaps that’s why he does a lot of his shopping at Colour Blind on Queen Street. That, and the Ben Sherman shirts.

David MacKenzie: I hear the former CEO of the Confed Centre pops into Dows at the beginning of spring, summer, winter and fall and loads up on the latest seasonal fashions. He may need to update his golf wardrobe now that he’s deputy minister of Tourism.

That’s it for Round One. On Monday, I will complete the list and officially name Charlottetown’s best-dressed man. In the meantime, if you think there is somebody I may have overlooked, drop me an email and tell me why they should be on the list.

sross@theguardian.pe.ca

@PERhymeorReason