More than three weeks from when this all started, a Menswear Madness champion has been crowned. Bryan Meredith made it through five rounds of voting, and now the Vancouver Whitecaps goalkeeper has another title to his name. The argument could be made that Meredith may have had the easiest path to the final, having only faced some lesser looks from fellow ‘keeper Stefan Frei until the semifinals when he went toe-to-toe with Jordy Delem and his snack jacket - a look that some were predicting as a potential finalist, if not eventual champion - in what proved to be the closest of any of Meredith’s challenges as he only topped Delem by 14 votes.
The final came down to Bryan Meredith and Kim Kee-hee in what seemed like a close contest, even though the two looks were extremely different stylistically. Nearly 450 votes were cast in the Fashion Final, and Meredith came away with a crushing victory as he earned 61% of the vote. It’s a bit of a blow to all of the Kee-hee fans - myself included - but no one can take this title from Meredith, and you really can’t say that it’s undeserved.
There’s no one right way to be well-dressed or stylish. Look no further than the match-up in the final and you’ll see two very stylish guys who take completely different paths to get there. An eye for quality is always going to be an important part of the process, but to make a look like Kee-hee’s work it’s necessary that each piece be an excellent standalone item, as there’s nothing else to look at and each component will get more attention. Styling like that by its nature either takes a lot of time and patience or a sizable chunk of money. Meredith’s look, on the other hand, is intricate and involved, and while it takes effort and a certain degree of knowledge, it actually can be a bit more accessible financially if you’re willing to put in the effort.
Meredith’s look isn’t cheap, but it can be accomplished inexpensively, or at least the concepts behind it. First, the whole look works because of a cohesive color story. Black, pink and white are interwoven throughout the entire outfit, with accessories being used to tie the whole thing together. The black hat and belt both anchor the look with strong, solid pieces, but also work black into every component. The pink (maybe floral print) pocket square ties the pink from the pants into the chest, making pink more than just a bright accent for the pants, but instead a foundational color for the look. The white of the shirt provides a simple canvas for the rest of the ‘fit to be built off of, but it’s also an example of the way that Meredith uses little details and touches to make the look his own. This would have been a perfectly fine outfit with a regular white button-up or a polo, but the fact that he chose to use a sort of banded collar henley or popover shirt gives it a more casual, fun look that’s different from what you’re going to see on almost anyone else. Meredith’s style is singular, and he’s a deserving champion. I’m proud to be able to send him off and cap his time in Seattle off by awarding him the Menswear Madness title. He is the Flyander.