“In general, waistcoats are one of my favorite layering items, because they give a tailored look to virtually any outfit,” says Jonas Bell Pasht on his preferred article of clothing. “They also cover up the front of a man’s shirt, which gets messy and wrinkled over the course of a workday."
A TV and film producer, the 33-year-old Toronto native is too busy to deal with wrinkles: There's the upcoming release of his Serendipity Point Films' horror/musical Stage Fright starring Minnie Driver and Meat Loaf (together at last!), and then, his new Ryan Seacrest Productions/Citizens Jones produced, Esquire Network series How I Rock It, which premieres Nov. 20 and profiles icons and influencers of men’s style (former Clippers star Baron Davis is host; John Varvatos, David Lynch, Paul Feig and Jason Lee are featured).
Here, the lover of all things old-school (he once wrote a strongly worded letter to a florist who wronged him on the thickness of a boutonniere stem) walks us through a day in the life of his wardrobe.
What do you do for work?
I produce films and TV shows.
Where do you get your style?
I’m really inspired by history and tradition – in particular mid 20th century fashion and the sartorial elegance of Old Hollywood. As far as individual style influences, I look to Steve McQueen, Fred Astaire and my grandfather.
You're Canadian -- and it shows in your cufflinks. Where did you find these?
My cufflinks are actually re-appropriated brass buttons from my grandfather’s WWII artillery jacket. I wear them to honor his memory, to show my respect for my country of birth, and also because they’re really cool.
You wouldn't put your hat on inside at our photo shoot -- very old-school. Who taught you your manners?
When it comes to this “rule,” I’m not necessarily hard-and-fast. Generally, I don’t think it’s appropriate to wear a hat indoors -- that said, there generally aren’t hat racks waiting for us when we walk inside. Since there isn’t really a logical place to hang a nice hat, I think this rule is slightly outdated and worthy of review. I believe strongly in manners and etiquette. I think that a sense of decorum in one’s attire is really a gesture of respect to others.
What is one item in your closet you could never throw away? Why?
Other than socks and underwear, I don’t like to fill my closet with items that can be readily thrown away; I prefer clothes with history, storytelling and personal significance. I want to own clothes that can be passed on to the next generation.
Is there anyone whose opinion you ask regarding your sartorial choices?
I have no problem asking for a second opinion from anyone who’s nearby. But most questions about sartorial choices can be answered by looking to the past; books on the history of men's style or vintage photos of Cary Grant, Sammy Davis Jr. or even Edward VII will all reinforce the idea that there are governing rules when it comes to men's style.
You're always dressed up. When you're dressed down, what can you be found in?
An untucked shirt.
Do you own sweatpants?
No. But I recognize the value in them.
What I’m Wearing in This Photo:
1. The Waistcoat: This is a custom waistcoat made for me by Requisite Clothing in Los Angeles, from a houndtooth wool I hand-picked at B. Black & Sons in downtown LA.
2. The Jacket: This is a simple Ralph Lauren military-inspired jacket. I like combining casual, off-the-rack elements such as this one with custom, tailored items.
3. The Shirt: A custom-made white linen shirt by Requisite.
4. The Shoes: Two-tone Grenson shoes.
5. The Fedora: This is a vintage straw fedora from the '60s that I found in a vintage clothing store. It is warped and misshapen in the perfect way.
6. The Belt: A braided leather belt that I picked up on a recent trip to Tuscany.
7. The Trousers: Levi’s. Easy.
8. The Tie: This is a soft, unstructured wool tie from my friends at the Mohawk General Store in Silver Lake.
9. The Collar Pin: A vintage collar pin that I picked up at the Long Beach Flea Market.
10. The Sunglasses: These are rose-colored sunglasses designed by Garrett Leight and my friend Mark McNairy. Mark is in the first season of How I Rock It.
11. The Pocket Square: I found this in a thrift store in Palm Springs and bought it for a dollar.
12. The Bag: This is a briefcase from the Saddleback Leather Company, a small company based out of Texas. This is a rugged bag that will last more than a lifetime and will age beautifully.
13. The Pen: A classic, customized gold Cross pen. It’s also a gift from my grandfather.