Who are you and what do you do at Uncle Otis?
I’m Vince, the shop and e-commerce manager.
So what’s a day like for the shop and e-commerce manager?
Just like everyone else here, I wear a lot of hats. It’s keeping people motivated, excited and comfortable working here. I try to be a good leader who listens and tries to get things done as smooth as possible.
What do you think makes Uncle Otis different than other shopping experiences out there?
The thing that excites me the most about our store is its evolution. We have had a natural progression that doesn’t follow the typical trends in our industry. I think the store has changed within itself a lot, which makes it a mature experience. When we see today’s trends it seems people love wearing certain things for the status, and there is nothing wrong with that. However being able to acknowledge that allows us to consciously stay true to ourselves and the styles we are passionate about.
How would you describe your own style?
I believe in function over fashion first and foremost, so for me my go-to is military inspired clothing. The garments soldiers have worn throughout history are highly functional, well constructed pieces. Those styles, patterns and materials have led to so many different styles that still get worn everyday. Brands I love the most shape their own visions through the look of different military pieces.
How has your personal style changed over time?
Oh man it’s changed a lot since back in the day. I was big into skateboarding, and I remember loving the Nike SB Team Edition shoe. I wore them all the time. From there I started really considering things like what kind of jeans am I wearing with them and it kind of snowballed. Then I started experimenting with different looks, brands, colours, fits, all that good stuff. I’m at point now where I don’t really care what other people think, I just wear what I like. As long as I’m comfortable, I’m all good.
Any specific pieces or looks that you regret looking back?
That’s a tough one for me, most of my regret comes from really dumb decisions. I have so many jackets, and a lot of them are in olive green. A lot of vests too. Even as I say that, there is a green vest this season that I need.
One piece I really loathe is from my trip to Japan, I think it was 2011, when Topshop wasn’t in Canada yet. I bought this hoodie-jean-jacket-vest combo thing. It had Cotton jersey sleeves and hood with a denim jacket torso. I’ve never worn it, I don’t really know why I bought it.
What’s one item you’re putting to good use right now?
Probably my Garrett Leight glasses and sunglass clips. I have bad eyesight, so I definitely rely on my glasses. That makes them a big piece of my daily outfits. I believe they should make you feel comfortable, and be part of your style. These just suit me, and having the sunglass clips is the bees knees. It’s so convenient that I don’t need to carry around separate glasses. Just clip and go.
What’s your go to coffee spot around the city at the moment?
Merchants of Green Coffee, my girlfriend turned me on to it. They’re all about fresh, green, roasted beans. I don’t normally drink my coffee black, but theirs I do.
For a bite to eat?
I’ll probably get in trouble for saying this, but there is a great pho place in my neighbourhood called Pho Linh. Monday through Thursday, there is a special I always get. It’s a secret though, you’ve got to go if you want to find out what it is!
Last you listened to?
The Killing Moon, by Echo and the Bunnymen.
Cycle or Drive?
Latte or Drip?
Sneakers or Dress Shoes?
Solid or Pattern?
Button up or Tee?
Jeans or Trousers
Time to influence, what are a couple of your favourite items in the store right now?
I really like the F/CE No Seam Ziplock Day Bag. I love bags. I had a problem with buying too many jackets, and now it’s slowly turning towards bags. It comes back to my love for functionality, especially with this piece. F/CE does such a good job with their jackets in the winter and their bags in the summer. It’s so well designed, and it’ a good bang for your buck. You’re getting something that is waterproof, durable, and comfortable to wear. It’s perfect for day hikes, or longer travels.
Another piece we have right now that I love is the flower print orSlow New Yorker short. The New Yorker style that usually comes in pants, is super comfortable. The shorts version in a really cool print is absolutely killer. They did a shirt last fall in the same print that I loved too. The nice subdued black background with gold patterning makes it so minimal and loud at the same time. It’s very easy to pair it with solids to tone it down. Overall just a fun short for the summer.
Any last words?
Get back to work!