On any given day, Chima Nkemdirim, chief of staff for Mayor Naheed Nenshi, meets with the press, CEOs and activists, often back to back, so he has to toe a fine line between professional and accessible.
“I think it’s important that people who work in our office be approachable and not intimidating or pretentious,” he says. “I don’t want to look like a suit; I want to look like a person.”
He achieves this by opting for a style he calls “dressy-fun,” which involves adding subtle panache to his bespoke black or grey LGFG business suits in the form of colourful ties or patterned dress shirts and socks. One of his favourite places to shop is Simons, the Quebec-based department store. “It’s coming to Calgary soon, so I’m very happy about that,” he says.
Outside the office, he wears straightforward leather jackets and jeans, opting for sweaters in the winter and vests and bow ties for the more sartorial social gatherings.
Though he admits he still searches for bow-tying instructions on YouTube from time to time, it’s clear he knows his style off by heart.
5 style favourites
1. Colourful socks from Simons.
2. Hooded jacket from Club Monaco.
3. Vests. I’ve got two or three that were made for me and they’re great.
4. Lego cufflinks from a summer market in Edmonton.
5. My Tissot 1853 watch.
Suit and shirt, both from LGFG Fashion House; silk tie was a gift; Tissot 1853 watch; rings purchased from various folk festivals; Tom Ford glasses.