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MEN OF STYLE: Jonathan Reid

NATANGA SMITH, [email protected]

MEN OF STYLE: Jonathan Reid

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IT IS HARD to miss Jonathan Reid. The imposing six foot five inches turned many a heads while doing the photo shoot for this issue recently at Pure Oceans Restaurant, St Lawrence Gap, Christ Church.

While the lunch hour crowd was a bit inconvenienced by the EASY team, some female guests approached the photographer to ask if Jonathan was “a movie star” and “he seems familiar from somewhere.”

Jonathan has a “nine to whatever” job as creative director at Media Support International, a creative and communications firm which he runs with his business partner Roxanne Brancker.

Many business meetings and doing promotional work for clients means Jonathan’s wardrobe must stand up to the task.

“You can say my wardrobe and style choices are a reflection of my profession – creating intriguing visuals that are detailed and impactful. But if I am honest, what I wear is more dependent on my mood than on my task lists for a particular day. Some days I am feeling more outrageous than others and pull out my red suit and fret my business partner,” he said, laughing.

Jonathan hold a bachelor’s of arts in history and masters of science in tourism and hospitality from the University of The West Indies and also an associate degree in law and history from the Barbados Community College.

In defining his personal style, Jonathan calls it the “modern Caribbean gentleman”.

“When you see photos of prominent West Indian men from the 1930s to 1970s they were so well dressed in tailored clothing and carrying themselves with that imperturbable Caribbean man cool and confidence. I love that. So I would like to think that my style is a 2015 version of that.”

Jonathan plays by his own fashion rules but it wasn’t always like that.

“I grew into it. My dad was a good dresser and my mother’s brothers are really good dressers . . . . I was more fussy about brands. Now that my taste is more refined, probably 75 per cent of the clothes I wear is tailored.”

Speaking of tailor, it is a necessity for Jonathan.

“I’m a big guy, so following trends and buying from stores was never going to be practical for me. So to cultivate my aesthetic, I started to get my clothes tailored. A couple years ago I was introduced to an incredible local tailor, Rosca McDonald, and since then my style game has definitely stepped up.”

He, however, shies away from neutral colours and earth tones. “I almost never wear brown, green or grey. I also hardly wear khaki or black pants. They always just feel very flat to me.”

One fashion mistake he will never repeat? “A good friend of mine once made me wear an ill-fitting all-white suit as a groomsman at his wedding. I looked like a polar bear on a cricket field.”

Jonathan is never without his glasses (“way cooler than contacts”) and is a boxer-briefs guy (“perfect compromise”) and believes every man should have a good tailor.

The dapper dad calls himself “an overdresser”.

“I wear a lot of waistcoat suits made from linens and stretched cottons that are more friendly to our climate.

“I get them in vibrant colours – red, sky blue, salmon, and so on. Then the contrasting shirt, no tie, no socks, pocket square or lapel pin, leather dress shoes, leather backpack.”