Ian Joseph

This is a new job and career for you. Have you had to step up your business look?

When I worked as an electrical engineer I rarely needed a suit. But when I started here after getting my MBA at SFU, this is basically what I started off wearing. 

Is this a new suit?

I got it about five years ago. It’s an Armani and it was, like, three figures. I was an engineer during the tech boom, and we made ridiculous amounts of money. Now that I’m just out of school with two young kids I’m on a tighter budget. I’m not going to be buying Armani anytime soon.

Where do you shop nowadays?

My wife is an executive at the Gap, so I get a lot of breaks on Gap and Banana Republic clothing. I get most of my stuff there.

Are you just as frugal with shoes?

I wore affordable Aldo shoes for years, but I have back problems. My chiropractor finally said, “Look, get yourself a proper pair of shoes.” I found out about Mephistos, which are made in France and are super comfortable. When I put them on in the store, I was in shock. My wife asked me how much they cost and I said, “I don’t know, I’m getting them.” I just handed my credit card over without thinking. Later, my father-in-law who was visiting said, “You’re a brave guy. You just spent $400 on a pair of shoes.” I said, “What?” I had no idea. I’ve never put my feet into anything that felt like this; they’re like the Cadillac of shoes. But it’s worth it, man. It’s scarily worth it.

You’re originally from Trinidad. How do people dress for business there?

They’re much more formal than in North America. Suit and ties are very common, but lately they’ve moved into what they call a “shirtjack,” which is a light shirt that looks like a short-sleeved jacket. People finally said, “This is ridiculous – we’re sweating our asses off down here! It’s like 36 degrees!”