Karl Clausen knows his way around a suit. Currently the creative director behind New Zealand menswear brand Working Style, the Christchurch-born apparel aficionado has brought a raft of international experience with him.

While the social climate may be edging towards more of a casual nature when it comes to clothing, every modern Kiwi man can benefit from having a well cut, smart suit hanging on his side of the wardrobe. Whether it’s only brought out for ‘matches and dispatches’, or regularly rotated for the daily grind, a suit will always be a smart option, no matter the occasion.

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“Tailoring is going through a really interesting period due to the strong move to a more casual way of dressing, especially professionally. As a result, our suits have become more interesting through their
form, function, and fabrication, more so for the fact a number of men will wear suits now through choice and not necessity. Our shoulders are getting softer, the silhouettes while still shaped are not tailored as dramatically as previous seasons, and the more contemporary-minded are wearing their trousers a little fuller, even with pleats.”

Comfort and performance has become a byword with everything Working Style does. Textured fabrics and a new generation of chocolate and green hues have added a new dimension to the suit and this allows for the pieces to be dressed down with ease or worn as separates.

Following on from the Christchurch earthquakes, Working Style was unable to continue to trade out of its central city location.

“The appeal of Merivale, and the ‘townhouse’ concept was a direct correlation to our Working Style store based in Parnell which offered many similarities, the most notable being a residentially located multi-room store with parking outside the front.

“We wanted to create a space that felt relaxed and homely and offered a point of difference to other retailers in Christchurch.”

Part of Working Style’s unique approach to apparel is The Journal – a self-described ‘Working Style guide to style’ on its website.

“Storytelling is an incredibly important part of what we do. Clothing offers an opportunity to transport you to a place you didn’t necessarily realise you wanted to go. It’s an extension of your personality and can say as much about you as a conversation.

“As a result, we are consciously looking to evoke interest, dynamism, and transparency with everything we do at Working Style and The Journal is a great way for us to showcase this to a broad audience and engage with them.”

There is a misconception that Working Style is a brand that sells only tailored clothing. Whilst it does have a strong heritage in selling suits, it has evolved into a company that has a very dynamic casual wear collection, both with clothing and footwear.

Karl mentions he travels continuously, looking for ways to invigorate what Working Style does.

“Being a proud Cantabrian, I’m aware of what the guys in the region love to wear. Anyone visiting our Merivale location for something more casual, you will be pleasantly surprised by what’s on offer. Best to pay a visit rather than take my word for it though!”