It’s been described as Top Gear for streetwear, but you won’t find any of Clarkson’s dreadful boot-cut jeans here. YouTube style show PAQ has been a must-watch sensation since it hit our screens in 2017. Presented by Danny Lomas, Dexter Black, Elias Riadi and Shaquille Keith, it sees the four young London-based creatives take on a series of style challenges every week, from building outfits made up of supermarket clothes to styling their pets as logo-laden hypebeasts.
Alongside the hijinks, each of the lads brings their own unique style to the show and it’s this unique blend of disparate fashion senses that brings real value for anyone wishing to hone their own unique look. Yorkshire-born Lomas is the snappiest dresser of the lot, with a modern take on mid-century and mod fashion – all knitted polos and tailored trousers.
Black lives up to his name, with a rigid uniform of all-black while Riadi is nicknamed ‘Astro-boy’ for his ability to tie together bright pastel shades with futuristic garments and fits. Finally, Keith, an art student, is arguably the most adventurous and creative mixing straight-off-the-catwalk tailoring with oversized hoodies and dungarees all topped off with one of his signature berets.
With more than half a million YouTube subscribers, brands are scrambling to work with the foursome. As part of their partnership with multi-brand high street store TK Maxx and the opening of its first store on London’s Oxford Street, we spoke to PAQ to get their top style tips from the best footwear for every outfit, to getting the right trouser fit for your body type.
Inspiration: Punks, mods and every British subculture in-between
Go-To Brands: Fred Perry, Gucci, Dr. Martens
Follow Him: @dannylomass
Think About Form And Function
I’ll see an item and immediately group it into what you think it should be for. So I might see a smart rain jacket and you think oh I can wear that for family events or would I wear it at Fashion Week when I want to turn heads. You’ll group it into what comes up in your life. There’s no point in me buying a prom dress.
Dressing Smart Means You’ll Always Be Prepared
I still appreciate streetwear but I know on me I like being able to have multiple uses for an outfit so I enjoy wearing smart stuff. I like to wear something where I’ll able to go out and grab some milk and then go meet the Queen and not look out of place. There’s nothing worse than being caught short.
Loafers Are Your New Best Friend
You’ll catch me nine times out of 10 in loafers. They go with anything. It’s an easy way to dress up an outfit. And they even look bangin’ with things like cargo trousers. I’ve seen a lot of streetwear guys wearing loafers and they can work so well. They look great and your grandma will love ’em.
Inspiration: Three 6 Mafia, Wu Tang Clan, MF Doom
Go-To Brands: Dickies, Blood Brother, Nike ACG
Follow Him: @dexthefreak
Make An Impact With All-Black
I make a conscious decision to wear all-black. I used to wear colour and it’s not that they don’t suit me, it’s just I wanted to show that you can actually do anything you want to do by just styling with one colour.
You can wear so many different outfits and have so many different styles just by wearing one thing. You can experiment much more and you realise so many things go together a lot easier off of just one colour just by using different cuts and materials.
Get Yourself Some Retro Trainers
I’m excited by the retro kicks that are coming back, the retro Jordans and Nikes especially. I love some of those old-school kicks and the fact they’re coming back is a big statement to me.
If It Works, It Works
I wear punk trousers with trainers. They’re meant to be worn with boots. Trainers are apparently meant to be worn with jeans or a nice pair of jogging bottoms. But I said no. I would say experiment with your wardrobe and see if it works. If it doesn’t go but it looks good and makes you look confident than go.
Inspiration: Elton John, Nigo, Will Smith in Fresh Prince
Go-To Brands: Prada, Maison Margiela, BAPE
Follow Him: @eliasriadi
Build Your Outfit Around Your Shoes (Or Trousers)
I loved shoes before I loved clothes. I used to start dressing my outfits with my sneakers but now I save shoes till last. As I’ve gotten further into fashion I’ve kind of thrown that rule out of the window.
I have a routine where I get my outfit then I go downstairs and look at all my shoes together and then pick them on what goes with the outfit. I love to build an outfit around a pair of trousers now. That for me is the foundation of your ‘fit.
Accessorise, Accessorise, Accessorise
Accessories are key. Jewellery, hats, sunglasses. Find yourself iconic pieces that can blend into who you are as a person. For me I can wear those accessories with a white T-shirt and a plain pair of trousers but I still scream me.
Dress To Your Body Type
Get to know what cuts to wear that suit your body. For me I’ve got skinny legs so wearing super tight skinny jeans doesn’t complement my silhouette. Work to your body type. And your complexion. At the same time, carrot trousers aren’t for me. And things that don’t drop nice on a shoot. Who knows in five years carrot trousers might be my love but I haven’t grown into that person yet.
Inspiration: Jean-Michel Basquiat, Tupac Shakur, Pharrel Williams
Go-To Brands: Alyx, Mowalola, Helmut Lang
Follow Him: @shakka.d.badmon
Fashion With No Frontiers
I don’t really have one style. It’s just how I’m feeling on the day. One day I’ll be wearing a hoodie and the next I’ll be wearing a suit just for no reason. I like the idea that, when it comes to life, I can do whatever I want and fashion is one of those things. No boundaries.
If you see a T-shirt and you think it could be better as a vest then cut it into a vest. I do that with so many of my tees. If you think it would look better with longer sleeves then sew on some longer sleeves. Make the best out of the situation. When it comes to fashion its all about letting people see and appreciate your taste and your eye.
Look To The Past
I’m influenced by everything. It’s music, it’s art and it’s people within those cultures. For example I love the way Basquait used to dress in this kind of rough, ragamuffin way.
I love how Tupac was able to be this thug rapper from the street who wore custom pieces from Versace and wore Karl Kani. That whole era was sick. Then you skip to the 2000s and you get Cam’ron and this whole baggy steeze aesthetic. There’s a lot of style influence you can take from the past.
PAQ were speaking on behalf of TK Maxx and the opening of its new Oxford Street, London store