My Style: George Esquivel

Footwear designer George Esquivel

Photo: Courtesy of George Esquivel

Is comfort an enemy of style?

It shouldn't be. Proper choices of fit and fabrics can make all the difference in the world, but some men will never change. They feel the need to wear their clothes as though they are going to the gym — big, loose, sloppy and ill-fitting.

Please describe your style in three words.

It needs to be four: casual sophistication, Southern California.

What is the biggest mistake one can make when getting dressed?

Putting on too many accessories.

Do you believe in role models?

Yes. I do believe in role models that bring something good to humanity.

What are your favourite fabrics?

Since I work with leather, I love a leather that I can manipulate and will take layers of colour.

Are there any style combinations that you object to?

Anything that seems like it took too much effort is a bit off-putting.

Which city has the best-dressed men?

Men dress great all over the world. Each city has their own aesthetic based on the weather, culture and lifestyle. I like aspects of the way men dress in NYC, Japan, Italy, London, Mexico City and California.

Would you say that you are conservative or bold?

I have been told that my style is casual sophisticated, which I attribute to my California upbringing. Most of my sport coats are unstructured, and a lot of suit jackets are also very soft in structure.

What are the rules in the way you dress?

I really don't have any rules for the way I dress, and I'm not opposed to people having fun with their clothes. But personally, I need my wardrobe to be very functional on a daily basis. It needs to carry me from my workshop, to fittings, to lunches and dinners.

Celebrities and style...

Isn't always what it seems to be.

Name one garment/accessory that you can never have enough of?

Sport coats/blazers.

A man should always look like...

He is capable of handling himself in whatever situation that may arise.

Who taught you what you know about style?

My father, we had nothing but he always looked very put together. His shoes were always shined, his shirts always pressed. His jeans had just the right amount of cuff, and my mother tailored shirts to fit him perfectly.

How do you select your clothing every morning?

Based on what my day entails. A busy day for me starts at my workshop, so I put on a casual shirt in case I have to get my hands a bit dirty. After the workshop, I might need to meet with a few clients for lunch or dinner. This means that I usually have an extra shirt or a V-neck tee in my bag that I can wear with a blazer. I also carry an extra pair of pants in case the ones I'm wearing get dirty. My point is that I try to choose pieces that will all work together throughout the day.

What is your biggest regret?

I really wish I could go back in time and relive the moments I had with my kids as they were growing up.

The three essential things a man should know about style are...

I can give one: know a good tailor.

Do you have any shopping rituals?

Buying multiples when I find something that fits me properly or I know that with minor tailoring it will fit me the way I like. I will buy the same item in all colours or in some cases the same item in the same colour.

We will never see you wearing...

Never say never, but I can say this with a high level of certainty: an ascot. They look very cool on some men, just not on me.

The most stylish person you have ever seen...

Not sure I can say there is one person that is the most stylish, but I have my favourites. Miles Siggins, a stylist here in Los Angeles is very stylish. Dario Rossetti, one of the brothers of Fratelli Rossetti, always looks good. Even when we were on holiday in casual attire, he looked very chic and effortless.

What is the first thing you notice on a man?

I notice his shoes, then the fit of his jacket. If he isn't wearing one, I notice how his shirt fits. It drives me crazy when men wear items that fit like trash bags.

The one image that defined your approach to style...

My father in Levi's 501 jeans perfectly cuffed with his black ankle boots and a shirt properly tailored. He was a career criminal and a poor excuse for a father, but he always looked very put together.

Which new designers do you follow and why?

Carlos Campos and Michael Bastian. I love how they have taken menswear classics and made them their own.

The only article of clothing that a man needs to pay close attention to is...

A man should pay close attention to all his articles of clothing. Men need to spend more time on the small details. For example, he should make sure that the collar on the shirt fits properly, the jacket sleeves are not too long, the width of the pant leg is not too wide, etc. If these issues are properly addressed, then a man does not need extra accessories — he will already be put together.

What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?

I enjoy wearing items that I have made or tailored, and fit me just right. I don't really treasure things, because at the end of the day they are just material items that should enhance one's life, not consume it.

Which fashion house never fails to impress you?

I really like what Allegri does. Their pieces are very functional. I think I have purchased something from them for the past three or four seasons.

Who would you like to recommend for €œMy Style€?

Miles Siggins. He is not a designer, but he has great style. He is a stylist here in Los Angeles and always looks amazing.

The best words of advice you have ever heard?

Keep it simple (meaning make it look effortless, find the right fit, cut, fabric etc. — this will get you that simple effect).

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