My Style: Michael Phillips Moskowitz

Portrait of Michael Phillips Moskowitz

Photo: Courtesy of eBay

What are the rules in the way you dress?

Hardy Amies is widely credited with insisting, “A man should look as if he has bought his clothes with intelligence, put them on with care and then forgotten all about them.” That’s a perfectly (if not infinitely) respectable standard to adopt and follow.

Please describe your style in three words.

British. Yiddish. Transgendered.

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

Putting on your pants, two legs at a time.

Do you believe in role models?

Yes. It’s the only modelling gig I’d ever narrowly eke out qualifications for.

What are your favourite fabrics?

Cotton, cashmere, leather and nude.

Are there any style combinations that you object to?

(Orange) snakeskin tuxedos with vulcanised (purple) high-tops.

Which city has the best-dressed men?

London. Tokyo trails a close second. Some might consider it high treason to relegate New York to third place, but it’s, well, quietly but empirically accurate.

Would you say that you are conservative or bold?

Benign authoritarian.

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

Hermès scarves.

A man should always look like…

The subject of an Anthony van Dyck portrait — studied, self-certain but never too sanguine.

Who taught you what you know about style?

My grandfather, whom I never met. I still cherish pieces of his that I wear to this day, and I’m told that our disposition and character are an uncanny match.

How do you select your clothing every morning?

A psychiatrist once insisted that “[I] seem to select my clothes, wittingly or unwittingly, based on the way I feel. Particularly on the way I feel that day.” Of course on that day, I was wearing red motocross pants and a vintage Tom and Jerry sweater. What could that ‘feeling’ possibly have been?

What is your biggest regret?

Childhood. Those years were tragically misspent with kids under the age of twelve.

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

Clean up. Never underestimate the importance of the right shoes. Mind the hour. There are really only two pieces of jewellery a man should consider wearing: a wedding band and a watch. Choose carefully. Be 'scentimental'. Your olfactory signature trumps your John Hancock.

Do you have any shopping rituals?

The concept of ‘intelligent acquisition’ interests me and is a cornerstone of my role in curating the eBay marketplace. As a ritual on a grand scale, I’m continuously creating narratives and telling stories about exceptional goods and helping other shoppers connect to the things they need and love in new ways — creating a richer, more dynamic shopping experience.

We will never see you wearing...

Crocs.

The most stylish person you have ever seen...

Lapo Elkann. Not an icon, but an idiom.

What is the first thing you notice on a man?

Goiters. They’re hard to miss.

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

Dalí, out walking a pair of anteaters around the Paris Metro.

Which new designers do you follow and why?

Ovadia & Sons. They balance perfectly the British sartorial traditions of yesteryear with something thoroughly American — intelligent, presentable, un-fussy.

What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?

A distressed hobo hat that I found in a tiny vintage shop on Portobello Road.

Is comfort an enemy of style?

In war, yes. And in San Francisco.

Which designer never fails to impress you?

Alexander McQueen, Comme des Garçons, Thom Browne, Nick Tentis.

Who would you like to recommend for My Style?

Waris Ahluwalia.

The best words of advice you have ever heard?

Take a left before you get to the cliff.

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