What are the rules in the way you dress?
I always have to have one small detail with everything I wear. I first discovered fashion when I was eleven and the Sex Pistols had just released ‘God Save The Queen’ during the Silver Jubilee. I loved their DIY ethic, and I adopted the safety pin as my little, often hidden detail (every client I’ve ever dressed has had a safety pin hidden somewhere in the clothing). I now have the safety pins tattooed on my arm to represent my kids, so I don’t need the physical ones any more. But I do use variations of a diamond pin to hold my pocket square in place.
Please describe your style in three words.
Tailored, English, with-a-twist.
What is the biggest mistake one can make when getting dressed?
Overthinking the outfit.
Do you believe in role models?
I think role models are very important. I have some, and I hope that I am one to my kids and maybe a few guys out there as well!
What are your favourite fabrics?
Kid mohair, cashmere, and Sea Island cotton.
Are there any style combinations that you object to?
Suits and t-shirts… done to death now!
Which city has the best-dressed men?
London and Nottingham, where I had my first job with Paul Smith. So much fashion talent came out of that small city!
Would you say that you are conservative or bold?
A bit of both, but always bold with my socks — I’ve worn Paul Smith socks pretty much exclusively for nearly thirty years.
Celebrities and style...
Are usually introduced to one another via a stylist.
Name one garment/accessory that you can never have enough of?
Can’t name just one, but suits, shoes, and good watches.
A man should always look like...
He dressed to impress without looking like he tried to dress to impress.
Who taught you what you know about style?
The Sex Pistols and Paul Smith.
How do you select your clothing every morning?
I usually start with either the shoes or the watch and build from there.
What is your biggest regret?
Not having room to store all the clothes I’ve owned in my life… there are some good stories there, plus I’d have a great men’s rental house!
The three essential things a man should know about style are...
Do not try and follow fashion; it’s a futile, expensive habit. Find a good tailor. Be yourself, otherwise the clothes will wear you.
Do you have any shopping rituals?
Being a stylist, I shop for a living, so I’m not sure I have any actual rituals…
We will never see you wearing...
Spandex or Uggs!
The most stylish person you have ever seen...
Paul Smith for his irreverence, Christos Tolera (from the 80’s band Blue Rondo á la Turk) for the details, and Mark Powell for his commitment to tailoring.
What is the first thing you notice on a man?
His shoes and watch.
The one image that defined your approach to style...
David Bailey’s portrait of Michael Caine.
Which new designers do you follow and why?
At the moment, I like the tailoring revival that’s happening in the States at houses such as Millers Oath. Also, an Italian label called Tonello, who’s soft shouldered suits I love. I think Christopher Bailey does an amazing job with Burberry, and I love George Esquivel for the most comfortable shoes ever.
The only article of clothing that a man needs to pay close attention to is...
His suit and specifically the cut of it.
What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?
My bespoke blue mohair Timothy Everest suit, Panerai 8 day manual GMT, an old pair of John Moore boots that I got in the 80's and can’t part with, and the blue diamond tie pin my wife had made out of the cocktail ring I inherited from my granny.
Is comfort an enemy of style?
It doesn’t have to be at all… George Esquivel’s shoes are insanely comfortable and stylish. It also depends on what you feel comfortable in; I’m more comfortable in a suit and shoes than in jeans, sneakers and a t-shirt.
Which designer never fails to impress you?
Ralph Lauren, as he’s never wavered from his commitment to the complete look, whatever that look is.
Who would you like to recommend for My Style?
Mark Powell or Christos Tolera.
The best words of advice you have ever heard?
“Fashion can be bought. Style one must possess.” — Edna Woolman Chase “Live while you live.” — John Wayne Gacy