My Style: Nick Wooster

Portrait of Nick Wooster

Matt Barnes — Courtesy of Nick Wooster

Please describe your style in three words.

Just do it.

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

Not giving a damn.

Do you believe in role models?

No. But I do believe in paying attention.

What are your favourite fabrics?

Harris Tweed, Fox Brothers flannel in all shades of grey, bleeding Madras, chino, camouflage.

Are there any style combinations that you object to?

An untucked, over-embroidered plaid shirt, paired with an embellished back-pocket jean and a shiny status-brand loafer.

Which city has the best-dressed men?

It’s a five-way tie: Tokyo, Paris, London, Stockholm, New York.

Would you say that you are conservative or bold?

When it comes to shirts I only believe in solid white and blue oxford cloth. Socks, I only believe in grey, over the calf. I believe in tie bars. I think there is nothing sexier than boxers. And glasses should look like they did in the 50s and 60s, so I guess that constitutes conservative. Everything else is up for grabs.

What are the rules in the way you dress?

It’s all trial and error. Mostly error.

Celebrities and style...

Should take a page out of the Pharrell Williams playbook.

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

Brogues. And grey flannel suits. And sunglasses.

A man should always look like…

A man.

Who taught you what you know about style?

There were two people who truly taught me everything I know. The first was Charlie Roth, who owned the finest store, Joseph P. Roth and Sons, in my hometown of Salina, KS. I worked for Charlie after school and between semesters of college from 1976 to 1982. Charlie taught me the fundamentals of good taste and classic dressing. The second was Peter Rizzo who was the GMM of menswear at Barneys New York. It was my first buying job, and I worked for Peter from 1987 to 1989. Peter and Fred Pressman were the finest merchants on the planet. Working at Barneys in those years was the most exciting, glamorous and creative period of my career. It was at Barneys that I met and worked with some of the world’s most talented people: Gene Pressman, Bonnie Pressman, Connie Darrow, Simon Doonan, Mallory Andrews, Peter Marino, Neil Kraft, Fabien Baron, Doug Lloyd (among many others) all worked with Barneys at the time. I would have had to have been in a coma, to not have that rub off in some way. Peter gave me the opportunity of a lifetime to be a small part of what was happening there, and he, more than any other, guided me to refine my taste and how to think like an editor.

How do you select your clothing every morning?

It’s based on whatever Al Roker says is happening outside.

What is your biggest regret?

My life is littered with mistakes, missed opportunities, and poor judgment. However, each one of those experiences has shaped who I am, and hopefully I have made the amends that need to me made. I sometimes wonder what it would be like to be taller and to have blue eyes.

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

Know your body type and buy only those brands that flatter it. Have a sense of occasion. Dress appropriately. Listen to the weather. Suede shoes and rain don’t mix.

Do you have any shopping rituals?

Shopping, for me, is a solitary experience.

We will never see you wearing...

Sandals.

The most stylish person you have ever seen...

George Cortina, Pharrell Williams, Fran Lebowitz.

What is the first thing you notice on a man?

His smile.

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

The mirror. (Although I am sure there are plenty of people who would beg to differ).

Which new designers do you follow and why?

I have to say Rene Holguin at RTH is one of the most talented and inspiring people period, end of story. His two shops in Los Angeles are always my first stop.

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

Everything.

What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?

A T-shirt my dad made in the 1970s for his auto repair business.

Is comfort an enemy of style?

Not if you have a good tailor.

Which designer never fails to impress you?

Thom Browne, Rick Owens, Visvim, Kolor, Paul Harnden, everything in the Rei Kawakubo universe.

Who would you like to recommend for My Style?

Casey Neistat.

The best words of advice you have ever heard?

You can’t judge people’s insides by their outsides.

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