My Style: Norman Tan

Portrait of Norman Tan

Portrait: Courtesy of Norman Tan

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

Start with a foundation of classics. Experiment with trend-driven pieces that bring you joy. Let your personality shine through accessories.

Please describe your style in three words.

Sartorial, smart, street.

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

To look like the clothes are wearing them instead of the other way around.

Do you believe in role models?

Definitely. But what I think is more important is to have a mentor that can keep you in check and inspire you to fulfil your potential.

What are your favourite fabrics?

Cashmere for all the right feels and cotton twill for its industrial practicality.

Are there any style combinations that you object to?

Anything to do with Crocs. Sorry, Christopher Kane.

Which city has the best-dressed men?

Milan, hands down.

Would you say that you are conservative or bold?

Conservative. But sometimes I'm conservatively bold.

What are the rules in the way you dress?

Important factors are the cut, silhouette and quality of the items I'm wearing. And it’s all about the details.

Celebrities and style…

Inspire the flock, but you should be your own style inspiration.

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

Hats and shoes.

A man should always look…

Calm, cool and in control.

Who taught you what you know about style?

The holy trifecta of the Internet, GQ, and mum.

How do you select your clothing every morning?

It starts off with a question: Which one item do I really want to wear today? Then I build a wardrobe around that key item.

What is your biggest regret?

When I want to speak to someone at a party, but am too chicken to do so, regrets go to the max afterwards. Just do it.

Do you have any shopping rituals?

Buy what you love, not what you need.

We will never see you wearing...

Crocs.

The most stylish person you have ever seen...

So many dapper and cool dudes around, from Simone Marchetti to Nick Wooster. It’s all about not giving two hoots when it comes to what others will think and enjoying the transformative power of fashion.

What is the first thing you notice on a man?

Their clothes, height, and then shoes.

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

Steve McQueen reclining on a sofa with a whisky in hand.

Which new designers do you follow and why?

Locally in Singapore, menswear brand Biro Company by Keng How and Kage Chong.

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

His suit. What elevates a smart suit from an average suit is a matter of centimetres.

What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?

Clothing wise, all my Ermenegildo Zegna couture jackets and coats from Stefano Pilati. In terms of accessories, my recent obsession with white gold rings and bracelets from Cartier and Van Cleef.

Is comfort an enemy of style?

No, with the increasing fusion of streetwear into sartorial, it’s all about achieving both with an irreverent louche attitude.

Which fashion house never fails to impress you?

Hermès for their approach to craftsmanship.

Who would you like to recommend for My Style?

Esther Quek.

The best words of advice you have ever heard?

Dress for yourself.

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