My Style: Teddy Tinson

Portrait of Teddy Tinson

Portrait: YoungJun Koo — Courtesy of Teddy Tinson

Celebrities and style...

Are a necessary evil akin to desserts: not enough (style or celebs), and it's a dull dinner party. Too many, and well, diabetes...but there's always room for a true original with great style.

Please describe your style in three words.

Classic. Subtly irreverent.

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

Lack of confidence.

Do you believe in role models?

I believe in supermodels.

What are your favourite fabrics?

Cashmere, leather, and washed silk.

Are there any style combinations that you object to?

Knockoffs and head to toe logos. Skip Canal Street and head to Muji or Uniqlo.

Which city has the best-dressed men?

All the fashion capitals. I appreciate the stringent commitment to menswear (to a point) in Milan, and especially enjoy the sophisticated nonchalance and the effortlessness of it all seen in Paris.

Would you say that you are conservative or bold?

On the fence.

What are the rules in the way you dress?

One must know the rules to break the rules. A girlfriend once said she strives to be what some might consider "overdressed" (even though no such thing really exists) at the office, and slightly underdressed in the evening to achieve an unstudied effortlessness. For me, it's about that whole 'white tie or tails and not-too-skinny skinny jeans' thing, or cable-knit cashmere paired with swim trunks and evening slippers on the street. And weather permitting, always a bare ankle with a slim suit (though it has become more mainstream of late).

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

Ralph Lauren cable-knit cashmere sweaters. Or ivory micro-cords...year-round. It's a draw.

A man should always look like…

His best self.

Who taught you what you know about style?

It's innate, enhanced by exposure, and an early education. My grandmother was particularly stylish, and she introduced me to Vogue when I was in elementary school. Not kidding. I read current issues religiously (Oprah! Madonna's Evita moment!), as well as my mother's collection from her high school and college days in the 70's. And then of course, there was also The Little Mermaid (I loved Ariel, but it was really all about Ursula's glam transformation on the ship), Troop Beverly Hills, and back episodes of Gem. My siblings are considerably older, so I was exposed (albeit prematurely) to 90210, J. Crew catalogues, and MTV in its early 90's heyday. Janet's "Love Will Never Do" by Herb Ritts, and George Michael's "Freedom 90", were forever etched into the mind of my single-digit-year-old self!

How do you select your clothing every morning?

By checking on the weather and the type of appointments scheduled for the day.

What is your biggest regret?

None. I believe we make the best decisions we can in the moment, including denim on denim, goatees, ear piercings, etc.

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

Fit. Quality. Variety.

Do you have any shopping rituals?

As quickly as possible, in and out. I always warn friends that I love merchandise but loathe shopping. It's only fun for about a half hour, any longer and it becomes a chore.

We will never see you wearing...

Flip flops on the street.

The most stylish person you have ever seen...

My former boss, Mr Oscar de la Renta. Not only his clothing and the dresses he designed, but his humanity, grace and elegance...that's true style.

What is the first thing you notice on a man?

At a glance (and because I'm on the market...for new brogues), his shoes. Upon meeting, eye contact and a firm handshake.

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

One of my favourite fashion images is of Dorian Leigh wearing Piguet in Helena Rubinstein's powder room, by Avedon. Another favourite is of Daria Werbowy, glamorously undone, a homage to the aforementioned, by Testino. Marvin Gaye's tux moments, or his red skully and denim shirt moment rings a bell. Steve McQueen in anything. More recently, Colin Firth and Julianne Moore in A Single Man. Jude Law in Alfie, enfant terrible, and a bit of a disaster, but painfully chic on that Vespa! Though my approach doesn't remotely compare to any of the above; mine is more of the "grab and go" variety.

Which new designers do you follow and why?

Menswear: AMI,simple and effective. Womenswear: Jacquemus and Edie Parker (accessories)—a little whimsy never hurt anybody!

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

Definitely not the only, but an important one is trousers. Fit is key, and tailoring can make or break (no pun intended) the desired effect.

What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?

The items with sentimental value, or my first big purchases, or ones that marked milestones in my life. At the moment, I'm particularly fond of a beautiful winter topcoat my best friend picked out for me. It fit perfectly directly from the rack. No alteration necessary.

Is comfort an enemy of style?

Cashmere sweatpants, anyone?

Which designer never fails to impress you?

For men, it doesn't get better than Thom Browne and Tom Ford. I have profound respect for both of them and consider them my design heroes. Their clothes capture a certain "mischievous gentleman" or "nerd noir" aesthetic that speaks to me. I also like the social component of Toms shoes. And of course, the classism and the quirkiness of Prada never ceases to amaze me. For women, Dries Van Noten, Haider Ackermann, and The Row. And let's just put it out there, Nicolas Ghesquière is a god.

Who would you like to recommend for My Style?

Erika Bearman.

The best words of advice you have ever heard?

Rise above.

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