Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

My Wardrobe: Tinie Tempah

Tinie Tempah - Black Space (5).jpg

There’s really no knowing who ZZ Top had in mind when singing about a Sharp Dressed Man. This was the early eighties after all, even George Michael was cool.

Though had he been around, we’re sure the rockers would have given a hearty beard-swinging seal of approval to Tinie Tempah, a musician so habitually sharply dressed he might have someone’s eye out.

As at home on the red carpet as a living room carpet, the Brit Award-winning rapper is almost as synonymous with menswear as he his hit records. And so with London: Men Collections now coming to a close, we quizzed the dapper musician on his sartorial picks of past and present...

Tinie Tempah is pictured at Black Space by Lynx. An immersive, understated space dedicated to style and sound; Lynxblackspace.com

When did you have your first tailored suit?
It was when I was 8 or 9, for and I had it for my holy communion. It was a blue velvet suit so I was already pretty extravagant from an early age.
 
Who is your style idol?
Kanye west – he is very influential, and has this thing where regardless of what he wears everyone wants to copy him and it’s pretty commendable. 
 
Most treasured piece of clothing?
A black Alexander Wang bomber jacket. It has bobbles, but I always find myself falling in and out of love with it, and eventually going back to it.
 
Most extravagant piece of clothing?
Probably my Audemars Piquet watch, which was pretty extravagant. Or the Nike Air Mags which I bought in an auction, and were from the Back to the Future films. They were the first ones available too!

1

What are your favourite clothes to travel in?
It has to be tracksuits. D&G did a nice cashmere one, and Sandro do a nice cotton one. When you're stopping at the security points or on long haul flights to Australia you need to be comfortable as possible.

And the best three travel accessories?
A nice watch, glasses ( I am wearing some vintage Ray Bans with the original logo, which are difficult to find. With shades it is hard to find something different, and I tracked these down in New York in a shop called Silver Spoon) and some swim shorts, if they count?
 
When did you last dress to make an impression?
Probably for my video for my latest song with Jess Glynne called Not Letting Go. I have a stylist who provides a selection I choose from.

1

Biggest fashion faux pas?
A velour tracksuit. My mum bought me a baggy cream velour tracksuit from America. They were in at the time, and I wore it confidently, but it definitely wasn’t cool.
 
Budgie smugglers or swimming shorts?
Shorts. It’s cool how you can experiment with the colours and patterns. There's a brand called Okan which makes shorts with an underwater wallet - a clear bit of plastic that you can put money/cards in. If you are going somewhere where there are a lot of people like Ibiza or Menorca, you want to have something a bit different.
 
Do you buy the same item more than once?
Yes – especially when I was younger. It wouldn’t be the exact same item but every time I saw a denim jacket or collared shirt I’d need to get it. But now I’m older I’ve realised I have a style and stick with it, as opposed to buying similar stuff from different brands just for the sake of it. I wouldn’t buy two or three in the same go, but I used to have so many denim shirts I had to give some away. It’s a bit different when I’m on camera, and I convince myself it’s ok to give myself some leeway.
 
What do you wear to bed?
Boxers – don’t over-complicate it. You want to sleep so the more relaxed the better.

1

How many pairs of shoes do you own?
Quite a few – I’ve been the same size for a long time. I buy classics and keep them - the ones that are collectors items and will look cool regardless. 
 
Your favourite pair of trainers?
At the moment I like the Nike free 5.0 or the Nike free collaboration with APC.
 
Finally, give us one piece of fashion advice:
Just because a jacket costs £1000 doesn’t mean it’s nice. Because of social culture where everyone is looking at each other, people give off the impression that because it looks good it has to be expensive when you can achieve the style you want without spending big. People confuse fashion with being pricey. Style is expression after all.

Tinie Tempah is pictured at Black Space by Lynx. An immersive, understated space dedicated to style and sound; Lynxblackspace.com

Related

hall.jpg

Quiz: Who said it - Ricki Hall or Zoolander?

swatch3.jpg

Swatch's new SISTEM 51 models

umbro8.jpg

Umbro resurrects its Nineties Pro Training line

2015_06_01_Shortlist0579.jpg

How To Look Good This Autumn By The UK's Most Exciting Designers

bus-seats.jpg

Ever wondered why bus seats always have rubbish patterns? Here’s why…

pride3.jpg

The Adidas Originals Pride Pack

Comments

More

"She's not my image," Tom Ford refused to dress Melania Trump

Apparently his clothes are too expensive for a First Lady to wear - OOOOOH BURN!

by Jamie Carson
01 Dec 2016

12 alternative Christmas jumpers

Who knew Slayer and Donald Trump would make good festive knitwear?

by Jamie Carson
01 Dec 2016

14 coats and jackets to get you ready for the arctic blast

Don't worry, nobody is freezing to death - yet

by Jamie Carson
29 Nov 2016

Alternative music t-shirts you won't see anyone else wearing

How else are they supposed to spot you from the crowd?

by Jamie Carson
25 Nov 2016

10 of the best looks from Oli Sykes' new Drop Dead collection

The Bring Me The Horizon frontman nails it in the new campaign

by Jamie Carson
25 Nov 2016

This 86-year old tailor dresses better than you ever will

He wears a different suit to work everyday and each one is absolutely flawless

by Jamie Carson
24 Nov 2016

We asked women what they really want (and don't) for Christmas

No, it's not chocolates or bath bombs, you unimaginative b*stard

by Jamie Carson
23 Nov 2016

Best Black Friday menswear deals - all on sale now

The one time of year you can go in Selfridges and actually buy something

by Jamie Carson
23 Nov 2016

The best pieces from Palace's new Ultimo collection

Khaki coach jackets, retro knitwear and Tupac tees

22 Nov 2016

Christmas suits and partywear that won’t break the bank

You've got presents to buy for people you hate, we know you're strapped

by Jamie Carson
22 Nov 2016