To launch ShortList’s Most Stylish Man search, Emily Phillips looks at the new pioneers of men’s style
True style is a tough nut to crack. You can empty your wallet chasing it, but it doesn’t mean you know how to put it all together once you’ve taken the tags off. Thankfully, there are a select few sartorial vanguards forever pushing the boundaries and playing guinea pig for some of our wilder fashion ideas. To kick off ShortList’s Most Stylish Man – our search for an impeccably attired and groomed reader – we’re celebrating the men who are currently leading the way in men’s style. Online shopping baskets at the ready; it’s our run-down of modern style’s most influential men.
Just three years ago, the lead singer of Arctic Monkeys’ biggest claim to style fame was dating Alexa Chung. But once they split, he underwent an LA-inspired style overhaul: from shag-haired, polo-shirted Sheffield lad to Fifties greaser. Now he’s all quiffed hair, mean leathers, snarling swagger and designers on speed dial. The basic essentials are such (make a list): a battered leather bomber, a denim jacket and a new pair of vintage shades every time you leave the house. You’ll also need copious amounts of pomade, and a comb. But what’s most impressive is that the style turnaround (for himself, and for the band) didn’t come from a stylist or even a catwalk look, it was all Turner’s idea.
So yes, everyone’s talking about the vintage Westwood hat right now (the wearing of which was a homage to a 30-year-old Malcolm McLaren/Rock Steady Crew collaboration), but what we’re forgetting is that the fresh-faced 41-year-old has been giving us the heads up on millinery since he championed a trucker cap revolution back in the early Noughties. Along with the playful headgear, his childish denial of full-length trousers has inspired countless sockless turn-up copycats, and even saw him on the Oscars red carpet in a Lanvin tuxedo with tailored shorts. But this isn’t throwaway nonsense. His label Billionaire Boys Club specialises in limited-run pieces inspired by New York and Tokyo streetwear, and designers such as Ralph Lauren are throwing suits his way. No wonder he’s happy.
It must be a hard life being a tall, handsome, talented fashion designer, learning the trade from, and then setting up shop with, your equally talented designer father. But Charlie Casely-Hayford takes it all in his long stride: he has a relaxed but totally put-together approach to personal style. Fashion fads are not for him – instead key tailored items with clean lines, and layerability (technical term) are the order of the day for both the Casely Hayford label and his own wardrobe. This individuality has led to modelling campaigns with Converse and Dr Martens. And, no, they weren’t just focusing on his feet.
Not to be confused with his IT Crowd alter ego Moss’s uptight officewear, the recent ShortList cover star, comedian and director unifies his retro leanings in a wardrobe full of corduroy, tweed and Seventies separates – and of course those Michael Caine-worthy glasses. And while there is something of the Open University lecturer about his get-up, few would have the sartorial confidence to showcase such individuality in their clothes and hair. He’s also known to take notes from his new-wave film inspirations via French labels including Agnes B and APC.
Having imparted his personal brand of worn-in British style on the likes of Jude Law, Kanye West and even George Clooney – not to mention consulting for Versace, Nautica, Moschino and McQueen menswear – stylist William Gilchrist has a fashion CV to put us all to shame. And the contents of his own wardrobe are enough to make the average man weep. His most coveted item is a navy lightweight double-breasted moleskin jacket, and he cites Oliver Spencer machine-wash suits as a life-saver.
You might think his Spidey style extends only to some very snug blue and red Lycra, but as The Amazing Spider-Man 2 promotional train rumbles across the globe, so Andrew Garfield’s style trajectory is getting almost as many column inches as his on-and-off-screen girlfriend Emma Stone. From razor-sharp tailoring on the red-carpet – think bold checks, dapper double-breasting, loud colour and design by McQueen and Viktor & Rolf Monsieur – to relaxed preppy daywear for photo-calls, he’s carving out his own niche. And yet we can’t help but think it’s his off-duty staples that sum him up best: jeans, checked shirt and a Harrington out with his lady. A true Brit boy.
On the pitch, the Juve midfielder could be your everyday Ginola-haired football poseur. But off it, the 34-year-old could rival Serge Gainsbourg in his tight, light trousers and neat shirt-tucking, retro shades and roguishly mussed mane. It’s taken a while to get here. Nowadays, he likes his apparel like he likes his wine: fine, and home-grown (he has his own premium vineyard, of course). But like many a player, there have been style mishaps (see the early Noughties), and seemingly being without his trademark dense beard has some effect on his wardrobe choices. And yet, even his questionable commitment to the budgie smuggler on the beach has its own retro charm.
Jamie Campbell Bower
Giving young Hollywood a dose of English punk, Jamie Campbell Bower has transformed himself from a puff-chested posho teen in the Harry Potter film franchise, to an eyebrow-ringed, finger-tattooed, scrag-haired leading man. Having just starred in the new Burberry campaign, he’s assured himself tailoring and trenchcoats for years to come, but he’s probably best known for his neo-Russell Brand line in slouchy, deep V-necks and spray-on denim. And it’s not just Burberry’s Christopher Bailey who appreciates his personal style: he’s made firm friends with photographers Mario Testino and Rankin, and has been upping his sartorial game with directional suits and coats, not to mention his massive collection of ridiculously cool sunglasses. A standout new style influencer.
(Images: Rex; Getty)