After 20-odd years of being the most awkward, socially inept and generally inappropriate personality on British TV, Alan Gordon Partridge is an unlikely style icon. But a style icon he is.
And whatever you may think of him, he’s a man who knows what works for him – whether it’s a badge and blazer, sports casual, or knitwear, every outfit he’s ever worn has said as much about him as the man as any number of quality radio broadcasts.
To prove it, and to mark the new series of Mid Morning Matters on Sky Atlantic, here are 20 Alan styles better than anything you’ve ever worn…
Mid Morning Matters is on Sky Atlantic on Tuesdays at 10pm, and the complete series is available on Sky Box Sets
When & Where: The standard from Alan’s original television chat show.
The Ensemble: Shirt, tie, gentleman’s blazer, hair swept nicely to the side. Textbook.
Why It’s A Classic: It’s the look of a man who’s straight to the top. Assuming he doesn’t fall out with or accidentally kill any of his guests, of course.
What It Says: “I’m Alan Partridge.”
When & Where: Driving around central Paris during Alan’s trendsetting showcase of top French holiday fashions.
The Ensemble: Canary yellow shirt, horizon blue stay-creased action slacks, cap, Polaroid glasses, and tan string-back driving gloves.
Why It’s A Classic: Irrefutable proof that Alan was entertainment television’s best-dressed man in the mid ‘90s. And we’re not joking, either.
What It Says: “I’m fully in control of my vehicle.”
L'Homme du Sport
When & Where: The second entry from Alan’s Parisian fashion show, now sauntering around the French capital like a 24-carat man about town.
The Ensemble: Ice white shoes, ice white socks with navy blue double cadet stripes, shorts, t-shirt with chevron action flash, and a tossed pink sweater.
Why It’s A Classic: The absolute epitome of Alan’s beloved “sports casual”.
What It Says: “I’m in Paris and nothing’s going to stop me.”
When & Where: Another of Alan’s French outfits, but this time a style that shows the Frenchies what being a proper Englishman is all about.
The Ensemble: Green blazer, offset with the four old reliables – hat, cravat, summer spectacles, and, for a touch a class, the Alan Partridge blazer badge.
Why It’s A Classic: It’s one that can be worn on any holiday or foreign pursuit.
What It Says: “It’s the classic English gentleman abroad. It’s David Niven, Stuart Granger, Nigel Havers. ”
Where & When: Alan’s choice of clobber for his brief sojourn into the nature documentary, Alan Partridge’s Country Ramble.
The Ensemble: Flat cap, white wool jumper, green body warmer, and plaid trousers, with walking stick and binoculars accessories.
Why It’s A Classic: The unmistakable look of a man at one with nature. In Swaffham, at least.
What It Says: “Switch off the mobile phone, put your pager on mute, and enjoy the stillness of the Norfolk countryside."
Alan’s Christmas Cracker
Where & When: On the festive edition of his chat show – Knowing Me, Knowing Yule.
The Ensemble: Blue business shirt, novelty Christmas tie, and a thick maroon wool cardigan.
Why It’s A Classic: A festive look from a time when real men didn’t wear Christmas jumpers.
What It Says: “A-Ho-Ho-Ho!”
Alan On The Run
Where & When: Those early morning jogs through the choristers of Norwich Cathedral.
The Ensemble: Shell suit jacket, tiny shorts, pulled-up white socks, and the very latest running daps, finished off with a wireless headset.
Why It’s A Classic: Because no truly successful man can be off duty for a second. Even when he’s keeping in shape, Alan’s plugged into the business world.
What It Says: “Good morning, Norwich, let’s give the world ruddy hell today."
The Private Dancer
Where & When: Worn in Alan’s darkest moments of self-reflection, where he’d gladly do unspeakable things for just a sniff of a second series.
The Ensemble: Peephole Pringle jumper (modeled on an SAS balaclava), vulcanized rubber thong, and Baby Spice platforms.
Why It’s A Classic: Say what you will, but Alan knows how to put together an S&M ensemble that’s suitable for daytime television.
What It Says: “Would you like me to lapdance for you?”
The Man Popped Out At The Side
Where & When: Stretching and working out in his room at the Linton Travel Tavern.
The Ensemble: Zip-up cardigan, polo neck t-shirt, and tight shorts with perished underpant lining.
Why It’s A Classic: Every man needs a striking yet comfortable outfit for keeping active around the home (or motel room).
What It Says: “Kiss my face.”
A Partridge On The Riviera
Where & When: On a corporate video shoot to promote Hamilton’s Water Breaks.
The Ensemble: Nautical whites and a traditional sailor’s hat.
Why It’s A Classic: As a nation of seafarers, every Brit should have a shipshape outfit for the water.
What It Says: “Here’s a man who knows how to relax on the Norfolk Broads.”
The Classic Badge & Blazer
Where & Where: During An Afternoon With Alan Partridge and then Alan’s brush with mentalist super-fan Jed Maxwell.
The Ensemble: Bottle green blazer, snazzy tie, and Alan Partridge badge. Badge could be slightly faded, but he was made promises about storage that were not kept.
Why It’s A Classic: It’s Alan’s defining look of the 1990s.
What It Says: “Smell my cheese, BBC, I’m doing just dandy without the second series. Sort of."
When & Where: While bored senseless during his 183 days at the Linton Travel Tavern.
The Ensemble: Shower cap, biscuits taped to the cheeks, a bath mat, a shower curtain flap of skin, mini kettle led tail and tungsten tip screws for nails.
Why It’s A Classic: Proof that zombies, by their very nature, are inconsistent.
What It Says: “I’m a man who can boss a Halloween costume from household bits and bobs. Providing the shower curtain rings can be re-attached and nothing has been damaged, of course.”
The No Jacket Required
Where & When: The favourite wardrobe choice of Alan’s “static home years”, when his career was back on track.
The Ensemble: Lemon roll neck, navy blue shirt, and a 1985 Phil Collins souvenir body warmer.
Why It’s A Classic: The look of a man who’s nearly 50 but can still get a girlfriend 14 years younger than him. Back of the net.
What It Says: “I’m a man who have, had and are bouncing back.”
Crash, Bang, Wallop, What An Outfit
Where & When: Equally appropriate for hosting motorway crash video compilations or behind the wheel of his car scoffing Toblerone.
The Ensemble: Pastel green leisure jacket, lemon shirt, and beige driving gloves. Bare feet optional.
Why It’s A Classic: A slimming number that would comfortably hide the bulge for any man suffering from rampant chocolate addiction.
What It Says: “Pastel can be tons of fun too.”
Where & When: A popular style for Alan in his autumn years. Worn for both Alpha Papa and his live motivational talk, Forward Solutions (sponsored by Whiskas cat food).
The Ensemble: A varsity jacket over a roll neck or short, with comfortable trousers.
Why It’s A Classic: It’s the look of man reconnecting with his youth, after spending his actual youth dressing like a man in his fifties.
What It Says: “I’m the kind of man who wears a t-shirt with Crowded House written on the front of it.”
Where & When: Worn on Alan’s one-off appearance on the literary show, Open Books with Martin Bryce.
The Ensemble: Traditional sports jacket over a red v-neck and mustard shirt. Finished nicely with a patterned cravat and glasses halfway down the nose.
Why It’s A Classic: The unmistakable look of someone who’s a bit posh and clever.
What It Says: “I’ve read loads more books than you have, so there.”
Debonair Gone Digital
Where & When: During the first series of Mid Morning Matters, when Alan dresses to impress his delectable North Norfolk Digital co-host (Zoe, not Sidekick Simon).
The Ensemble: A raspberry jacket over a black roll neck. Lovely stuff.
Why It’s A Classic: It’s like the Milk Tray Man gone pink and soft.
What It Says: “There’s life left in this old Partridge yet, sweetheart.”
Where & When: From the photo shoot for Alan’s successful autobiography, I, Partridge.
The Ensemble: Khaki pilot’s shirt, padded waistcoat, wraparound sunglasses, multipurpose outdoors belt, and knee-high hiking socks.
Why It’s A Classic: Essentially north Norfolk’s answer to Indiana Jones.
What It Says: “Jurassic Park.”
When & Where: On his way to the premiere of his long awaited movie, Alpha Papa.
The Ensemble: Power blue safari suit, plain white shirt, and salmon pink tie.
Why It’s A Classic: You just know it’s the suit Alan’s been dying to wear since he first saw Live & Let Die.
What It Says: “Move over, Roger, I’m about to hit the big time.”
Where & When: A popular look from Alan’s new series of Mid Morning Matters.
The Ensemble: A baby blue sweater beneath a stonewashed denim jacket with leather patches.
Why It’s A Classic: Embracing the 1980s revival, Alan shows that even the horrible old your dad’s had in the wardrobe for 30 years could have a second innings.
What It Says: “Some things never go out of fashion. Even Alan Partridge.”