Men's Fashion Editor Style - UK
Mister buy rights
They tell us to wear bespoke suits, vintage T-shirts and to experiment with kaftans. But what do they wear? Here, the five most influential male fashion editors in Britain reveal their style secrets and select their favourite looks for this summer
Sunday April 3, 2005
Fashion editor, 26, FHM, FHM collections
Arnold's take on men's fashion is influenced by his experience working in various shops and boutiques before studying at the London College of Fashion. 'What I do is more natural, more like how guys dress, rather than wacky concepts,' says the Worcester-born fashion supremo of the UK's biggest-selling men's magazine.
My two favourite items are a pair of Alexander McQueen jeans - after a life-long search, they're the only jeans that actually keep their shape - and an old Levi's sweatshirt my dad gave me. It has paint splatters from his DIY - he had it when he was about my age. It's getting a bit small.
I have an embarrassing number of trainers, mostly boxed, brand new, which I don't wear. That's probably my biggest indulgence.
My style has pretty much always revolved around the skate scene, scruffy casual, but I am trying to get some smarter 'career' things.
The biggest mistake men make is buying something because it is a label and has a logo plastered across it. Not looking natural is another common mistake.
Top tip: hardly ever wash your jeans. This retains shape. The best way to wash them is on you, in a shower, and drip dry.
My must-buy for this season is a varsity college jacket.
When I was a teenager I got copies of Vogue from my mum's hairdresser. I'd hide them under skateboard mags in case my mates saw them. If they did, I claimed it was for the pictures of girls.
Sometimes I've gone too far for fashion. I once had my hair dyed green and cut for a Vidal Sassoon Japanese conference in front of 200 trainee hairdressers while wearing a Yohji kimono. Only got £75.
Put a time limit on how long you are going to get ready for something, and stick to it. If in doubt, wear jeans.
Editor, 44, GQ
Although not strictly a fashion editor, Jones is in many ways the trailblazer and leading tastemaker of British fashion magazines. He studied design at Chelsea School of Art and trained as a photographer at Saint Martins School of Art in London before being hired by i-D, where he quickly become editor in 1984. Since then, he's edited or held senior positions at nearly every influential publication in Britain, including Arena, The Face, The Sunday Times and, indeed, The Observer.
I've been wearing bespoke suits since 1983. Because I was so tall and thin, I couldn't find suits that fitted. I like them because they're not subject to fashion and they last a very, very long time. Nowadays even high-street stores do some sort of made-to-measure service, and bespoke tailoring in general has many entry levels.
My style? Oh, how about Ian Carmichael in The Hives?
I've been through a lot of phases: New Romantic, Bowie, punk, mod, Hard Times. All terribly embarrassing.
My style tip is to polish the bottom of your shoes. Makes you look smarter.
My must-buys for this season are a 60 GB iPod and Interno 8 shirt for their big collars.
I judge other men by what they wear just as much as the next man. What you wear says so much about you. Whether you are trying too hard to be fashionable or trying to look dishevelled. I know all the tricks...
I normally go shopping on my own. I think most men do - we treat it as a stealth military operation. When I go with my wife, there's lots of discussion, re-visiting shops, comparing things - it can take all day to buy a pair of jeans. She'll kill me for saying that...
Fashion director, 27, Arena Homme Plus
Born in Dunstable, he studied fashion, promotion and communications at Saint Martin's College - the only man on a course of 15. Did a year of placements at British Vogue, The Face and Pop. Came to be market editor at Arena Homme Plus, then worked up the ranks there. He was creative consultant on ad campaigns for Tommy Hilfiger and Paul Smith and has styled for Luomo Vogue and Details.
I don't think you can just rotate your winter and summer wardrobe without adding to it. Some things last longer than a season - I'll wear a pair of jeans for two years - but you should always have a good winter and summer coat new each season and a new pair of trainers every six months.
The biggest style mistake men make is wearing T-shirts that are too short in the body. Shoes that look like trainers and vice versa, and most offensive: hairdresser haircuts. The Toni & Guy Hoxton fin is the worst.
My secret style tips are: never iron clothes; get good underwear (I swear by Sunspel boxers and Burlington socks); and go easy on the aftershave.
Colour is a huge trend this summer - Burberry, Fendi, Calvin, Comme Des Garçons all had colourful collections. I don't know to what lengths I will be experimenting with it, but...
I don't lend my clothes out usually. If they're not dirty, they're on my back. A Rolex is for life and is as important as a car to me. Patek Philippe and IWC are good second options though. I have a fondness for a nice signet ring, but I wouldn't spend money on jewellery. On a man I find it quite naff.
I rarely think that clothing is worth the full retail price.
I only like to hang out with well-dressed women - my girlfriends own more clothes than me. I am very decisive about what I like, and then I wear it to death - that is one of the luxuries of being a man. Women can't wear the same thing over and over.
Fashion editor, 30, 10 magazine
Brought up in a village in Somerset, May played rugby at Loughborough University then moved to London as a personal trainer and model. He went to London College of Fashion to study photography and fashion styling, but dropped out after a year 'because styling is quite instinctive'. Worked with Sophia Neophitou, then fashion director of The Independent who set up 10, also for The Sunday Times Style magazine and with Levi's, Roland Mouret, Warren Noronha and Jil Sander.
The biggest style mistake men make is over styling. Keep it simple. I mean, look at David Beckham - how many crucifixes can you wear? It's a bit blingtastic, contrived, in yer face.
My brother (who hasn't shopped for years) is very lucky, as we are the same size, so he gets all my cast-offs. Some of it looks a little strange being worn on the streets of Truro.
Common mistakes that men make are copying and taking celebrities or boy bands literally. What might work in a photo or a pop video doesn't usually translate to the high street.
A cashmere jumper is worth the extra money. Never underestimate the value of quality - even nice belts make a difference. It's worth indulging yourself, as they last a lot longer and it's great to rediscover pieces a few years later you've forgotten about.
I have an embarrassing amount of tops, mainly vintage T-shirts that I can't stop buying, as you feel you're gaining something exclusive. The older and thinner my vintage T-shirts get, the better they feel to wear.
I look everywhere for ideas and inspiration, from the streets to old magazines, books, films, museums - it's all around.
Fashion director, 28, pop
Known for his breathtaking shoots and conceptual fashion stories, Robins, from Burton-on-Trent, studied fashion at Winchester School of Art then began 'posting letters' at Dazed & Confused. He soon started working at The Face and bi-annual fashion magazine Pop. This protegee of Katie Grand styles ad campaigns for Nike and Jimmy Choo, and contributes stories to Luomo Vogue and Harpers Bazaar
My favourite item is a pair of Prada 'Holiday in Brown' print pyjamas - not, I hasten to add, worn as pyjamas ever. But they are great for wearing around the house, or the bottoms with a T-shirt to lounge around in on holiday.
Too many homes are without a full-length mirror.
David Beckham has a lot to answer for, with his highlights, crazy jeans, spray-on tan... Why do so many straight men want to look like a gay idol?
I don't get everything for free, but I do get amazing gifts. The best was a full-length chocolate-brown leather Yves St Laurent coat. Pretty special.
The item I've owned the longest is a Junior Gaultier cropped trouser suit, paid for by hard graft at rubbish Saturday jobs. In the early Nineties it looked the business in the Midlands.
My biggest mistake was a DIY hairstyle. I wanted Bowie-esque blond hair, but tried doing it myself with a pair of thinning scissors and a couple of bottles of Sun-In. The result was patchy and orange - tragic. I wouldn't wear a lot of the things that I shoot, but I really like them. Some of the stuff, I don't know who'd wear that - it's a bit of a fantasy thing. I find it really boring when you look in those men's magazines and it's just what people are already wearing - what's the point of that?
I read this today Kit, thanks for posting. Of course it doesn't contain any useful information for anyone who is already relatively knoweldgeable about fashion, but I suppose most blokes that read the Observer (ie most blokes) don't so I thought it was OK. I agree about vintage tees though....that's a bad tip.
flaunt the imperfection..
sounds more like fashion advice for boys...
i don't think advising 'men' to buy a 'varsity jacket' as the 'must have' of the season is very good...
what about real 'men'...?...who have families and jobs...
eh...it's interesting...but what fashion people wear bears little relation to what the genreal public wears...
thanks for posting it kit...
glad it 'took'...
"It is not money that makes you well dressed: it is understanding."
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