An American interior designer who specialises in creating lush old-money luxe environments resembling the setting for a Slim Aarons portrait, James Andrew is just as particular in composing his own looks as he is those of his clients’ homes. His popular blog, What Is James Wearing?, catalogues in glorious detail this dandy boulevardier’s daily sartorial ensembles, and the glamorous settings — from Marrakech to Paris, Saint-Barth to Palm Beach — in which they’re deployed.
Here, the Tom Ford-obsessed, Creed-spritzed aficionado of stylish living explains his maxims for maximum dressing success.
10. “Know your correct size. I am really shocked to see so many men in ill-fitting clothing. Baggy shirts, jackets, and trousers simply look sloppy. Leaner-fitting clothing will make you appear taller, fitter, and sexier.”
9. “Don’t be boring. Men are often afraid to wear patterns and colours, leaving them looking dull as dishwater. If you want to wear a pink floral print, be bold and wear it!”
8. “If your trousers have belt loops, fill them — wear a belt.”
7. “Don’t leave home without a pocket square. Every suit jacket, sportscoat or blazer requires this vital final touch.”
6. “Own a navy pinstripe suit. Choose one with peak lapels, in a mid-weight fabric for year-round versatility. It’s one of those indispensable assets in your sartorial quiver, and a suit jacket of this sort can also be worn in lieu of a blazer for a smart, English-y look.
5. “Wear tailored clothing and shoes. Always invest in the best. You’ll be happier that you did, you’ll treat those fine pieces better, and they’ll last you longer. Furthermore, a really exceptional piece will nicely offset a pair of inexpensive jeans or casual shirt.
4. “Accessorise. Accessories are a great way to elevate a look. Fill your drawers with pocket squares, cuff links, great watches, and sunglasses. Well-chosen accessories add finishing polish and interest, creating a truly completed ensemble.”
3. “Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Often, we play it too safe. When men dared to mix sportswear with tailored clothing, it created a great new look. Be brave and experiment. You may very well invent a new classic.”
2. “Tuck that dress shirt in, please. So many men these days think that being ‘dressed up’ entails wearing untucked dress shirts (often in combination with sagging jeans and hideous shoes). Tuck your shirt in, buy jeans that actually fit you, and as I’ve said before, do put on a belt.”
1. “Wear a jacket. Throwing on a great-fitting sportscoat or blazer is always a good idea. Whether you are wearing jeans and a t-shirt or are dressing up a bit more, it’s an easy way to pop up any look.”