Even though I wasn’t born and raised in the States, I spent my most transformative years over there and am very grateful for it having molded me into the person that I’m today. So, it seems a tad unfair when all of my style inspiration thus far hails from Europe. Let’s refocus our attention on our beloved America.
As a perennial darling of GQ magazine and every street-style blog there’s out there, Nick Wooster needs no lengthy introduction. With more than 25-years of experience in menswear fashion under his belt, he’s seen and set more trends than I can count and cultivated a sizable, loyal cult following. (Heck, I wasn’t even born when he made his first foray into fashion). What I particularly dig about his style is that perfect blend of sharp-cut Savile Row tailoring and American sporty aesthetics sprinkled with a dash of his own ruggedness. It’d also be remiss to not mention his perfectly coiffed hair, well-groomed beard and tasteful tattoos, all of which go to show how attentive he’s to the details of his whole look. Without further ado, let’s delve straight into his sartorial secrets.
Lesson #1- Colorize your wardrobe: All those years of living and working in the States really helped reinforce the perpetual myth I’ve always subscribed to that American males in general are a lot more color-shy than their European counterparts. That is with the exception of Mr. Wooster whose take on outrageously bright and beautiful colors has only proved that they don’t make you any less manly. In fact, I believe they scream manliness loud and clear because a real man has the balls to do whatever he wants without giving a fuck about the public’s opinions, right? Right. The final verdict is plain and simple but essential: step out of your black, navy and gray comfort zone and start incorporating colors. If you’re a color-virgin to some extent, then don’t pull a Nick Wooster or Simone Marchetti unless you purposely want to be OD’ed. Start with lighter and simpler hues like white or light green, ok?
Lesson #2- Get yourself some camo action: By now, you should be aware that camouflage has taken the fashion world by storm and without a doubt is one of the hottest trends of the season. It was all over the place from New York to Milan, Paris and London. And yet Mr. Wooster has played with camouflage ever since God knows when. This is another reason among many, many reasons why he’s earned himself the status of American’s one of the most fashionable men. And just rightfully so, don’t you think? Camouflage comes in many shades, but the dark hues are still the badass-est, in my opinion and coordinate well with any other color. Look below for some mix & match cues from the man himself.
Lesson #3- Business up top, party down below: I still remember vividly those days being this naive and clueless kid from a no-name third world country living in the middle-of-nowhere that is Ohio and mumbling to myself: “What the fuck is that?” when I looked at pictures of men who paired a formal blazer with shorts. I mean even now, it’s still not THAT popular except on the runaways, right? However, as I became increasingly appreciative of fashion, I’ve realized that this trend is actually one of the best in the recent history of menswear because it’s put such a modern twist on men’s conventional approach to suits. (Note to self: double-check if Thom Browne is the man behind this). Apparently, it isn’t such an easy look to pull off, but here Mr. Wooster gives us some lessons on how to nail it. First, shorts should always be above the knees and fit slim to your thighs. Anything below the knees is out of place, and thus should be out your windows. Second, blazers should always be proportionate to the shorts. Shirt or t-shirt, tie or no tie, your call.
Lesson #4- Strong plaids are nice: Plaids and checks are fundamental in every guy’s closet because those patterns are manly, easy to wear yet very stylish. Every man certainly possesses at least a few plaid shirts here and there. However, Nick Wooster is not the average man who just grabs any plaid or check item on the rack. When he hits it, he makes sure to hit it strong and hard in various places, from ties, shirts to blazers and pants. The result is nothing short of a full-fledged fashion statement. You don’t have to splurge on that perfect Thom Browne or Michael Bastian “suit & tie”, though you should if you can. When you shop, remember to pay attention to madras, houndstooth, windowpane and other genres of the ubiquitous check pattern.
Lesson #5- Cropped pants are in. Nick Wooster isn’t tall, and that is a fact. So, cropped pants actually serve him in really good stead. A pair of slim or straight-silhouette trousers perfectly rolled-up, preferably above the ankles instantly adds a modern twist and edge to your outfit. Unless you’re like basketball players oversize, I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t jump right on this bandwagon.
Lesson #6- The shoes make the man: Everything that should be said has been said about how a pair of shoes can make or break an outfit, so I won’t bother rambling on and on. Just invest in at least one pair of really good shoes. Start with the classics, and you can branch out later. Brogues/Derbies/Oxfords/Wingtips are a must.