“How to dress now” is a bit of an experiment. In nine editions of Esquire around the world, this fall we set out to discover if real men, who live in diverse places, have what it takes to reflect and develop their personal style, far from the world of runway fashion and celebrity stylists. In the clothes they wear. We found that the answer is resounding Yes! Here, we celebrate men of all ages and backgrounds, men who use their own clothing to exude a unique sense of self, injecting character and authenticity into every stitch. One thing is clear: personal style takes time and passion, but it’s worth it.
Here are the twelve men selected for Esquire from the New York area. Then scroll down to access galleries links from the other eight international editions of Esquire. The combined results from all nine editions were revealed Tuesday at Pitti Immagine Uomo, the famous Florentine trade fair that has been at the heart of modern male style for more than half a century.
“I’ve always been a fan of team chic—the sporty vintage streaks—and I often pair them with smart work clothes. I’m all about the well-fitted silhouette.”
Takeaway: Simple business attire exudes cool elegance. But only if you get just the right shape.
“My dad was a man in a suit and tie, and he made a huge impact. He always looked clean and handsome. I grew up in Cleveland in the ’70s and ’80s. There was a sense of occasion at the time. We dressed up to go to dinner or even get on a plane.”
Takeaway: All suits are not the same. Find a trusted tailor or brand that perfectly fits your body shape. And stick to it like glue.
“The basis of my sense of style comes from my father, who took pride in distinguishing himself from the pack with his costumes. I remember seeing him walking through my neighborhood dressed as if he was on the runway.”
Takeaway: Experimentation is key to building your personal style. Try things that shouldn’t work together. You never know.
“I describe my style as business casual evolves. My day job requires me to look together, but I want to present myself in a way that doesn’t seem cut out of a catalog. Clothes are kind of my business card.”
Takeaway: The old-fashioned suit-versus-work rules have gone out the window for a while. But that doesn’t mean you’re exempt from setting certain standards for yourself. Select them and stick with them.
“My clothes help create the ambiance I need for that day. This look mimics some upscale casual and rock-and-rock style. I love the balance between chic and wild.”
Takeaway: Pairing a vintage leather jacket with simple basics creates interesting tensions.
“I’ve always wanted to wear Feit’s handcrafted semi-Cordovician tank tops. But I’ve come to the realization that Wants Sometimes something is more satisfying than actually having it. There is some magic in that distance. I love the tension.”
Takeaway: Elegance is a constant adventure of self-expression. And color is the fastest way to connect with your personality.
This article appeared in the Winter 2021 issue of Esquire
“My Ralph Lauren alpaca trench coat is what I would have out of my wardrobe if my apartment caught fire. I saw it at Harrods during a Thanksgiving trip a couple of years ago. It’s my favorite thing to wear in New York, because I inevitably get harassed while wearing it” .
Takeaway: If you live in a cold place, the topcoat is the piece most people see you in. This shouldn’t be just an afterthought.
“I feel confident when I wear clothes that seem natural to me — when things aren’t invented. Even when I’m sewing, I try not to take it too seriously. If you find yourself fidgeting or thinking about an outfit throughout the day, it becomes a costume.”
Takeaway: Putting your clothes together should always seem effortless. But getting there takes effort.
“I am a little country with some guts from the east coast. I grew up watching The Dukes of Hazzard and Clint Eastwood films. You are around a lot of racing cars, motorbikes, big platforms and hot rails. There are a lot of good style influences to choose from.”
Takeaway: Clothes are context – a clear manifestation of the interests and emotions that fill your life.
“My 40-acre red and a Letterman mule jacket holds a special place in my heart. When I was 20, my first internship was at Ecko Clothing. They didn’t pay me, but they gave me this amazing jacket from Spike’s clothing line for me for my hard work. I wore the jacket For eighteen years. It reminds me to maintain the same energy that got me here. Always work smart and be open to opportunities.”
Takeaway: Clothes with stories behind them are always more interesting and timeless than clothes you bought on a whim.
“I’ve always found it interesting for people to wear their shoes up. I pick the pants and build from that. I tend to find a pair and wear them straight for weeks, then find inspiration from another set and build on that for the next few weeks.”
Takeaway: Never expect to have the perfect wardrobe. A good technique is to be open to the possibilities of change.
“I find my clothes everywhere. I like to keep it balanced, and I like to mix high and low. For example, if I buy $300 pants, I like to wear them with a shirt I got for five bucks from eBay or at a thrift store. Some of the items that I I need to act fast when I buy it or I’ll miss it, but most of the time I search eBay for hours on end to find the perfect piece.”
Takeaway: Blending high/low is a great way to personalize your outfit without breaking the budget.