How would you describe your style?
I was always incredibly formal while I was at The Rake [Magazine], but two years ago I became single and so embraced a slightly more contemporary attitude to style. I mix tailoring with workwear and sports wear. There’s no prevailing heritage aesthetic right now, so I’m taking structured, formal looks and dressing them down. I love high-waisted trousers, almost feminine silk or crepe shirts and sneakers.
Who are your style icons?
I’m not one for looking back, however, I would have to say Fred Astaire. Fred did a great job of dressing down within the context of his time, tying his trousers with a college tie and wearing wonderful buttoned down shirts. I also love menswear and lifestyle photographer Jamie Ferguson.
What is the best piece of style advice you have ever received?
I tend to find my own way when it comes to experimenting with men’s wear. I have learnt that one should always dress appropriately for the context of the situation they are in. I spent a good few years over dressing for what I was doing. Style is about looking at the context of your surroundings and being able to express yourself within those parameters. It’s the modern world; we travel a lot; we’re always on the tube, on the go and we like to be comfortable in a relaxed environment.
What should we be wearing this summer?
I gravitate towards the classic colour palette for men in summer, which is navy, chocolate brown, sky blue, cream with touches of burgundy and forest green. Those are the classic colours that will not date. You need a lightweight navy blazer, something softly tailored in a breathable material, a nice pair of cream chinos, a sky blue shirt, and a really nice pair of chocolate suede loafers (matching your belt and watch strap). The material and construction of the jacket is very important. We often wear linen in the summer, but it can actually be far too hot. It is much better to get a lightweight, open weave wool which will allow air to circulate through it. I don’t wear shorts. I really struggle with men in shorts - far better to wear a really breezy cotton shirt and some really elegant fresco trousers or lightweight chinos.
What are your signature pieces right now?
I have really got into lightweight suede sneakers, heavy linen overshirts; high waisted, wide legged trousers, in a very 1930’s style with a slight taper towards the hem, teamed with a Breton striped t-shirt. There is also a signature ‘Jackal’ look – the team joke that we are great at content, telling stories and wearing roll-necks (either John Smedley or Uniqlo).
What would you invest in, style-wise?
I believe in investing in clothes and being careful about what you choose. I have made far too many mistakes and unnecessary extravagances. One of my special pieces is a double-breasted Edward Sexton suit in navy blue Italian flannel. It is in his signature house style, but he pumped it up for me with the inch thick padding and a semi-draped in the style that was prevalent 60 years ago! It’s got a real Cary Grant feel. There’s a lot of cloth, but it doesn’t swamp you, it’s so elegant. I am convinced that that suit will end up in the V&A as a cultural artefact (when it doesn't fit anymore).
What events will you be attending this summer?
I love the regattas, because I can completely disregard what I have said so far in this interview and really go for it! A stripy blazer, white trousers, college ties - such fun! And of course Ascot; I haven’t worn morning dress for two years, but there is something about a top hat isn't there? You just can’t go wrong.
Where do you summer?
I’ve really got into meditation, so I will be heading off on a yoga and meditation retreat in northern Italy. It will be tech free and there will be lots of great olive oil. I plan to pack my Orlebar Brown swim shorts and pair them with unbuttoned Oxford button down shirts.
Where will you be having a drink in the sun?
One of my favourite little secrets is the Stafford Hotel, tucked away off St. James’ - I love treating myself to a glass of house claret and a cigar in their courtyard on a lazy Sunday.