ABOUT GreyMan Style THE RULES OF STYLE - according to GreyMan Style BLOG REVIEWS LINKS

 

GREY MAN STYLE's ICONS OF STYLE

 

1. TIMOTHY EVEREST M.B.E..

Having worked and trained with Savile Row legends Tommy Nutter and Edward Sexton, Timothy Everest was at the forefront of the New Bespoke Movement of the 1990's (along with contemporaries Ozwald Boateng and Richard James) that captured the Zeitgeist by bringing designer-led values to The Row (www.timothyeverest.co.uk).

“I see us as quintessentially British, in that we're attuned to tradition, but at the same time there's a willingness to play with that tradition,” he says. “A Timothy Everest garment is always cut like a dream, but there's also something extra, and sometimes unexpected, going on – all those hand-finished details that make all the difference.”   Quite so, Timbo.

 

The debonair Englishman with the mid-Atlantic accent had a stellar Hollywood career that spanned four decades.  His style legacy, however, is timeless.

2. CARY GRANT

 

 

3. DAVID BECKHAM O.B.E.

 

Difficult to pin a particular style on Becks but, whatever it is, he does his own thing and does it well.  Not sure that he’s read The Rules (though he’s probably read the one about knowing when they should be broken, which is the only possible explanation for all the tattoos!) but there’s no getting away from the fact that the lad’s got style.

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The designer and film director made his name at Gucci, before creating his own eponymous style label. His debut as a film director could not have been more auspicious. when he directed and produced one of the best films of "the noughties," "A Single Man," based on the book of the same name by Christopher Isherwood. The film won almost universal critical acclaim, as well as an Oscar nomination for leading actor Colin Firth (see below.)

In his design work, his style is for uncluttered, simple lines and a figure-hugging silhouette (www.tomford.com)  Tom Ford was named one of the 50 best-dressed over-50's by The Guardian newspaper in 2013.

 

4. TOM FORD

 

5. COLIN FIRTH

The sultry (some – mainly men, I admit – might say “sulky”) English actor first caught the attention of the ladies of this fair isle when emerging soaking wet in just his shirt and unmentionables, following a tantrum-induced dip in the lake during the BBC’s much vaunted adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.” Personally, I do not regard this as his sartorial high point, but his understated personal style is, one must admit, quintessentially English and rather to be admired. 

However, if you’re reading this, Col, might I direct you to our video about underpants, elsewhere on this website, which I feel might be of help to you when next you feel the need to be seen in your foundation garments. We aim to help, old chap, we aim to help.

 

Of course it’s very easy to allow one’s personal feelings about the monarchy to colour any comments about the sartorial choices of the heir to the throne but, whilst I do not anticipate a gong in the immediate future, I see no reason to blot my copybook by being overly critical now. Yes, I accept that H.R.H. probably has access to, and the means to afford, the very best tailors, but put yourself in his position; wouldn’t you? 

But his style goes further than just being a clothes-horse for the best that Savile Row has to offer. He’s identified what works for him (usually double-breasted, soft-tailored suits) and adapts these to fit the occasion. Simple and effective. Sir. Your Highness.

6. H.R.H. PRINCE CHARLES

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7. DAVID NIVEN

The quintessential upper middle class Englishman, Oscar-winning actor David Niven became almost as well known for his elegant dress sense as for his professional achievements.  His manner was bright and cheerful, and his evident pleasure in his sartorial demeanour is a lesson to us all.  Hardy Amies might have been talking about Niven when he said “a man should look as if he has bought his clothes with intelligence, put them on with care and then forgotten all about them,” for this was the essence of Niven’s panache.  Add to that ”look happy as you do it,” and you’ve captured the spirit of the man.

 

In many ways, Old Twinkle Toes had much the same stylistic ethos as our own David Niven, but brought a more relaxed, American, louche and “preppie” feel to his personal image.  But, really – brown shoes and a fawn tweed coat with grey trousers!  There’s louche, and then there’s just plain lax.  It won’t do, you know!

8. FRED ASTAIRE

 

9. VIC REEVES

The “alternative comedian” has long championed the sturdy tweed suit, and jolly dapper he looks, too, if I may say so.  Well done, that man!

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“Time Magazine” once called Noel Coward’s personal style “a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise.” Well, yes – fair enough. They forgot “elegant” and “nonchalant,” though. And, judging from this photograph, "face like a slapped....."

 Style can be cruelly deceptive, dear reader.

10. NOEL COWARD

 

11. BILL NIGHY

In a similar manner to H.R.H. Prince Charles (Sir, Your Highness), here’s a man who has found a style and sticks to it, come what may! He’s made the blue two-piece suit his own, and is rarely seen without one. He gives us all an object lesson in the use of simple accessories, too.

But there’s a bit more to Mr. N’s sartorial oeuvre than that. He’s pared things down to the bare essentials – no superfluous patterns, colours or affectations, all just simple and uncomplicated;  ice cool and almost devoid of emotion. Bit like his acting, really.

 

Kelsey Grammer’s character, the radio psychiatrist Frasier,  was a great fan of Armani;  I particularly liked his trademark knitted waistcoat and his penchant for very full-length overcoats, whilst his on-screen brother………

12. FRASIER

 

13. NILES CRANE

....Niles,  (played by actor David Hyde Pierce) , championed the wearing of braces (“suspenders” to our American readers,) proving that they are not just for those with an expanding waistline.  He was usually to be seen wearing limited edition numbers from Albert Thurston, and I can personally and wholeheartedly recommend these as the “canine’s spheroids” of the trouser-supporting world.

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If you think you don’t know Tommy Nutter, just think of kipper ties and many of Elton John’s stage costumes, and you’ll be thinking of his work.  OK, I agree that you probably wouldn’t want to wear them (not now, anyway!), but his style changed the face of men’s fashion in the late 60’s and 70’s, and his legacy as one of the most influential designer-tailors of our time cannot be denied.

14. TOMMY NUTTER

 

 

 

15. STEPHEN HITCHCOCK

Now to be found at 11 St. George St., London W1S 2FD, Mr. Hitchcock is still undoubtedly a Savile Row tailor in spirit, quality and exclusivity, if not actually in address.  Son of Anderson & Sheppard’s head cutter, Stephen champions the soft tailoring style, his creations mixing traditional techniques and patterns with a willingness to try something just that little bit different.

 

His personal style of dress is fast becoming recognised throughout London and New York, and he features in the excellent book by Rose Callahan, “I am Dandy: The Return of the Elegant Gentleman ” a great read for any man interested in style  and perhaps looking for a few ideas to adapt for his own personal image

 

We’re all accustomed to seeing the Old chatterbox in his beautifully tailored Savile Row suits, but I love this picture of him in a more informal mode.  Shows how far you can go if you have style and you smile!  “Top of the mornin’ to yer, Sir, pogue mahone!”  (I do feel it reflects rather well upon us as a nation, when we take the trouble to learn a little of the language of our European neighbours, don’t you agree?)

16. Sir TERRY WOGAN

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17. ALAN TITCHMARSH

Ee, by gum - t’lad dunn’t scrub up too badly fer a gardinah, does ‘e ?

 

A study in how to look relaxed, dishevelled and ice-cool, all at the same time.  And he’s not even trying, damn him!

18. BRYAN FERRY

 

19. KEITH RICHARDS

Here’s a guy who knows what he is, and just get’s on with being “Keef.”   Wear those wrinkles with pride, you’ve earned them!

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By contrast, away from life as a Rolling Stone, drummer Charlie Watts is renowned for his love of bespoke suits (of which he is rumoured to own several hundred!) and jazz.  This terrific shot is just so relaxed, and epitomises the Cool Jazz style which Charlie has made his own.

20 CHARLIE WATTS

 

21. CHRIS EUBANK

No doubt at all that Chris Eubank’s personal style is that of a true dandy but, like it or loathe it, he’s definitely got it.  Seems to make him about as happy as old Noel Coward, though.  Perhaps the lesson here is that we should all beware camel overcoats – they seem to have unwanted mood-altering side-effects!

 

Always just keeps it very simple.  I suppose he has other assets as well,  that might just carry him through (if you like that sort of thing.)

22. GEORGE CLOONEY

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23. JARVIS COCKER

An object lesson in maturing gracefully, yet still maintaining an “edge.”  Hope that wall doesn’t give way!

 

Always a trendsetter in the world of fashion, The Thin White Duke is a little less outrageous these days, but still knows how to catch the eye.

24. DAVID BOWIE

 

25. GIANNI AGNELLI

Famous for always wearing his wristwatch over his cuffs, Mr. Agnelli has that disarming “sang froid” with which Italian men seem to be born, and he uses it to its full potential.  I must order some sang froid, I’m sure you can get it on the internet.

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So, what does this great British style icon have to teach us?  Well, how about this:  find your style, keep it simple, stick to it.  Easy!  Oh, and subtle accessorising with an Aston Martin, Diana Rigg or Honor Blackman is just about acceptable.

26. JAMES BOND

 

27. A.A. GILL

 

The writer and critic A.A. Gill attracts loving and loathing in roughly equal measures;  I’ll admit, right now, to being a fan.  But whatever your view on his literary persona, you have to admit that the guy has style in abundance.

 

 His secret?  Well, he just looks so very comfortable in whatever he wears, that his clothes become a part of him – the man must wear the clothes, the clothes must not wear the man.  These shoes were not his finest choice, I agree, but you get my point.

 

Now, time for a couple of “nouveau mod” icons, I feel.  First up, Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins has carved himself a niche as a stylish “Mod;”  sharp, smart, well-cut clothes to accentuate his lean and mean frame.  And, no -  he doesn’t smile too much!

28. BRADLEY WIGGINS

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29. PAUL WELLER

Giving the whole “mod” thing a bit of sandpaper around the edges is “The Modfather” himself, Paul Weller.  A self-confessed lover of all things fashion, you feel he has aged with dignity, without surrendering his youthful beliefs and attitudes; he dresses like a grown-up, but still looks too dangerous to let your daughter go out with him.

 

Look, fellas, if I need to say anything by way of explanation here, well……..Seriously, if you don’t get it, pour yourself a stiff one and go and watch "Casablanca," it’ll do you a power of good.  Come back here after it’s finished – you’ll be a new man!

30. HUMPHREY BOGART

 

31. GRAHAM COXON

The former Blur guitarist has found his own style and is a brand ambassador for Cordings of Piccadilly” which is, coincidentally (or perhaps not so coincidentally, when I come to think of it), also owned by a guitarist who is possibly even better known.....you know, whatsisname……that guy Layla in Cream…..Oh, ‘eck – don’t tell me, I'll get it.   

 

That’s the trouble with being fifty-something.

 

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The Prince Of Darkness was always deeply style-conscious, and evolved his look as his musical genres changed;  from classic “zoot suits” in his early be-bop days; via open-neck shirts, polo-necks and slacks in his “cool jazz” period; to more outlandish, theatrical and “hippyish” styles in his later funk period.  Whatever he wore, though, you felt it suited his mood, and he was always just half a step ahead of the field in fashion and, of course, music.  A true genius.

32. MILES DAVIS

 

33. RONNIE CORBETT

With clothes that are always beautifully tailored, Ronnie Corbett seems to have grown more elegant as he has grown older, and makes the “new country gent” look his own.

 

Mr. Cheerful has always had a keen eye for a relaxed sense of style, but now seems to have grown comfortable with his older being, without ever taking himself too seriously.

34. LEONARD COHEN

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And Finally.........

35. ALL ITALIAN MEN

It pains me to say it, but you have to admit that many of us could learn a thing or two about style form the Italian man.  A friend of mine used to say that they were all style and no substance, but I ask you, who needs substance when you’ve got that sort of style?  OK, so I’m an intellectual vacuum, but I’d like a bit of what they have.

Still prefer French nosh, though.