Mr Tom Ford’s Style Rule Book

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Mr Tom Ford’s Style Rule Book

Words by Mr Dan Rookwood

2 November 2017

To tie in with his first-ever capsule collection, the designer reveals his wardrobe commandments in this film.

Mr Tom Ford doesn’t do exclusive capsule collections. At least he hasn’t done one thus far in the 10 years that he’s had his eponymous brand. He’s got enough lines to design already, as well as being a screenwriter, film director and father. So, we’re pleased that he has chosen to break that rule with this special collection for MR PORTER – and moreover agreed to make a short film sharing his firm opinions on classic style.

Every man has his wardrobe go-tos, the things he feels most comfortable wearing. The six items that comprise this capsule collection (detailed below) are exclusive or updated versions of those that have become Mr Ford’s signature pieces over the last decade, both in his collections and his own wardrobe. A large part of the success of Tom Ford as a menswear label is that Mr Ford is his own brand: people want to dress like him. And now they really can.

Mr Tom Ford’s style musings

On wearing black

“People always ask me why I wear black so often. The answer is that I feel comfortable and confident in it. It is important to find your own sense of style, your own look, something that makes you feel confident. Never wear things that you don’t love just because someone else tells you that you should. I personally tend to feel the best in dark colours.”

On tailoring

“Quite a few suits today are slim-fit with skinny lapels and are unstructured. And the worst thing of all is the short jacket that cuts your butt in half from the back. I don’t like an unconstructed suit. I prefer to be gently held in. I like a strong shoulder and a generous lapel. A skinny lapel always makes me think that the jacket looks poor – like someone could not afford enough fabric to make a proper lapel. I think a suit should make you feel younger, trimmer. It should make your shoulders look broad and your waist and hips look smaller. There is nothing sexier or more attractive than confidence and a good suit should give you that. Always keep your suit jacket buttoned. It will take 10lb off of you in life and especially in photos.”

On white shirts

“I like the crispness of a white shirt worn with a dark suit. It always looks good and somehow the pop of white makes me feel sharper. It is graphic and whenever I am not feeling my most rested a fresh white shirt always makes me feel more put together. I personally always wear a collar bar with a suit and tie. It is a bit of a style affectation that makes me feel less conservative in a suit. I also almost always wear a shirt with French cuffs and cufflinks – cufflinks are one of the few items of jewellery that a more classically inclined man can wear.”

On eveningwear

“Surprisingly, most of my closet is filled with evening clothes. While I have a very set uniform for the day in the city, my nighttime uniform is a bit more adventurous and I often wear deep colored velvet evening jackets. Night is the one and only place that I think that men can really dress in an extravagant way and still look classic and chic. I love velvet for the way that it takes colour. Nothing takes colour as well or looks so rich. I wear velvet even in the summer.”

On knitwear

“I rarely wear knitwear. This is simply a personal choice as most of the time I like the armour of a tailored jacket. I feel vulnerable in knitwear. However, on the weekends, in a casual situation in the country when I am with friends, I am often happy to feel more vulnerable and relaxed.”

On dress codes

“I like when an invitation spells out clearly what the dress code is. If it is black tie, I want to know. If it is just suits and ties, I want to know that, too. I hate this trend (which is especially prevalent in LA) of saying things on an invitation like ‘creative black tie’ or the worst is ‘festive dress’. What the hell does that mean? Often people turn up looking like a Christmas tree and it is just a complete mess. Wear a proper tuxedo. I think being overdressed is better than being underdressed.”

On fragrance

“Don’t be afraid of fragrance. This can be a man’s most memorable style choice and can say a great deal about who you are or what type of mood you are in. I tend to spray on lots and lots of fragrances. And I mix them throughout the day. Needless to say, in my office and house there is a bottle of fragrance just about every 20ft and by the end of the day I am like a walking potpourri. Just choose a great fragrance and no one will complain that you have too much on. Rather they will want to get near your neck and take a deep breath. Which can be a good or bad thing, depending on who you are with.”

The most important thing of all is…

“Relax. Style and fashion should enhance your life and not cause you more stress. Breathe. Meditate. When you are calm, you will look your best. I tend to meditate in the bath: first thing in the morning, and then before I go out in the evening to literally wash the day away. Then if I’m lucky once again before bed. I just lie in the water and think. Find something that works for you and helps to clear your head and then everything will seem easier. Or at least it will all seem less painful.”

Shop the exclusive collection

Film by Mr Jacopo Maria-Cinti