The Tailoring Special

Link Copied


The Tailoring Special

Words by Mr Adam Welch

15 April 2015

Such is the nature of today’s celebrity-obsessed culture that you’re far more likely to see your favourite stars pictured on their way to the supermarket/ herbalist/ dubious spiritual advisor than actually engaging in any professional activities. Which is why we at MR PORTER thought it worth celebrating some of the more office-ready looks that have been captured by those perennially misunderstood members of humanity, the paparazzi. Whether your professional life is more nine-to-five or “let’s have drinks!” (as is often howled into the ether on the On the Town circuit), there’s plenty of inspiration here for sprucing up your on-duty wardrobe.

Mr Teller at the Insurgent film premiere, New York, 16 March Gregory Pace/ Rex Features

It’s appearance number two in On the Town for the young actor, who launches this month’s sly celebrity trend: the three-piece suit. What’s good about this particular example is the way Mr Miles Teller has used a range of contrasting textures and patterns to bring some youth to the rather formal style. The suit itself is in a rough, denim-like indigo fabric, which relaxes the ready-for-work-ness of the blue pinstripe shirt. The tie, embellished with a poppy teardrop print, is a rather loud statement, but it works very nicely amid all the different shades of blue and navy.

Mr Patel leaving his hotel in Manhattan, New York, 4 March Getty Images

Chappie, Mr Dev Patel’s latest movie, currently has a 31% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. If only, the studio execs must be thinking, it were possible that the star’s fantastic off-duty outfits on the accompanying promotional merry-go-round could be taken into account as part of the critical consensus. Because it turns out Mr Patel has some rather fantastic suits in his arsenal – most notably this grey number with a subtle red windowpane check. It looks good because it’s wonderfully well fitted, but also because he wears it so confidently. By which we mean that, though everything is perfectly placed – from the new-looking shiny Derbies to the well-folded and coordinated pocket square – he’s cavalier enough to do away with the tie and leave that shirt collar open. Definitely a 93% outfit.

Mr Booth at the BBC Films’ 25th Anniversary reception, London, 25 March Flynet Pictures

Did Mr Douglas Booth feel a bit awkward about the fact that he had to attend BBC Films’ 25th Anniversary party when he’s only 22 years old himself? Perhaps this is why he chose a grown-up-looking three-piece suit for the event. He’s made it his own by opting for a palette that evokes chambray, and a slim cut (so he looks svelte and sophisticated rather than overbearing and patrician). The tie, perfectly dimpled and tucked, is a thing of beauty and anticipates (in its width) next season’s 1970s trend – it turns out the youth of today do pay attention after all.

Mr Huebl and Ms Olivia Palermo attend the Valentino show during Fashion Week, Paris, 10 March Danny Martindale/ Getty Images

For some, a hard day’s work is filling out spreadsheets and sending passive-aggressive emails. For others, it’s going to fashion shows. No, it’s not fair. But let’s not begrudge the Paris-bound too much – selecting an outfit for such occasions is a stressful balancing act, particularly if you are, like Mr Johannes Huebl – the model, photographer and husband of style phenomenon Ms Olivia Palermo – likely to be snapped wearing it. Mr Huebl should be applauded here for combining traditional elements – a plain wool coat, a Bengal-stripe shirt and tie, Prince of Wales check trousers – in an unexpected way. The fact that the coat, thin and lightweight, is worn like a blazer gives the outfit an almost Victorian feel of gentlemanliness, which works nicely with all the classic British fabrics.

Mr Siem attends the BOSS store opening party, London, 19 March JG Photos

It’s hardly news to someone such as Mr Charlie Siem that sometimes the classics are the best – the man, after all, makes his living playing the violin, an instrument invented in the 16th century. But that doesn’t mean we at MR PORTER can’t hold him up as an example of the mantra. Mr Siem triumphs here with a certain old-world virtuosity. He also clearly knows the way to make something tried and tested impactful – note the crispness of the pocket square and the razor-sharp cut of the lapels, which give the whole outfit a sense of precision. Encore!

Mr Spacey out and about in New York City, 9 March Patricia Schlein/ Getty Images

It can be disappointing when a favourite TV/ movie star exudes a certain effortless style on screen and then, in real life, steps out in a pair of cargo trousers and a vest, shattering the illusion. Kudos, then, to Mr Kevin Spacey, who on this outing in New York very much lives up to the imposing image of his House of Cards alter ego, Frank Underwood, with this understated and well-fitting grey suit. This, of course, would raise no eyebrows in the boardroom – it’s as office-appropriate as it is politically correct. But there’s something brilliant about the way Mr Spacey has gone for such a subtle, muted colour palette (continued by the off-white shirt and grey-pink tie) for a very public appearance (he’s on his way to see Mr David Letterman in this photograph) – it’s both confident and stylish.

Mr Willis attends the Stella McCartney show at Fashion Week, Paris, 9 March David Fisher/ Rex Features

One of the reasons the suit is so impactful is, to put it simply, that everything matches. Mr Alasdhair Willis, the man behind the recent revamp of outerwear brand Hunter, has put this logic to work in this hybrid outfit, which mixes tailoring (in the trousers and structured coat) with casual items (in the rollneck sweater) and sportswear (adidas Superstars – the next shoe craze for a post-Stan Smith world). The all-black palette means that this looks as professional as anything, while retaining the edge and élan that are prerequisites for his “creative director” job description.

Mr Henry at The Prince’s Trust and Samsung Celebrate Success Awards, London, 12 March Nils Jorgensen/ Rex Features

And now for three-piece suit number three: yes, three’s a trend and we were counting. For his appearance at The Prince’s Trust and Samsung Celebrate Success Awards (a bit of a mouthful but a good cause nonetheless) this March, Mr Thierry Henry opted for a coffee-coloured hound’s-tooth suit. Brown can look a little professorial in a suit, but Mr Henry has avoided this by embracing the colour’s retro connotations – first with a simple tie in knitted silk, and secondly, with a pair of squeaky-clean black Chelsea boots.