On The Town
The Best Dressed Men Of The Month
June’s round-up of sartorial saints features the surprise appearances of Mr Steve Carell and a pair of white socks
Generally speaking, it’s easier to get dressed in colder weather when you can layer up and not have to worry about things such as visible perspiration or blisters from going sockless. But when you’ve got a glamorous summer event to attend, well, you just have to man the hell up. June is always a particularly gruelling month for gadabouts, mostly non-stop runway shows and movie premieres. Here, we fuse the two in a round-up of fashion blockbusters. This month’s On The Town has been brought to you in association with the colour white, which pops up on shirts, polos, blazers, chinos – and, controversially, socks.
Mr Hidetoshi Nakata
Mr Hidetoshi Nakata at the Louis Vuitton show, Paris Fashion Week, 22 June. Photograph by Mr Jacopo Raule/Getty Images
On the face of it, what’s the big deal? Just some guy wearing a black T-shirt with black jeans. But in contrast to the peacockery of all the fashionistas who linger outside fashion shows for a suspiciously long time (you know who you are), blue steeling into the middle distance, pretending to be on the phone, in the hope the phalanx of street-style photographers will take their picture, such a refreshingly low-key look actually stands out. Mr Hidetoshi Nakata is now more famous for his sartorial skills than his footballing ones – the phrase “Japan’s answer to David Beckham” has almost become part of his name, and he always gets a front-row ticket. Here he is en route to the Louis Vuitton show at the Palais-Royal in Paris. He’s evidently also got “two tickets to the gun show”. Note how the tee is fitted to flatter the 40-year-old’s physique without being a too-tight muscle vest. And he’s turned up his jeans to deliberately expose the white socks poking out above his summery suede desert boots. Because that’s actually what this entire look is pointing to. For the first time in about 30 years, it is acceptable to wear white socks in a non-ironic way.
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Mr Steve Carell
Mr Steve Carell in London, 21 June. Photograph by REX Shutterstock
In 2011’s Crazy, Stupid, Love, Mr Steve Carell plays a hopelessly unstylish loser (think The 40-Year-Old Virgin meets The Office) trying to get back on the dating scene who benefits – eventually – from the sartorial and love advice of a suave-yet-smug Mr Ryan Gosling. Looks like it worked. In 2017, the Foxcatcher star is playing a real-life silver fox. Here he is on his way to do a BBC Radio 2 interview in London looking like he’s about to step onto his fancy yacht in a navy sweater over a chambray shirt with white chinos, brown leather sneakers and tortoiseshell sunglasses – nautical but nice. The internet promptly went into meltdown. When asked about the swooning reaction, he quipped, “I am so sick of people just looking at me for my physical attributes. It’s genetic. There’s nothing I can do.” Mr Gosling was right. He is better than The Gap.
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Mr Andrea Pirlo
Mr Andrea Pirlo in New York, 22 June. Photograph by REX Shutterstock
It’s one thing to dress the part when you know you’re going to an event at which there will be photographers. But it’s all the more impressive when you’re just going about your daily business, such as picking up a suit from the dry cleaners, as demonstrated here by Italian footballer Mr Andrea Pirlo. The Pictionary definition of elegance both on and off the field, Mr Pirlo is so debonair, it’s a wonder the 38-year-old doesn’t stroll around the pitch with a glass of montepulciano in hand (he has, after all, his own winery). It’s not easy to look cool in the stultifying heat of a New York summer, but this easy-breezy rhapsody in blue is nicely fitting in more than one sense. He is an Azzurri (the nickname for the Italian national team) legend and now represents New York City FC, who also play in these colours. The linen shirt is cut perfectly, showing neither excess fabric nor strain at the buttons. Note the pop of colour provided by the woven belt, which helps to break up the blues – a typically well-executed demonstration of flair in midfield.
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Mr Justin Theroux
Mr Justin Theroux at SAG-AFTRA Foundation Screening Room, Los Angeles, 19 June. Photograph by Mr Vincent Sandoval/Getty Images
As the actor, director and screenwriter once wrote of his style in Esquire magazine: “[It] should always be winter from the waist down.” For his partner Ms Jennifer Anniston’s sake, we hope that means that even in high summer he will invariably wear dark denim and black boots. From the waist up his signature look is a well-worn tee, cut to complement his frame, and a beaten-up leather jacket, as befits a man with an extensive collection of motorbikes. But even when attending a ritzy event, there is more than a hint of rock ’n’ roll rebellion about these jeans. The Leftovers star has opted for a pair of black suede Chelsea boots as a sartorial upgrade on his more usual combat boots and black blazer in place of the biker jacket, worn with a natty knitted polo, which he’s buttoned all the way up. Very of the moment. In fact, this is a man who has got his ensemble so spot-on, he’s even managed to colour co-ordinate with the burgundy step-and-repeat and the grey carpet. Not sure what the deal is with the off-centre belt buckle, though. Move it over to the left a bit. *Cymbal clash!*
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Mr David Gandy
Mr David Gandy at the Belstaff SS18 presentation in London, 12 June. Photograph by Mr Wayne Tippetts/REX Shutterstock
This picture was taken on 12 June 2017. But it’s such a timeless look – especially with the Clubmaster sunglasses – it could have been taken in 1947. It is a study in summer chic that brings to mind Jay Gatsby or Dickie Greenleaf. Although with the fitted knitted white polo shirt worn underneath a completely unstructured blazer, there is also something of the all-English classic sporting summer about this look. It’s Wimbledon, it’s Lord’s, it’s Henley. You can almost hear the cut-glass clipped tones of the accompanying Pathé News voiceover. Two key things to consider here: wearing white on white on your top half always looks better against a deep tan and dark hair. If you have pale skin and light-coloured hair, you could easily look washed out. Second, avoid wearing any bright primary colours alongside white; the contrast is too garish and childish. Keep it to blues, pastels and tonal colours such as beige and stone. These tailored navy linen trousers worn with brown leather monkstraps are perfect – and doesn’t the insouciantly catwalking Mr David Gandy know it?
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Mr Steven Yeun
Mr Steven Yeun at the New York premiere of Okja, 8 June. Photograph by Mr Jim Spellman/Getty Images
When we first alerted you to Mr Steven Yeun five years ago in our “One to Watch” series about up-and-comers, he described his approach to style thus: “I like solids and looking clean, but it’s more an architectural thing. I’m kind of just a nut about design. In high school, my planner was always filled in and perfectly straight. I guess you could call me OCD.” Yep, you can tell all that looking at this outfit for the premiere of the 33-year-old’s rather excellent new Netflix movie, Okja (it’s about a superpig – you’ll love it). There is nothing out of place, the shoes are polished to a high shine, the tie is firmly in its collar, the suit is perfectly tailored. Note the ideal length of the sleeve to expose half an inch of cuff, how the jacket nips in at the waist, and how the trouser hems finish on the shoe. But the real lesson here is the colour of the suit. With a little sheen, burgundy occupies the intersection of the Venn diagram where smart suit meets eveningwear. It is more flattering in flash photography than black and more interesting than grey or navy.
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Mr Kit Harington
Mr Kit Harington at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, 7 June. Photograph by Mr Tim P Whitby/Getty Images
If winter is coming (again), somebody had better tell Mr Kit Harington. Here he is, dressed very bullishly for summer as he does the publicity rounds in overcast London for Game Of Thrones season seven, which is very nearly upon us. Let us deconstruct this winningly simple smart-casual look. The grandad-collar shirt is a lighter alternative to a button-down and is worn tucked into ecru slim-fit chinos that fit so perfectly they don’t even need a belt. They match his lightweight canvas summer shoes worn sans socks. Note the number of buttons undone on the shirt: any more than two begins to look a little Lothario. Notice also how neatly his sleeves are rolled and his chinos are turned up – this is casual, but still smart. At least until it starts raining, anyway.
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Mr Nick Wooster
Mr Nick Wooster at London Collections: Men, 11 June. Photograph by The Urban Spotter
The godfather of street style has changed up his look for this summer. No more silver quiff and groomed white beard. In London last month, Mr Nick Wooster was clean shaven with a buzz cut, an instructive demonstration of how to nail white-on-white. It’s such a seemingly simple idea, yet it carries a high degree of difficulty and requires a certain self-confidence – and a tan – to pull off. Here’s how to do so without looking like the Man from Del Monte or Colonel Sanders. First of all, vary the tone. The cream trousers cuffed to flash some tanned ankle help to break up the ensemble. Second, the 57-year-old has gone for a fashion-forward silhouette of cropped and tapered wide-legged trousers worn with slip-on sneakers – an on-trend look he pioneered – worn with an unstructured, asymmetrical linen jacket. Be mindful that such a blank canvas is practically impossible to keep that way. In other words, no red wine, no ketchup. But the light, unstructured fabrics and the loose cut allow for the easy circulation of air and the white reflects sunlight. The Man from Del Monte, he say yes.
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