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The 5 Men Every Man Needs

How to find the experts that help you lead a stylish, healthy – and happy – life.

The 5 Men Every Man Needs

Asking for help can be hard. Asking another man for help can be harder.

When a man places his trust in another person’s expertise, he’s hit with a swift one-two punch. At once, he’s admitting to his shortcomings and acknowledging that, hey: someone else may know better. (Preposterous, we understand.)

But we all need help. Help be sharper, to be fitter, smarter – even saner.

Naturally, finding the right men for the job is worth questing for. We asked a few of London’s finest to point us in the right direction.

***

 

Why is he essential?
Perhaps the most crucial expert in every man’s life – and with clear reason.

“A tailor hides all the bad bits, and highlights all your best bits,” says Richard James, whose iconic bespoke suits have been donned by the likes of David Cameron and Mark Ronson.

“Having a great relationship with a sharp tailor is invaluable,” says James. “He knows you. He knows your body. He knows what you like and don’t like – and he can challenge your sense of style every now and then.”

“Having a good tailor shows that a man’s got good taste.”


How to find yours
Hitting the pavement in Savile Row is an excellent place to start.

“Go into a couple of tailors and talk: ask them what they think you should be wearing, tell them what you’d like to be wearing,” says James. “It won’t take long to figure out who’s on your side.”

 

 

Why is he essential?
“You wear your haircut 24/7 for six weeks. It’s the most important part of your outfit,” says Brent Pankhurst, who has styled hair for Vogue, Esquire and Daniel Craig.

The man makes a vivid point. Nothing ruins a brilliant suit or sharp off-duty outfit like a terrible haircut. It’s aesthetically demoralizing.

So, let’s not undervalue the competency of your barber of choice. The right man should pull together your interests, your job, your social life and your aspirations into single, holistic style.

“The best barbers,” says Pankhurst, “will make you look like the very best version of yourself.”


How to find yours
“A good barber needs to find out exactly what look a man is going for, while being honest enough to say what’s possible,” says Pankhurst.

Your best tactic is to walk in for a consultation – without the gown.

“Any barber who doesn’t give you a free consultation isn’t worth his weight in gold.” 

 

Why is he essential?
“Men should take care of their shoes and take care of their bed – because if they’re not in one, they’re in the other,” says Tim Little, the creative director and owner of Grenson. 

Of course, every man can and should handle the basics of his shoe care. “Give them a proper seeing to after every three wears, or every time they’re rained on,” Little recommends. “Many men polish their shoes every day.”

Sometimes, though, experts are needed – like when needles and threads are involved. Your best and brightest need surgical precision.

“The right cobbler will add years to the life of your shoes,” says Little. “ A good cobbler is second on the list to a good doctor.”


How to find yours
The rule of thumb to finding a worthy cobbler? Steal a glance at his working table. “If he’s repairing English and Goodyear Welted shoes, he will be okay,” says Little.

Consider shoe care a man’s most necessary non-necessity – a distinct point of pride.  “Shoe care is symbolic because you don’t have to do it. You do it because you feel it’s important,” says Little.

“A man who takes care of his shoes, takes care of his life.”

 

Why is he essential?
A man begins and ends with his body. Everything else – his work, his success, his style – is auxiliary. Makes sense to take care of it, right?

“Your selection of personal trainer says a lot about you – and it’s key to reaching your goals,” says Harry Jameson, one of London’s leading private personal trainers.

Sure, the right trainer will lift you to supreme personal health – it comes with the territory. But let's – for a moment – fully embrace superficiality. The aesthetic benefits of fitness are innumerous: clothes fit better, partners are more easily attracted and beach holidays are (finally!) an exciting prospect.


How to find yours
“In some circles having a ‘top trainer’ is seen as a status symbol – but really, your success will come down to the relationship between trainer and client,” explains Jameson.

“Remember: you might be spending as much time with your trainer as your best friend – you need to gel with them.”

Jameson recommends a five-pronged attack to filtering out your potential candidates.

  1. The Qualifications: “Demand a minimum of BSc degree level qualification.”
  2. The Experience: “Look for a minimum of 5 years.”
  3. The (realistic) CV: “Anyone who claims to be a specialist in 10-12 different areas probably isn't. Pick someone who's brilliant in 3-4 key areas that interest you.”
  4. The Personality: “You have to gel with your trainer. Always do 1-2 sessions with them before you go ahead and buy an expensive block of sessions.”
  5. The Location: “In general, you will find a higher quality of trainer in a private studio than you will in a massive branded gym with thousands of members.”

 

Well, this just became very bloody personal, didn’t it? A psychologist, psychiatrist – or even psychoanalyist – is an expert that requires entirely more consideration than we can summarise here.

Happily, though, we can point you in the right direction. Esquire's own Giles Coren delved into one of the stranger and more vulnerable relationships in his life: that with his psychoanalyst. Even better, he came out advocating it. Read Coren's case for professional cognitive maintenance.