How Men Should Dress (By Women We Love)

Eva Longoria, Naomie Harris, Helena Christensen and more on what they like on a man

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1 | Eva Longoria – Actress

What looks good on a man?
A suit. It should be tailored and fitted. And a good watch, classy and understated, as opposed to flashy and statement-oriented.

What should a man never wear?
Never wear too much cologne. And I hate knitted sweaters. It just seems really feminine for a man to wear a knitted sweater with a shirt. Men should never wear high-waisted pants. I still see some of those around… on a few people in particular.

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2 | Laura Craik – Fashion editor, The Times

+ No man, however porky, skinny, lanky, squat, paunchy, thick-necked or slope-shouldered, can go wrong in a charcoal grey V-neck jumper with a white T-shirt underneath, worn with dark-wash jeans. It is impossible to look bad in this combo. I don’t know why. The flash of white at the neck is more forgiving to your average male complexion than a dark crew neck, and the whole look is just effortless. Men aren’t urged to look “effortless” with the relentless frequency that women are, which is a shame, as a lot of them could do with looking less, er, “effortful”.

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I dislike any sort of underpants that have a logo running around the top of the elastic. I don’t care if it says Calvin Klein or Next – it’s still tragic and weird. Why would you advertise any brand via the medium of your boxer shorts? Inexplicable.


3 | Kim Cattrall – Actress

+ A scarf. It adds colour and flair to a conservative or relaxed style. And a scent. Something subtle that you remember.

Men wearing knee-high white socks when they’re not playing cricket.

4 | Carla Bruni – Singer, model

+ What looks good on a man? A dark suit. Jeans and a white shirt, too. And I miss hats and gloves – very chic.

What should a man never wear? Bow ties. Unless it’s on evening wear, like in Downton Abbey, when they get dressed for dinner. In that case, if you have someone like Carson dressing you, a bow tie is OK – but this is, like, 1920. Or a shirt with short sleeves. I think short sleeves are like the devil to me.


5 | Stacey Smith – Menswear buyer, matchesfashion.com

+ It’s about wearing what feels comfortable, and having confidence in how you dress – some of the best-dressed men ignore “the rules”. That said, every man should invest in the best shoes they can afford – a pair from Church’s or Mr Hare is the easiest way to lift an outfit.

   Not taking care of yourself. Make sure shirts are pristine white, keep clothes well-ironed and well looked after. Take a considered approach to details – a bad pair of socks or cheap jewellery can undo all your hard work in an instant.


6 | Emilia Fox – Actress

+ I love a man in a good suit. My dad [Edward Fox] has the most beautiful suits that he wore when he was in Edward and Mrs Simpson (1978) – and still wears to this day, 36 years on. They are so timeless and elegant, so much so that my brother Fred wears a lot of them now. Which proves just how useful a well-cut suit is for a man.

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Sandals. Full stop.


7 | Catherine Hayward – Fashion director, Esquire

+ Baseball T-shirts with a contrast raglan colourful sleeve – emphasises a strong shoulder. A cable knit chunky sweater in navy or neutral cream, with a white T-shirt and dark jeans. Long johns: got to be clean, got to be cream and got to be lean – no paunches, please.

V-neck sweaters – runs the risk of stray chest hair peeping over the top. Also, cheap shoes with a pointed toe.

8 | Naomie Harris – Actress

+ It’s all about confidence. Being comfortable in your own skin, there is something so attractive about that.

  A man should never, ever wear Ugg boots. I love my Ugg boots, I live in my Ugg boots, they are life-changing. But a man shouldn’t do it. It is not cool. Ugg boots worn with confidence? Now that’s a difficult conundrum.


9 | Lena Headey – Actress

+ Humour and confidence. And the occasional well-fitting tuxedo never hurt anyone. 

Too tight trousers. No one needs to see a man-toe wrapped in wrinkled, sweaty fabric.


10 | Dame Vivienne Westwood – Designer

+ I love long hair on men.

Tattoos – with the occasional exception. Most people are lacking in culture and choose images that don’t mean anything. Also, a man shouldn’t wear his shirt over his trousers. Every now and again it works. But mostly they end up looking like babies.


11 | Tracey Emin – Artist

+ A well-tailored waistcoat is the sexiest thing that a man can wear.

High-waisted red trousers.


12 | Ellie Goulding – Singer

+ All black. A really nice black T-shirt. I’m a bit of a Goth, really.

A scabby tracksuit is a no-go. But if you can style it out…


13 | Garance Doré – Photographer

+ I like a man who’s not afraid to play with fashion. When it’s too polished, it’s distracting. Apart from that, there are no rules, it’s about knowing who you are and going for it. A good scent is the perfect to-die-for touch.

I’m not a fan of deep V-necks. And I have a problem with pointy shoes.


14 | Sarah Ann Macklin – Model

+ A smile, with good teeth. A good smile is so attractive.

Leather trousers and Ugg boots. Just say no.


15 | Alison Loehnis – President, net-a-porter.com

+ It’s a simple formula: a perfectly cut jacket, a crisp shirt, a great cashmere sweater, chinos. A great pair of sneakers or shoes by John Lobb.

Tuck fitted shirts in nice and tight – the last thing you want is anything looking too blousy. And a man should never wear shorts in the city.


16 | Helena Christensen – Model, photographer

+ Clothes that are an expression of a man’s spirit, charisma, humour and intellect.

As long as it’s a true extension of their personality, men should just go for it. They can look good in pretty much anything, even dresses. Maybe not knee socks.


17 | Elizabeth Mcgovern – Actress

+ Men look good when they appear they haven’t tried too hard. A corduroy jacket works.

I don’t think a man, any man, should ever wear boat shoes. Especially with no socks. Ugh, can’t bear it.


18 | Trudie Styler – Producer, actress, Mrs Sting

+  I love beautiful suits and white shirts and dress studs, with a gorgeous cufflink. That’s quite a turn-on.

  Dungarees… no, though I’ve got some great pictures of Sting in dungarees, especially without a shirt on. But sandals with socks – I don’t like that.


19 | Joan Collins  – Actress, author

+ A man can’t go wrong in a well-cut suit with a beautiful shirt and tie and well-polished shoes. I like jeans – if they fit – with an open-necked shirt, a leather jacket and loafers.

Speedos or budgie-smugglers. Hideous, even on professional swimmers. Low-slung jeans do nothing for me, either. Men with too much jewellery are suspect. Underwear showing is horrid, too.


20 | Brit Marling – Actress, writer, producer

+ Suits look good. But a police uniform looks even better! Jimmy Nesbitt in his in [Danny Boyle's] Babylon is a sight to behold.

Sweatpants. With the ankles bunched up.


Taken from Esquire's Big Black Book Spring / Summer 2014: the style manual for successful men, on newsstands now. Buy it here

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