Shaun Gordon: My Style Rules

The impeccably dressed tie maker shares his thoughts on how to look your best

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In college, I was a bit of a denim freak. But one day a little button clicked in me and I went on a rampage and sold all of my casual clothes on the internet. I took the money to Portabello and Shoreditch and started buying up vintage clothing.

My love of formal wear stems from seeing old photos of my grandfather. That era between the 40s to 60s, the way gentlemen always looked so sharp. I always admired that.

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One day I was looking for a tie, and I couldn't find exactly the one I wanted. So I said: "I know how to make stuff, I know how to deconstruct garments and then remake them. It'll be easy." It wasn't. It was a nightmare. But that conjured up a determination in me to keep trying.

The first tie I made was a check in baby blue, pink and white. 100% cotton. I can assure you it wasn't perfect – but you know, Salvador Dali said don't worry about perfection, because you never reach it.

I bought this wonderful vintage suit from Portabello once. When I turned over the label, the name of the tailor and the date and location was handwritten on it. I thought: "that's what men want". When I make a tie, I don't want any two to be the same. I change the layout of the pattern, and I number them separately too.

When you wear a tie, you feel empowered. That's what I love about them. They've been around since the earliest of BC's. The first emperor of China dressed his soldiers in a neckpieces.

I don't worry about the 'death of the suit'. Suits, ties, shirts… they're not going anywhere. Even if it's quietened down, they'll soon be brought back to the surface again as if it's all something new.

My style heroes? The first guy that pops to mind is Cary Grant. Sammy Davis Junior had a quirk about him. Dandy Wellington. With these guys, their personalities show through the way they dress. For me that is the epitome of style.

That saying: "You can't be well dressed in cheap shoes". It's true. The one shoe that I have absolutely fallen in love with is my croquet penny loafers from Crockett and Jones. They go with every single outfit I have.

I think it's a real shame more men don't wear hats, because I think there's a hat for everyone. It just takes a bit of education. For example: I started off with a stingy brim trilby. At the time I loved it, but in time I realised it made my face look bigger. When I started wearing wider brims, I realised that it struck the perfect balance.

Style crimes? Oh God, there's loads… sports socks with shoes. Why would you do such a thing? Wearing your trousers too low. Especially older gentlemen. Leave it to the 13-year-olds.

My parents tell me that I never look off-duty. I only own one pair of denim jeans. If I have to dress more casually, I might wear those with a vintage Henley.

On holiday it's a little different: a Fred Perry polo shirt, with a panama hat and some high-waist trousers.

Social media has been good for fashion. I've found inspiration from Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram over the years. I love Instagram because I feel like you're getting inspiration straight from the street.

My best piece of style advice? Look at fit. It is very, very important, It can transform your body and your appearance. Then I would say get your classics covered. If you want clues, look at your current wardrobe: what do you wear the most? Is it blues, blacks, greys? Get your basics covered, because that is your foundation. After that you're on your own. Like play dough you've got to mould yourself.

Oh – and buy a tie!

Shaun Gordon makes beautiful ties. Check them out on his website.