I’d say my style is pretty much street cool. Saying that, it can be quite formal at times. I have a good balance between formal and high-end streetwear.
You need to know what clothes fit you in the right way. The average person who doesn’t care about fashion isn’t interested in how it fits on the shoulders, It's fair enough if something looks nice but you can tell when the shape is wrong. It's about creating a silhouette for yourself.
The one item of clothing every man needs is a denim shirt. It just works. If you wanna dress it up or down, you can. The longer you have it, the better it looks. You just can’t go wrong with a denim shirt – and it’s good for every season.
For your own good, stay away from UGGs. I know certain men who have been tempted in the past. Fortunately, they didn't succumb.
I never leave home without a watch. Everything is so new. I feel like there's going to be a revival of the old stuff – the heritage, classic family-owned watches. I'd choose them over the Apple Watch any day.
The accessories you wear depend on your lifestyle, as well as the rest of your look. If a Boho well-traveled man with a rustic appearance is wearing some bangles, for example, it’ll work. It just depends on the rest of your dress sense.
From my perspective, Kanye West is the best-dressed man right now. He bridges the gap between a hip hop/urban style to your more average Americana Ralph Lauren type of fashion. He adds swagger to it. There’s a large number of people who’ll then go and copy him – you have to give credit to someone who can influence people to wear anything. Pharrell Williams is similar.
I understand that fashion is expression. Saying that, there was a time when men’s skirts were a trend and I couldn’t see myself adopting that. I hasten to add I view this as completely different to a kilt – I think the history behind the kilt is great.
Winter is the best time of year for fashion. All seasons have their benefits, sure, but I love picking apart the layers in winter; you can wear a denim shirt, a cardigan, a big jacket and there are loads of different jeans going on. In the summer, it’s just a T-shirt and shorts.
You can be into fashion without necessarily having style. Or, as they say, you can pay for school but you can’t buy class. Fashion is more of a business – with brand names, etc. – but with style, you can pave the way for trends; you can wear a bunch of stuff that was made by your mate and it can still look amazing. Fashion is essentially just a shirt, but style is the way a person makes you feel about a shirt through the way they roll the sleeves or do the top button up.
Other than dressing well, I’d say men need to be good at hands-on labour. Changing a tyre, fixing a shelf – that kind of thing.
People shouldn't correlate style with cost. That’s my one rule for a stylish life. We’re in an age where social media puts a pressure on people to keep up with trends, but you shouldn’t worry about the cost – worry about how you feel. Go to a vintage shop and pick up a blazer for a tenner. It could change everything. That’s style to me.
Tinie Tempah is pictured at Black Space by Lynx, an immersive, understated space dedicated to style and sound. lynxblackspace.com