John Varvatos: My Style Rules

Music lover, eponymous label founder and all round cool guy John Varvatos gives us his rules for living a stylish life.

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My personal style is a mixture of fine things and rough things. It’s how I like to describe my brand: casually elegant, comfortable and eclectic. People might call my style ‘Rock n Roll’, but I don’t really like that definition.

My wardrobe is pretty well organised. It has to be – my apartment in New York isn’t huge. Clothes are stacked or hung by colour, it’s just easier that way. 

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Every man should have the following five things in his wardrobe: A dark, well fitting suit – maybe charcoal or navy, but not black. Then a great pair of jeans, good boots, a leather jacket and the perfect white shirt. The collar and cut depend on your personal style, but it needs to look elegant.

Avoid square-toed shoes. They are the worst thing possible. Women tell me that a guy could be good-looking, sexy, but if he has bad shoes, they’re turned off.

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A simple motorcycle jacket is a great timeless piece. A 20-year-old man can wear one, and so can a 65 year old. Even President Obama can wear one (because we made it for him).

My style icons growing up were Steve McQueen, Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page. With McQueen, it was just his aura and the way he carried himself. He could wear just chinos and a white tee and look good. It’s a lot about how you carry yourself.

Men should pay attention to trends, but know when they’re not right for them too. Right now we have the sneaker ‘ath-leisure’ thing, and it’s not for me, but I get it. On a certain kind of guy, it can look good.

I love accessories. A tiepin, bracelet, little bits of jewellery – it’s a nice touch.

I like dressing for both summer and winter, of course the latter is good for layering. This season try swapping a tailored jacket for a coat, with knitwear underneath.

When you take good care of your skin, it works. I don’t have much hair so that cuts down my grooming regime, but I use things like eye gels, and I trim my beard tight.

Other than dressing well, a man should be confident. I think it’s something you can cultivate. Passion you can’t create, it’s either burning inside you or it isn’t. But confidence you can push. If you think about career, the confidence wins out. If you think about women, or guys, whatever your thing is, you’ll do better if you’re more confident.

Treating people well is the most stylish thing you can do.

Johnvarvatos.com

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MORE STYLE RULES: 

Thom Browne
Tinie Tempah
Christopher Shannon
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