Matt Hambly’s Guide To Good Style | SLMan

Matt Hambly’s Guide To Good Style

An alum of GQ and Esquire, Matt Hambly knows a thing or two about good style. From black hoodies to white jeans, and Lenny Kravitz to Simon Cowell, he shares with SLMan his wardrobe essentials, fashion faux pas, dressing for the office rules and the coolest men to emulate…

On Wardrobe Mistakes…

The biggest mistake British men make at this time of year is not dressing appropriately. I see loads of guys wearing Yeezys (or similar) which aren’t waterproof and that just won’t cut it in the UK. I probably sound like a mum, but their feet must be freezing, cold and damp – not stylish. I also see a lot of men still knocking about in really skinny jeans and they’re just not very flattering. It’s time to move to a straight leg. 

On Autumn’s Essentials…

Good autumn/winter style starts with a coat. I used to knock about in a denim jacket over a hoodie over a shirt over a t-shirt and I would freeze to death. I was sure I looked cool, but actually I just looked cold. When I was about 30 I decided to buy a really big coat and I have never looked back. You need a down coat or a ski jacket or arctic parka – something that’s really going to keep you warm. And then you need a heavy-duty wool overcoat. Men talk about ‘big coat season’ because it’s the number-one thing men like to buy. Trainers and big coats.  

You need a decent pair of heavy-duty boots as well. You don’t have to worry about the weather, or your feet getting wet and cold. And they generally look great with most things – the only thing I wouldn’t wear them with is a suit. Keanu Reeves does it, but mind you he is John Wick, so he can get away with it. I have a really nice pair from Grenson but they are quite lightweight. They have that slightly odd EVA-style sole, which is somewhere between polystyrene and rubber, so they are super light but not very durable. There is a great company called Danner which makes the really heavy-duty hiking boots from really good fabrics – they’re well-made and look cool. There’s obviously Red Wing – it’s a bit of a cliché but they look amazing and last years. If you want to spend big money, you could look at Saint Laurent. It’s renowned for Cuban-heeled styles, which I think are amazing, but they are more of a lifestyle choice. You can’t just wear them with a regular outfit.  

Big, knitted sweaters – another essential. I like to pull a big jumper on and not worry about what I am wearing underneath. I bought a really nice one recently from J. Lindeberg, and I’ve got a great one from Beams Plus – it’s sort of a thick, spread-collar grandad cardigan. 

On Layering…

The idea of layering is that you are trapping air between various layers to keep you warm. If the clothes are too tight, it just doesn’t work. Effective layering requires slightly oversized separates. You also want to vary your colour palette. A black hoodie and a leather jacket are going to make you look like a ninja. Finally, consider your day – if you live in London, coming on and off the tube wearing a lot of layers is a bit of a pain in the ass.

The idea of layering is that you are trapping air between various layers to keep you warm. If the clothes are too tight, it just doesn’t work. Effective layering requires slightly oversized separates.

On Dressing For The Office…

If you’re dressing for the office and the code isn’t too formal, invest in a long-sleeved knitted polo shirt. You can buy really amazing cashmere ones on Mr Porter, or look at COS and H&M for affordable versions. You can wear them with smart or dark jeans if the dress code allows, or you can pair them with suit trousers. I think that’s a really nice way of avoiding wearing a tie or shirt and suit trousers combo. Just make sure it’s not short sleeved!

On Stylish Men In The Public Eye…

This is obvious, but I love how Harry Styles dresses. He dresses how rock stars should. Same with Lenny Kravitz, he just looks amazing all the time. I really like Jason Momoa – he wears some fantastic, strange stuff but he has the physicality to pull it off. Nick Cave looks incredible. I think there is a theme emerging here: it’s possible these guys are actually not that stylish, but just really good looking. Ryan Gosling also always looks great, but is it because he’s just really handsome?

If you’re dressing for the office and the code isn’t too formal, invest in a long-sleeved knitted polo shirt. You can buy really amazing cashmere ones on Mr Porter, or look at COS and H&M for affordable versions.

On New-Season Purchases…

I am going to purchase a pair of trousers from a company called Basic Rights. They do really beautiful high-waisted, tailored trousers that look like suit trousers but are worn as separates. I’ll wear them with a t-shirt tucked in. I really love high-waisted trousers – they are much more flattering. Most off-the-peg styles sit right around your hips and are quite low rise. Go a bit higher on the waist. It won’t make you look like Simon Cowell, you’ll look like a grown-up. I am also looking for the perfect white vest at the moment. They are all suddenly really high-necked.

On Old Favourites…

I’ve got a really lovely Filson red check jacket, made of wool. It’s super warm and I come back to it time and again. It looks cool with a hoodie underneath. Oh, and I love wearing white jeans all year round. They are almost easier to wear at this time of year – you can wear a big dark blue jumper over the top or a black hoodie (which I tend to live in all winter). 

On The World’s Most Stylish City…

Parisians do it really well, but I just love London. It’s the best mix: where else are you going to see somebody wearing a crazy Charles Jeffrey Loverboy look? And two minutes later someone in something cool like a big Stone Island jacket and super rare trainers? And then somebody else knocking about in a Savile Row suit? It has to be London. 

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