At the beginning of a new season I invest in a couple of pieces. I’ve already bought the one summer piece I’ve wanted for a while, a Bodhi shirt. It’s handmade and upcycled – it wasn’t cheap, but it was an investment that will last me forever. I also bought a Jil Sander safari hat, because come rain or shine I wear a hat. Oh, and I got myself a pair of Gucci jelly shoes. I don’t know if they’re acceptable for a 38 year old, but here we are. I’ve also got an amazing archive of pieces I’ve collected over the years, so those three things will fit seamlessly in. If there’s something super trend-lead that I love but don’t have, I’ll try my hardest not to buy it because I don’t want to buy into the notion of directional dressing. But buying seasonal is essential – you need shorts in summer, don’t you. However, I only wear cream, brown, navy and grey, so my wardrobe’s pretty interchangeable.
We all know men don’t spend money on white socks or underwear. I get socks from Muji, pants from Calvin Klein, and my white tees are M&S 100% cotton. That’s my essential, boring men’s shopping list.
I designed some shoes for Joseph Cheaney last year. The premise of the capsule was the core styles that I wear the most. It featured a sandal, a farm shoe and a derby – they’re all I wear, whatever the season. The only thing I’d add to that is a really simple white sneaker, like a Common Projects. Harrys Of London have a style – the Nappa – that I’m living in currently.
My biggest investment was probably my first set of bespoke suits I had made in my late 20s. It was definitely the biggest financial outlay I’d made at the time – I spent upwards of £5k on Savile Row. Clothing is a luxury and that price point is not a necessity. You don’t need to spend that much for an everyday suit but wearing a well-cut suit does make you feel a million dollars, whatever its price tag. Buy off the peg and take it to your local tailor; when I was younger I’d shop at Reiss and get it altered to make it look perfect. Box clever – that’s my advice.