There was a time, not too long ago, when if you picked up a men’s style magazine, you couldn’t move for features on icons like Paul Newman, Steve McQueen and John F Kennedy. Fair enough. These guys had impeccable taste, it’s true, but they are all American and they’re also dead. We’re biased here at FashionBeans, because we’re based in London, but we think that menswear’s spiritual home is right here in the UK – and quite frankly, no one needs to look to the past or overseas for inspiration. Forgive us for being so bold, but British men are looking good right now. There is currently a legion of dapper Brits of different ages and backgrounds rocking clothes in continually diverse ways. If you want to look carefree, chilled or approachable, super suited and booted or wear stampede-worthy streetwear, these are the gentlemen that we’re currently holding up as deserving of your respect and emulation. So, nick the best bits and ditch the rest and prepare for a wardrobe refresh.
Style chameleon Alex Turner changes up his look as often as he brings out a new track. Mod? Check. Greaser? Check. Nineties Brit Pop? Check. If you like his style, you should be scouring thrift stores for the perfect vintage leather jacket, western style buckle belt and Levi’s denim jacket. You’ll need a collection of Wayfarers and tight black jeans that are so inky they’ve clearly never seen the inside of a washing machine, plus a skinny suit and ankle boots from whichever label Hedi Slimane is currently designing. Start saving.
David Gandy may owe a little something to a tiny pair of white Speedos, but his natural sartorial habitat is a Savile Row three-piece. Some people in the public eye slavishly follow trends to stay current, but you’ll never see Gandy busting out the latest Off-White hook up. However, if you want to be schooled in the merits of an impeccably tailored formalwear, he’s the master. In rarely sighted casual moments he switches the shirt for a tee with an unlined blazer or a form enhancing flight jacket. He has a forensic understanding of what looks good on him, and that is often the essence of style.
The Get Out star has found his groove on the red carpet (with a little help from a few luxe Italian tailors) proving earlier this year that caramel really is his colour and that a brooch can make a look. He’s always impeccably groomed and has a stash of bomber jackets in suede and leather for less formal moments. We also respect that he uses his platform for activism, wearing a Grenfell T-shirt to Comic-Con, and that he’s proud of his heritage, wearing a traditional Ugandan Kanzu to the Black Panther premiere.
Redmayne has an enviable knack of injecting personality into his red-carpet appearances, either by choosing a tux in an unexpected colour (bottle green) or an outré fabric (velvet). He loves a chunky knit – either cardigan or zip through in style – and is king of classic coat designs like the pea coat or cropped duffle. Of course, it certainly helps if the likes of Prada and Burberry want you to front their wares. He travels with a real suitcase (Globetrotter) and when he’s in Dad mode you’ll find him by the sand pit in Gucci trainers, a button-down oxford and a seriously nice Omega watch.
Described by Dazed as ‘Top Gear for hypebeasts’ PAQ (P-A-Q) is a YouTube show from four streetwear obsessed friends, Danny Lomas, Dexter Black, Shaq Keith and Elias Riadi. Each episode features a different challenge such as style swaps, budget thrifting or road-testing military style or work uniforms – which are funny, engaging and underscore a serious passion for cult menswear labels. Big on Instagram, this foursome draws on diverse fashion influences across skate, music and pop culture and favour a high-low mix. Each has his own distinct style, which means collectively they have something that will appeal to everyone except the most staid traditionalists.
It’s not hyperbole when we say that David Beckham’s impact on men’s fashion has been seismic. Although he favours the classics, he’s always able to give them a new spin and never, ever gets the dress code wrong. Quite rightly, he’s an ambassador for the British Fashion Council – on and off the pitch you’d want him on your team, wouldn’t you? You can run out and buy his suit/watch/coat/trainers/whisky, but the real trick to dressing like David Beckham is confidence: believe you look good and you will.
Free from the boy band stereotype, Styles’ solo career has been the making of his progressive, personal style. It’s probably fair to say menswear was a bit more adventurous in the sixties and seventies and Styles has been borrowing looks from Mick Jagger’s back catalogue of late (with a little help from Gucci) from flared suits in pop colours to ruffle front shirts and sequin jackets. It’s so annoyingly effortless, he just made a farmyard animal look like a must-have accessory.
As we mature a style crisis is kind of inevitable at some point. Fast fashion trends suddenly look ridiculous, but who wants to dress like their Dad before 30? If quiet style is your thing, head to Oliver Spencer, whose personal style and fashion line follows a simple philosophy with ageless clothes that enhance the wearer but won’t dominate the conversation.
The McMafia star has turned looking cool under pressure into an art form and taken many of his style cues from the 007 rulebook. When you break it down Norton’s formula is pretty simple; if the invite reads black tie, don’t scrimp on the trimmings, go tie-less to take the stuffiness out of a suit and shirt combo, choose classic British cloth like Prince of Wales check or herringbone tweed for coats and blazers and have a Barbour jacket on standby for the weekend. Oh, and invest in a travel suit so you arrive freshly pressed for your meeting/narrow escape from a hitman.
Blondey McCoy is the ultimate ‘slashie’ (model slash skateboarder slash artist). His eclectic style matches his polymath abilities. He mixes Burberry checks, limited edition Fred Perry and classic skate labels with a healthy dose of British eccentricity. He walked for Virgil Abloh’s first collection for Louis Vuitton and has Kate Moss steering his career – is there a higher seal of fashion approval?
Bill Nighy dresses how we’d like to – if we ever grow up. He’s partial to a ‘lounge’ suit, gets most of his bespoke clothes from tailors in Mayfair and favours luxury Italian labels. He never wears a belt, claims he can’t carry off a pocket square and sticks to a narrow palette of blues and greys. As Hardy Amies famously said, “a man should look as he had bought his clothes with intelligence, put them on with care and then forgotten all about them.” Bill Nighy nails it.
Like his ex-band mate, Harry Styles, Zayn Malik has the fashion world at his Italian leather clad feet. Bradford’s finest export lucked out in the hair department and can pull off everything from pink dye to peroxide to a buzz cut. He’s proven time and time again that wearing all-black won’t get you mistaken for a bouncer and even Gigi Hadid couldn’t out-style him when he wore Versace body armour to the Met Ball.
Ollie Cheshire is a normal lad with an extraordinary career and his style has a similar crossover. He wears high fashion brands like Dries Van Noten and Dolce & Gabbana but will rock an M&S tux on the red carpet (thanks to a healthy contract with the high street giant). If you can handle the gratuitous swim short pics on his Instagram feed (well, the six pack is the real star of the show here), you can also learn what to wear with white jeans, how to dress for hot weather and the best shoes that go with a tan suit.
Michael Omari’s signature style is typically no-nonsense. On stage, he reps Adidas Originals hard, keeping things coordinated head-to-toe in tracksuits and caps (okay, so he’s paid to, but he wasn’t always). He wouldn’t be seen dead with a scuffed sole or grey tinged sock – it’s box-fresh trainers or nothing. The most he’ll ever accessorise with is a snap-back or a bandana neckerchief worn as a mask. He keeps it simple when he’s required to wear a suit or tux, choosing single-breasted in tonic blue or traditional black. And tall guys take note, everything is fitted to his six-foot three frame.
You might think Matt’s style comes from playing notorious wild cards like Doctor Who and Prince Philip in The Crown – we think his personality actually rubs off on his characters. His style flexes from trad public school boy to Shoreditch hipster and back again. He always adds a touch of rebellion – be it sunglasses on the red carpet or a long chain over a smart suit. Matt doesn’t come from posh stock, but it’s never stopped him looking the part.
With fashion in the genes, style obviously came easily to menswear designer Charlie Casely-Hayford (son of Joe). It’s all about a skinny tailoring silhouette here, has very little to do with colour, juxtaposed with some chunky (minimum) eight-hole boots. He favours collarless shirts and layers under his suit jacket, he doesn’t bother with extraneous detail and keeps his (white) pocket square peeping with a minimal straight fold. In a word, it’s chic.
His Stranger Things character is stuck in the decade that taste forgot, but Charlie has been putting in solid red-carpet appearances since he hit the big time with the cult Netflix show. He stepped out in a silky Coach souvenir jacket for the BFAs and generally carries off the Americana look so convincingly we have to remind ourselves he’s a born and bred Yorkshire lad. He likes quirky patterns and details that give his looks an unconventional edge.
Gully Guy Leo
Baby-faced Leo ‘Gully Guy’ Mandella looks like he should still be in school, and that’s because he is. That hasn’t stopped the 16-year-old from amassing over 700k Instagram followers though, as well as a wardrobe that would make even the most hardened of hypebeasts weep with jealousy. Who needs exams anyway? Leo’s internet fame stems from his artfully shot photos, which often place him in fairly mundane settings – think the grocery aisle or a phone box – while wearing the latest, impossible-to-cop streetwear from brands such as Supreme, Palace, Balenciaga and Prada. If you appreciate logo mania, he’s one to watch.
Noel’s style matches his don’t-give-a-f*** attitude but that doesn’t mean he’s ageing disgracefully. If you were one half of the biggest Brit bands of the 1990s, you have nothing to prove to anyone. He can pull off a leather jacket without looking like a Grand Tour presenter (a definite middle-age pitfall) and natty scarves and Ray Ban shades are his signature accessories. He flies the flag for brands like Fred Perry and Stone Island, but probably won’t be wearing Pretty Green anytime soon.
Model and ex-lawyer Richard Biedul has a thinking man’s approach to style that sets him apart from some of his catwalk contemporaries. He likes clothes and he likes dressing up: it’s why King & Tuckfield tapped him to create a capsule collection. A woolly beanie with a suit? A logo sweatshirt with tailored wide leg denims? A yellow shirt and red spotted tie? It’s these seemingly incongruous combinations and twist on proportions that give his looks real flair.
When you’re built like Joshua, you can’t just nip to Topman for your Saturday night threads, but that’s fine if you’re dripping in contracts like he is. For training, it’s strictly Under Armour gear in a monochrome palette with high vis trainers. Away from the ring, he looks sharply turned out for formal events in a midnight blue suit or silky black tux, shows an appreciation for tradition by matching his tie to his pocket square and his belt to his shoes, and delivers a knockout in just a plain black rollneck.
Evans’ comfort zone is super polished suiting and he’s a fan of tonal dressing, often carrying the colour of his suit (which could be green, burgundy or midnight blue) down to his shoes. Try it: it’s simple but effective. We still think about the tweedy three-piece he wore on Graham Norton with an artfully mismatched tie and pocket square and he’s consistently well-shod, often flashing a bit ankle with (we suspect) a hand-made tassel loafer.
You might be surprised to learn that Wembley boy Riz hits the height chart at five-foot seven and three- quarters, because he dresses with the stature of someone who’s a solid six foot something. At the start of his career, he was also pretty slight, but he’s bulked out convincingly. He’s also convinced us that tan suits aren’t as tricky as they look, a cobalt blue tux will blow away the competition (as will an all-over micro pattern) and that a neat, logo-free baseball cap should be obligatory casual wear.
Lace blouses, ruffle shirts and knitted tank tops don’t sound like the kind of thing a super stylish man would wear, let alone look good in, and yet singer Benjamin Clementine has pulled off all three. He often ditches his shirt and his shoes onstage, and occasionally breaks out of his monochrome palette for a punchy pop of yellow or blue. The South Londoner also favours pinstriped suits and floor length wool coats for looks that are as elegant as his vocals.
Central St Martins trained Sangiev is a YouTuber and fashion buying consultant who spent his early life in France before settling in England. He cites Haider Ackermann as his favourite living designer, puts his jewellery obsession down to his Asian roots and is single-handedly bringing back the beret. He regularly mixes up his look to keep his Instagram feed fresh and generally has pretty expensive taste (he wears a lot of big designers like Balenciaga, Maison Martin Margiela, Prada and Valentino). Don’t blame us if you click to buy.