Thursday, 6 January 2011

As if anyone cares what I think.

image from Reuters

I have just been made aware of GQ's best-dressed list for 2011 by Toby Worthington who knew I couldn't resist another exercise in the pot calling the kettle black.  I am depressed by any number of images of the internationally best-dressed Javier Bardem in an open-neck shirt and stubbly chin plumbing the depths of originality. I note he's got a big chin so one might forgive the facial hair but I really don't know what they're on about.  Here are some of the supposedly best dressed men in Britain..

Daniel Day Lewis No 50.  We know this one. Naughty subversive chap wears brown shoes with black suit just because he can.  Works well with the brown piping  on the lapels and perhaps signifies something more than a minor act of rebellion now. (Who put the flowers there? Looks like a funeral parlour.) 

Alasdhair Willis No 42 who happens to be married to Stella McCartney. So if you're going to axe the tie, this is a good solution. Great tailoring if you ignore something awry at the neck. He always was a sharp dresser when we were at art school.

Charles Finch No 46   I adore a blue dinner jacket and I bet he's wearing blue suede shoes which always make me wince with a mixture of pleasure and discomfort. What's going on with the lapel? Oddly crafted bow tie's quite sweet and I'm for a good white handkerchief in the breast pocket.  Well done, old thing!

King of the talent show dark empire Simon Cowell No 43. I' ve seen him on his shows looking a saddo in v-neck t-shirts but this is casually authoritative and chic. Fabulously textured suit and a plain knitted tie does it for me. Particularly this shade with the hint of light taupe silk kerchief.

Benedict Cumberbatch No 41.  The scarf looks like a calligraphic stroke on this very agreeable  red carpet  suit.  Really not keen on arranging scarves in this metropolitan way but he gets away with it.

Frankie Francis No39.  Endearingly considered scruffiness. Tres Johnny Halliday.

Stephen Webster No38. No, please! As style fascist Peter York observed, if you're going tieless you've got to have a shirt designed for the purpose.  The collar's too big.  Silly statement buttons and hint of primitivism in the necklace make this attempt to recapture youth just all too predictable.

Christopher Bailey No 33.  I thought I didn't like this minimal mess at first but rather love the Ariel/Vietnam grunt duality.

Plan B  No 32  No idea who this is.  Anyone who has the balls to look like a building society clerk who moonlights as a bouncer has to be congratulated. Cute.

Jude Law No.29  Cockney gigolo - I don't think so, Jude. And there's no growing room in that.

Ray Winstone No 28.  Managing to look like the crook and his barrister in one. Magnificent.

William Gilchrist No 25.   Always hard to keep focused when talking to someone so studiedly attired as this.  But what a glorious colour palette when you include his suit lining.
Raffish hair, beard and hat combo n'est ce pas.

Tom Hardy No 24   A successful  midnight serenade.

David Cameron, Prime Minister No 20.  Quintessential boring English dresser. And I am surprised to see him in the Best Dressed list on account of his collars. Certainly before he entered No.10 Downing St, his laundress used to do that annoying thing of massing the fabric into the seam instead of smoothing it out and away.  How can you vote for that??

Dominic Cooper No 13.  He pulls it off with the hipster/toff look I'd say. 

David Walliams No 11.  Yet another great blue suit with winning combination of white shirt and black tie. The white socks (a no-no in my father's day) are just this side of sensationally spivvy.  I think this is my favourite.

Billy Nighy No 10. Now here's a thing: London Transport operatives used to wear light grey suits and pale blue shirts and to me it was never a good look. 

Jenson Button No 9.  I'm not really the person to ask about this as I'm sick to death of smart jackets and jeans. The ash can effect gives it a touch of originality but he still doesn't deserve his 9th place on the grid.

Aaron Johnson at Numero Uno.  Bad boy in his dad's DJ trying to remember how he was taught to do his bow tie.  What can one usefully say?  Romantic curls of course.

Grateful thanks to here


  1. I think you must have selected some really awful photos of these winners... otherwise how can we explain their apparent success?

    Tom Hardy and Christopher Bailey look fine, but if I was the mum of some of the others, I would check what they are wearing, before they leave the house.

  2. Goodness, I have to agree with you on most of your comments, (although I might be a bit harsher). The Cameron collar thing is so spot on. Fire the person who irons that way, and I've always found Jude Law's spivvy boyish charm to be puke-making. In general, the older you are the more conservatively you oughta dress, otherwise you look like a washed out gigolo - or as we used to say "mutton dressed as lamb".

    Actually the fact that surprises me most is that I barely know who most of these people are - the so-called "z" list of slebdom?

  3. Any list that includes Simon Cowell as among the Best Dressed has no credibility. British mens' clothes are among the finest in the world, but the issue of fashion involves how it is put together. I would be interested in seeing a couple of examples of your own choosing that shows a truly well-dressed man, perhaps a casual and a formal.

  4. Don't really care but it is a fun post and love the comments...made me smile!

  5. Why are so many clothes today so tight? I just can't deal with that. Close-fitting clothes just make me claustrophobic.

  6. Thanks EVERYONE for your comments. Nobody was expected to agree with me but it seems at least that these LISTS are fatuous if mouth-wateringly

  7. This is the sorriest looking bunch of best dressed guys I have ever seen. Makes me glad I lived in another age. Cary Grant where are you????

    P.S. Simon Cowell actually looks pretty good in a suit. Now there is a surprise!

  8. Oh, Rosie, you sharp eyed devil, you. This is all divine, and spot on (so many good remarks that I can't single one out).

    However, I'm intimidated. For all my good critical eye for architecture and design, I have no talent for dress, and if I had a Savile Row tailor and a full time stylist on payroll, I couldn't pull a look off. (Although I do miss my middle boyfriend, a graduate of Fashion Institute who had worked at Barney's. Awful guy, but he did always have the right advice before I left the house.

    Oh dear, what would I ever wear to have tea with you?

  9. DED, you do make me laugh. Tell you what, let's arrange the tea and then let's worry what you wear. In fact let's not worry about that.

  10. Hmm....I would have put Mr Gilchrist near the top of my list. It's a rather
    ambitious ensemble but, in that photograph at least, he gets away with
    it. And I think that Mr Cameron deserves a few points for that Bishop's
    Purple necktie. As for Javier Bardem, what's not to like? That Etruscan profile
    puts everyone else in the shade. Doesn't matter what he wears, actually.

  11. I think the greatest critical eye and total WTF look sent off in an aloof non-feeling way has to belong to the giant black poodle. I'd never own one fearing I could not dress to meet my dog's approval. Surely the poodle could have given any of these men the "You go out looking like this, I will never be seen walking with you again look" of disdain and contempt. I think Jude Law had to apply icepacks on his obvious after wearing that suit!

  12. Each to his own Mr Worthington! I find a lot not to like in Sr Bardem. Just give me a pale shy geek any day. Having said that, I could be enthralled by the ambitious Mr Gilchrist.

  13. Home, you get to the nub of things. Thank you!

  14. Quite an interesting take on A) British GQ's idea of what the Best Dressed Men look like [I don't agree with some/many of their choices, but they're a whole lot better than what I can imagine the American edition is like], and B) your scathingly on-point commentary.

    My big observation: they're almost all so boring. If Daniel Day-Lewis had worn blue suede shoes, or lime green, or yellow, I'd consider him daring. Brown? Not so much, as the kids would say.

    Simon Cowell and Stephen Webster are cut from the same cheesecloth, and I can't believe that they wound up on any country's Best Dressed List. "Plan B," whom I imagine to be some sort of white English rapper, looks positively repugnant. Tom Hardy, Dominic Cooper, Jenson Button... blah, blah, blah. No imagination whatsoever. Jude Law used to be quite dashing, but now he looks like an aging rent boy.

    I respectfully disagree on David Walliams -- I don't like a black tie with a blue suit; and he's far too portly to be posing like Mitzi Gaynor or Cyd Charisse. The white silk dress hose is pretty fabulous, but creepily kinky and (in my eyes) inappropriate with non-formal attire.

    William Gilchrist was my favorite, until I Googled him, and discovered photos of that ensemble face-on; it was just too, too twee and contrived (and doesn't fit as well as it seems). I also had no idea who he is, and imagine my horror at discovering that he's a stylist -- my absolute least favorite word on the planet.

  15. IMHO approximately 13 of these guys are attractive enough that they could wear almost anything or nothing at all...that said there always seems to be a sort of cultivated rakish air about the most interestingly attired men. As for the super fitted styles that are a la mode, it only works on a specific body type. Those who don't possess it need to give it up.

  16. TJB thank you for warming to the subject. I agree that what is so depressing is the predictability of it all and yes, Wm Gilchrist looks a scruffy git face on (Google). We will have to disagree on David Walliams but I promise never to call 'hose'(in the singular) socks again. There's a fine line between inappropriate and quirky in my book.

  17. Roy, the super-fitted styles du jour suit very few. Just being thin doesn't cut it; you need the perfect ass and long legs.

  18. My suits ceased to fit around the time fashion was moving away from the white button down and toward a black open collar or T-shirt. That look always reminded me of Sly Stallone out pimping creatine powder, or for some reason, Bob Hoskins in The Long Good Friday.
    Some Russian gangsters pitched in with the Neapolitans and bought a couple of upscale restaurants not too far from us in the early nineties. One of the restaurateurs frequently wore a green suit with a monochrome shirt and tie. My wife said it looked like Garanimals for adults.

  19. the guys have few options- I am surprised there is a list at all, I have to say that little boy with the romantic curls looks pretty and his clothes are immaterial if you ask me.

  20. Dear Rosie, God! Most of them look awful! I'm so glad I'm not a man, they don't have a lot of choice. There are some terrible suits and ties here!

    William G usually dresses very well and personally I'd take Javier Bardem or Tom Hardy dressed in anything they like! Hope you're very well and hope to catch up soon xx

  21. rurritable, I don't know why they had to mess about with Rational Dress.

    Gaye, like Christina, you have noted that the boys don't have much choice.
    Clearly it doesn't matter to you with a couple of them!

  22. ok rosie, you know i'm trying to stay away from clothes and fashion for a while, but i know you're longing to hear what i think.
    thank god, style is something different than fashion, as this list proves. and as much i have to agree on the word 'stylist' being overrated and/or worn out; if it weren't for the stylists of these people, there probably wouldn't be any best dressed list at all. i don't want to think about how many of these men would look, had they followed their own tastes (see daniel day lewis...).
    so this is why i allow myself to compliment (the stylist of) mr. simon cowell; i love the knitted tie!
    mr. gilchrist is also on top of my list, at least on this photo (i didn't google him). but then, apparently, he is a professional. does that count? yes, it does in this case. he is convincing, it's simply well done.
    mr. walliams is also one of my favorites. the white socks i like, but for this we better give credits to the late michael jackson. everything perfect. almost... why didn't anybody of the crew think about his brown wristband? ok, it's a minor detail... but details count, especially in men's wear. the worst for last; the square toes... hate to sound like a style fascist, but no. n-o.
    thanks rosie for this post, i love your pot-calling-the-kettle-rants.

  23. Michiel, Yes I was longing to hear what you thought. Thanks for all this reasoned stuff. In my opinion, style has to have a reference and some of these only reference fashion now which is why they are boring. It disappoints me that they have stylists. At least Gilchrist is 'referencing' which is probably why he's been a popular choice - but he should know what he's doing.

    I never thought of the white socks coming from Michael Jackson -hoped they were more inspired by 50s/60s spivs. You have a sharp eye for Walliams' wristband and square-toed shoes. They didn't offend me but now I think about it... On the other hand, endearingly unconcerned? By the way, I like the cut of Bill Nighy's shirt despite the colour.

  24. maybe michael jackson (or his stylist for that matter, back in the days) was inspired by 50s/60s spivs? the reason i thought of MJ in this walliams picture is that since he (MJ) passed away, his style been all over the fashion planet once again. probably it's a combination of the two? well, i don't know. the GQ stylist knew what he/she was doing. except for the wristband and the shoes! i like his pouchy pose, you put it right, endearingly unconcerned.

  25. Hilar! especially Stephen Webster and Jude Law.
    Oh yes, and #32
    Lord- the Prime Minister's collar- Pet Peeve #680. (I'm a Virgo)

  26. Before I read anyone's comments, I have to say that the whole lot of them look AWFUL to me, except, oddly enough, Simon Cowell. Never seen him in a suit and tie, but nice choices. The rest, lord....what every happened to class and taste?

  27. Most amusing, m'dear, and rawther spot on, I think. Kudos to thou! I do like Mr. Finch's bowtie, indeed I do. Nothing nerdy about it. One is so bored with the product of stylists, at least the bad ones whose work is so prevalent today. Does everything (everyone) have to be new? I'll take an Old Mill Hillians RFC blazer any day. Reggie

  28. Slim - you're the right kind of Virgo in my book!

    Lynn - nice to hear from you, thank you. I can't help agreeing about Simon Cowell. Gorgeous but only here, perhaps?

    Reggie darling, your comments always appreciated thanks. I'd like to see you in that Old Mllians blazer with cream flannels, ooh.

  29. Who is William Gilchrist - he is the snappiest of them all in my opinion :)

  30. lady jicky - WG is a stylist. That's as far as I know from googling him. I agree, he looks great in that picture and seems to be a bit of a favourite here.

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