Even at the ripe age of 52, an age by which I should have a firm handle on my personal style, I can find myself distracted by something not quite me but something that looks very compelling on a man who’s wearing it well. It can be his total look or a single flourish like a great shirt, jacket or pair of glasses that would ultimately not fit with the wardrobe I’ve spent many years and many dollars curating. As good as it might look, it’s just not me.
These momentary distractions happen much less as I get older, as my internal editor gets more efficient and less interested in experimentation, particularly because I know who I am (and who I’m not), which is a real gift of maturity. By the time one gets to my age, one should already have it figured out.
I often describe my personal style as a classically masculine intersection of old Hollywood, old New York, and a twist of Savile Row with some gay flourishes splashed in there. But whenever I feel the need for a quick sartorial recalibration, I recall some of my idols and elders whose style I’ve always admired and tried to emulate in certain ways. The list includes some of the usual suspects: Cary Grant, Steve McQueen, Michael Caine, to name a few. But at the top of the list is Bryan Ferry.
Though he’s always had a rock star’s edge, especially in his decidedly more glittery early years, Ferry has refined his off-stage style over recent decades with a more understated sophistication and glamour. Tailored dark blue suits and jackets with blue or white dress shirts, dark ties in either solid colors or subtle patterns or stripes, occasionally jeans, always great shoes in a dark leather. And his formal game is iconic. He looks like the CEO of Bryan Ferry, Inc. if Bryan Ferry, Inc. were a creative agency for icons of music, style, and design and if Bryan Ferry himself were the number one client.
When the mood strikes, I’ll sometimes search ‘Bryan Ferry’ on Pinterest or Google images, searches that invariably yield dozens of inspiring reminders of what works. He’s a meditation on classic, effortless, masculine, sartorial elegance.
Whether one sees the legendary Roxy Music founder’s style as an endpoint or as a beginning from which to build something bolder, Bryan Ferry sets a great standard.
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