Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Style Profile…G. Bruce Boyer

Author and men’s style guru G. Bruce Boyer took a few minutes to answer more than a few questons about his own personal style for The Sartorialist.

I only buy __________ in Europe
I used to buy all my clothes in London, but for the past ten or fifteen years I’ve found several tailors and shirtmakers I like in New York.

I only buy __________ in America.
Everything now.

I build my daily look around my……
Mood first. Then jacket (since I don’t wear many suits).

The first thing I look at in another Sartorialist?s outfit…..
Fit of the jacket, shape of the shoulder and lapel.

I skimp when buying….
Gym gear. I also find that very expensive alcoholic drinks are usually beyond my palette’s appreciation.

I splurge when buying….
Any article of clothing. Books.

I always break this fashion rule.
There don’t seem to be any rules today, but I particularly like to blend casual and formal items: a button-down shirt with a double-breasted suit, or a tweed jacket with a wedding tie. I also wear brown shoes with everything except a dinner jacket. Men who are too studied and all matched up tend to make people either bored or nervous.

I never break this fashion rule.
A dinner jacket should have either a shawl or peak lapel, never a notched one. And nothing but a real bow tie will do.

Must have item for Winter 2005?
Must-have item: trim cut, plain-front corduroy or cavalry twill trousers.

Favorite store(s)?
Jay Kos, Bergdorf Goodman Men, Cleverley (London), Wilkes Bashford (San Francisco)

Style icon?
Astaire, Bill Blass

Worst fashion mistake?
My most recent was that I bespoke several garments from an English tailor, none of which worked out very well. So much for experimentation.

Most cherished item?
How could a happily married man not say his wedding ring? Sartorially, I suppose an old tweed herringbone jacket that I’ve had about a dozen years, and it’s starting to look good. Another dozen years and it should be perfect.

Favorite ?fashiony? movie?
I love the men’s and women’s costumes in John Irvin’s “A Month by the Lake”. I believe the costume designer was Lia Morandini.

Guilty pleasure?
As things stand now, I think I’ve cured myself, but for a long time I read books about the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Not a particularly good thing because they were both rather dull, selfish, and not very bright.

Describe your personal style.
In 1528 Baldesar Castiglione published a book called (in English translation) “The Book of the Courtier”. In it there’s a short, but perhaps the best discussion of dress ever penned. Castiglione urges that a man assume a certain studied nonchalance (“sprezzatura” in Italian) in dress. I couldn’t agree more.

You feel best wearing?
An old tweed jacket, flannels, soft-collared shirt, AND a tie.

Personal Style quirk?
I used to wear brown suede shoes with everything. But I don’t wear them with pajamas any more.

Dress to impress who?
My feeling is that both men and women dress to impress men. I dress to impress those few men who know a well-cut lapel when they see one.

Most overrated item in menswear?
Today it would have to be the hyper-designed, cheaply-made but expensively sold, violently unflattering jogging footwear. And now comes the new evidence that they may even be unhealthful. What could be more wonderfully ironic?

Most underrated item in menswear?
The pocket square. It’s on its way to extinction, which is a shame.

Most stylish city?
Milan, far and away.

Never caught wearing?

When I was high school I wore?
The entire preppy wardrobe.

Shine your own shoes?
Absolutely. And Berluti shoe creme is the best I’ve ever found.

A hobby, I take it, is something one loves, but is unable to make a living from doing. I’m an integrationist: I love my work, and integrate everything I do into it.

Dressing well, on The Sartorialist level, is a blood sport.

Favorite fashion magazine?
“Apparel Arts” and “Esquire” from the 1930s.

Favorite other magazine?
“The New Yorker”, “The New York Review of Books”

Cologne, skincare?
Cologne: Roger & Gallet Extra Vieille or Lavender; moisturizer: Neutrogena Oil-Free; shave gel: Aveeno.

I always dress my best for?.
Someone with the potential to hire me.


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  1. rnssnc

    January 4, 2006 at 5:42 am

    Great post. Mr. Boyer’s style is amazing, I will never find someone like that where I am from. (maybe I have not looked hard enough)

    I’m sorry if you have answered this before, but where are you from, you obviously not from New York (from some of your posts), but you also seem to be in NY all the time. From NJ maybe?

  2. The Sartorialist

    January 4, 2006 at 6:59 pm

    I live in NYC.

  3. sheena

    July 21, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Best interview ever. Cheers !

  4. windi

    November 8, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    cool, i love it so much!

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