What is it about someone that even though 50 years may have passed, his style is still admired and emulated? What is it about some men that is so timeless? There is something about a suit and a necktie that really sets a man apart.
Whether you are a seasoned dapper professional, or just starting off on your style journey, it is always a good idea to look at what is going on around you culturally to find and further define your personal style.
It can be helpful to find someone whom you admire and gather inspiration. Everyone has his or her own personal suave and characteristics that cannot be emulated. But to help you along your journey it is always nice to have a back pocket full of people that you can always look to for guidance. For example, you may find yourself in a style bind and then suddenly remember, "oh yeah, I have that gray shirt and I can pair it with my black suit because I remember seeing George Clooney in something similar and he owned the look".
Celebrities are in the spotlight, bringing down high fashion to attainable levels for us to emulate and admire. That is part of what makes them so inspiring. Although they often have paid stylists (and have all of the finest suiting at their disposal) there is something admirable about the few who manage to wear their clothes instead of their clothes wearing them.
We, at The Dark Knot, have a few guys that we always look to for style inspiration and have chosen these men because they consistently appear dapper and put together whether they are standing on the red carpet or caught off guard by the paparazzi.
Here they are, in no particular order.
Idris posing for the cover of GQ in a pinstriped three-piece. Look at that immaculate fit!
For fans of The Wire, this may come as a surprise. Stringer Bell is far from the picture-perfect dapper actor that portrays him. Idris is a classic dresser with a natural ability to win over any room. His natural suave pairs well with his dapper image. After all, he was The Sexiest Man Alive runner-up.
His “all his own” personal style paired with designer suits for red carpet events is what landed him on this list. Elba has a very simplistic style and all of his pieces are so well tailored and impeccably fitted. Is there really anyone out there that can look as good in a classic tailcoat?
He reminds his audience to not be scared of black tie events but rather embrace them and own your look with textures and small details. All black everything that is this man’s motto and we are all for it.
While, usually spotted in basic colors and tones this guy is far from boring. To get a look like Idris, grab your best all black ensemble and mix interesting textures and patterns into the simple scheme.
Steve McQueen making a turtleneck look badass. (Image courtesy of BlackPelican Apparel)
Steve McQueen, better known as the King of Cool, had to be on this list – right? This guy could put on a dirty, stretched t-shirt and make it look so cool that you would skip laundry for a month just to have a glimmer of that coolness. McQueen is the dictionary definition of casual cool and when paired with his classically good looks and natural swagger there was really nothing that he could not pull off.
You may not have those classically daring natural looks but it is not impossible to emulate his style. The key to dressing like McQueen is look like you care less about your appearance than you really do. Pair that stained shirt from above with a formal look, even if the neck is stretched out of your T-shirt or there is a hole in the hem. The daring pair will be sure to turn heads.
The more distressed, yet put together that you are, the more you start to emulate McQueen’s classic style. Steer clear (see what I did there) of bold patterns and stuffy looks, McQueen did.
Beckham, bringing this classic jacket to modern street style. (Image courtesy of Side Street Style)
David Beckham is married to Victoria Beckham, aka Posh Spice. And if you did not know, she was the best-dressed woman of the 1990s. This leaves us with little doubt that she was the guiding light to helping him define his personal style.
But personal style is just that, personal! There is something about Beckham's style that is all his own. He exhibits classic and casual style with a bad boy spin. Known for his fitted suiting paired with trendy bad boy items like leather jackets and leather boots, David Beckham's style is easily achievable and extremely stylish. Opt for classic pieces and then blend trendy pieces into the look.
An idea might be to pair a solid gray suit with a floral dress shirt, topped off with a simple pocket square and a pair of brown leather shoes. That trendy piece is what is going to set you apart from the rest and that is what David Beckham does so right.
George Clooney in an award-winning classic look. (Photo courtesy of Access Online)
You cannot have a “best-dressed male celebrities” style list without adding George Clooney. I think that we can all agree that he is absolutely one of the best-dressed male celebrities to ever step on the red carpet.
Clooney can take a boring, classic suit and turn it into a one million dollar look. Like almost everyone else on our list, classic and cool embodies his personality and style.
However, also like everyone else on this list, his personality shows through his wardrobe. His classic look seems effortless when stepping into a room.
As Giorgio Armani famously exclaimed, he makes a suit look “simply fantastic” not the other way around. To get this clean and classic look keep that, “I am about to step onto a red carpet” mindset when sifting through your closet.
Take notice of Gandy’s modern sock choice. (Image courtesy of AskMen.com)
I do not think there is anyone out there who looks so consistently perfect as David Gandy manages to do. He is always so put together in a suit and tie whether he is in the front row of a fashion show or simply walking through the streets of London.
Though, I am sure that it helps to have one of the most impressive suit collections known to man. Gandy manages to pair those impeccable suits flawlessly with casual places like the v-necks and cardigans. His incredible ability to mix basic colors and tones with interesting textures is one of his best style assets.
David Gandy has an incredible to transform classic looks in to interesting modern ensembles. To achieve a look like Gandy, try grabbing a classic blazer and trousers in contrasting colors, tuck in your best v-neck and polish the look off with an interesting pocket square.
Leave it to Ryan Gosling to bring the 1970s flair. (Photo by the Hollywood Reporter)
Gosling has the unique ability to take an unassuming casual piece and pair it with an amazing (and unique) formal look, crushing the style competition at all red carpet events.
Known for perfect fits and impeccable tailoring, Gosling knows how to finish an outfit. It is not that he goes over the top or that he is super cool in any specific thing, it is that he really knows how to pair casual pieces that speak to his own personality with generally stuffy counterparts. Gosling is notorious for dressing in the 1970s style with wide collars and funky trousers.
He loves color and “off trend” styles. He knows how to care without caring too much, taking note of all small details. To achieve a casual and cool look like Ryan Gosling, try wearing a solid trouser with subtle, yet statement-making, velvet loafers. Throw on a solid gray jacket and white shirt and then balance the look with a skinny knit tie.
Pharrell knows the limits and always pushes them a little further. (Getty Images)
One of the more adventurous style gurus on our list is Pharell Williams. Pharrell is one of those guys that sets the cool standard. He has the ability to merge outrageous street styles with formalwear, creating a look that cannot be emulated.
Pharrell is always pushing style boundaries with his fedora looks and kooky red carpet attire. Remember the time with shorts? Yet, he somehow manages to pull it all together and always appear both intelligent and cool. Pharrell knows how important a great fit is, which is why his style works - that, and confidence.
Though his style is quite hard to copy without looking ridiculous, it could be worth it to try to push your boundaries. Try opting for a fedora with your three piece and pair it with a bright tie and lapel flower.
Conor McGregor, loud and proud. (Image courtesy of GQ)
OK, so maybe he lost the fight but he did win a spot on our list. MMA fighter Conor McGregor is known for his outlandish and crazy style. He wants to be the best at everything and it really shows.
To some, his style can be a bit ridiculous and over-the-top but it really does reflect his personality- just as true style should. He often steps out of the box with his extravagant and sharp suits.
Bold colors and flashy accessories are what defines McGregor‘s wardrobe. The best part? He has the suits made just for him. The key to looking like McGregor is wearing something (even if it is just one piece) that is a little bit over the top.
For instance, McGregor often pairs his basic street style looks with over the top loafers. Python loafers anyone? Pairing those loafers with anything will automatically set you in the center of attention. And that’s what it takes to get his look. Just remember, you have to OWN it. Just as much as we would love to own his famous “F YOU” suit.
Timeless style by Cary Grant. (Image courtesy of Classic Hollywood Bios)
Traditional style and elegance that is what Cary Grant was all about. And though his spotlight burned out so long ago, he is still an inspiration for many modern gentlemen.
Like most other men of the era, Grant was always in suit. However unlike most of those other men, when Cary Grant donned a suit it was HIS. He consumed the suit. His presence dominated those suits and even though he was classic, and to some quite boring with his style, he managed to stand apart. He was able to do this because he always carried himself with great confidence and grace.
To get a look like Cary, it is best to just to keep it simple, maybe a classic black and white look with a solid matching tie and tiny tie bar is all that it takes. There is a lot to be said about a classic look and it is timeless for a reason.
Timeless style by Cary Grant. (Image courtesy of Classic Hollywood Bios)
Miles Davis was just cool all around and it probably comes to no surprise as to how he landed on our list. Davis loved to test the boundaries through his music by blending jazz tunes with rock and roll notes in the late 1960s; he also did so with his tailored style.
Davis favorited three-piece suits, and frequently donned slim lined Brooks Brothers. He was very particular in everything that he did and that is what ultimately defined his one-of-a-kind style.
To get a look like Miles Davis may have worn, be sure to be particular of details, tailor your style to your body and make it your own. Go with the three-piece but keep it simple, keep it cool.
Leto in GQ, decked out in Gucci
Another outlandish style guru to land on our list is Jared Leto. Leto has tested boundaries and done things to make people turn their heads. Leto can basically wear pajamas and running shoes and make them look cool.
He wears anything that he wants but he never looks bad in it. The king of shock factor dapper, if you will. Leto knows how to push boundaries and leave an audience questioning what true style really is.
Known to substitute flowers for bowties, he pushes the dapper boundaries and that is how he landed on our list. Jared Leto’s look is probably a little harder to achieve than some of the other men on our list, but push the boundaries by pairing things in your closet that you normally would not and you might accidentally stumble upon new style.
Be selective in your JT style journey. Not all looks were 100%. (Image from US Magazine)
Timberlake has been trendy and stylish throughout his entire climb to fame. Looking back, his outfit choices do not seem so cool now but remember when it was actually cool to wear baggy clothes and spiked up hair?
It was because JT did it first. What is so great about Timberlake is his ability to stay current and trendy without getting lost in fast fashion. He knows how to transition himself for each new age and fan base and realizes that every detail of his look counts. JT is a pretty thin guy, and though he has a small stature, he is not afraid to show it off with tight fitting suits.
He does it well because he sticks with the classic colors- which embody his "put-together" persona. If simple, current and cool is your thing then maybe looking through Timberlake's personal catalog of looks (beyond the 1990s) could be a good start for you.
Celebrities are a great and accessible way to find new style ideas. With such a vast spread of men in Hollywood I think that there must be at least one man on this list that fits your personality and future style. Start borrowing inspiration from these guys and you may surprise yourself.
Maybe the tight fitting body-hugging suit of Justin Timberlake or the slimming three pieces of Miles Davis are just what your wardrobe is missing. Your personal style is always evolving and changing and it just might be time to step out of the box be more like Pharrell and Jared. Why not try something new?
And that's a wrap for this one! I hope that you enjoy reading this as much as I did writing it!