This is when the internet is utterly brilliant.
My husband randomly showed me a photo on his Instagram feed saying: “Hasn’t this dude got really cool style”
That’s a very un-my-husband thing to do, so it got my attention.
He was in fact absolutely right: the dude has great taste and a polished, unaffected way of dressing that made mens fashion look possible not scary.
I decided to track him down so you could share his wisdom with the men in your life.
Jeff Lack is a stylist who spends his days transforming guys and their wardrobes. Here, he talks about the rules of dressing, how to cleanse a wardrobe and kick his look up a notch.
He’s also has just released a genius book – IndulGENT – full of easy to follow, unthreatening style wisdom – give it to him for Christmas and watch miracles happen.
Men, take note.
What is the best part about styling men?
Men in particular need all the help they can get and are more conscious of their fashion sense I think than ever before. I felt like I could really make a difference by sourcing unique looks across multiple labels to create the perfect wardrobe and I just love helping folk out.
What do you enjoy most about the transformation process?
Deciphering a brief and over-delivering is very satisfying. Ultimately, I love my job because I can make a difference. I guarantee confidence and compliments for my personal and celebrity clients, and it’s so rewarding to hear the feedback from them once our work is completed.
Do you pay attention to trends or do you take a more timeless approach?
Both really. I work with fashion every day and create style from this source. The more timeless, the less need for change as fashion’s change rapidly. I would also add, wear fashion, don’t let fashion wear you.
How important is body shape in determining the clothes a man should buy?
Paramount. Fit is everything. Everyone can make an Armani suit look bad.
How do the shopping habits of men and women differ?
It’s an extreme sport for men and a never-ending party for women. The women I work with tend to become more practical in their approach to shopping after working with me. For example, buying pieces that are super versatile instead of just buying a piece that is under $100 for retail therapy. Men can be lazy and just try to get everything from one destination. Shop like a man on a mission. Wishlists are the way to go for both genders.
What are your top tips for busting out of a fashion rut?
Get a professional opinion or read my book. Just change up what you usually do. I find footwear a really great way to reinvent your wardrobe.
When wardrobe cleansing, what needs to go?
If it doesn’t fit, can’t be repaired or adjusted or just doesn’t suit their colouring or personality then it should go.
How often should you cull from your wardrobe?
I cull every season, because I like to wear everything in my wardrobe.
Most common mistakes men make?
Men like to go to one shop and get it done asap. Inside the wardrobes of men I typically see very few shoes and an abundance of t-shirts even though they are mostly worn on weekends. There is almost always an imbalance of clothing to suit their lifestyle.
What importance do you place on shoes?
Women are very smart and have lots of shoes…Get on it fellas! Seriously, shoes are what make the greatest impression so keep them in good order and keep building up your collection.
What are the different types of shoes every guy should own?
See p.111 of my book – IndulGENT by Jeff Lack, $29.99.
Different types of suits should every man own?
Ones that flatter their body shape and reflects their personality in colours that balance their hair, skin and eye tones. I recommend every man buys a bespoke suit at least once in their lifetime.
Colours, patterns, fabrics?
If you only have one suit, make it black. If you have multiple suits, then start with navy, charcoal, silver grey and then black. Plain colours first then look at stripes and checks. Fabric choice comes down to how the suit is being worn. For example, if you have one suit and wear it sparingly like the above black that I suggested, then go with a luxurious fine fabric like a super 150s wool. If your suit is an everyday workhorse, a harder wearing wool like super 100s will last longer and take more of a beating.
One suit style should every man invest in?
2 button single breasted suit.
Jeff on Jeff
Style bumper sticker?
Buy once, buy right.
Fashion weakness? Shoes
Grooming routine? IndulGENT (p.37)
My fashion muses are…Clint Eastwood and Tom Ford.
Most recent purchase? Dark chocolate brown suede double monk strap Andre Ventura shoes.
Dressing up is…loafers, navy suit, white shirt, pocket square and a lapel pin.
Dressing down is…white sneakers, faded denim and a marle grey t-shirt.
Favourite online stores…Oki–ni, Mr.Porter, All Saints, Coggles and The Iconic.
Five favourite designers? Paul Smith, Tom Ford, Jac + Jack, Vivienne Westwood and Billy Reid.
Cologne: Givenchy Gentlemen Only
Song: Shelter, Rolling Stones
Motto: “When all is said and done, more is said and less is done”.
Finish the Sentence
Men don’t know that women secretly…do the same gross things we do, but with discretion.
Women don’t know that men actually…mean exactly what they say.
Men love it when women borrow….collared shirts from their wardrobe.
Books on my coffee table…Dr. Nikki Goldstein’s Single But Dating and my little tome IndulGENT.
Books next to my bed…The Seat of the Soul and Eating Animals.
If money were no object…there wouldn’t be greed.
My next holiday is to…New York
With my last ten dollars I’d…give it to someone who could use it more than me.
Buy The Book.
CLICK TO BUY: IndulGENT by Jeff Lack, $29.99
Dress Like Jeff
Look 1: Christmas Cocktail Cool.
Where: To a cocktail party or presenting/ speaking gigs.
Never: To a spin class.
Tips: Subtle detailed accessories, and two button rule on an open neck shirt.
Look 2: Sumer Casual.
Where: Beachside café or boating.
Never: Black-tie event
Tips: The cropped hemlines give it a nice casual feel.
Look 3: Autumn/Winter Casual.
Where: Movies or casual date.
Tips: Less is more. There are only two colours in this ensemble.
Look 4: Creative Smart Casual.
Where: Art gallery, bar, smart casual date.
Never: Picking mangoes in the country.
Tips: A navy canvas belt brings this all together.