This week we feature Mitchell Oakley Smith. He has shared his thoughts on following men’s fashion trends. Mitchell is a Sydney-born, global-roaming writer and curator. He serves as editor-in-chief of biannual menswear journal Manuscript and wrote Art / Fashion in the 21st Century.
What is one thing every gentleman should/shouldn’t have in their closet?
I’d make this two things: a white shirt and a navy blazer. In fact, my entire wardrobe is built around the two items, as they can be worn with just about everything in just about every style.
If I had to give every gentleman out there ONE tip, it would be ____.
To dress for your shape and your personality. I’m not a huge believer in trends – they have their place. But if you’re new to or unsure of fashion, stick to the classics as they’ll never date or seem inappropriate.
Who is your favorite real-life/fiction gentleman?
I’ve always admired editor, Hamish Bowles. He is very much a gentleman in the traditional sense (well-dressed, well-mannered, intellectual, creative). And yet he never seems cliched or out-of-touch. It shows that those values are timeless.
What is unique about your fashion style?
As I explained earlier, I don’t really buy into trends but instead, dress for what works best for me. That said, I like to update my typically conservative wardrobe with unique adjustments. A cardigan instead of a blazer, for example, or mixing up the pants and jackets of my suits so that they feel new again.
What does being a gentleman mean to you?
I wouldn’t automatically label the values gentlemanly. They’re for anyone, irrespective of gender, at any age, but an intellectual quotient, creativity, respect, and politeness. It never hurts to be well dressed, either.