Fashion designer. Film director. All round style guru. The age-defying Tom Ford recently turned 56, causing us to consider five lessons he can teach us all.
Ford is a man who knows not to mess with the classics, and a black single-breasted suit with a crisp white shirt is virtually his uniform. As British model and face of Dolce & Gabbana David Gandy revealed last month, “I’ve sat with Tom Ford in the past and said, ‘Tom, you look amazing, what’s the secret?’ And he said, ‘You know what — today, tomorrow and the next day you’ll see me in the same suit. The same cut, the same tie and the same colour. Find what works for you, and stick to it’.”
Ford moved from Texas to New York in the late 1970s — we’re talking disco, baby — and that’s had a distinct influence on his sense of style, from wide peak suit lapels to velvet jackets to tinted vintage aviators. Fortunately that 70s streak hasn’t manifested itself in white flares or diamonte-studded denim jackets (at least in public).
You can take the boy out of Texas, but you can’t totally take Texas out of the boy — and chambray shirts and dark denim jeans are Ford favourites when he’s off duty. After forging a name for himself at Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, Ford launched his own label in 2006 and modern slim-cut jeans made of selvedge and stretch denim have been a staple of collections ever since.
Socks and jocks
When Ford composed a list of 15 things every man should have six years ago, one less-than-sexy item stuck out among the sunglasses and tuxedos and classic black lace-up shoes: fresh socks and underwear, as well as the command to throw away old ones every six months. That’ll be an expensive habit if you start shelling out for the luxury Italian butt-huggers Ford launched earlier this year.
The fountain of youth
“The most important thing a man can do is exercise and maintain his weight,” Ford said in 2014. “Because that’s the key to looking youthful.” And from a bloke who’s the same age as Woody Harrelson and Michael J Fox but looks about half their age, that’s a tip worth taking.