Catwalk trends are all well and good but true style has its foundations in timeless pieces and classic combinations – and no-one knew this better than the great Paul Newman. Decades on, his easy way with tailoring, unfussy smart-casual looks and nonchalant off duty outfits are as covetable as ever – which is why we’ll be taking a few lessons from the silver screen stalwart this season.
From the impeccable black tie tailoring showcased in his most famous films to the weekend-ready looks you’ll be relying on for years to come, here’s how to dress like Paul Newman…
There’s no laidback look so classic as jeans and a polo. Paul Newman may have been sporting his take more than 40 years ago, but his choice of a lemon yellow polo means it still feels modern – and ideal for summer. Sunspel's minimalist polo comes in a vintage cream we’re sure Newman would approve of – as well as whole host of other colours so you can get one for every day of the week. Pair with Frame’s slim cut indigo denim and Scarosso’s grey suede sneakers – now you just need to hunt down that vintage Rolex Daytona to finish.
You can never go wrong with a well-cut suit
We’ll let you in on a secret: Paul Newman was only 5’ 10”. So how did he always manage to look so statuesque in a suit? It all comes down to great cut, perfect fit – and well chosen accessories. If you can afford it, we’d always recommend buying bespoke or made-to-measure from one of London’s best tailors but, regardless of budget, if you buy the best quality you can afford and are always sure to get alterations made, you’re guaranteed to look great in a suit. Prada’s anthracite wool suit perfectly channels Newman’s mid-century style. Wear with Emma Willis’ luxurious cotton shirt and Hackett’s preppy houndstooth tie to unleash your inner Newman in the office.
Learn to layer
Stuck in a rut of chinos and jumpers? Layering doesn’t have to be complicated but, as Newman demonstrates, it will take your look to the next level. Keep it simple by pairing a lightly patterned shirt – Emma Willis’ blue striped number is ideal – with a complementary hued jacket. Sirplus’ navy chore jacket is a modern spin on the silhouettes stars like Newman made popular in Fifties and Sixties. The best bit? You can still wear your favourite chinos (although we do recommend adding Sunspel’s versatile charcoal pair to your collection).
Brush up on black tie
From The Prize to The Sting, Paul Newman appeared on screen in traditional black tie numerous times – and nailed it every time. On the face of it, it’s a simple look: black tux, white shirt, black bow tie. But the devil is in the detail – and Newman knew how to get the details right. Take for example, the satin shawl collar on his tux. A small finishing touch but one the makes all the difference; Dior’s design offers a contemporary spin. Your shirt, too, should be crisp and sharply pleated (Turnbull & Asser do some of the best) while no black tie look is complete without a great pair of velvet slippers. We (and, we assume, Newman) are partial to Crockett & Jones’ minimalist design.
Want more inspiration? These are the loafers you need in your shoe collection...
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