As one of Essex’s finest exports, David Gandy has proven the pull of dressing like a modern day gent. Find out how to achieve his dapper look in this style guide.
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When David Gandy began his career many of the designers at that time were favouring skinny and androgynous models, but thanks to the Italian design duo Dolce & Gabbana, the 6′ 2″ tall, muscled Gandy was given his first big break as the face of their 2007 fragrance campaign for Light Blue.
That image of Gandy is seen as the ultimate symbol of masculinity and has been influential in shaping his style over the past 15 years. Some of his best dressed moments have called on the meticulously cut Saville Row suit, but he’s also not afraid to inject some quirk into his wardrobe.
It’s no wonder why British GQ hailed him as one of the most stylish men of the 2000s, an accolade that landed him his first cover for the publication in 2015. Gandy has been a fixture on the street style scene, particular during men’s fashion week. In London he’s the go-to man for style inspiration, and he often outshines the try-hard fashion guys looking to peacock attention from the street photographers.
More often than not you’ll see Gandy donning British labels, with slick tailoring that he’ll dress down with casual accessories. Essentially he’s the man every woman wants to date, and the style aficionado every man wants to dress like. So how do you achieve his look? It’s simple; you’ve got to learn to experiment with the classics.
Interchangeable Three-Piece Suit
As a stalwart supporter of the classic three-piece suit, Gandy is an expert in choosing when and where to change this archetypal menswear silhouette up. He often chooses jackets that are sharply cut, giving a snug fit at the waist with a one-button closure.
Choose suits that are made in the same material, be it tweed or cotton, but vary the colour palette with a shirt or tie to mix up the look. Now we’re not telling you to dust off that all-white tuxedo just yet (unless the occasion calls for it) but in Gandy’s case it’s about purposely mismatching to achieve an individual style. If you are considering a bolder colour, balance it out with neutral shades of grey or beige, and pay attention to where exactly that colour is incorporated – a waistcoat or shirt is probably best.
If you do get an opportunity to don a tuxedo for a special occasion then Gandy’s style should be your foundation. Mastering the art of red carpet dressing, and by that we mean a fancy dinner, wedding or event outfit, means being a little braver with your choices. A black velvet suit with a satin trim is one of Gandy’s go-to tuxedo combinations. Perhaps you could dabble in alternating shades of blue and black (always complimentary) or even try a plaid jacket.
What Colour Suits go with Brown Shoes
David Gandy certainly knows how to pull off a suit, but one of the most common questions that mens seem to ask is “what colour suits go with brown shoes”. Most men would normally team a suit with black shoes, and they’re not wrong to do so, but adding a pair of brown shoes instead works wonders to heighten any formal look.
Navy is a great colour to team with a pair of brown shoes as they’re a stark contrast from a pair of black shoes. Brown shoes with a navy suit are great as you can vary up the shades of either piece and still manage to get the look right, and who knows, you might end up on the pages of GQ with this type of clothing!
A Gentleman’s Leather Jacket
Despite the connotation of the leather jacket being a throw on for a gig or an outfit accompaniment to head out for drinks (which by the way it is) it’s also an ideal alternative to the formal nature of a blazer. The leather jacket has been a fixture in Gandy’s off-duty wardrobe, which he’ll often pair with smart tailored trousers, or even a cotton waistcoat and neck scarf.
“Leather jackets are a wardrobe staple, like wearing a shirt every day. When you’re designing leather jackets for men you can enjoy a playful approach in an easy, relatable way and take some chances and risks” says Andreas Melbostad, the creative director of Diesel Black Gold.
This is where colour can come into play. Explore a multitude of shades from tan to chocolate brown, navy, grey to the classic black leather jacket. As for the style it’s up to you and your body shape. A biker jacket is cut short at the waist and features hardware detailing, but you can also consider a bomber jacket that will inject some street into your style.
Tip of the Hat
Channeling English elegance is the ultimate end goal whenever you’re trying to achieve a David Gandy look. While he may not carry around an umbrella at every given opportunity (granted the British weather isn’t always reliable) he is often seen sporting a hat atop his well-groomed head. The traditional British flat cap or felt trilby are two versatile options, and they come in a variety of materials and colours to coordinate with whatever outfit you’ve chosen.
You can achieve a truly dapper outfit with a peaked trilby and three-piece suit, but for more casual attire the flat cap can add just the right amount of country charm to a suede jacket and shirt.
What can signify English style more on a global scale than a bowler hat and umbrella?” asks Jeremy Hackett, the founder and designer of the quintessential British label, Hackett London. “English style is so identifiable and admired abroad as it highlights a man’s traditional dress and is perceived as elegant.
Some of Gandy’s best street style looks are when he dons a classic pair of brown leather brogues or Derbies. They’re versatile enough to compliment pretty much any outfit, and are often crafted with traditional bespoke techniques; so an investment now means a lifetime of wear.
Here at The Idle Man, British brand Dr Martins, the original outfitter to the punks and rockers of the 80s, have upped their footwear game to offer smart and durable shoes for more formal occasions. Their Classic Steed 3 Eye shoe is an ideal alternative to the brogue.
According to luxury Italian designer Luciano Barbera, shoes are “very important.” He continues, “a good pair of shoes don’t need to be fancy, they need to be made in good leather, in a good way. Shoes are an item that I call the detail of dressing.
The shade of brown for example is of the utmost importance. Gandy often favours a more refined dark tan colour that compliments a variety of navy and grey suits. To maintain a pair of leather brogues it’s best to use a combination of both polish and wax to ensure the leather stays supple. Get yourself a small buffing brush and work in the product, shining as you go to achieve a sleek finish.
Whether the warmer weather hits, or if you’re just tired of buttoning up a shirt, then the best solution is to coordinate a casual t-shirt into your look. Gandy does it via tailored blazers and smart chinos or jeans, and most importantly, he tucks it in.
But beware, this trick is only for those sporting washboard abs like Gandy or at least a flat stomach, otherwise that stylish silhouette might morph into retired pensioner terrain pretty fast. Gandy keeps it simple with t-shirts in basic white, black, navy and grey cotton, and they’re often in a crew neck style although he does veer towards the V-neck when appropriate. It’s all about achieving that crisp, clean, unfussy look.
There’s no beating the classic Wayfarer when choosing a frame to shield your eyes from the sun. Gandy is partial to this particular style, and he’s often seen out and about in tortoiseshell and acetate versions.
The Wayfarer is a great all-rounder and suits most face shapes, but if you’re more partial to a sleek pair of aviators then go for it, sunglasses shouldn’t be restrictive.
As summer is fast approaching it’s best to invest in a decent pair now. A name synonymous with sunglasses is of course Ray-Ban, who created the original Wayfarer design in 1952.
Comfy Cable Knit
A cardigan doesn’t have to belong in your grandpa’s wardrobe, it’s actually stylish now to inject a little comfort (and warmth) into your own outfit just as long as you know how to carry it off. Gandy has mastered the art of making knitwear look expensive through combining tailored separates like a shirt and tie with a chunky knit cardigan.
The important thing to note is that the colour palette should always be kept neutral. Opt for cardigans in grey, beige, tan and black so they’ll coordinate with whatever’s in your wardrobe.
Cardigans come in a variety of silhouettes, Gandy’s preferred shape is a shawl collar cardigan, but he’s also sported fine merino knit cardigans in the summer paired with a casual t-shirt. There are also double-breasted and traditional V-neck buttoned versions to take into account. Take a look at the Scottish knitwear company Lyle & Scott and their Cotton Merino jumper in Gandy’s favoured shade of grey.
On the odd occasion Gandy decides to throw on a pair of jeans or (shock, horror) attempt double denim with a denim shirt, it’s more often than not when he’s travelling between airports and jet-setting around the world. You’ll mostly find him donning a pair of relaxed fit jeans.
So how do you get the perfect fit jeans? It’s all about choosing a style that will suit your body type the best. If you are slim then choose a slim fit otherwise you’ll drown in unnecessary material. There are so many different options, from loose to tapered, bootcut to straight leg, and of course, denim washes to take into account. Gandy isn’t afraid of the tricky bleached denim look, but he gets away with it by combining a pair with a casual white t-shirt and blazer.
The most universal wash is the mid-to-dark wash as it’s flattering on most body types and can be mixed and matched with pretty much anything in your wardrobe. Dark wash jeans in particular are a great alternative to chinos or suit trousers should the occasion call for it, and no matter what the fit they’ll always look good.
8 Ways to Dress Like David Gandy
- Classics are always the best
- Interpret traditional tailoring with colour, material and cut.
- Always dress to your body type.
- A leather jacket is an ideal alternative to a blazer.
- The brown brogue is a must.
- Buff and maintain brogues with a wax or polish.
- T-shirts should be tucked in if you’re stomach is toned.
- Opt for a fedora hat and Wayfarer sunglasses to complete a look.
- A pair of dark wash jeans can coordinate with anything.
- Double denim can work if you mix up the colour tones.
- Instead of a jacket wear a chunky knit cardigan.
On That Note
So what have we learnt from David Gandy’s style? He’s an aficionado when it comes to mixing up the three-piece suit – choosing jackets that are cut snug at the waist and making a statement with a standout shirt or tie. Meanwhile the leather jacket is an ideal alternative to a formal blazer, which Gandy chooses in a motorcycle shape when he’s off-duty.
When it comes to accessories wearing a hat is an solution to the often unpredictable British weather, be it a flat cap or trilby. But when the sun does come out it’s the classic Wayfarer frame in tortoiseshell which is Gandy’s go-to pair of sunglasses.
If you’re looking to experiment with formal separates then opt for a tucked in casual t-shirt underneath a blazer, or perhaps a chunky knit cardigan that can be tied at the waist. Double denim, though often a no-go, can be achieved if you take Gandy’s style cue and opt for denim in contrasting washes. And when it comes to brogues it’s best to stick with brown leather that will coordinate with anything.