Men on the street: Sharp dressers

When Esquire magazine launched an exhaustive search for Britain's best-dressed 'real' man, the editor Jeremy Langmead found some very sharp dressers

Look through the best-dressed lists that many magazines publish and it's always the same people lauded.

Some quite deservedly – George Lamb or Prince Michael of Kent, for example – others a little more controversially, such as Elton John and David Cameron, who are always surprisingly high up on GQ's annual list.

So we thought it time someone got off their London-based behind and launched a serious nationwide search for the country's best-dressed real man.

For the last four months, Esquire's fashion team, with a photographer in tow, has trawled around Britain – 11 cities from Glasgow to London via Bristol and Oxford – seeking out the most stylish, creative and smartly attired men in the country. We also launched an online competition where guys could put themselves, or be put, forward for consideration by a panel of judges that included dashing actor Vincent Kartheiser (he plays Pete Campbell in Mad Men), leading Savile Row tailor Richard James, designer Roland Mouret, Jason Broderick, head of menswear at Harrods, and the beautiful T4 presenter Jameela Jamil.

The search was fascinating: although styles varied enormously from city to city (well done Liverpool, Manchester and London! Smarten up please Cardiff and Birmingham), ultimately we concluded that men today are not only looking pretty sharp, but are also extremely aware of what's in fashion or not (influenced more by the street than by the catwalk collections), and very confident in putting an outfit together and making it their own.

The tailored jacket was the most popular item around the country – whether modelled by a sexagenarian in Edinburgh or a teenager in Liverpool. Either worn conventionally as part of a suit, with dashing accessories such as a bow tie or traditional brolly, or teamed with a pair of skinny jeans and hightops, a fitted jacket really does work for today's man – whether he's working in an office in the City or hanging out in a Wi-Fi-friendly cafe populated by students.

It was the number of eccentric touches men like bringing to an outfit today that also made our sartorial road trip interesting: not only the increasingly popular skinny tie/small-collared shirt combo, or the summer-friendly, rolled-up-to-the-ankle trouser leg (all over the catwalks for next summer's collections, too), but the return to prominence of the pocket square and bow tie, or the prevalence of teaming traditional shoes with brightly coloured shoelaces and a flash of neon red or canary yellow sock.

The biggest disappointment of the search was the footwear: it all too often let the outfit down. It seems we are not yet a nation of male Imelda Marcoses.

Gareth, our fashion editor, was very upset by the number of "rubber-soled black slip-ons and pointy, thin-soled shoes" put forward (and, in case you're wondering, Gareth is straight). Looking through the pictures after hearing his bleats of distress, I had to admit that he had a point.

And there's no excuse: we have an increasingly wide choice of good men's shoes available in this country (whether it's at Kurt Geiger, Church's, or a bespoke pair from John Lobb).

This coming Wednesday we announce the winner of our search for Britain's Best-Dressed Real Man. He will be awarded £30,000-worth of clothes from Harrods, a Longines watch, a custom-built Esquire drinks bar, and will appear on a special limited-edition cover of the magazine.

It's going to be hard handing that prize over. But the winner represents all that's good about the way many British men dress today: smart and stylish, with a dash of invention and a heavy dose of confidence. The boys have done well.

Find out who is crowned Britain's Best-Dressed Real Man 2010 in the October issue of Esquire, on sale Monday 6 September. See the ones that got away at Esquire.co.uk

Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

    £65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

    Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

    £15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

    Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

    £50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

    The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

    £27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

    Day In a Page

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
    The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

    The 12 ways of Christmas

    We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
    Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

    The male exhibits strange behaviour

    A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
    Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

    Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

    Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

    The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
    Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

    Marian Keyes

    The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

    Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

    Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
    Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

    Rodgers fights for his reputation

    Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
    Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

    Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

    'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
    Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick