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

Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
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: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

    £17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

    £17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

    £17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

    Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

    £16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Day In a Page

    The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

    Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

    Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
    Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

    'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

    Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
    Compton Cricket Club

    Compton Cricket Club

    Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
    London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

    Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

    'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

    It helps a winner keep on winning
    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'