Take it like a man

READY TO WEAR

Most men don't have a clue about clothes. There are no shades of colour to them - to a woman it's pistachio, eau de nil or bottle. To a man it's green. And how they baulk at a partner's attempt to buy clothes for them with great shrugging of shoulders and squeals of "don't fuss". Here are six "real" men - not models. They were asked how they normally dressed by the stylist Jacquie Allmond, who then set out to see if she could tempt them with clothes that, while sympathetic to their style, they would not have bought themselves. They were asked three questions: how would you describe your style; where do you normally shop; and how do you react when someone tries to buy clothes for you? Most replied they were grateful for intervention in their wardrobe; one conveniently forgot that his ex-girlfriend had clothed him for four years ("no bird has ever bought my clothes"). But what this experiment proves is that every lad could do with a helping hand once in a while.

MARK PLUMMER, 34, PHOTOGRAPHER.

"My style is scruffy, casual with a dandy undertone. I particularly like Scott Crolla's designs, Katharine Hamnett suits and Paul Smith frilly shirts - I have a great turquoise one of his I found in a boot sale. I liked this leather jacket, but I loved the jeans. I want a pair in every colour. I'm a confused shopper, so I prefer it when my wife's with me."

Belted leather jacket, pounds 638, agnes b; shirt, pounds 112.50, Dexter Wong; velvet jeans, pounds 95, Paul Smith; shoes, pounds 130, Jones.

MARK KETTERINGHAM, 27, JEWELLERY DESIGNER

"My style is Prada-ish, very toned down and not flashy. I'm really into flat-fronted trousers and loafers and shop at APC, Prada, Duffer and Gap, anywhere really that I see something I like. It's also nice to get someone else's point of view on what they think suits me."

Moleskin jacket, pounds 330, and trousers, pounds 138, Katharine Hamnett; striped shirt, pounds 80, Valentino; silver tie, pounds 35, Hugo Boss; shoes, pounds 120, Jones the Bootmakers.

DARIAS IRANI, 21, DOORMAN

"I normally wear urban streetwear because it's comfortable - labels such as Karl Kani from the States and Tommy Hilfiger from France. I used to get them shipped over, but now there's a shop in Chiswick that sells them. I also love Armani, not for every day though, his style and cut really appeals to me. No one has ever tried to impose their style on me."

Striped wool suit, pounds 495, cream shirt, pounds 150, lace-up shoes, pounds 195 all Emporio Armani.

STEPHEN SOPER, 26, MAGICIAN

"My style is normally half-scruffy, half-smart. I like leather trousers, I practically live in them, and I buy a lot of my clothes from The Duffer of St George. No one has ever imposed their style on me."

Pinstripe wool jacket, pounds 169, trousers, pounds 80, waistcoat, pounds 65, all French Connection; shirt, pounds 82, John Rocha; shoes, pounds 64.99, Shellys.

CHRISTIAN SUMNER, 24, PRODUCTION CO-ORDINATOR

"In summer I wear shorts, Stussy T-shirts and trainers; in winter, jeans, bomber jackets and Timberlands. I rarely wear suits, though I would if I had the money. I shop in Paul Smith, agnes b, American Classics and the Bluebird Garage on the King's Road. I hated all the shoes I had to wear in this shoot, they just weren't me, but I loved this jacket, it was a good fit and very comfortable."

Wool jacket, pounds 360 and trousers, pounds 165, Margaret Howell; embossed shirt, pounds 70, Dexter Wong; shoes, pounds 64.99, Jones the Bootmakers.

Left (from left to right): Christian: shirt, pounds 35, Muji; jeans, pounds 79, Katharine Hamnett; jacket, pounds 110, Reiss; boots, pounds 195, Patrick Cox; Jamie: leather jacket, pounds 620, Margaret Howell; shirt, pounds 105, Paul Smith; jeans, pounds 74.50, Lee; brogues, pounds 74.99, Jones; Mark P: jacket, pounds 119, Katharine Hamnett; shirt, pounds 75, Dexter Wong; velvet jeans, pounds 95 and shoes, pounds 130, Paul Smith; Stephen: Sweater, pounds 140, Hugh Boss; jeans, pounds 195, Evis; brogues, pounds 64.99, Shellys; Darias: shirt, pounds 59.50, Redsand; T-shirt, pounds 9, Marks & Spencer; trousers, pounds 165, Margaret Howell; brogues, pounds 160, Johnny Moke; Mark K: cotton jacket and trousers, pounds 225 / pounds 95, and tank top, pounds 120 all PS by Paul Smith; shirt, pounds 72, agnes b; loafers, pounds 59.99, Shellys.

Right (from left to right): Darias: shirt, pounds 70, Hugo Boss; jeans, pounds 60, R. Newbold for Paul Smith; brogues, pounds 160, Johnny Moke; Mark P: Shirt, pounds 25, Camden Market, London NW1; flat front trousers, pounds 150, Versus; shoes, pounds 160, Johnny Moke; Mark K: Shirt, Katharine Hamnett; rib vest, pounds 8.75, Muji; trousers, pounds 75, Jigsaw; shoes, pounds 120, Jones the Bootmakers.

Far right: Mark K: shirt, pounds 77, agnes b; velour jeans, pounds 120, Versus; loafers, pounds 115, Patrick Cox. Stephen: shirt, pounds 49, PS by Paul Smith; tank top, pounds 96, Margaret Howell; felt jeans, pounds 115, Versace Jeans Signature

agnes b, 235 Westbourne Grove, W11; 35/36 Floral Street, WC2. Tel: 0171 792 1947.

Armand Basi, 14 Floral St, WC2. Tel: 0171 379 3837.

Dexter Wong from Hyper Hyper, 26/40 Kensington High Street, W8. Tel: 0171 938 4343.

Emporio Armani, 57 Long Acre, WC2; 111/112 New Bond Street, W1; 84/86 King Street, Manchester; The Italian Centre, Glasgow.

Evis from American Classics as before.

French Connection, 249 Regent Street, W1 and branches nationwide. Tel: 0171 580 2507.

Hugo Boss from Woodhouse stores nationwide and Selfridges, Oxford Street, W1. Tel: 0171 408 0223.

Jigsaw, 9/10 Floral Street, WC2; King Street, Manchester. Tel: 0171 240 5651.

John Rocha from Liberty, Regent Street, W1 and Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge, SW1.

Johnny Moke, 396 Kings Road, SW10. Mail order 0171 351 2232.

Jones the Bootmakers, 17 Princes Arcade, W1; 57 Kings Road, SW3; 16 New Row, WC2. Tel: 01323 649408.

Katharine Hamnett, 20 Sloane Street, SW1. Tel: 0171 823 1002.

Lee from American Classics, 398/400 Kings Road, London, SW10. Tel: 0171 352 2853.

Margaret Howell, 24 Brook Street, W1; 29 Beauchamp Place, SW3. Tel: 0171 495 4888.

Marks & Spencer nationwide. Tel: 0171 935 4422.

Muji, 26 Gt Marlborough St, W1; 157 Kensington High Street, W8; 39/41 Shelton Street, WC2; 63/67 Queens Street, Glasgow. Tel: 0171 494 1197.

Patrick Cox, 8 Symons Street, SW3; Jones, 13 Floral Street, WC2; Flannels, St Anne's Place, Manchester, M2. Tel: 0171 730 6504.

Paul Smith Jeans, 9/11 Langley Court, WC2.

PS by Paul Smith, 41/43 Floral Street, WC2; Strand, 22 Victoria Quarter, Leeds. Tel: 0171 379 7133.

R.Newbold for Paul Smith, 7/8 Langley Court, WC2.

Ralph Lauren, 143 New Bond Street, W1. Tel: 0171 491 4967.

Redsand from American Classics as before.

Reiss, 245 Regent Street, W1; 116 Long Acre, WC2; 114 Kings Road, SW3. Tel: 0171 579 6689.

Shellys, 159 Oxford Street, W1; 266/7 Regent Street, W1. Mail order: 0181 450 0066.

Valentino from Harrods, Knightsbridge, SW1. Tel: 0171 629 5592.

Versace Jeans Signature from Gianni Versace, 34/36 Old Bond Street, W1. Tel: 0171 499 1862.

Versus, 92 Brompton Road, SW3. Tel: 0171 581 8407.

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