Dylan Jones: 'Rod Stewart has a keen eye when it comes to clobber'

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The Independent Online

Rod Stewart has seen more sex than a policeman's torch. As a modern-day Lothario he probably has no match, and although David Walliams and Russell Brand are doing a fairly good job of appearing to break Rod's records (even though no one really knows what these are), when Stewart finally slips off this mortal coil and the tally is taken, I for one would bet good money (ie my own) that his numbers would knock Warren Beatty's, Mick Hucknall's and Robbie Williams's into a cocked tartan cap.

And, while certain members of the press have not taken too kindly to his enormously successful series of covers albums, he has made enough classic records to fill a jukebox, if not quite an iPod. Plus, even those strange souls who have no truck with his records admit that Rod has one of the greatest rock voices of all time (being able to wring more syllables out his lyrics than the average village congregation can wring out of "Amen").

But what is rarely discussed is Rod the Mod's dress sense. At least, not in an especially appreciative way. Ever since he made his literal and metaphorical Atlantic Crossing in 1975, Stewart has been mocked and lampooned for his clothes. Yes, he wore a lot of satin and silk, and yes, he was more than fond of the old "guyliner". Oh, and he spent at least a year dressed as Britt Ekland (it is often assumed that his former muse was actually responsible for some of his less robust records back then). But Rodney actually has a more than keen eye when it comes to clobber, and if you can be bothered to analyse what he wore during the Eighties and Nineties, he comes across a lot better than, say, Mick Jagger.

I bumped into him at a dinner the other day - if you can't name-drop when you meet Rod Stewart, then what on earth is name-dropping for? - and I casually quizzed him about his penchant for the Look At Me Jacket and the like. He rattled off some fairly precise dates and names ("men's fashions were really in the doldrums until Versace started doing all that outrageous Regency stuff in the mid-Eighties"), and gave me an indulgent tour of his outfit, from the lining of his jacket to the soles of his spats.

But, to his credit, Rod also knows that while it's perfectly acceptable to walk down a suburban high street wearing a gold lamé jumpsuit, it's slightly ridiculous to talk about doing so. As his (gorgeous) fiancée Penny Lancaster got up to dance (dressed in Dolce & Gabbana leopardskin), the former Ace Face leant over, almost conspiratorially, and said in a whisper: "Basically, where clothes are concerned, all you need is a pair of trousers with a leg at each corner."

And so say all of us.

Dylan Jones is the editor of 'GQ' magazine