All bets are off – literally. Earlier this month bookies suspended betting on actor Tom Hiddleston succeeding Daniel Craig as the new James Bond. And it’s not hard to see why – there’s not a guy in the game who wears a suit quite like him, not even Craig. Since bursting onto screens as vengeful goth-god Loki in the Thor and Avengers film franchises, Hiddleston has gone on to renounce the all-black-errthang costumes synonymous with the role to tackle some more sartorially-accomplished characters, like Jonathan Pine in spy thriller mini-series The Night Manager and Laing in the recent film adaptation of J.G Ballard’s dystopian classic High-Rise, to name but two. But it’s not just Hiddleston’s on-screen suiting game that’s on-point. The Cambridge alum turns out unfailingly dapper when off-duty, too. Here, we hone in on his top-performing tailoring tricks to show you five things the man-who-might-be-Bond can teach you about suiting up.
1. Summer Suiting Is A Game Of Tones
The time has come to turn your back on black, grey and navy, and try a bolder suit instead. This season, do as Hiddleston does and sidestep tailoring’s tried-and-trusted palette for a head-turning shot of cobalt or royal blue instead. It’s not that you won’t look good in suiting’s classic colours, but rather that – because they’re classic – you’re never going to be the only guy wearing a suit in black, grey or navy. A brighter blue style, cut in a slim or skinny fit, makes for a sure-fire hit that’s punchier, more vibrant and more summer-appropriate than safer shades. Wear it as a direct substitute for your trusty navy two-piece, layering a white dress shirt underneath, and teaming with a black tie and Oxford lace-ups. Essentially, this look puts a contemporary spin on the outfit you’ve been wearing to weddings for years – in a way that won’t get you banned from being in the photos. (Related: Where to shop for a wedding guest suit)
2. Untie, Unbutton, Unbeatable
For the aspiring bon vivants out there, Hiddleston demonstrates how nothing helps a man cut a more effortlessly rakish figure than pulling on an expertly tailored suit… and forgetting your tie. (On purpose.) Done right, donning a suit sans tie suggests a sort of carefree approach to formal dressing that is a) badass, and b) creates the impression you’ve left your yacht in a bit of a hurry to make the premiere on time. Leaving the top few buttons undone only adds to the air tie’s air of elegance, and contrasts nicely with the structure of tailoring, softening and relaxing your look for the summer months. The addition of a matching waistcoat maintains the smart-casual balance, ensuring Hiddleston’s tielessness doesn’t tip into bankers-gone-boozing territory.
3. Divide And Conquer
That Hiddleston knows his way around a slim-fit suit goes without saying. But what’s also worth commending is the actor’s separates savvy. Sure, a suit worn as intended works – but mix and match your tailoring and you’ve got a whole new set of sartorial possibilities. Not to mention better cost per wear. Here – contrasting one suit’s light grey jacket against the black trousers of another – Hiddleston offers a masterclass in making your formalwear go the extra mile. Tap his nous, and not only can you create a third suit out of two you currently own, you’ll also mark yourself apart as a man who knows exactly what he’s doing in the wardrobe department. If you plan on making like Hiddleston, then keep the rest of your look (shoes, shirt, accessories) pared-back, so as not to pull the spotlight off your first-class tailoring contrast.
4. Bringing Back Black Tie
On the red carpet, Hiddleston favours the traditional peak lapel, which nowadays – on paper at least – feels slightly old-fashioned compared to the slicker line of a single-button, shawl lapel jacket. But, here, he puts the peak into (best) practice, opting for a two-button style cut close to the body, complete with contrast silk lapels. There’s also a waistcoat (as is Hiddleston’s wont) – something most of us skip over when trussing up in a tux, but a detail that can take your ensemble from passable to pap-worthy. Wearing a waistcoat means the only area of your shirt that’s visible is an arresting V shape which gives your frame real presence. Plus there’s no billowing fabric poking out around your waistline. Keep your neckwear old-school, too. That means no pre-tied bow ties or metallic neck ties, but a classic black bow tie you tie yourself instead. Confused as to how to make it happen? Let YouTube’s legion of video tutorials be your guide. (And remember to tie before you start popping bottles and impairing your motor skills.) (Related: The complete guide to men’s dress codes)
5. Earn Your (Pin)stripes
Hiddleston has ridden the crest of the pinstripe comeback like few others, demonstrating how this classic suiting motif has long been overdue a revival. Although once a Prohibition gangster/Wall Street favourite, the pinstripe has shed its less savoury connotations to reassert its position as a genuinely smart option for guys in search of an alternative to plain or checked tailoring. This is still power dressing, but not as you know it. Where once mobsters and stockbrokers bore stripes garishly etched into larger-than-life suits, Hiddleston offers a more modern take with subtle lines and sharp silhouettes. Worn without a tie here, he proves just how contemporary this business standby can look. For extra points, follow Hiddleston’s lead and make sure that your shoes complement your suit’s stripes. Maybe don’t button your jacket’s bottom button, though. (Error.)
Will you be tapping Hiddleston’s tailoring moves? Or does this man’s suiting not meet your standards? Have your say below.