Sick of the rejection that goes with the territory, Eric Rutherford quit his acting and modelling career in the 1990s to take advantage of a burgeoning reputation for producing lavish Hollywood events. Some 20 years passed before his now very grey locks (he started turning at 28) were spotted by a casting director at a 5-year-old’s birthday party in among the sea of middle-aged dads.
If anything Rutherford has become better looking with age. Now in his fifties, his skin looks a good decade younger after a near lifetime of sobriety since going tee-total in his early twenties. And his timeless preppy style with a splash of modern trends puts him a cut above the papa pack.
Social media took to Rutherford’s career resurrection kindly. A walking lesson in why style shouldn’t fade with your hair colour, he now has 215,000 Instagram followers, all clearly besotted with this omni-stylish silver fox beaming away in candid photos that make a welcome change from the oh-so-serious and pouty streetwear crew.
Blazers – we ship them and so does Rutherford. Blue, grey, black, pink, double-breasted, unstructured, corduroy – Rutherford isn’t picky. He usually styles these jackets down with either a vibrant and lightweight collared shirt or a black roll neck, or swaps them out entirely with some statement outerwear.
Down below it’s often a pair of slim-fitting trousers, although sometimes you might catch this fox sniffing around a pair of 1950s-style wide-legged trousers or keeping up with the kids in some light wash distressed jeans. And what of the shoes? He’s no oaf, but this boy loves a loafer (and a sleek boot), with a natty shoe buckle to hypnotise those followers into giving him another like.
Inspiration: Tom Ford, Cary Grant, David Gandy
Go-To Brands: Hugo Boss, J.Crew, Citizens for Humanity
Follow Him: @mr.rutherford
All Aboard The Super Yacht
Rutherford might just be trying to cross the road and not the seven seas, but who says white chinos can’t be worn in the city? Sure, such trousers can look sloppy if they’re loose fitting so make sure they are cut slim through the leg and narrow at the ankle. Those loafers are more hard wearing than the ones you’d potter about on deck in while the textured windowpane check blazer with wide lapels is fancier than the linen option you would usually throw on when sailing in the glistening Cote d’Azur.
Fashion Week Hike
Rutherford is nothing if not versatile, pivoting from the sailor outfit into hiking boots with a rugged gilet for the quintessential man-about-the-mountains look. You’re not a spokesman for Michelin so keep the body warmer slim and in a dark neutral – either brown, black, blue or grey will work – and an all-black uniform underneath provides an unfussy base to build upon.
Wing Commander Rutherford
Lord Flashheart eat your blood pumping organ out, there’s a new flying ace dogfighting his way around fashion week in an upturned suede jacket that looks right out of a WWI cockpit. The look is completed by those extreme wide-legged trousers and the black roll neck to keep that neck warm at high altitude (or from the icy, jealous looks incurred from fellow style influencers).
Kiss From A Rose
Buoyed by the success of 2011 film Drive and leading man Ryan Gosling’s scorpion-laden silk outerwear, the souvenir jacket beca,e the go-to option for gents looking to add some flamboyance to their wardrobe. The motifs don’t have to be all hyper-masculine beasts mind, as Rutherford shows here with the ornate rose on his chest contrasting well with the jet black underneath, paired nicely with casual slim-fit jeans and plain Chelsea boots.
Not The Gucci Loafers
Like the gingerbread man and his gumdrop buttons, a menswear influencer would be lost without his precious Gucci loafers. The Italian label has had a dominant role in the loafer’s history, and are a luxury item worth the investment. Obviously when you’ve already cast the star of your show, you don’t want a member of the ensemble hogging too much of that limelight so a neutral colour palette works best but a little sartorial exuberance in that shawl lapel does well to add some excitement in the upper half.
Earning Those Stripes
At the moment everyone is going for the preppy vertical stipe, but horizontal still remains a style perennial. Rutherford’s shirt is pattern mixing done for you, but it would be criminal to go too explorative with the rest of your look. Instead just take it easy with some skinny jeans that contrast with the loose fit on your shirt, and some desert-coloured boots to emphasise the hardworking denim’s masculinity.
We’re not encouraging you to crack out the moth-eaten cardigans just yet, but the grandad collar is one of those items we’ve been pinching from the old man’s wardrobe for some time now. It still has the clean, sleek lines of a dress shirt, but the transforming collar gives a relaxed air without the risk of getting chucked out of the boardroom. Cropped trousers with no break add to the clean lines, and horsebit loafers are a great smart-casual shoe that you can get away with in all situations.
Leopard Print Luxe
Even if your approach to life is sloth-like, there’s no reason not to ape the fastest creature in the animal kingdom when you want to stand out from everyone else in the fashion week zoo. The key to a leopard print statement is to make sure everything else you’ve got on is complementary. A dark, earthy green is a great colour to balance it out, and if you’re a true 100-mile-per-hour hypebeast maybe some Gucci loafers that still err on the classy, elegant side.
Urban Jungle Camo
Blending in is tricky when you have pearly whites as incandescent as the peaks of the Himalayas, so do it like a soldier and throw on the camo. A surprisingly versatile piece that works well in transition seasons because of its canvas construction, the camouflage jacket suits a crew neck T-shirt or in this case, Rutherford’s grandad collar. Using the jacket’s brown as an accent through the outfit in the shoes and belt is also a good plan of attack, as is limiting the camo to just one piece in your look.
Please, Call Me Eric
How do you beat a matching jacket/shoes powerplay? You only go and match that nifty blazer with your sky scraping salt and pepper quiff. Throwback corduroy is a fantastic fabric to add texture to your looks, but baggy fits are a step too far into geography teacher territory, so make sure you choose a slim and contemporary fit on your blazer instead in a light and fresh grey.
On Wednesdays We Wear Pink
Millennial pink ain’t just for Generation Y you know. The pink shirt under a blue suit is a 9-5 classic now, but Rutherford shows you how the colour combo can work with a little switcheroo. Try and keep the suit a simple two buttoned, notched lapel affair when experimenting with colour – a peak lapel would be a bit too much ‘awkward prom night in 1982’ for this to work. The pink suit is a dandy look, so a tough, metallic shade of blue works best and the matching in the loafer’s fringe is colour-coordinated heaven.
Going Polka Down In Acapulco
The polka dot shirt trend of 2014 has since died down, but it doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy a game of dot-to-dot every now and again. If you’re going to make it the main statement in your outfit pick larger dots and a bold, fiery colour for extra pop. The collarless denim jacket works as a welcome change-up without clashing colour and pattern, while navy blue trousers help to neutralise the look down below.
Travelling First Class
Complete with a suitcase and gloating face, this is the look you want to be seen in as you waltz into the first class lounge. The bomber jacket is comfortable and practical in equal parts, making it perfect for all those tossing and turning hours spent in the cabin. As previously seen, they work great with wide-legged kecks, but arguably looks best when balanced out with a slim-fitting and cropped pair of trousers.
Man In Black
Agent R is giving Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones a run for their money in this all-black ensemble. The black tie, white shirt and black suit look can be a little too clinical in these days of tailoring rule breaking, so swap in the roll neck and invest in a slightly different black suit with a texture running through it and a contrasting shawl lapel. As for boots with suits, follow Rutherford, and choose a sleek and simplified silhouette.
See You At Midnight Blue
Ah, midnight blue dinner suit, we’ve been expecting you. A man with the timeless style of Rutherford is always likely to have one locked and loaded and ready to roll out whenever the black tie dress code allows him. A shawl collar is meant to be more casual than a peak and allows Rutherford to break another style rule – matching trousers – when all-over midnight blue is a little past his bedtime. Then it’s all in the details – button done up, pocket square just peeping out and bow tie fixed straight.