September 15, 2022
Written by Mensah Aklasu
Image CreditBBC One, Netflix, HBO
It doesn't have to be complicated. Learning to dress like your best self can be a lot of fun. You can scour the internet, read countless articles, and watch videos on YouTube. Or you can watch great men's style in action. Binge great TV shows and get a masterclass in men's style. Watch one season of Mad Men, and you can learn about timeless and classic suit styles that refine your suit game.
Dressing like the best version of yourself has to start somewhere. And that somewhere could be from a single frame in one of these stylish TV shows.
Let's sit down, make some popcorn, and take lessons on men's style while watching these seriously stylish TV shows.
Lessons in Layering from Luther
The perfect fit, tailoring and the right proportions will make you look good on any day. But style icon Idris Elba and his character John Luther take it to the next level with layering.
His signature wool overcoat highlights Elba's shape while keeping the character's look natural and grounded. Luther prefers to wear a textured blazer underneath his coat instead of a solid colour. He keeps his trousers classic by wearing navy blue that's easy to match.
Luther's otherwise dark and gloomy attire gets a splash of colour with his all-important red tie. The tie may look out of place at times, but it's the key to making Luther stand out from the dreary London surroundings.
Add an element of colour to your outfits with a red floral grenadine or a red six-fold tie dotted with diamonds.
Monochromatic Outfits and Textures Galore in Peaky Blinders
From John Luther, we go back a few decades and get inspiration from Tommy Shelby in Peaky Blinders.
Peaky Blinders is a show to watch for the three-piece suits, overcoats, and monochromatic outfits. Proper layering is at the centre of Tommy Shelby's screen-popping monochromatic attire.
It starts with an overcoat in classic neutrals like navy or charcoal, making them easy to mix and match his suits.
The Shelby gang's suits are another element to follow. They prefer textured suits in brown, grey or dark blue. It's a classic aesthetic that looks as good today as it did in the 1920s. Throw on a waistcoat and a sharp tie, and you're ready for a wedding in the English countryside.
Understated Style from Jason Bateman in Ozark
Now let's hop across the pond, hideout in Missouri, and look at Marty Byrde in Ozark. Jason Bateman's character has to blend into his new environment, giving us a lot of understated style inspiration.
Pay attention to Marty's toned-down outfits. He prefers subtle patterns and colours to stay under the radar. It makes Marty's style discreet but stylish. That's thanks to perfectly fitting clothes.
You can pull inspiration from his clean-cut business casual looks and take it straight to your office. Some of his suits are a little too inconspicuous for our liking, but he does rock a few formal looks that we can get behind.
Marty's black tux and bowtie combination is a classic for every modern gentleman. We also like his navy suit and black shirt outfit. But we wouldn't mind seeing him throw on a dress shirt and burgundy tie with that navy suit.
Quality Above All Else for the Ultra-Rich in Succession
Succession is another excellent show that's awesome at displaying understated style. The award-winning show centres around the Roy family's power struggle for control of their media company. When maneuvering and shifting gears for a seat at the head of the table, you have to look good.
But looking good doesn't mean the same for everyone—including the Roys. What stands out to us isn't just what we see. It's what we don't see them wearing.
We never see the characters flaunting flashy or ostentatious labels. They have nothing to prove. They know they're rich, and they don't need to show it off.
Instead, we see patriarch Logan Roy lord over his media empire in perfect cardigans made from the best materials. We'll never see them in poly-blends. It's cashmere all the way.
Kendall Roy doesn't always prefer an understated style. He wears some bad tie knots. It would help if he took a peek at our guide to Good Tie Etiquette. His Maison Margiela shirts and sweaters and Tom Ford jacket are more our speed.
It's about quality above all else for the Roys—much like the main character in our next show.
A Masterclass in Mixing and Matching from Master of None
Master of None's first two seasons, which features Aziz Ansari’s character, Dev, shows how to create timeless style by mixing and matching different elements.
Quality is everything for Master of None's protagonist. Not all t-shirts are the same, and not all pants are the same. When you buy high-quality items for your wardrobe, you get great-looking pieces that last longer.
And if you're spending on high-quality items, you have to make sure they fit. Dev's jackets fit perfectly, and his chinos are hemmed at the right length for his size and style. With high-quality foundational items that fit the right way, you can mix and match to create attractive outfits every day.
Timeless style looks effortless, but it requires a lot of thought and effort. And yes, television shows employ costume designers to make the actors look perfect on screen. But this doesn't mean that you can't use their principles to look your best every day.
These principles form the foundation of classic, timeless and tasteful outfits. Whether you're in front of a camera or taking on the demands of your day.
Learn other ways to upgrade your style by taking in some pop culture and reading about How 8 of the Most Stylish Films Ever Shaped Men's Style.