James Cornwell, one of Washington’s top stylists, shares his tips for fighting the fashion status quo — Guys Edition
James Cornwell is a longtime stylist with numerous credits that include fashion shows, photo shoots, tele- vision and film productions. He is also the founder of Cornwell Styling, the art director for PR at Partners and Tim Coburn Photography, and serves as co-host for fashion podcast “Fashion BS.”
Just because the invitation says “black-tie” doesn’t mean your tie has to be black.
Put on some color. I love to see pink, purple or patterns like paisley with a pocket square in the same tone; it doesn’t have to match the pattern of the tie .
Don’t wear a tie at all!
There are some amazing options for tie-less shirts. Shirts that have hand-sewn designs with large colored buttons where the tie would be are an edgy way to express your style. For a very formal look try gold, silver or crystal embellishments.
Most people don’t get semi-formal, especially guys, who tend to break the rules in the wrong way.
Picture this instead: A killer charcoal grey suit, white or light pink French cuff shirt, black skinny tie and all the formal pieces: suspenders, watch and cuff links. Wear patent leather high- t4ops or a pair of old-school Converse.
Most people think formal means a clean shave.
Who doesn’t love a guy in a suit or tux with some scruff? Just make sure it’s neat — No mountain men please.