Sunday, January 24, 2010

Breaking Down GQ's 25 Most Stylish Men In The World 2010

This month's issue of GQ comes with the cover story detailing "The 25 Most Stylish Men In The World 2010".  I'm not going to pretend like I am not a fan of the magazine, but this particular feature drops the ball.  "Why", you ask?  Instead of an actual best dressed list, or most stylish list, the piece is a glorified laundry list of GQ's most recent mancrushes and the specific elements each brings to the table.  More so than anything else it is a primer on how to be stylish using 25 tips courtesy of a bunch of celebrities.  Now, I'm all for maning-up in 2010 and a how to list such as this can be a resource, but GQ shouldn't pretend like it's anything but.  Some of their inclusions are straight up out of place and I'm a little wary of some of their advice.  The following is my breakdown of said list and my own personal thoughts.

Robert Pattinson- Excuse my use of the above's just too good not to throw up.  Under the guise of "dressing your age" Mr. Pattinson is GQ's first entry on their list.  All too cool for school Twilight hating aside, this guy is nothing more than a slouch with good hair not one of the most stylish men alive.  When they compared him to James Dean I almost I knew this was going to be a losing battle. End of story.

Andre Benjamin aka Andre 3000- Well done GQ! Not only is Andre the "best rapper alive", but a fantastic dresser and designer (Benjamin Bixby).  The tip associate with 1/2 of Outkast is "constant reinvention".  While I tend to believe in finding your style sweet spot and sticking with it, we all could learn a thing or two from this stylish chameleon.

Russell Brand- Another swing and a miss.  Mr. "likes it all shrunken" has nothing to offer in the style department as far as I am concerned.  An outrageous comic in outrageous outfits is more of an example of how not to dress.  Slim not skinny is the name of the game.

Tom Brady- The mancrush bug bites again.  GQ's love affair with Tom Brady is no secret and while the guy dresses well, he is not one of the 25 most stylish men alive.  His entry promotes the "rugged look" and deals 100% with facial hair, which is an extreme subjective topic.  I don't need a Super Bowl MVP to tell me the ladies love stubble.

Ryan Gosling- This was probably the most out of left field choice and I can't really argue against it. Mr. Gosling is a classy guy and a great actor who seems to have his stuff together.  GQ calls him the "best underdressed man in Hollywood" and while I can't endorse "underdressing", I can get behind Ryan's "genuinely effortless" vibe.

Paul Simonon- Not talked about enough, but one of the all-time greats.  I won't spoil the fun of Googling the Clash's bassist and checking out his style for yourself.  The best entry on the list in my humble opinion.

L.A. Reid- "The power suit"? What?!

Spike Jonze- "Always rock a tie" is the advice imparted on behalf of Mr. Jonze.  I love Spike's post-skater (Angelo's term, not mine) look, but GQ ran a picture of him in a untucked shirt and tie, which is a no-no in my book.  Cool choice, but definitely strange.

Lapo Elkann- Tom Ford and I agree that Lapo is in one word: awesome.  Great entry on the list and actually one of the 25 most stylish guys out there.  The Fiat Heir's got style to spare and I have never seen him not looking 100% money.

David Byrne- The brains behind The Talking Heads is used to illustrate the finer points of wearing white. I will never hate on David because he is the man, but why is he on this list? And for how to wear white nonetheless.

David Beckham- Despite his once in a while sartorial tomfoolery, Beckham is well dressed, but can someone explain to me why he is featured to teach me how to look good without my clothes on? Is this Men's Health?

Ichiro Suzuki- I guess the Japanese really are miles ahead of us here in The States.  This actually might be the most surprising entry.  Not really sure what to say here since I never even considered Ichiro that stylish of a cat.

Daniel Day Lewis- "Ordains the best dressed-dressed Englishman" according to the brass at GQ.  I'm down with this entry, but I am an unapologetic DDL superfan so take it with a grain of salt.  I always thought he looked stylish as hell in his movie roles too.

Clint Eastwood- The "hall of famer" gets a resounding hell yes from Sart Inc.

Pharrell Williams- "Reinvigorating the American prep movement?" You're kidding right?  Much like Kanye west, I think Pharrell is extremely overrated when it comes to his style.  I have nothing against streetwear or whatever you want to call it, but there are guys who pull it off way better. Why not substitute the student for the teacher?

Pete Doherty- Rehab by way of The Beatles. I'll pass, thank you.

Cristiano Ronaldo- The best soccer player in the world is used to illustrate the "formfitting polo".  The picture above speaks for itself.  Last time I checked Arnold Palmer was still alive.  They should have run a vintage pic of Arnie instead of The Situtation, I mean Ronaldo.

LeBron James- Against my better judgement I am going to agree on this one.  Not many athletes (let alone NBA players) can get as dapper as King James can.  Like all aliens he must have to get all his clothes made to measure.

Ed Westwick- Since you cant put Chuck Bass on the list...

Brad Pitt- No list would be complete without this red carpet monster.  Goes from rough and tumble to "cooler than Freddy Jackson sipping a milkshake in a snowstorm" in the drop of a hat.

Justin Townes Earle- I don't know much about this guy, but he seems pretty cool.  He breaks down his gear in the issue and seems quite humble.  I'm into his country badass vibe and wish I could pull that kind of thing off.

Jude Law- So many v-necks, so little time!  For a guy who routinely gets torn apart in GQ's "The Week In Style" this is a strange entry to the list.  Back in the day (The Incredibly Mr. Ripley era) Jude had it going on.  Oh how the rakish have fallen.

Jay-Z- What he lacks in actual style he makes up for in money and swagger.  Whenever I see pics of Jay he is either looking awesome or down right lame.  It's a tough line to toe, especially of someone his age in his particular profession.  The guy on the list repping power shades needs to act his age.

Johnny Depp- I know I'll probably catch some heat for this, but I do not think Johnny Depp is a well dressed guy.  I'm all for doing your own thing and breaking rules, but at a certain point it becomes ridiculous.  If you continually walk out of the house looking like a cartoon you are doing something wrong.  GQ says he "is at the top of his game". What game are we talking about?

Anderson Cooper- I'm in consensus with GQ on this one.  Mr. Cooper's "can't-miss minimalism" is really a lesson in the basics.  Pick a meticulously put together uniform (Dark suit, light shirt, dark tie) and stick with it.  Once again, it's all about finding your sweet spot and running with it.  The youngest, most talented of the Vanderbilt's knows what's up.


[Editor's Note: For the 22nd straight year my name is nowhere to be seen. Really GQ? Really?]


  1. I am toaly with you on every point sir. Most notable the Johnny Depp ideas. I am a Depp fan from the jump street(see what i did there), but I too find his style..well..without. Its sort of like "Fuck it, I'm Johnny god damn Depp and as long as Tim Burton lives I will be able to make blockbuster movies that make all the girls dream about I will dress however the fuck I want!!" or something like that.
    Also a DDL superfan but he taste can be a bit quesionable from time to time.

  2. Justin Townes Earle is definitely a snappy dresser. He's clearly VERY inspired by Hank Williams, but with a modern twist. He has suits custom made by Billy Reid, who he seems to be pretty good friends with:

  3. I have to agree on alot of this. With the exception of maybe Andre 3, Pharrell, Clint,and Lapo. The reality is that most of those cats have stylists and that pretty much robs them of any real original style of their own. I personally think Johnny D dresses better in his films than in real life although I don't think too many men could rock accessories like he does.

  4. I was just about to say that--how many of these dudes have stylist because wouldn't that automatically take you out of the running? I fug with 3Stacks, but you already know that, I'm pretty disappointed with their list overall. this must have been a rush job.

  5. Good work. Last year's list had a couple of questionable entries, but was solid overall. This year, well...

  6. Bec and I are pretty sure we saw Andre 3000 at the Rose Bowl Flea Market a few months ago. He was trying on an army style jacket. We just eyed him from the next stand over. Totally agree with David Beckham and Ed Westwick. Since I stopped going on celebrity sites, I feel like I need to catch up on what the male celebrities are wearing.

  7. Is this list a joke? There are perhaps three or four who make the cut but the the rest are a variegated group of celebrities specializing in the bizarre. No Marzotto, Clooney, Prince Michael of Kent, the Luca's, etc. quote Jeeves on the subject this bunch of Mr Freddy "He's a riot" Flowerdew types belong in vaudeville not on a top style list

  8. Cristiano Ranoldo has incomparable talent, style, and flair on the soccer pitch. But, GQ lauds him for sporting ear rings, a purse, and a form fitting polo!? Which make me wonder which team is GQ playing for--not that there is anything wrong with that ....

  9. Johnny Depp gets a pass from me, he exudes cool like nobody else. Lebron's choice of glasses in the picture they use, very questionable. GQ really contradicts itself with this one. I'm glad somebody pointed it out.

  10. Blasé and predictable. L.A.S, while I agree with much of your critique, I think you need to venture outside your narrow-minded fruit crate every once in a while….In many cases, personal style transcends Gap chinos and Woolrich sweaters. Russel Brand’s blood vessel collapsing tight denim may be passé, but I can assure you he’s living a more interesting life than most others listed, which bleeds style in my mind.

  11. Neil- So you agree, but yet you don't like my point of view?

    I agree that personal style is extremely important and that lots of it comes from the lifestyle you lead. Paul Simonon is a perfect example of this. Russell Brand, on the other hand, could be a secret agent and I'd still think he looked like crap.

    Also, Gap chinos and Woolrich Sweaters...I don't get it. I don't think this blog boils down to those two things. Then again I write it, so I am hardly objective.

    I'd like to hear how you would have summed up some of these guys and any recommendations you have for me to venture outside of my "narrow-minded" fruit crate. Email me when you get the chance.

    Most of all, thanks for speaking your mind brother.

  12. Thanks for the reply. I wasn’t expecting or anticipating one, but it’s appreciated. “Russell Brand, on the other hand, could be a secret agent and I'd still think he looked like crap.” Ha - touché… On a purely aesthetic level, I couldn’t agree more; I chose Brand for this very reason. I guess my point is that for people like Brand or Doherty or even Dean, McQueen and Eastwood (couldn’t agree more re: Eastwood’s inclusion), it’s their brash defiance of the status quo that makes them (Style) icons. Brand, maybe more than the others, pushes this defiance intentionally, but his clothes do ‘suit’ his personality like a $15M bespoke. The most important rule of Style is to always wear what fits you – literally and figuratively. Ok, so Brand may not be the best example of the former after all…Others have mentioned that many of the celebs listed by GQ have stylists. This is my point. Someone else is simply draping them in the latest… To be Stylish, you have to own it – again, figuratively and literally. The most Stylish models are not those who’ve been featured amongst the ‘hottest’ runways, but those who own their style on and off the runway.

    I didn’t intend my comments as a personal slight whatsoever. You run a very respectable blog – I wouldn’t be here if that wasn’t the case. Keep up the good work and, when it makes sense, don’t forget to celebrate those who sense of Style (capital S-tyle) runs a bit deeper than a $2000 price tag or a designer/blog collabo. As you know, it’s the attitude – pure, non-contrived attitude – behind the style that makes it resonate, never the garment(s) alone.

  13. Neil- All very valid/interesting points. I try to keep things varied over here and I will admit that I get caught up in the often self-masturbatory nature of the men's style blogosphere.

    I do often take it beyond price tags and designers. See my post on Hall and Oates or the fact that I pretty much wear white t-shirts and Clarks everyday, haha.

    And as far as anticipating/respecting a reply, this blog aims to be an open forum. I throw things up that I enjoy and encourage everyone who reads to speak up and voice their opinion. I respect said opinions and reading/replying to them is the most enjoyable thing about Sart Inc.

    Thanks for the kinds words.

  14. I definitely agree. Sometimes I think they must throw in some random choices just to make it interesting. I think I'd be more into Russel Brand's style if it didn't seem to represent how annoying he is to me. I just don't see the appeal in that guy.
    Also, is it just me, or does Johnny Depp seem less cool every year?

  15. I disagree about Depp. I continue to notice you slipping back into "best dressed" mode. This is not that, remember? Johnny has "style" there is no doubt. Yes, his wordrobe is a matter of taste. I rather like it. Check him out on Inside the Actors Studio. Man this dude wreaks of style. I'll go so far as to say he's at the "top of his game" when it comes to style.

  16. Such beautiful photos. I had the same mens suits wore by jay z . it was exactly like that, I usually used stacy adams suit

    anyway I'm william

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