Since signing on as creative director of Dunhill two years ago, Kim Jones has transformed the stodgy English house—best known for its traditional tailoring and fine writing instruments—into a contemporary style leader. Here, the buzzy Brit, 32, shares his advice on fall essentials, the understated suit, and why there's more to life than black brogues.
Buy Wrinkle-Free Blazers /
"When I think of a blazer, I think of it more as a sportswear item than as something formal, because you can dress it up or down. We make one from a South African mohair called camdeboo. You can just throw it anywhere and it doesn't crease. For someone who travels a lot, that's a brilliant thing. You never need to press it."
Bring the Outside In /
"The Dunhill man is a bit of an outdoor adventurer as well as a successful businessman. For me, using elements from the outdoors is key to making things look less formal. I love technical trousers or a nylon vest or hiking boots with a tailored jacket. Boots are really versatile, and they age well. I've gotten quite into boots of late. I'm wearing them virtually every day."
Vary Your Pants /
"Trousers are always a hard item to change up because there are only so many kinds. It's less about finding a new shape and more about trying other textures. Wool, tweed, and flannel lend a different feel to a pair of pants."
Bag It /
"I just got an iPad the other day, which is good for traveling, but it means I have more stuff to carry. For fall I made a functional bag in black leather. It's got a nice front pocket for your iPad and room for everything else. But it's not too man-baggy. It looks like something a travel photographer would use to store his camera."
Go for Subdued Patterns /
"With suits, you can wear patterns as long as they're subtle. This season I'm into a soft windowpane check. Anything too bold starts to look like the pants Rupert Bear wore. If the fabric is beautiful, you can see that it's beautiful. And that's enough of a statement. You don't need to go crazy. I prefer an inherent quietness."
Use Color, But Sparingly /
"I like color, but more when it's used in accessories. If you're a man who only wears brogues, buy a pair other than black. Try an olive green or a really rich brown. Those kinds of colors make your outfit a bit different."
Invest in Outerwear /
"Each season, my major purchase is outerwear. You should buy one expensive, really nice jacket every fall. Right now I'm feeling lightweight tailored parkas that hit about mid-thigh. Junya Watanabe's convertible jackets are another one of my favorite things. They come apart and have different bodies and vests. You get so much use out of them."
Have a Routine /
"As a man gets older he knows what he feels good in and has built a wardrobe of staples. He knows where to shop and is loyal to certain brands. For example, I'm partial to Acne chinos and a white shirt. It's kind of my uniform, which I vary a bit each season."
Get a Second Opinion /
"Ninety percent of guys wear suits that don't fit properly. The shoulders are too big, or the jacket is too long. When you go to buy a suit, bring along someone you trust or ask the salesperson for his opinion. Don't just rush to buy it. You don't want to get home and think, Oh, God, I'm never going to wear this."