Rules of Style: Nicholas Kirkwood

Here's Nicholas Kirkwood on his favorite travel bag, how to get just the right amount of stubble, and the difficulties of matching socks.

The U.K.'s most prominent footwear designer, Nicholas Kirkwood, is on a roll. He's got his own flagship in the West Village in New York, every designer is begging for a collaboration, and he's got his sights set on a new challenge: a men's shoe collection. DETAILS caught up with the Brit and asked him about his own clothing choices, how to travel in style, and whether men can expect any of those signature stacked platforms anytime soon.

1. If you had to have one pair of shoes, it would probably be a Darby shoe. With a soft kind of sole that's comfortable but still looks cool. They don't have to feel precious, but they should be something you can wear to an event without looking like your geography teacher.

2. Wear black—makes you look a little skinnier than white.

3. If I have to go somewhere fancy I try to wear the same type of black or dark-wash jeans, that way I'm still comfy but it kind of looks like part of a suit.

4. Every man needs a great weekend bag. I'm constantly flying to my factories in Italy, so I treated myself to this Goyard travel bag. I figure I can dress like a bum, but as long as I've got my Goyard bag it's like, "Oh…whatever!"

5. I used to have a little wallet that I only kept in my weekend bag, it had four compartments: one for the U.K., one for euros, one for the States and one for everything else. Otherwise you end up with pockets full of different currencies.

6. I could not live without my laundry getting collected. I don't have time to do it on my own so I have a service pick it up for me. Otherwise it would be hanging off my doors everywhere. Wash-and-fold laundry service is essential.

7. Don't wet-shave your beard, use a clipper without the top on it. Because then you always have the right bit of stubble.

8. Every man should own a black blazer. Something you can just toss on and go, even with jeans, when you need to look sort of dressed up. It works on top of anything, except probably a tracksuit. Unless you're in Chelsea [London].

9. Don't bother trying to match up your socks—it's just too much effort. If they feel similar then that's fine. One day maybe I'd like to buy 365 pairs of socks and throw one out every day. That way they're always matched and still new and stretchy.

10. Designing for men has been a challenge because it's a bit more restrained than women's. So it's mostly what I myself would like to wear. No stacked platforms on men's shoes just yet—but I might do a request. Probably going to stay away from men's sandals for now too. Until I go on vacation and realize I need some mandals!

—Todd Plummer. Follow him at @toddkingston.

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