Why In-the-Know Men Are Dressing Like Cary Grant in 2024 - Kanebridge News
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Why In-the-Know Men Are Dressing Like Cary Grant in 2024

Stylish guys are now embracing a refined, almost old-timey, style: ‘It projects power and confidence.’

Fri, Jul 5, 2024 9:38amGrey Clock 3 min

On a recent trip to the new Manhattan flagship for Stòffa, a menswear brand, Colin King made a beeline for the back of the store. The 36-year-old stylist and artistic director had booked a made-to-measure appointment—but not for a suit. Instead, he chose a cotton-silk shirt, relaxed pants in a classy wool, and a drapey, chocolate-brown shirt-jacket, all for his everyday wardrobe. He also snapped up slipperlike suede loafers. “They’re so handsome,” he said.

Lately, the way men like King dress has undergone a subtle shift. Those in the know have been embracing a more refined and considered, if not quite formal, style. “There’s a real move toward relaxed elegance,” said London designer and tailor Charlie Casely-Hayford. “It looks effortless, there’s a nonchalance, but it projects power and confidence.” Stòffa, a newly buzzy, 10-year-old label embodies the look.

Despite a few modern tweaks, we’re talking about the kind of get-ups that Cary Grant might have worn to lounge about—polished yet unstuffy, and with a certain old-timey appeal. The look is linked to the much-talked-about “quiet luxury” movement, but it often has “more personality than quiet luxury,” said David Telfer, creative director at British brand Sunspel. Think flowy, pleated pants, bold polos, souped-up chore jackets and loafers with waferish soles.

Lots of men who now crave easy elegance were stocking up on streetwear a year ago, according to Dag Granath, co-founder of Saman Amel, a Stockholm brand known for its tasteful tailoring. “What we’re seeing is that a 28-to-38-year-old customer is swapping out [streetwear from] high-end fashion labels for a bit of tailoring to anchor the rest of their wardrobe on,” said Granath.

Jon Gorrigan, 43, a fashion photographer in London, used to live in casual streetwear. But he’s “dressing smarter now,” he said, “more like my grandfather, who was a real sharp dresser. He wasn’t a rich man, but he always looked elegant.” He’s swapped sweatshirts for striped polos from London brand King & Tuckfield, and the odd fun piece like a faded Gitman Vintage Hawaiian shirt. Dressing “with more consideration,” as he put it, “makes you feel more grown-up.”

A pair of Saint Laurent loafers were Gorrigan’s entrée into elegance. “They are lower profile, which feels more streamlined, with a subtle monogram,” he said. Indeed, slim-soled shoes, from moccasins to sneakers, help define the modern Cary Grant look. “Men want slimmed-down shoes to go with the new, smarter, classic look,” said Tim Little, creative director and CEO at Grenson, a British shoemaker. The chunky, lug-sole bases that have reigned for years appear to have undertaken a juice cleanse. Current hot, refined styles include leather slippers by Lemaire, Saman Amel’s suede moccasins, and super-lean sneakers like Dries Van Noten’s suede style and Miu Miu’s interpretation of the New Balance 530. A finer shoe “feels a bit more dressy and chic, and won’t dominate the whole outfit in the way a chunky boot would,” said Granath.

Such streamlined kicks go nicely with flowy linen trousers, dark denim and polo shirts—whether preppy buttoned styles or “Johnny collar” polos , a sexier, buttonless take. Sunspel reports that sales of its Riviera polo, a trim design sported by Daniel Craig in “Casino Royale” (2006), have increased by 51% in the U.S. in the last four months, year on year. On the brand’s website, this polo is most often bought with an unstructured linen blazer, noted Telfer.

Those who want a tad less formality than a blazer will appreciate how the humble chore jacket is being reworked in luxe fabrics. The results feel easy yet urbane. See Zegna ’s floppy, silk-linen take, or upcoming fall designs from Scotland’s Johnstons of Elgin made from premium merino and Scottish tweed.

Though elegant dressing reads as expensive, you can score the look at reasonable prices. Accessible labels like Madewell, Percival and Cos sell sophisticated polos and roomy, pleated trousers. Meanwhile, you can find streamlined loafers at OG brand G.H. Bass for $175.

Elegant needn’t be boring, noted Bryan O’Sullivan, 42, a design-studio founder who’s based in both London and New York. His workday uniform consists of high-waist pants and taupe knit polos, “which does feel quite Cary Grant,” he said. But he’ll occasionally add “a splash of flair” with choice items like Bode cream pants embellished with quilted cats.

He said the confidence that this pulled-together, slightly offbeat look projects is good for business. “When you’re trying to convince a client of your creative vision, it does help if you look the part.”

The Wall Street Journal is not compensated by retailers listed in its articles as outlets for products. Listed retailers frequently are not the sole retail outlets.


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Leaders with epic hobbies seem to squeeze more hours out of the day than the rest of us

By Callum Borchers
Fri, Jul 19, 2024 4 min

Many of us can barely keep up with our jobs, never mind hobbies. Yet some top executives run marathons, wineries or music-recording studios on the side. How can they have bigger responsibilities and more fun than we do?

It can seem like ultrahigh achievers find extra hours in the day. They say they’ve just figured out how to manage their 24 better than the rest of us.

They also admit they take full advantage of the privileges of being a boss—the power to delegate and the means to do things like jetting to Denmark for a long weekend of windsurfing.

Dan Streetman trains as many as 20 hours a week for Ironman triathlons in addition to his job as CEO of cybersecurity firm Tanium. It’s a big commitment for anyone, never mind a corporate leader who travels to meet with customers every week. He pulls it off by sleeping fewer than seven hours a night and waking around 5 a.m., planning his exercise sessions months in advance, and switching his brain from work mode to sport mode almost as fast as he transitions from swimming to cycling during a competition.

“I tend to work right up until the day of the race,” says Streetman, 56 years old. “I remember being on a board call on a Friday night, and Saturday morning was an Ironman. That’s just part of it.”

Ahead of business trips, he maps running routes in unfamiliar cities and scouts nearby pools, often at YMCAs. He rides stationary bikes in hotel gyms and, if they’re subpar, makes a note to book somewhere else next time he’s in town.

Leaders who eat, breathe and sleep business can appear out of touch at a time when employees crave work-life balance and expect their bosses to model it. Today’s prototypical CEO has a full life outside of work, or at least the appearance of one.

Their tactics include waking up early, multitasking and scheduling fun as if it were any other appointment. When you’re a top executive, hobbies tend to disappear unless they’re on the calendar. One CEO told me he disguises “me time” as important meetings. Only his assistant knows which calendar blocks are fake.

Ben Betts calls himself a “spreadsheet guy,” which is a bit like saying Michelangelo was a paint guy. With Excel as his canvas, Betts creates cell-by-cell checklists for just about everything he does, from cooking Christmas dinner to building a coop for newly hatched ducklings.

Betts, 41, is CEO of Learning Pool, a professional-development software maker. The duck home is part of his ambitious effort to restore an 18th-century farmhouse in England. He’s been renovating for about five years and aims to finish this fall.

On a recent Saturday, Betts’s spreadsheet called for stripping overhead beams by 5 p.m. so he could refinish them. Otherwise, the task would have to wait until the following weekend, throwing off his whole timeline. His vision of the home as a cozy enclave—completed in time for the holidays—can only come true if he sticks to a precise plan.

“Sometimes I stand in the doorway, and my wife probably wonders what I’m staring at,” he says. “I’m picturing us on a corner sofa with our two kids and the dog, watching a film in front of the fireplace I installed.”

Back in the swing

John Sicard , president and CEO of supply-chain manager Kinaxis , got back into drumming many years after he let go of his dream to become a professional musician. He practices almost every day, but his sessions sometimes last only 20 minutes. He rehearses with bandmates two or three times a month. That’s enough to prepare Sicard, 61, to play Foo Fighters and Led Zeppelin covers at occasional charity gigs.

He also built a studio in his house, where he records up-and-coming artists. He finds time by sticking to this management philosophy: “The most successful CEOs do the least amount of work.”

For Sicard, that means letting his lieutenants take charge of—and responsibility for—their divisions. Many corporate leaders work harder than they need to because they micromanage or hire poorly and pick up the slack, he says.

Thomas Hansen , president of software maker Amplitude, is back to windsurfing, a sport he competed in as a teenager. He lives near the ocean in California but gets out on the water only about once a month, when the waves are just right. Hobbies don’t need to be daily activities to be fulfilling, he says, especially if they require training regimens.

To stay in shape for windsurfing, he rises at 4:30 a.m., seven days a week, for an hour of exercise. Hansen, 54, also guards his Saturdays and Sundays like the crown jewels of Denmark, his native country, limiting himself to two working weekends a year. Things that feel urgent can almost always wait till Monday, he contends.

‘Like a badass’

When Christine Yen isn’t calling the shots at work, she’s circling a racetrack at 80 mph on her Honda CB300F motorcycle. The co-founder and CEO of Honeycomb, which helps engineers diagnose problems in their software, took up racing a few years ago.

Prepandemic, her motorcycle was strictly for commuting in San Francisco—and making an impression. She loved pulling up to investor meetings in her hornet-yellow helmet and leather riding suit.

“It fits me like a glove, and it makes me feel like a badass,” says Yen, 36.

The keys to spending full days at the track are planning and being willing to work at odd hours, Yen discovered. Her favorite track publishes racing schedules in 10-week batches. As soon as a slate is released, she circles the dates when she expects her workload will be lightest, aiming to participate in roughly half of the events.

“I have also been known to bring my laptop to the motel and get some work done in the evenings,” she says. “It sounds boring to say hobbies can be scheduled, but that’s how I protect my time.”