My Style: Matthew Orley

Matthew Orley founder of Orley

Photo: Courtesy of Matthew Orley

Which city has the best-dressed men?

The city that is Pitti Uomo. At no other time does so much style converge onto one place.

Please describe your style in three words.

In constant flux.

What is the biggest mistake one can make when getting dressed?

Not taking care of personal hygiene beforehand. It doesn’t matter what you look like if you smell like shit.

Do you believe in role models?

Yes, I’ve had a lot of people help me along the way and I try to do the same for other people who come for help.

What are your favourite fabrics?

Cashmere, find me one person in the world that doesn’t like cashmere! — That’s a George Costanza line.

Are there any style combinations that you object to?

As long as everything fits it should look fine.

Would you say that you are conservative or bold?

I like to mix conservative staples with bold pieces. I’m not one to constantly be making a statement, but I like to generally wear something that is different.

What are the rules, if any, in the way you dress?

Just make sure it fits.

Celebrities and style...

If it’s not one thing, it’s another.

One garment/accessory that you can never have enough of?

In this sense I’m pretty minimal and restrained. I like to think that I have a fairly Spartan lifestyle, as I prefer not to have too much of anything. My closet is pretty spare and I’m constantly trying to get rid of things that I don’t wear anymore.

A man should always look like...

He knows where he’s going.

Who taught you what you know about style?

As my style evolves, so do my influences.

How do you select your clothing every morning?

Whatever I was wearing yesterday seems good enough.

What is your biggest regret?

Waiting ten years to propose.

The three essential things a man should know about style are...

It’s not about brands. It’s not about clothes. It’s about knowing what you want and creating it for yourself.

Do you have any shopping rituals?

Don’t just buy to buy? Is that a ritual or a rule?

We will never see you wearing...

Never say never.

The most stylish person you have ever seen...

I met this guy at Pitti Uomo and he spoke no English but his style was amazing. I ran into him a couple nights later on a small street in Florence and I tried to ask him where he was from. All I got was that he had a showroom in Milan but his style was completely unique and indescribable. I’m sure he’s on the Sartorialist.

What is the first thing you notice on a man?

Probably their beard, or lack thereof.

The one image that defined your approach to style...

I don’t believe anything in life is so definitive. If only one image had influenced my approach to style, I assure you I wouldn’t be asked to answer these questions.

Which new designers do you follow and why?

I am always impressed and intrigued by people who are starting out on their own. I think it is a difficult thing to do and I have admiration for all those who set out to do it.

The only article of clothing that a man needs to pay close attention to is...

His socks and underwear. You shouldn’t need to be paying that much attention to anything else.

What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?

All of my Orley clothing. As we continue to grow it’s exciting to see more of our own pieces in my closet.

Is comfort an enemy of style?

I’m inclined to say yes, only because when I’m at my most comfortable I’m generally having little consideration for style or appearance.

Which fashion house never fails to impress you?

Visvim. There is something to be said about the small details of a garment and nobody focuses on it quite like Hiroki Nakamura.

Who would you like to recommend for €œMy Style€?

The guys at Carson Street Clothiers. I think Brian and Matt are really doing something cool in New York and they each have a great eye for what works.

The best words of advice you have ever heard?

We make pieces that people will want to wear and keep with them for years, and on that note Ralph said it best: “Don’t try to be in fashion, because if you’re in fashion, one day you’re going to be out of fashion”.

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