Why I Wear What I Wear: Thomas Mastronardi

© Neil Gavin

The rakish executive behind the Paul Stuart and Phineas Cole labels, and the embodiment of the season’s focus on gentlemanly refinement, explains his neo-traditionalist approach to men’s fashion.

When I was growing up as a cinema-obsessed kid in Chicago, it became apparent to me very early on that the guy who got Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelly was the one in the beautiful suit, whether it was Cary Grant, Gary Cooper or Adolphe Menjou, the best-dressed man the planet has ever seen. I drank the Kool-Aid that they were serving and asked for more.

I’m happiest in simple but formal suits. I have great respect for a sport coat and sportswear, but I feel most legitimately dressed in a three-piece peak-lapel suit with high-rise trousers. In my mind, it separates the men from the boys.

I am a white-shirt-with-a-very-high-cutaway-collar kind of guy. I have quite a collection of shirts but not nearly enough of them to make Daisy Buchanan weep.

I also collect pocket watches and wear wristwatches only with sportswear on the weekend, never with business attire. Although I am rarely to be found without a boutonniere, I maintain that one should keep it to a simple bud and not plant a garden on one’s chest.

At the end of the day, I think we should all make an effort to be more respectful, and being well dressed is a way to be respectful to yourself and to others.