Personal style is inherently personal, it’s in the title. For the current generation of Irish men, there is a breadth of tastes and interests when it comes to fashion.
From actor Paul Mescal’s GAA shorts to artist Neil Patrick Collins’ Comme des Garçons threads, the best-dressed men in Ireland represent a diverse range of characters, ones that hold up a mirror to Irish society itself.
What do Irish men dress like? It could be like any of them. One thing is for certain, it’s all about individuality. We rounded up a list of Ireland’s most stylish men in 2020.
A chain with a fan base of 186,000 people. It could only be Connell Waldron’s chain’s designated Instagram page, @connellschain: the beloved necklace worn by Kildare actor Paul Mescal, one of the stars of BBC’s Normal People, which portrayed the complicated lives of two young adults with a unflinching honesty, was catapulted to global fame in lockdown when adoring fans were sent into a flustered tailspin.
Beyond accessories, Mescal has recently caught the attention of the paparazzi whose prying eyes have traced him around the London Borough of Hackney in GAA shorts, tailored shorts with simple t-shirts.
Lately, he’s flown the flag for Ireland, its designers and its youth culture, first wearing a Robyn Lynch t-shirt and a reclaimed Adidas tracksuit top typically worn by revellers at music festivals.
The Picture This frontman, like any musician, relies on the art of appearance to telegraph his personality to the world. So, it’s ironic then that there is no one particular item that defines Ryan Hennessy’s personal style.
In fact, he’d say it’s impossible to define since it’s constantly changing. To make an attempt, his wardrobe riffs on oversized tailoring (double-breasted blazers and high-waisted trousers) with a vintage aesthetic but maintaining a casual street-wise slick (Fred Perry polos and footwear with chunky soles).
“You’ll rarely even find me in the same style twice in one week,” said Hennessy. “It’s a reflection of my erratic mind I think. At its core my personal style is inspired by subcultures and movements like the mods and the skinheads.”
Lately, Hennessy has been shopping from Lacoste, Fred Perry, COS, and La Veste. He is emphatic about British designer Kim Jones’ transformation of Dior Men. He cites Robyn Lynch and Wales Bonner as designers he loves.
Typically, jackets and tops featured rounded shoulders and a narrow waist with some creations boasting a swirling, structural shape on the sleeve while trousers have generous proportions and a nipped waist.
He is no stranger to platform boots, a gender agnostic undercurrent that runs through his personal style.
When he accepted the International Woolmark Prize in February 2020, an important fashion prizegiving that celebrates the dynamic and creative use of sustainable Merino wool, the Wexford-born designer sported a deep burgundy two piece - an embossed shirt and flowing flared trousers.
In conversations past, Malone cited Comme des Garçons and Prada as brands he admires and shops from.
While some guests would opt for tailoring for Áras an Uachtaráin, Kavanagh embraced his personal style with aplomb. Approaching the act of dressing up with a sense of impulsive playfulness is a reflection of his innate sense of self. It even extends to the accessory du jour: face masks.
One can find Kavanagh supporting Ireland’s emerging talents on Instagram when he posts pictures wearing a pink gingham face covering emblazoned with the Barbie logo by Donegal-based Mariusz Malon or a pink mask with pearl detailing by Dublin-based costume designer Lauren Murphy.
For Kavanagh, it would appear, everyday is an opportunity to get dressed up.
Usually though, he’s dressed in Comme des Garçons, ALYX or Maison Margiela jackets with straightforward black or white trousers and loose-fit untucked tops.
“I would describe my personal style as ‘smart street’. I used to wear more outlandish, loud clothing, but now it’s much more refined, mostly ditching loud logos and more so well-made, gentle quality,” said Collins.
The headstrong manager won’t share any style tips (“I don’t give anyone style advice, that’s the best style advice,” he said in April) and he finds it difficult to precisely define his own style but counting the likes of Gianni Agnelli, the perennially-suited principal shareholder of Fiat, Jonny Johansson, the creative director at minimalist leaning Swedish brand Acne Studios, and Pharrell Williams, the polymathic creative whose wardrobe spins a relaxed but sophisticated dynamism, as inspirations, one can gather that Galvin’s style is a melange of formal and relaxed, high-end and high-street.
Moreover, his collaboration with Dunnes Stores means he’s often wearing clothes he’s helped design.