Tips On Dressing Better, From Ryan Reynolds' Stylist

We talk with Ilaria Urbinati-stylist to the stars including Donald Glover and Armie Hammer.
IMAGE Getty Images

Hollywood men are busy. Very busy. So much so that after the press tours, the rehearsals, the TV interviews, and the online trolls there's little time for the art of getting dressed. That's why they have stylists: paid people to sort the all-important issue of looking nice. 

And it seems Hollywood men are enlisting one stylist in particular: Ilaria Urbinati. Not because there are so few—to the contrary, Tinseltown's cup runneth over with professional dressers—but because she's the best. Just ask her long list of clients, including Armie Hammer, Tom Hiddleston, Ryan Reynolds, Bradley Cooper, Dwayne Johnson, and 2018's man of the moment Donald Glover.


Granted, said men have the benjamins required to pay for such a service and chances are you do not. So we spoke to Urbinati directly to find out exactly how the every man can dress himself better—and the best ways to do it.

1. Know that the line between style and statement is a fine one

"I've always been drawn to the nuances of dressing men, and it's something not a lot of people get right," says Urbinati. 

"I have to think within the parameters of menswear—which are a lot more restrictive—then figure out how to break the rules without turning it into something showy or silly. Realize that it's a fine line."

2. Balance what you like with how you're built

"When styling, I grapple with both a client's personal taste and their body shape. I can usually get a sense based on things they have worn before, their body of work—those kinds of projects give me a good picture of what they're into." 


"I then prep accordingly, and the fitting is where you get creative. It's a collaborative process where we bounce off one another, and it's all about bringing out the best version of your personal taste while trying to keep it individual. I'd never put the same styles on Ryan Reynolds as I would on, say, Donald Glover or Armie Hammer. Everyone has their own taste, and it's about bringing it out with clothing that remains flattering."


3. Acknowledge trends, but don't live by them 

"It sounds ridiculous, but try to be ahead of the trends, and then try to set them. That's what we do as stylists. 

"It means I don't think about trends too much. Get on a tangent of the things you're into—and what you know works—and go with that."

4. The Cuban collared shirt is your friend this season (and probably next)

"I think '50s style box fit shirts with short sleeves are easy to do. They look great on pretty much every guy and there's so much choice. Classic guys can go with the solid colors, while adventurous dressers can experiment with a wilder print. I personally like the silkier options for a more '70s vibe.  "Saturdays, Sandro, and All Saints have some great choices available, and I think they work best with an unlined linen suit. That way you stay smart, but stay cool."


5. Tonal is a surefire way to slim down

"My best slimming trick is tonal. I do it a lot, like a lot a lot. It never gets old for me. A block of color can be very elongating and thus slims your frame. So: a blue suit with a blue shirt, and a blue shoe in similar shades."


6. Well-built guys should go structured

"A good structured suit jacket never fails wider shoulders. A lot of brands like Gucci and Tom Ford favor a raised braided shoulder—something that gives more structure—which means there's a contrast with a smaller waist, thus creating a coveted upside down triangle shape. It's great."

7. Beware left-field trouser shapes

"The looser pant (and especially bell bottoms) are in right now, but they're hard to pull off. I wouldn't try it unless you really know what you're doing. Slouchier, pleated trousers that taper to the leg are the easiest option, and they stop you looking like a Friends character, too."


8. Feel free to change your mind on certain looks

"One of my favorite ever looks was Donald Glover's red-on-red—a good example of the tonal looks I was talking about. We had a different suit planned, and at the last minute, I just wasn't excited. 

"So, I pulled together a red Ferragamo suit and the red Kenzo shirt, and I knew we had a winner before Glover even tried it on. You're always free to change your mind before a big event."

9. Pay heed to the great style icons

"Alain Delon, a young Pacino, and a young DeNiro are my all-time style icons. And probably Paul Newman at all ages. They'll keep you right."


This story originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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