Behind every great man is a great … wardrobe. Yes, it’s true — at least when it comes to the handsomely clad, professionally accomplished chaps in our new series, Dress for the Job You Want, which profiles more than a few good men who have proven that success is an equation of both substance and style.
They’ve cut their teeth in the fashion industry, climbed the corporate ladder, created their own companies, and conjured plenty of new ideas — and have looked damn good doing it. For these guys, dressing for the occasion is simply part of the gig.
But you don’t have to be a fully suited, buttoned-up show-off to stake your claim in the game, as suave subtlety often wins in the end. And, with our apologies to Mark Twain, it takes a lot more than just clothes to make the man. However, a good sartorial statement can go a long way when it comes to charting your career course.
Curated Clothing Company founder John-Marshall Stubbs found a way to combine his background in fine art and business with fashion by collaborating with emerging artists from around the world to create American-made “fine artwear.” The company’s first product is a bespoke men’s swimsuit, which is available in six different bold artworks that truly make a splash.
Navigating both corporate and creative worlds, the entrepreneurial Stubbs is certainly not one to shirk dressing for the occasion — a tall order given the diverse wardrobe requirements of the art, fashion, and business worlds.
But he pulls it off with ease by curating a classic style aesthetic with a few statement accent pieces. And there’s no doubt he has the best swim trunks on the beach. Here’s what he told us about dressing for the job.
The Cheat Sheet: What is your background and what led you to your current profession?
John-Marshall Stubbs: I developed an appreciation for art at a very early age. My mom, Kristy Stubbs, opened her art gallery 22 years ago, and she used to take me to art fairs and galleries when I was young. After receiving my MBA, I returned to her gallery to help with large projects and day-to-day tasks while starting Curated Clothing Company, which is a nice combination of my background and interests.
CS: What do you love most about your job?
JMS: I was born with the travel bug and my favorite part about the art industry is that it is a truly global market that allows me to travel to amazing places in search of beautiful objects. Likewise, selling swimwear has allowed me to visit beachside destinations as often as possible in search of retailers that fit the brand. These perks make the everyday grind feel less like work and more like a fun lifestyle.
CS: Workday essentials?
JMS: One of my favorite things about my job is that I’m not sitting at the same desk all day. Being an art dealer and a clothing designer keeps me on my feet all day long. So whether I’m touring a client’s collection or shopping for new fabrics in Los Angeles’ garment district, I need to wear comfortable shoes that look good at the same time. For that reason, one of my workday essentials is my pair of chukka boots from J.Crew. They are more comfortable than most of my tennis shoes and they look just as nice as some of my dress shoes even though they’ve never been cleaned after three years of rough wear and tear.
CS: What are your style cheats?
JMS: I try to always keep a dark navy blazer nearby. Even if I’m wearing adidas or Converse sneakers, or my chukkas, the blazer makes it look like I put some thought into my outfit — especially if I need to spruce up my look for a nice dinner or a gallery opening. Also, get some advice from girls every now and then; ask them what they think about particular styles. Places with stylists like the Trunk Club are also great “cheats” to help you hone in on your particular tastes and a look that’s tailor-made for you.
CS: How do you define your personal style?
JMS: Classic with a modern twist. I might use one bold accessory, but for the most part I stick to classic colors, patterns, and garments. More importantly, I think good style relies heavily on fit. No one cares if your outfit was designed by Versace or Ralph Lauren if it’s too tight, loose, or short because you don’t look good in it! This is a lesson I learned when I was a teenager, as suits were always baggy and sloppy on my slender frame. So I quickly found European-cut suits, which are much more form-fitting and make a significantly better impression.
CS: Why should all guys care about their personal style?
JMS: Style helps people convey their identity — you can tell a lot about a person by what they wear and how they wear it. Every time you walk into a room, the first impression you make is your style. Subconsciously, everyone takes note of what you’re wearing, so you might as well put some thought into it.