How to become a stylish duo? Look to Anna Wintour and Bill Nighy at 73

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Wintour is very specific about everything she wears: sleeves, a midi hemline, Manolo shoes or knee-high boots, patterned dresses. Her bob and sunglasses have become a shorthand not just for her own look, but for the general concept of a fashion editor, just as a mohican stands for punk.

Nighy, similarly, worked out how he wanted to look as a teen. Growing up in Caterham, Surrey, he idolised the mods, with their tight suits. When he was 16 he moved to Paris with dreams of becoming a writer, and there is something of the writer about his precise, elegant look. When I interviewed him earlier this year – an assignment for which I panicked about my own outfit as though it were prom night – he half-joked that he thought men’s fashion had been going downhill since 1947.


His are not the boxy, English-style Savile Row numbers, but lounge suits from John Pearse in Soho or Ritchie Charlton at Hayward in Mayfair. He is not unaware of more recent trends. He told me he admired the Swedish menswear brand Our Legacy. He just chooses to wear suits. Sometimes he’ll go without a tie, for a treat. But mostly, he knows what he likes, and what he likes is a suit.

True, he and Wintour have other advantages. Both of them have access to the finer things, and the money to pay for them. One imagines Wintour gets the odd store discount. Nighy has said his luxury is dry-cleaning. They are both thin, which helps, especially as you get older. In his series Searching for Italy on BBC Two, Stanley Tucci, 62, has been demonstrating that low body-fat and simple, relaxed tailoring can do wonders for a man approaching pension age.

Ultimately, what is appealing about them as a duo is not so much their personal style as the enigma that surrounds them. Both of them pull off the trick of being highly visible but somewhat mysterious. Nighy, in particular, is one of the most commonly sighted celebrities in London, a friendly presence, always ready for a chat or a photograph. Wintour attends dozens, if not hundreds, of events per year. There remains something inscrutable about both of them. In such a photographed age, it is a nearly miraculous achievement. It is not a coincidence that neither of them does social media.


Anna Wintour and Bill Nighy both know there is a difference between being a public figure and letting it all hang out. In other words: what you wear is not nearly as important as how.

The Telegraph, London

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