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ICM Companions' Chuck  James, the office style mentor who helps everyone from mailroom interns to young agents up their model sport, provides recommendation for THR's Next Gen type clinic.


When Chuck James, founding partner and senior motion image expertise agent at ICM Companions, started in the leisure enterprise in the early 2000s, expertise agencies nonetheless embraced conformity. "In case you weren't in a darkish swimsuit, purple tie, black shoes and black socks, you stood out like a sore thumb," he says. "It was about falling in line and being conservative." James, who began in the mailroom just a little later than most after enjoying competitive tennis, distinguished himself by sporting gadgets like a black-and-white hounds­tooth shirt ("I was capable of cobble together enough to purchase an Etro costume shirt," he says). "Now, during the last decade, however extra so the last 5 years, Hollywood has opened the door for folks to have their very own personality," says James, who reps Sport of Thrones' Carice van Houton, Megan Fox and Linda Cardellini. "It's looked on as a plus and never a detriment to your career."


Known for his ahead take on trend, James wears every little thing from the newest Gucci runway couture shirt, to a linen go well with with tennis shoes (not sneakers, a holdover from his tennis days), to his mother's diamond pins on his tuxedo lapel for the pink carpet. "I do not even like to stand subsequent to the man," jokes consumer Meredith Vieira. "He is the epitome of cool but would not appear to be he's making an attempt." Adds Westworld's Rodrigo Santoro, a consumer: "This guy stands out in a town of trendy folks because he savors all the small print — the pocket handkerchief will probably be the correct tone, the collar, the socks, the tie will choose up on one thing else. The phrase is 'impeccable.'"


Such authority has led to James changing into the de facto type mentor to a era of ICM agents, trainees and mailroom interns. "What I've realized from Chuck is: Individuals get a sense of you whenever you walk right into a room, so your model ought to say who you are and that you've got shown up," says a "mentee," agent Andrew Kurland, whose younger roster consists of American Horror Story's Taissa Farmiga. "It's change into competitive in attempting to outdo each other in being authentic and artistic while still toeing the road," says James, as he details what goes into a successful look on a funds extra entry-stage than energy participant.

Yes, Tailoring Is Essential

"Fits that don't fit wreck your first impression," says James, who learned the importance of tailoring from seeing the outcomes for actor shoppers. "If a go well with's not tailor-made correctly, it makes you look disheveled, unconfident and twice as heavy as you might be." His tailor of choice is Artwork Mark, the proprietor of Beverly Hills Tailoring (9451 Charleville Blvd., Beverly Hills). "Artwork's the most effective tailor in L.A. — and reasonable. He can take one of the $300 Grand Frank linen fits I purchase to enhance my wardrobe and make it seem like a $3,000 swimsuit" (GrandFrank.com).


Within the era of ankle-baring men's trousers and shrunken Thom Browne go well with jackets, don't overdo it: "There's what I would name 'excessive tailoring' — guys' suits with pants so quick or jackets so tight that they can not even move," says James. "You've got to ensure you'll be able to sit and stand and not appear to be you are making an attempt too hard."

No Have to Attempt On Suits

For a disruptive take on conventional bespoke tailoring, James recommends each the look and price factors of Articles of Style, a web-based retailer based by former fashion blogger Dan Trepanier. Working only with American manufacturers, the fits are fitted through a sample garment sent to the customer created by way of an algorithm after which analyzed in pictures earlier than ferragamo womens belt a closing garment is lower. (from $1,095; ArticlesofStyle.com). Per James' recommendation, "I literally threw out my other suits and got nine of those," says agent Kevin Hussey, who works with Katie Holmes and Jeff Goldblum among different clients. "I even got married in one in all their tuxedoes. There is no such thing as a lining or shoulder pads in these suits, so it retains you good and comfy."


For cheap, effectively-made button-downs, Charles Tyrwhitt, a British shirtmaker with a flagship on London's Jermyn Road, makes its choices easy to order online. "I like the spread-collar costume shirt," says Hussey, which "comes a few days" after ordering, good for red carpet procrastinators (slim-match costume shirt, from $69; CTShirts.com).

Dangerous Shoes & Belts: Profession Killers

"If I have been an artist, I would not sign with somebody who had bad footwear," says James, half jokingly. "One of many male species' worst lack of talents is buying sneakers. You continue to see those excessive sq. toes which have been 'out' for a decade on guys who've somewhat of a good suit on."


The agent is partial to Gucci and fake ferragamo belt shoes mens, www.ferragamomall.com, for his personal footwear, however there are various choices for up-and-comers, from on-line retailer Cobbler Union's monk straps and lace-ups ($395; Cobbler-Union.com) to Allen Edmonds lace-ups, which agent J.R. Ringer describes as "an awesome middle-of-the-week go-to" ($395; 10250 Santa Monica Blvd.). "Even when you possibly can afford only one pair of superb footwear and put on them every day, make sure that they're polished and change out the laces. Individuals will assume you could have new shoes on every single day," advises James.


As for belts, he says, "most guys buckle them too tight, or even worse, too unfastened. They're at all times too extensive" and usually are not thought of the funding buy that they ought to be. He suggests the handmade crocodile belts at Scully & Scully that retail for a fraction of the worth of $2,500 fashions from prime designer maestros ($265; ScullyandScully.com).

Stand Out With Accessories

"Since we're sporting suits and ties five days a week," says Ringer, "it's vital not to put on shirts and ties from the identical store or brand, or fall right into a rut and look the identical daily." (Charles Tyrwhitt has dapper ties from $49, an incredible useful resource contemplating agencies are the final bastion of the necessary tie in Hollywood.) The agent who reps Lucy Hale, Jay Duplass and Lil Yachty will sport a muted tie with a more colorful swimsuit, or vice versa.


California company Garrett Leight makes eyeglasses which are a twist on the basic 1950s Ivy League vibe (from $335; 165 S. La Brea Ave.). "Equipment ought to be worn in moderation — they shouldn't detract or make you're feeling uneasy," says James, citing such quick-transferring developments as "the attack of the killer flower lapel pins" during final yr's awards season or chunky, sporty sneakers with suits, which "appear to be a nurse working at a hospital."

No Large Conferences? Not a Go well with Day

"When folks come to California, it's totally confusing and so they are inclined to wear sweaters that are too sizzling or not warm enough," says James, a Florida native. Naadam's cashmere pullover and cardigans, good for an agency retreat, "are the proper weight and nearly as good a top quality as I've seen at the very best-finish designer stores" (V-neck; $125, Naadam.co). Venice-primarily based Buck Mason is really helpful for T-shirts (curved hem tee; $28, BuckMason.com) and Kith, a wildly in style NYC sneaker retailer, for "upscale kicks that also can look nice with suits," says James (from $135; Kith.com). For many every part else, Grand Frank, a Swedish on-line menswear company, delivers quality at reasonably priced prices. Says James, 47, of a $290 jacket product of handcrafted leather-based from Italy: "The suede bombers appear and feel like they value 10 instances that."


This story first appeared in the Nov. 8 difficulty of The Hollywood Reporter journal. To receive the journal, click on here to subscribe.