Men's Style Q&A: Tom Chapman of Matchesfashion.com
Tom Chapman, 48, and his wife, Ruth, opened the first Matches boutique in Wimbledon in 1990. They now have 13 shops, in Wimbledon, Richmond, Notting Hill and Marylebone, as well as their website, which stocks everything from A Sauvage to Zegna.
Describe your personal style
To be honest, I don't necessarily consider myself a stylish person. I am probably quite a traditionalist and I tend to buy multiple things. "Smart casual" would be an easy term but I think it does describe me. For example, I very rarely wear printed pieces. I wear plain and black clothes. It suits very different needs in my day. I want to go into my wardrobe and not have to consider it too long. I don't have many clothes, but those that I have I have for a very long period of time.
What to you is the essence of men's style?
To me it is about confidence, feeling comfortable and feeling that the clothes represent you and your character. You need to let your personality shine through. It is also about those little quirky pieces, like a pair of patent shoes.
What was the first item of clothing you ever bought for yourself?
Probably a pair of Levi 501s.
Any fashion teenage faux-pas you'd care to tell us about...?
I try to forget! I was probably slightly outlandish and pushed the boundaries a bit when young. I was a child of the 1970s who was always trying to find the latest thing. But I have always had a love of quality. When I was younger I would shop in those great shops of the time like Ebony. I remember buying these incredible Kenzo black silk trousers and black silk tops.
What's the most expensive thing you've ever bought, clothing-wise?
Possibly a Gianfranco Ferrè hand-embroidered evening shirt I bought about 20 years ago. It was probably about £600.
What are your sartorial pet hates?
People who wear polo shirts with the collar up.
Jeans or chinos?
I don't wear jeans. They honestly don't suit my life. We work all the time, and so I have got to be prepared for anything. So it would have to be chinos - beige Gucci chinos and a cashmere sweater.
Rake for the finish and quality of the production. And I always buy a lot of casual suits from Lanvin, which look great with a shirt and tie or with a open-necked shirt with a T-shirt under.
Who are your style heroes?
If you look back at Cary Grant he was totally immaculate and there was perfection in everything he did. There aren't that many people who have that now.
What fragrance do you wear?
Feuilles de Tabac by Miller Harris . I've been wearing it for 10 or 12 years now.
Do you groom, and how do you look after yourself?
I use an Sk-II moisturiser and face scrub. And I have a personal trainer who comes to the house. Unfortunately I don't see him that much, though I am supposed to see him two or three times a week. My son calls the gym the least used room in our house. My wife and I also go to the Mayr clinic in Austria. It is amazing. We go at different times, because it is not something you can do together. They starve you! [Not literally, we should add.] By the second day I was outside buying chocolate biscuits. I hid the packet in some trees. But you feel fantastic by the end.