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ICM Companions' Chuck  James, the office style mentor who helps everyone from mailroom interns to younger brokers up their model recreation, gives advice for THR's Subsequent Gen type clinic.

When Chuck James, founding companion and senior movement picture expertise agent at ICM Companions, began in the leisure business in the early 2000s, expertise agencies nonetheless embraced conformity. "If you happen to were not in a darkish go well with, purple tie, black footwear and black socks, you stood out like a sore thumb," he says. "It was about falling in line and being conservative." James, who started within the mailroom slightly later than most after taking part in competitive tennis, distinguished himself by wearing gadgets like a black-and-white hounds­tooth shirt ("I used to be capable of cobble collectively enough to buy an Etro gown shirt," he says). "Now, during the last decade, but more so the last 5 years, Hollywood has opened the door for folks to have their very own persona," 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."

Recognized for his forward take on vogue, James wears every little thing from the most recent Gucci runway couture shirt, to a linen go well with with tennis shoes (not sneakers, a holdover from his tennis days), to his mom's diamond pins on his tuxedo lapel for the crimson carpet. "I don't even like to face next to the man," jokes client Meredith Vieira. "He's the epitome of cool however doesn't appear to be he is making an attempt." Adds Westworld's Rodrigo Santoro, a shopper: "This guy stands out in a town of fashionable individuals because he savors all the small print — the pocket handkerchief will likely be the proper tone, the collar, the socks, the tie will decide up on one thing else. The phrase is 'impeccable.'"

Such authority has led to James becoming the de facto fashion mentor to a generation of ICM agents, trainees and mailroom interns. "What I've realized from Chuck is: Individuals get a way of you once you walk right into a room, so your fashion should say who you are and that you have proven up," says a "mentee," agent Andrew Kurland, whose young roster consists of American Horror Story's Taissa Farmiga. "It is develop into aggressive in making an attempt to outdo each other in being authentic and creative whereas still toeing the road," says James, as he particulars what goes right into a winning look on a budget more entry-degree than energy player.

Yes, Tailoring Is Important

"Suits that don't match break your first impression," says James, who discovered the significance of tailoring from seeing the outcomes for actor clients. "If a swimsuit's not tailored 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 perfect tailor in L.A. — and cheap. He can take one of many $300 Grand Frank linen suits I buy to reinforce my wardrobe and make it seem like a $3,000 suit" (

Within the period 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 brief or jackets so tight that they can not even transfer," says James. "You've got to ensure you can sit and stand and not appear like you are attempting too exhausting."

No Must Attempt On Suits

For a disruptive take on conventional bespoke tailoring, James recommends each the look and value factors of Articles of Style, an internet retailer founded by former model blogger Dan Trepanier. Working solely with American manufacturers, the fits are fitted via a pattern garment sent to the customer created by way of an algorithm after which analyzed in images earlier than a remaining garment is minimize. (from $1,095; Per James' advice, "I actually threw out my different fits and got 9 of these," says agent Kevin Hussey, who works with Katie Holmes and Jeff Goldblum among different shoppers. "I even received married in one of their tuxedoes. There is no lining or shoulder pads in these fits, so it keeps you good and comfy."

For inexpensive, effectively-made button-downs, Charles Tyrwhitt, a British shirtmaker with a flagship on London's Jermyn Avenue, makes its offerings straightforward to order on-line. "I like the spread-collar dress shirt," says Hussey, which "comes a couple of days" after ordering, good for pink carpet procrastinators (slim-fit gown shirt, from $69;

Dangerous Sneakers & Belts: Career Killers

"If I had been an artist, I would not sign with somebody who had dangerous shoes," says James, half jokingly. "One of the male species' worst lack of skills is buying footwear. You continue to see these excessive square toes which have been 'out' for a decade on guys who have considerably of a good swimsuit on."

The agent is partial to Gucci and ferragamo belt for cheap for his own footwear, however there are many options for up-and-comers, from on-line retailer Cobbler Union's monk straps and lace-ups ($395; to Allen Edmonds lace-ups, which agent J.R. Ringer describes as "an ideal middle-of-the-week go-to" ($395; 10250 Santa Monica Blvd.). "Even when you possibly can afford just one pair of wonderful footwear and put on them daily, be sure that that they are polished and alter out the laces. Individuals will assume you have new footwear on every day," advises James.

As for belts, he says, "most guys buckle them too tight, and even worse, too unfastened. They're all the time too huge" and aren't thought of the investment purchase that they must be. He suggests the handmade crocodile ferragamo belts men at Scully & Scully that retail for a fraction of the value of $2,500 fashions from top designer maestros ($265;

Stand Out With Equipment

"Since we're carrying suits and ties five days per week," says Ringer, "it's vital to not put on shirts and ties from the same store or brand, or fall right into a rut and look the same daily." (Charles Tyrwhitt has dapper ties from $49, an excellent 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 firm Garrett Leight makes eyeglasses which can be a twist on the classic 1950s Ivy League vibe (from $335; 165 S. La Brea Ave.). "Equipment must be worn in moderation — they should not detract or make you're feeling uneasy," says James, citing such quick-moving traits as "the assault of the killer flower lapel pins" during last yr's awards season or chunky, sporty sneakers with suits, which "appear like a nurse working at a hospital."

No Big Conferences? Not a Swimsuit Day

"When people come to California, it is very confusing they usually are likely to put on sweaters which might be too sizzling or not warm sufficient," says James, a Florida native. Naadam's cashmere pullover and cardigans, good for an company retreat, "are the perfect weight and nearly as good a high quality as I've seen at the highest-finish designer shops" (V-neck; $125, Venice-based Buck Mason is really helpful for T-shirts (curved hem tee; $28, and Kith, a wildly fashionable NYC sneaker retailer, for "upscale kicks that can also look great with suits," says James (from $135; For many all the pieces else, Grand Frank, a Swedish on-line menswear firm, delivers high quality at inexpensive costs. Says James, 47, of a $290 jacket product of handcrafted leather-based from Italy: "The suede bombers look and feel like they cost 10 instances that."

This story first appeared within the Nov. Eight challenge of The Hollywood Reporter journal. To receive the journal, click on right here to subscribe.