Suits & Style: Talking Early Fashion Memories and Tom Ford With the Cast of Suits
If you're not watching the legal drama Suits yet, you're missing out. Each episode packs an hour's worth of office romance, law firm drama and, of course, the perfectly-pressed menswear for which the series is named. Oh, and the fact that the two male leads happen to be really, really, ridiculously good-looking also helps.
Last night, I joined the cast of the USA show, the dapper dudes from Mr. Porter and some smartly-suited male models to celebrate the series' second-season premiere on NYC's High Line. In between chatting up the cast and getting a sneak peek at Season 2, we were treated to a runway show styled by Mr. Porter's team. And despite the pouring rain, Suits' stars were happy to share their earliest menswear memories.
"When I was eight years old, I was nominated for a Youth in Film Award," said Gabriel Macht, who plays straight-talking closer Harvey Specter. "It was for this movie called Why Would I Lie that I did with Treat Williams. I was nominated for Best Actor that year—along with Ricky Schroder, not bad company!—so I rented a tux. I didn't end up winning, but hey—it was my first tuxedo."
Patrick J. Adams, on the other hand, who plays brilliant lawyer-without-a-law-degree Mike Ross, had to purchase his first suit for a familiar teenage rite of passage. "For my high school prom," he told me, "I went and got a suit tailored by my stepdad's sketchy Armenian suitmaker in northern Toronto. I got a three-piece suit and wore all black: black shirt, black tie, black everything—and thought it'd be the coolest thing ever. Now, I look at pictures and it's mortifying...but I still have that suit!"
He may not wear ill-advised monochromatic ensembles anymore, but Adams says playing a well-dressed professional onscreen has changed his entire outlook on style. "I used to think that fashion was something that hoity-toity people worried about," he laughed. "But as I've gotten older, and now working on this show, I realize you can still be a citizen of the world and be concerned about fashion. It's artistic, it's a form of expression. I'm beginning to spend a little more money on clothes now, because I realize they'll last longer if I do."
Meanwhile, Macht, who describes his Suits alter ego as "Cary Grant meets Steve McQueen," is no stranger to the art of dressing well. "I think I've been known to wear a three-piece suit from time to time," he confessed. And while unlike Harvey Specter, he prefers "playing it vintage" to dressing in head-to-toe designer names, he does appreciate great labels. I'd heard a rumor his character wore only Tom Ford suits onscreen, for instance—which he quickly verified for me. "All of last season, and for the first half of this one, it was all Tom Ford. I think his clothes are intelligent and romantic...and they're very 'presentational,' which works well for the character of Harvey. Tom Ford's just total sophistication, and that helps Harvey close his deals."
Click through the slideshow to read my Q&As with the female cast of Suits. And be sure to catch the season premiere tomorrow at 10 pm/9c on USA!
Photo: Gabriel Macht (left) and Patrick J. Adams, courtesy of USA Network
Who's one of your favorite designers that your character, Rachel, wears on the show?
A lot of Zac Posen. His designs are corporate-sexy, and he really embraces curves.
Has being on a show with such well-dressed guys made you rethink about how the men in your life dress?
It's funny—my husband actually has a really relaxed sense of style. He'll just wear a button-down and jeans, or an easy black crewneck shirt with boating shoes. But the boys on our show wear all Tom Ford, and all this incredibly tailored, gorgeous suiting. So it does make you develop an appreciation for that sort of thing.
How do you feel about borrowed-from-the-boys style?
I think Diane Keaton probably did it best, way back in the day—that was an example of a perfect man's suit on a woman. Now, I think it's more about structure. Rachel will often wear a tight, high-waisted pencil skirt with a men's button-down, and it's got this really sexy dichotomy about it.
If you could pick anyone to guest star on Suits, who would it be?
I would love—if we're gonna reach high here—Charlize Theron. I mean, who wouldn't want to work with her?
Do you think Suits is raising the bar for how men should dress?
I think it's lifting the standards for every man! I personally love a man whos well-dressed, who thinks about what he puts on. The word "metrosexual" has been way overused and way misunderstood, but my parents come from a generation when you really took pride in how you looked. You "groomed," but it didn't make you less of a man, or make you vain...it made you proud.
Who's one of your favorite designers to wear in real life?
L'Wren Scott is brilliant. And she's about 6'4, so she knows how to design for tall women!
Style-wise, do you have anything in common with Donna, your character?
Well, on the show, they put me in these beautiful dresses: Prada, Lanvin, Armani, Victoria Beckham...but in real life, I mean, I'm a mom! So right now I'm loving Elizabeth and James a lot. And who doesn't love J.Crew?
What's your favorite borrowed-from-the-boys trend?
Blazers, for sure. Because you can get really sexy with them, keeping that boyish cut while still showing some décolletage...
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