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Intelligent styling with Phill Tarling | A men's fashion expert

Published: February 16, 2017

Phill Tarling, a London-based fashion stylist, is an "intelligent styling" expert unlike any other. He has decades of experience working with TV talent, sporting personalities, musicians and CEOs, and his passion for style is evident in his work.

Phill's personal brand of "intelligent styling" is what sets him apart from other stylists.

Well, Phill Tarling, a leading men's fashion expert, was kind enough to answer a few questions and to share some of his insights with fans of Dapper Sports.

How did you become a style expert?

"My journey into styling was unconventional. I grew up in a village in South Wales before moving at 20, to London and a job as a standby dresser on EastEnders – in my first week I was put in charge of dressing Ricky Butcher, Arthur Fowler and Aiden! A great start to my career – and a show I ended up working on and off for years. It was whilst there that I met a stylist who was in to do some publicity shots - and as I watched her, I thought “I can do what she does”… and so I did. Becoming a stylist was a steep learning curve, and the pressure was unlike anything I’d ever felt before – but I grabbed the opportunity with both hands, worked like a Trojan, landed some great clients and have never looked back!"

Will you explain the principle of “intelligent styling”?

"Over the past 20 or so years, I’ve picked up heaps of tips, tricks, and knowledge, that when combined together, has allowed me to do my job well – and it is this that has formed the basis of “intelligent styling.” I’ve learnt so much - how to be influenced by fashion, but not be beholden to it; how to cleverly interpret seasonal trends and apply a fashion 'must have', but not commit a fashion faux pas; and how to fit someone’s body shape into fashion, but not fit fashion onto someone’s body. Simply put, if I can apply these skills and insights cleverly, constructively and appropriately, so that my clients (presenters, actors and CEOs) don’t look like fashion victims, but do have their own unique sense of style, then I have done my job well."

Can any man be fashionable?

"Fashion is fickle, age-ist and size-ist. Not every man can be fashionable and nor should they try. To be a serious “follower of fashion” requires dedication, a decent bank balance, and some serious graft. If you want to stay on trend, you need total immersion in the latest brands, clothing trends, fashionable footwear, statement accessories, and grooming. If you’re not, then forget it.

It’s way easier to be stylish – for every man can be stylish. It doesn’t require wealth, just flair, passion and a pinch of self-confidence. It’s less about needing to be current and more about choosing clothes that suit you. It’s about picking the styles and brands that allow you to be you – so more about the stuff that represents who you are and what you stand for, as opposed to the Fashion Bible!"

What is the biggest hurdle men face that prevents them from being fashionable?

"Being fashionable requires dedication, commitment and a decent sized wallet. Keeping up with the rapid change of trends from season to season can be exhausting, as it requires top to toe immersion and a continuous investment – both in time and in cash. In addition knowing how to apply clothes to your body shape is a regular conundrum – what works best if you are slim, or stocky and squat? It’s never easy."

If a man wants to become more fashionable, where should he start and why?

"Men of all ages can be inspired by fashion, but be motivated by style. Men’s magazines like GQ, Esquire and L’Officiel Hommes are great places to start – they can give you real insight into what is on trend, what looks good and what’s worth buying; and if they do seasonal breakdown of catwalk trends then even better."

If a man does not have access to a fashion expert, where can he turn for great fashion advice?

"There's a wealth of knowledge on the internet, and plenty of wardrobe help available. There are even subscription based apps, and through a succession, algorithmic questions will send items direct to your door!! If in doubt search up 'I need fashion help,' and you'll discover all manner of tips, tricks and resources at your fingertips!"

Do you have any other tips/tricks to share?

"There’s a lot of accessible fashion advice across social media that is easy to access. There is absolutely no reason to be ill informed. If you think it's important enough, then find the time. My personal style advice is simple – so learn it's value, and it will positively inform your future style choices:

  1. Know your body shape.
  2. Learn what best flatters your body shape.
  3. Don't be tempted to stray!
  4. Invest in stylish classics and accessorise with fashionable accent colours to stay on the stylish side of fashion.
  5. Have a good tailor on speed dial and alter clothes for a better fit.
  6. Savvy shoppers rarely fall foul of fashion faux pas!
  7. A great haircut should complement your sense of style."

Phill Tarling

Phill Tarling | Men's Fashion Expert

To stay up-to-date with Phill Tarling and his work, be sure to check out his website:

You may also follow him on Twitter: @philltarling

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