Style

Heading to Frieze London? Here’s what to wear

London’s foremost art fair is back and it’s just as much of an exhibition men's style as it is of paintings, sculptures and installations. So, put your best on and get down there - here's how

This week, the annual Frieze London 2019 art fair returns to Regent’s Park here in the capital. Running from Thursday to Sunday, it goes without saying that there will be a vast amount of modern art on display – but there will also be some seriously nifty dressers floating about in one of the biggest marquees you’ve ever seen. So whether you’re a collector and in the market for something to invest in (we suggest you keep an eye out for these five up-and-coming artists) or you’re an art student in need of some inspiration, we suggest making some effort and dress up. Everyone else is doing it.

Sports jackets for the win

For those of you who are collectors, there are over 160 galleries from all over the world to drop in on – so, play it comfortable, but also wear something that’ll mean you’re taken seriously. An autumnal-toned tweed sports jacket – a gun club or houndstooth check will make the right impression – is a solid bet, layered over a grown-up graphic T-shirt because, you know, hashtag art. Or, if that’s not your style, swap in a cream rollneck for softness and contrast. Downstairs, a pair of washed and gently tapered denim jeans won’t go amiss. For shoes, go for a penny loafer in polo suede or more interestingly a Tyrolean moccasin in a soft pebble grain leather.

Photo by Rob Spangle.

Triple down on navy

A navy monochrome look is fail and foolproof. It cuts a sleek silhouette, is a little bit sexy and somehow makes you look older than you actually are – which is great if you’re serious about a work of art. A soft, unstructured blazer worn with a thin knitted crewneck top, cropped trousers, and a pair of white running sneakers ought to do the trick. If you need an accessory, throw on a beanie or a scarf. One rule: try to mix up the shades and textures a little as otherwise your outfit will appear flat.

Want to wear a suit? Make sure it’s made from corduroy

If you feel compelled to wear a suit, go for it and know that The Jackal is right behind you. As autumn is now firmly upon us, make sure the suit is made from a casual and seasonal fabric – don’t just throw on your navy worsted wool suit from work. Corduroy is one of the silver linings of dressing in the colder months, and if you’re looking to invest in a suit, go for one with a heavy and wide wale – it’s a sign of quality. No need to dress it up, also. Put a T-shirt on beneath and get moving. 

When it comes to accessories, you’ll need a maximum of three. Firstly, take a collapsable umbrella because if the last few days are anything to go by it’s inevitably going to rain. Secondly, rock a pair of sunglasses. It’s brightly lit inside Frieze and nothing says ‘I mean business’ more than wearing sunglasses indoors. Lastly, bring a reasonably sized tote bag along for the ride. Gallery owners like to give you brochures to further entice you into buying from them and it’s useful to store the aforementioned umbrella.

Frieze London runs in Regent’s Park from 3–6 October 2019, frieze.com