Male Vintage Fashion Icons You Can Take Inspiration From

Words by Zoe-Louise Thomlinson



There have been many men’s style icons throughout history. Some are very expected choices, for example, Yves Saint-Laurent, Ryan Reynolds, or Frank Ocean. However, there have been certain men who have left their mark on menswear that comes from a very unconventional place. These men did not work in fashion or were uber-stylish pop stars, and often initially were not considered stylish at all. However, over time, they became massively influential and left their mark on the menswear game forever. Here are some of the best vintage male icons in history.


Gianni Agnelli

This industrialist and politician set himself apart from other menswear icons- politicians are not often considered fashion influencers! However, this international playboy wrote both policy and fashion trends. He promoted a quiet elegance that would influence male celebrities and the everyday man. He was known for wearing casual shoes with his suits, such as slippers or sneakers. He was also a pioneer of mix-and-match styling, mixing his business attire with his country attire, which was unheard of at the time. His unique style would influence men’s fashion trends for decades and still persist after his death in 2003.


Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali is mainly known for his glittering boxing career and activism throughout the 1960s and 70s. However, his influence on style is sometimes overlooked. Long before boxers were the height of fashion, he made it his mission to always look stylish. His signature style was the well-cut suit- to him, good tailoring was key. He was a pioneer of the suit and sunglasses look. His suits often had many subtle designs, such as pinstripes. He was also a big fan of stylish 70s knitwear.


David Bailey

David Bailey was one of the most prolific fashion photographers of the 60s. He is most remembered for this. However, his styles behind the camera were also influential on men’s fashion. His fashion photography was not the only influential thing about him. He was so stylish in his personal life that the models were often enamoured with him. The work that allied him so close with Vogue was a massive influence on his own beatnik style.


Jack Kerouac

This member of the beat generation did as much for men’s style as he did for the literary world. Some people say that his most famous piece ‘On The Road’ sold a ‘trillion Levi’s.’ He has been called the father of ‘blue-collar cool.’ The parts of his style that were influenced by the beat generation were stripes and a dark collar palette. However, he mixed his style with rugged, bohemian looks that were often worn by working-class men, such as jeans. His style epitomised a certain outlook of the young generation at the time, of the ‘wandering traveller.’ At the time it was considered anti-fashion- however, we might consider it the precursor to street style. His unique style influenced a whole generation of American teens and young people. Not what you’d expect from a writer!


George Best

Best was one of the most iconic and interesting football players in the world during the 60s. However, his famously playboy lifestyle awarded him another title- the king of fashion. He was even considered the ‘fifth Beatle.’ It is not well known that he opened a Boutique in his hometown of Manchester, which did very well. He said that the collection at the boutique was aimed at the ‘extrovert male’ with lots of bright colours, tweed jackets, and purple trousers. When he wasn’t on the pitch, he was influencing fashion.


Kurt Cobain

When grunge first exploded onto the music scene in the early 90s, grunge style experienced attack for being sloppy. However, it quickly became a counter-culture with thousands of 90s teens becoming early adopters of the grunge style. Kurt Cobain was not only the king of grunge in terms of Nirvana’s sound, but also in terms of grunge fashion. His iconic Christian Roth sunglasses, oversized jumpers and heavily distressed wide-leg jeans were copied by lots of young people on the scene. He also popularised painted nails on men, which was controversial at the time. He truly made his mark on the fashion scene.


Franz Beckenbauer

Otherwise known as the Kaiser, the captain of West Germany is probably more well-known for his football than his fashion. He is most well-known for his performance in the world cup tournaments in the 60s. However, he was much more influential on men’s style than people think. In the ’70s, he did a collaboration with Adidas to create a stylish full tracksuit. Since this, men’s tracksuits became a staple of men’s fashion. He inspired a whole style of garment that dominated men’s fashion for decades to come.


Marlene Dietrich

What is a woman doing on this list? Well, she was a true menswear style icon. Breaking societal taboos during the 1930s, the German-born Hollywood star was well known for her three-piece suits. She wore these in films and in her personal life. Her iconic suits shocked the papers and general society at the time. Her style started a fashion trend which brought top hats back into fashion for both men and women! A truly divisive figure that defied the Nazis during the Second World War, she was incredibly influential in her films, fashion, and personal life.


Bjorn Borg

Bjorn Borg was the first tennis player to attract attention because of his style. The press dubbed him a ‘rockstar in tennis clothes.’  His long hair and headbands triggered many people to copy his relaxed sporty style. His stylish sportswear, shell necklaces, and disco suits off the court attracted the attention of thousands of fans. The Swedish tennis player was almost as stylistically influential on the world as ABBA.


David Bowie

David Bowie is one of the most famous men’s style icons of all time. He was infamous for playing with the rules of fashion, incorporating both masculine and feminine pieces into his wardrobe. Loving glitter and sparkle, he also wore a lot of military wear. He loved combining epaulettes, trench coats and accessories such as an RAF watch strap with feminine elements like satin and sequins. His play with gendered clothing makes him one of the most influential and iconic vintage style icons of all time.

Fac51 – The Haçienda X Cutler & Gross

The former Manchester, and often cited as the original Superclub, the Haçienda is widely regarded as the most iconic nightclub in the history of nightclubbing, open from 1982 to 1997, it has been acknowledged as reinventing and reinvigorating the nightclub genre. The former boat showroom in Manchester’s city centre was at the forefront of music, fashion and youth culture at its peak – and, for many, became the spiritual home of acid house music.

Owned by Factory Records and equally iconic electro band New Order, the unique and eclectic super club was instrumental in the careers of The Stone Roses, The Smiths, Oasis, plus global DJs like Sasha, and The Chemical Brothers, plus even served as the venue for, someone called Madonna, first UK live TV appearance.

For this inspired collaboration, Cutler & Gross’s key shapes from their extensive design archive are seen through the lens of The Haçienda’s heyday, reinvented with flair and special regard for the music, colour and fashion of that time. The collection comprises ten styles, broken down into six opticals and four sunglasses, that possess

a distinctly retro and luxurious feel, each defined by a statement size, colour and/or tinted lenses.

The collection campaign aims to capture the enduring appeal of one of the most celebrated venues in the history of nightclubbing. Inspired by the pure kinetic energy in between those four walls of The Haçienda, this dynamic campaign is meant to feel like snapshots of a hot, sweaty, but ultimately, euphoric night of dancing.

The talent is shot close together in groups, edges of energised bodies just out of frame, giving the illusion of a packed out nightclub whilst each style from the collection has its own moment within the scene.

Shot by cultural provocateur and world-renowned photographer Rankin, who exploded onto the scene in the 90s with his irreverent style and way of capturing youth culture in its most evocative form. He co-founded legendary British fashion magazine Dazed and Confused in 1991

with Jefferson Hack, changing the face of publishing by showcasing the best of Britart and Britpop with a fiercely youth-driven ethic.

From the home of the Industrial Revolution – Blake Mill

A Maths graduate who worked for the  Hong Kong Special Forces. Someone with a Physics degree and worked on a number of internet related business and a guy with a Degree in Mechanical Engineering, MBA in Finance, worked as MD of EMEA for a global risk management software company hardly sound like brains behind a fashion brand ?!?!

But it takes all sorts of talent to create a successful menswear business, particularly in the strange times we find ourselves and that is exactly what Ken Price, Ross and Steve French have done in creating and developing Blake Mill.

Blake Mill is a premium men’s fashion designer, based in Manchester, which makes completely unique and high-quality men’s dress shirts. Founded in 2018 by Steve French, Ross French and Ken Price, with a passion to make high quality dress shirts for people who want to express their individuality through clothes. Available exclusively online (with one or two exceptions), Blake Mill aims to help their customers stand out from the crowd. That may be as simple as sporting an interesting collar and cuff lining on a beautifully made white shirt. Or it may be as bold and brash as a neon impression of real brain waves rendered on the entire body of the shirt.

Taking inspiration from the world around us and bringing to life stories with bright, bold and beautiful prints, Blake Mill makes shirts to suit every personality. From Japanese flowers to the map of the world, you can dress the part from head to toe in a selection of wearable art that will transform the way you feel (just check out the Renaissance Genius Shirt and Artistic Fancy Shirt).

So while each shirt is truly original, the quality is always guaranteed.

“Each time a customer buys a Blake Mill shirt, they’re choosing the story they want to tell, the path they want to walk. It’s freedom of speech. Reserved only for those men who dare to dress differently.

Sustainability and ethical practices are at the heart of the business too. Blake Mill ensures their products are ethically produced through safe production and near net zero non-recyclable material usage. 

5 phone repair myths – debunked by the experts

Occasionally, the unthinkable happens: you get a little too confident watching YouTube videos in the bath, and the next thing you know, your phone is submerged in soapy water. Other times, you hear the sickening crack of your phone screen as you walk down the road, realising too late that your screen is cracked beyond recognition after falling right out of your pocket.

When one of these tragedies strikes, it can be tempting to reach for a packet of rice desperately or to frantically attempt a DIY repair. Thankfully, the tech experts at Likewize Repair are here to debunk the myths around at-home phone repair – from which techniques actually work, to what can happen if the wrong one is used.

  1. Leaving a cracked phone screen is fine

Dropping your phone is, sadly, just a part of life. Unfortunately, it can sometimes lead to completely smashing your screen and, despite the fact it makes the phone difficult to use, some people just choose to leave it.

This can cause more damage to your phone, as it means that tiny particles are able to get into the body of it. Your screen is extremely important – it shields the more vulnerable, delicate mechanisms within.

As well as this, having a cracked screen is a big fire hazard. As dust builds up in the cracks, it causes the phone to overheat, making you susceptible to burns or even electric shocks. You could also end up cutting your fingers, as eventually, the glass will not be able to hold itself in place.


If your phone screen is severely damaged, take it to a repair shop as soon as possible. Failing that, invest in a screen protector.

  1. You will be without a phone for a long period of time

Another common assumption when it comes to phone repair is that you will have to go without your device for days or even weeks.

This is, thankfully, very rarely the case. In most instances, you will be able to have your phone back on the same day as handing it in – assuming that it does not have to be sent off to a third-party company.

Even if your phone screen has been cracked, the device will only require longer than a few hours to repair if the impairment has reached the inside of the phone.

If the damage to the phone is particularly complicated, it may have to be sent to a specific repair centre. For example, if you have a very badly defaced iPhone, it could need to be sent to an iPhone repair centre for a number of days, in order for a specialist to evaluate it.

  1. You can dry out your phone with alcohol

Isopropyl alcohol is commonly used (by experts) to revive phones that have been dropped into water. The alcohol forms hydrogen bonds with the water, getting into all the crevices of the inside of your phone and drawing it out.

Despite this, isopropyl alcohol can very easily over-dry the components of your phone which could, in turn, damage it even more. Using too much of this solution could also lead to corrosion of the battery, making the phone even hard to fix – or unfixable.

As well as this, lots of people assume that any alcohol can be used to fix a phone, which is not the case. This type of cleaning is always best left to the experts.

  1. Getting your phone fixed is very expensive

Arguably the main reason people don’t bother to fix their phones is due to the expense. However, fixing your phone does not always have to break the bank – and this is where insurance comes into play.

While having phone insurance may not be at the top of your priority list, it will almost always protect you from having to live with a broken phone. Insurance shields you from damage that is not covered by the warranty of your phone company, and can be as cheap as £2.80 a month.

If the damage meets the criteria and is within the time period of the phone company’s warranty, you could even get your device fixed for free.

  1. Fixing your phone will mean having to wipe your data

Many of us are guilty of not backing up our photographs and messages, meaning that our phone is the one place to hold such precious memories. Due to this, many people are reluctant to get their phones repaired professionally, as they are worried they will need to be totally reset.

However, this is only the case if the phone is completely broken and cannot be fixed – and even then, most mobile devices automatically upload pictures to the iCloud(if you have an Apple product), transferring them to your iPad or laptop.

Most of the time, your data will remain totally protected, as manufacturers understand how important it is to people.

Mastering the Art of Transitional Dressing for Men

As we near the end of winter and get ready to welcome the warm sun rays, we need to make a few tweaks to our sartorial wardrobe. Some items we need to retire, others can be re-styled, and others still need to be replaced.

Transitional dressing refers to the months between pronounced seasons when we and our wardrobes are adjusting to the change of temperature. But there is a way you can make this less about dramatic changes and more about smart styling techniques.

Here are our top tips for building a transitional wardrobe that sees you through late winter and early spring.

Customise your colour palette

The key to mastering your transitional colour palette is focusing on both timeless hues and seasonal colours.

Blacks, greys, and whites form the basis of your colour palette. But, while these are staple colours for any wardrobe, you can modernise your attire by investing in the core colours that will be trending this year. So, instead of a classic navy suit, go for Blueberry – a key colour from Pantone’s winter 2023 trends book. Swap the grey with a dreamy lilac-infused grey for a softer look, and add warmth and comfort with creamy Tapioca incorporated into your cashmere sweaters.

Core colours work great with statement seasonal ones. Pair the winter 2023 favourite Abundant Green with the upcoming spring/summer Empire Yellow for a dramatic yet joyful and luminous transition to the new season. Other seasonal colours to consider incorporating into your wardrobe include Blue Perrenial, tangy orange, and nature-inspired Lichen Blue.

The sweater: a key transitional item

One key item that must make your transitional wardrobe is sweaters. They can be worn as a stand-alone piece or layered upon a smart shirt or a casual T-shirt depending on the occasion.

Have an array of sweaters, from wool cable knit ones for when the weather is not so benevolent to lightweight knitwear for warmer days and cashmere sweaters for a more elevated look.

In terms of the design, a crew neck style can be featured in a more casual style with jeans or cotton trousers and men’s loafers, or in a dressier look matched with flannel trousers or underneath a suit.

A shawl-neck cardigan is a classic mid-winter silhouette, but it can be worn as outer layer for those transitional months. Optfor a lightweight fabric such as cashmere, and pair it with white or cream chinos and a shirt for a smarter look.

The jacket

Luckily, the fashion industry has experimented with a variety of jacket designs, and we now have the perfect fits to be featured in our transitional wardrobes.

A light tailored coat or a peacoat in one of the seasonal creams or navies can add style to any chinos and a shirt or a cashmere sweater look, but it can also be toned down with jeans and a lightweight sweater.

A denim or burgundy parka is also a transitional wardrobe statement, providing both warmth and protection from the rain while also styled in an elevated look.

Leather and denim jackets are also not to be missed for an edgier look, but if you want to elevate your style, a trench coat or a blazer are a must. They can be paired with men’s smart shoes and a shirt or toned down with jeans and loafers.

The subtle art of layering

Mastering transitional dressing is all about layering. With just a few items of clothing, you can be ready for any type of weather.

Stacking several items of clothing on top of each other in a fashionable way means your wardrobe can be much more adaptable to the weather. This means that you can easily layer a basic shirt and chinos with a cable-knit sweater and a trendy trench coat. Accessorise with sunglasses and a watch.

In order to be able to layer your clothes, invest in a few basic items, such as t-shirts, shirts, chinos, and jeans.

Quality over quantity

For sustainability purposes, it’s better to have a few quality materials instead of many cheap ones. They last longer and often involve sustainable production practices, meaning you’re reducing your carbon footprint.

Quality also ensures that your outfits look put together and exude class and style. Invest in materials such as cashmere, cotton, and linen. Tailoring is also important to ensure that your garments fit you well. Define your style and buy high-quality items to complement your transitional wardrobe withitems you will be able to wear for seasons on end.

Transitional dressing is a great way to evaluate the items that you own and find new ways to style them to match the changing weather. Dressing intentionally is a smart and sustainable way to looking great!