Guy of Style – George Bowler

Stylish George Bowler is an Account Manager at hair and beauty specialists Fresh PR…

Tell us about your style – what is your ‘look’?

What I wear depends on the situation I’m in. My work attire is preppy I guess you could say – checked shirt, tie, cardie, drainpipes and a pair of oxfords. In my own time I just throw on an old t-shirt, a pair of skinny jeans and boots, chuck on my big Stevedore coat and a scarf and I’m done.

What is your current favourite item of clothing?

My favourite item at the moment is a World waistcoat with suit lapels and detailing. It’s made from black lightweight sweat-shirting and the lapels have a faint herringbone pattern running through them. I look for versatility in clothes and I can happily wear this guy anywhere, from a work launch, to down at the pub. Yuuusssss…

Who is your favourite New Zealand designer?

I can’t really say I have ONE favourite NZ designer. I love Kath Wilson’s shoes (and she’s such a honey as well); there’s always a couple of pieces a season at World that I’ll covet; Workshop has amazing denim and merino; I’m a sucker for NOM*d and Adrian Hailwood tees; and I’m always pumped at what Stolen Girlfriends pull out season after season.

What will you be wearing this summer?

For work I’m going to try and pull off a vintage ‘pencil pusher’ look. Short sleeved business shirts and shortened, cuffed slacks and sandals. The rest of summer I generally sift around in a trusty old Jockey singlet and a pair of Stubbies. I was in
Perth last summer and spent the entire two weeks searching for a shop which still sold them, as the classic Stubbie cut that we all remember so fondly, has been discontinued (who would have thought?). I finally found some in Perth’s oldest menswear shop and the old dude behind the counter couldn’t believe his luck when I bought his final four pairs that he’s had in stock for about 25 years! Score!

What has been your biggest fashion mistake?

There’s been so many, it’s difficult to choose… When I lived in London and the whole punk/glam look came in around 2000, I had an amazing pair of Helmut Lang jeans that I unfortunately shredded to within an inch of indecency and a Burberry polo shirt which I tore the sleeves off and tipped bleach over. Then I had my head shaved into a ‘Jarhead’ style buzz cut and walked around London thinking I was really edgy and subversive, when in actual fact I looked like a complete tool. Ain’t retrospect a marvellous thing?

Jandals or loafers?

Loafers. I’ve spent the equivalent of a house deposit on dress shoes over the years. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven when I happened upon the Prada factory in Incisa just outside Florence a few years ago. Imagine a warehouse as big as an airplane hanger full of Prada and Miu Miu shoes at 80% off. Drool…

Boxers or briefs?

Briefs, without a doubt. I like a bit of (ahem) support.

What is your favourite fashion purchase/garment/outfit of all times?

Probably my original 1981 Porsche Carrera driving glasses that I picked up from World about four years ago. They’re a classic Aviator style with gold frames and a variegated brown lens. Best of all they fold up to about a quarter of their size when opened, and fit into a small leather Porsche pouch. Awesome. I feel like Tom Selleck sans moustache, every time I jump behind the wheel of my Cortina.

My other favourite item is a French underwear t-shirt that I was given about 12 years ago. It is a dead simple, fitted crew neck made from a super-fine, blue and white horizontal pinstripe cotton. The tee is now more hole than fabric and I have
to handle it as if it were the Magna Carta, to stop it from disintegrating all together, but I refuse to chuck it out.

You would rather eat your own shirt than wear..?

My first retail job was at Country Road when I was 17. I was nearly sick on my first day when I was handed my junior staff uniform consisting of a white polo shirt tucked into a pair of pleated, navy chinos topped off with boat shoes. At first I thought it was some sick joke, but it quickly dawned on me that it was ME that was going to be the joke. All the other guys in menswear got to wear flat front trousers and merino knits. I resented them as I stood there looking like a chump in my fulsome chinos. I resembled Brandon Walsh in his Beverly Hills Beach Club get up. I shudder every time I see pleats or cotton drill and would rather be garroted by chinos than wear a pair.

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