The Piece Every Man Should Own According to a Stylist

Words by Jody Hume | 4.6.17
As a stylist, creative consultant and recurring fashion expert on television, Preston Konrad knows his way around menswear, and especially classic pieces. He’s worked with iconic brands from Belstaff to Ralph Lauren and along the way curated an impeccable wardrobe along with styling tips that every man (and woman!) can use. We had the chance to ask Preston to share some of his sartorial wisdom, from what makes a look Instaworthy to when to consign to the staple every man should have in his arsenal. Read on for his advice on how to upgrade your look.
What’s the number one styling trick you’ve picked up in your work that anyone can use?
Putting together a great look is all about the third piece. Adding a third piece to a look takes it from being just clothes, to being an outfit. For example, a killer bag makes a jean & t-shirt look perfect. A great army jacket takes khakis and a denim shirt into street style perfection.
What are your rules for editing your closet? How do you know when it’s time to consign something?
If I haven’t worn a piece in the past eight months or so, it’s time for me to consider consigning it. Having worked in-house for some incredible brands, I’ve amounted quite the haul of beautiful clothes, each with an emotional attachment. Lately I’ve been trying my hardest to shelf the fond memories of trips that are attached to many of my pieces and offer them up to new adventure seekers!
What are you looking to invest in for spring?
I think it’s finally time to bite the bullet and invest in a great lightweight, designer bomber jacket. This trend came in strong for 2016 and isn’t going away anytime soon. While it is easy to replicate the look with a bomber from countless high street brands, a designer bomber elevates any look, making it instantly Instagram worthy.

RealStyle_582 (7)Saint Laurent Leather Biker Jacket, $2,575; Alexander McQueen Sneakers, $325; Yeezy Bomber Jacket, $525

Is there a classic piece every man should own?
Every man should own a beautiful leather jacket. A classic leather jacket is truly seasonless and can upgrade an outfit instantly. When on the hunt for your leather jacket, look for quality craftsmanship, a snug fit (it will stretch and mold to your body after time) and supple leather.
What’s your take on New York Fashion Week: Men’s and the shows on the rest of the calendar that have been showing men’s and women’s together? What were your favorite runway shows?
Fashion Week is still really exciting for me … and now for my social media followers! For the ladies, the Rosie Assoulin presentation was fantastic. Todd Snyder was a knockout during the menswear shows. Of course seeing what my clients will be wearing in the next year walk down the runways is always exciting, but I love getting a chance to catch up with fellow fashion friends that I rarely get to see. As far as the men’s and women’s shows are concerned, I actually really love the men’s and women’s lines showing together. I started in the business working for luxury lifestyle brands where it was all about the ‘world of.’  As a stylist, it really helps me to see the full brand picture when reviewing or taking notes on a collection.
Who do you look to for style inspiration?
I’ve never really looked to anyone in particular for style inspiration, more to moments in time. The classic Robert Redford era of style always inspired me — .the denim shirts, fantastic trousers, oversized topcoats, chunky turtlenecks, etc. I also take great style inspiration from travel. A business trip to London or Paris always injects me with fresh styling inspiration.
What’s something you never thought you would wear that you’ve found yourself wearing?
I never pictured myself loving athletic trainers as much as I do! For years I considered myself a compulsive hoarder of loafers, brogues, wingtips, monk straps, velvet slippers, you get the picture. Nowadays, I find myself collecting sneakers from almost everywhere I travel — and pairing them with everything from suiting to sweaters!
Honoring heritage brands and extending the lifecycle of luxury items.