There’s something about a suit that instantly transforms the essence of someone’s style — even if they’ve seldom worn one before. These seven men arrived on the set of our photo shoot in their street clothes and were transformed as they slipped into the tailored looks of the day. It became clear that this season’s modern assortment of tailoring is far from stuffy or stifling, and it doesn’t have to mean sacrificing personal flair. We chatted with this diverse cast of talent (from industries including film, food, modeling, and beyond) about style and suiting memories; plus, we snapped them in their arrival looks (not from Barneys, but we won’t hold it against them) for our own special edition of before-and-after.

RICHIE MERRITT — Actor

The Window: What was your first memory of dressing up?
Richie Merritt:
It was actually for my film, White Boy Rick. I wore an ’80s fur coat, and I remember feeling warm!

How does your work inform your personal style?
My style has nothing to do with my work — it’s what I like, whereas the roles I play have nothing to do with me as a person. I’m hired more for what others feel I can bring to the table when characterizing someone else.

SIMILAR: JOHN VIZZONE Checked Wool Two-Button Sportcoat / BARNEYS NEW YORK Cotton Poplin Dress Shirt / DRAKE’S Paisley Silk Faille Necktie / CROCKETT & JONES Plain-Toe Loafers

 

DANNY BOWIEN — Chef and Cofounder, Mission Chinese Food

How does your work inform your personal style?
Danny Bowien: Sensibility and function are a big part of my personal style. As a chef, you use your body and move a lot when in the kitchen, so your clothing has to allow for that. I also try to not be too serious; it’s all about high and low, like mixing a $5 shirt from Chinatown with Gucci loafers.

What’s your approach to getting dressed up?
It’s similar to cooking. A lot of thought goes into it before so that when I’m actually getting ready I spend very little time.

SARTORIO PG Silk-Blend One-Button Sportcoat / SARTORIO Leaf-Print Cotton Trousers / BAUDOIN & LANGE Suede Loafers / LOREN STEWART Mini Infinity Hoop Earring

 

DELFIN FINLEY — Artist

How does your work inform your personal style?
Delfin Finley: I try to keep my work as organic as possible and try not to really force anything. I think those same ideas transfer to my clothing choices. I believe the most important part of personal style is knowing yourself. Fashion should be an extension of you — don’t let the clothes wear you.

How often do you wear a suit?
I do not wear a suit often, but I enjoy dressing up. I feel good in a suit, and I like to think that it shows.

What’s your approach to dressing up?
I tend to be very choosy. Even if I am dressing casually, I commit to an entire look. So on those very special times I dress up I am all in. I will make sure every detail is to my liking, from the socks to the right cuff link to the extra shine for my hair.

RALPH LAUREN PURPLE LABEL Slub Silk One-Button Sportcoat / RALPH LAUREN PURPLE LABEL Cotton Poplin Dress Shirt

 

KELVIN HARRISON JR. — Actor

What was your first memory of wearing a suit?
Kelvin Harrison Jr.: I’ve been wearing suits since I was very young, probably 1 year old. I grew up in the Baptist church in New Orleans — getting a new suit was always a treat. Looking your best with a nice suit and fresh haircut was one of my first introductions towards self-care. You’ll feel great if you look great.

How often do you wear a suit?
I wear a suit every few months now, mostly for premieres and stuff like that. Every chance I get to slide into one, I’m having fun with tailoring, cuts, and colors.

Where would you wear the look you wore in the Barneys shoot?
I would definitely where the Canali suit to a wedding or a premiere. That color gray is so simple yet rich, so it makes me feel like I’m subtly making an impression.

CANALI Capri Wool Two-Button Suit / BARNEYS NEW YORK Cotton Broadcloth Trim Shirt / SIMILAR: DRAKE’S Paisley Silk Faille Necktie / PAOLO ALBIZZATI Paisley Wool-Cotton Pocket Square / BARNEYS NEW YORK Cap-Toe Leather Balmorals

 

WILL CHANCELLOR — Author

How does your work inform your personal style?
Will Chancellor:
I’m probably more adventurous with clothes these days. I wear bright, saturated colors a lot — mostly under sweaters. They remind me to look for the underlying vitality in anything, the electric thread that gets buried under the gray fuzz of a city in winter.

What was your first memory of wearing a suit?
That has to be Easter Sunday. I grew up in Hawaii and Texas, so it was always balmy in April. I’d wear a polo or button-down shirt and a vest — it was the vest that made me feel extra fancy.

BOGLIOLI “K Suit” Wool-Blend Three-Button Suit / BOGLIOLI Cotton Polo Shirt / ADIDAS BNY Sole Series: Men’s Rod Laver Suede Sneakers

 

DAVID ALEXANDER FINN — Artist/Model

How does your work inform your personal style?
David Alexander Finn:
I love getting something new and putting it to the test. Process is incredibly important to me, and so is the idea of making something mine. Breaking in a crispy pair of jeans and all the stories and memories each tear and stain hold — it’s like a diary of your adventures.

What was your first memory of wearing a suit?
My parents got married when I was 3, and somehow I vividly remember that day. I wore a navy suit with a white button-down.

How often do you wear a suit?
Taking the Mrs. to the opera or ballet on a Thursday night, then ending up overdressed in a Chinese restaurant off of Canal — I love the idea of contrast and how a suit allows any experience to feel extraordinary.

RING JACKET Basket-Weave Wool Two-Button Sportcoat / JOHN SMEDLEY Knit Cotton Polo Shirt / PT01 Worsted Wool Super-Slim Trousers / SIMILAR: SIMONNOT GODARD Contrast-Edge Cotton-Linen Pocket Square

 

FARSHAD FARZANKIA — Artist

What was your first memory of wearing a suit?
Farshad Farzankia
: I was around 7 years old. My dad took me to a tailor shop in Tehran, and I got a suit — best suit I’ve ever had. I remember I was wearing it almost every day until I grew out of it.

How does your work inform your personal style?
I go to the studio every day. I tend to wear basic, comfortable clothing like track suits and shirts.

Where would you wear the look you wore in the Barneys shoot?
On a special occasion, going out with my girl, you know. I like to dress sharp when I’m around her. It’s a male instinct, I think. I want to present myself in a good way. I liked the quality of the garment and fit.

GIORGIO ARMANI Tech-Crepe Trench Coat / GIORGIO ARMANI Stretch-Jersey Jacket / GIORGIO ARMANI Jersey Jogger Pants

 

 

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