Life lessons from William Gilchrist
Updated: Jun 3
Meet William Gilchrist. If you are not currently familiar with him and his body of work, I suggest becoming familiar as quickly as possible.
I am a people person. Other people interest me; I like finding out about them, what they do, what they like, where they've been. But every now and then I find someone who peaks my interest enough that I spend time reading up on them and all about them.
William Gilchrist is one such person. He is a stylist and "bon viveur" who counts Jude Law and The Rolling Stones among his clients. He also works with Oliver Spencer and was once starstruck by The Clash drummer Joe Strummer.
His chosen mode of transport is a Brompton bike and his spirit of choice is tequila. Now that is modern day boho chic.
There is something you can learn from everyone and Mr Gilchrist has had plenty written about him in magazines, periodicals and across the web, so what can we learn?
Relax: "I'm a believer that if there's nothing you can do, do nothing'" he told Esquire. Those are words I might get put on a plaque.
Stlye is about personality - so is a stylist. Gilchrist has been oft quoted as saying: "A stylist is a bit like a sommelier." His rationale? He told Tempus: "You consider the individual, you weigh up the particular occasion and its various ingredients and you suggest something suitable that would work."
Variety is the spice of life: As an NFO (no fixed office) individual, Gilchrist has the freedom to be doing something different every day. And he travels light: pen, notebook and camera.
Be nice: "One has to learn to be both a good loser and a good winner in life," he told Mr Porter.
How to pack: "Do the onion" - make sure you have layers.
A suit is not a fixed idea: A suit is a pair of trousers and a jacket, which can be swapped around. Gilchrist told Esquire: "People think they are inseparable, but that would be a boiler suit."
Enjoy the journey: Gilchrist travels on his Brompton bike and told Mr Porter "I’m never in a rush. I enjoy the journey. I like to go down life’s side streets."
Life essentials: He told Mr Porter he carries " a silk scarf, a pair of sunglasses and a hip flask – all life’s essentials really."
Take notes: Gilchrist carries a leather notebook and a pen which "doesn't leak on airplanes" at all times. If you don't lose it, he argues, you will lose it.
Have a signature drink: Gilchrist told Mr Porter the members' club George knows how he takes his drinks. In case you wondered; vodka Martini in the summer, stirred with a twist, and a negroni in the winter with a slice of grapefruit.
Spend on key items: "You can't go low on shoes. And every man must own one bespoke suit," he told Tempus magazine.
The key to dressing well: "Detail and fit".
Photos courtesy of William Gilchrist's wonderfully curated instagram account