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 22 August 2013



Clothes make the man.  And a very lethal adversary.


Terminal Life kicks off the first novel in "The Suited Hero"

series by Richard Torregrossa about Luke Stark, a damaged Navy SEAL with a penchant for smart suits. He returns home to discover that his wife has been mysteriously murdered and his son has disappeared, a journey that sets him on a course of revenge that

is as brutal as it is cathartic and ultimately redemptive. This gripping mystery crime thriller with a groundbreaking cinematic style will be published on June 3, 2014 by Oceanview Publishing. 


Will be looking for a book publicist in due time.



Encounters with Cary

By Richard Torregrossa, April 2010

Although it�s been a few years since the publication of my biography,
�Cary Grant: A Celebration of Style,� I still receive emails and
letters from people eager to share their encounters with Cary. For this
I am grateful because all the stories so far confirm what I�ve written
about the man�that he was kind, considerate, and curious, as most
intelligent people are, as engaged in life in his seventies as he was
when he was an excited teenager newly arrived in New York City to
perform with the Pender Troupe, a Vaudeville act.

Recently, I received a letter and a photograph from Arnold Grayson of
Savile Row, Cary Grant�s tailor from 1979 until his death in 1986. The
photo shows Cary proudly modeling a smart new mohair suit Grayson had
just made for him. Grant is in his late seventies, white-haired,
wearing his trademark (at least at that time) black thick-rimmed
glasses, and revealing a beaming movie-star smile that clearly had not
dimmed with age.

�I saw him a number of times,� says Grayson, who now works by appointment out of the Holland & Sherry showroom at 9/10 Savile Row, �when he made

visits to London and he was always very amiable. At that time I had a concession in Selfridges in Oxford Street.

I was introduced to Cary by Norman Waterman, the UK managing director
of Faberge, who had been a client of mine for a number of years. Cary
also worked for Faberge. He was their spokesperson. When Cary asked
Norman who his tailor was he told him about me and that�s how it

Grant, a lifelong clotheshorse, could not resist the workmanship of a
fine tailor. For him, clothes were something more than mere
accoutrements. They were his passion. He collected them the way some
men collect classic cars. More at













Film historian Richard Torregrossa kicks off a series of lectures
entitled "Hollywood Icons" on April 20th at Kingsborough Community
College (CUNY). The author of the acclaimed biography �Cary Grant: A
Celebration of Style� will discuss the fascinating careers and lives of
some of the most memorable and beloved movie stars of the 20th Century,
including Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis, Veronica Lake, Fred Astaire,
Joan Crawford, and Cary Grant. A question-and-answer period will follow
after the talk.

Next in the lecture series: �Films of the Forties: Tough Guys and
Vintage Vixens. A Brief History of Film Noir.�

For more information, please write to: [email protected]

Kingsborough Community College
2001 Oriental Boulevard
Brooklyn, NY 11235-2398






Cary Grant and the Romance of Hollywood

Richard Torregrossa, film historian and author of Cary Grant: A Celebration of Style, Foreword by Giorgio Armani, will talk about his book and share insider stories about the romance and glamour of Hollywood�s Golden Era.



November 17th, @ 7pm

Temple Beth El of Manhattan Beach

111 West End Avenue

Brooklyn, NY 11235

For more information email [email protected] 



by Richard Torregrossa


March/April 2009 | Issue Four


How to Make an Exit
Making an exit from a social or business function is just as important
as making an entrance. However, today the rules have changed, and not
much if anything has been written on this topic, so here, then, are
five tips that will help you achieve just the right �exit strategy,�
and one that will allow you to leave with the same grace and
self-confidence you revealed when you arrived. It will also help you
make an impression in a way known only to the true man of style.

1. Never explain. Never make excuses. And never apologize. Whether
it�s a social or business function, it should be clear from your
briskly confident manner that you must dash to another important

2. Avoid getting tangled up in scarves, sweaters, overcoats, and other
sartorial traps by draping them over your arm. Wait until you are
safely out the door to put them on. This will speed your departure as
well as make it a more graceful one.


           Raf Simons                      Ralph Lauren                           Errol Flynn


3. A dashing exit is probably the hardest one to pull off. This might
help. Use clothes as props. For instance, sling your jacket or topcoat
over your shoulder or drape it rakishly around your shoulders in the
manner of Errol Flynn, then head for the exit. Create an air of mystery
by ignoring any questions about your next destination; answer them
instead with a polite but knowing smile.

4. If the party is dull and a speedy exit is required, walk
purposefully to the door without making eye contact with anybody. This
will discourage nosy questions from guests such as, �Leaving so soon?�
or �Where are you off to now?� Do, though, plant a quick departing kiss
on the cheek of your hostess.

5. Do not bid adieu to every guest at the party. This is obsequious as
well as tedious-for you and everybody else. A cheery wave directed in
the general direction of the group is more than adequate. The mark of
an effective exit is like a disappearing act-spellbinding and magical
if done well.

Richard Torregrossa

more at



Glove Love

By Richard Torregrossa

January 12, 2009


This season�s essential men�s accessory is right in keeping with the current economic climate. Gloves, whether they�re leather or suede, purchased from

a sidewalk peddler or a high-end designer, are an inexpensive way to achieve

a stylish new look. 

According to a 19th Century book of etiquette, "A gentleman is known by his gloves." Of course that was a long time ago, but the same might be true today. Men�s gloves are the new pocket squares, an accessory that is making a fashionable comeback. 

Traditionally gloves have been worn to protect one�s hands from wintry weather

or for sanitary reasons, but to make a style statement you�ve got to stuff them

into the breast pocket of your overcoat. 


"I know people who adopted this habit around a year and a half ago, and carry

it off well," says Duncan Quinn of the eponymous menswear stores in New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas. "It�s an interesting twist on the pocket square. It works with a suit jacket, sport coat, overcoat or frankly anything if it is done well. As with all accessories, it must be achieved with a view to the context in which it will be presented. Turning up at a board meeting to sign a big deal with your gloves stuffed into your breast pocket would probably not do. Unless you were the CEO of course. Or Steve McQueen." 

 It helps, too, if you pair them with the proper combo. 

"For the perfect look," says Nick Wheeler of Charles Tyrwhitt, the Jermyn Street and New York City menswear store, "we would recommend Pickett hog-skin gloves in our classic covert coat." 

Pickett, located in London's Burlington Arcade, offers leather goods and gloves

in a variety of skins, some with fanciful stitching.  

 "The rule of thumb," says Andy Gilchrist, author of The Encyclopedia of Men�s Clothes and founder of the popular style forum, Ask Andy About,

"is match the color of your gloves to the overcoat or the shoes you�re wearing." 

But don�t be afraid to indulge your preferences. 

"Gloves made from wild boar look great with a Chesterfield," says Michael

Drake of Drake�s of London. "It�s not too dressy and of course with a camel-colored coat you are not looking for high contrast. Chocolate brown suede is

chic. This kind of gesture has to be slightly casual which is why I couldn't see dress or black gloves of any kind working." 


Other posh pairings include the English covert coat in whipcord with a snazzy velvet collar or a double-breasted herringbone formal coat in grey, brown or

navy. Navy works well with chocolate brown gloves and matching chocolate-

brown suede shoes from G.J. Cleverley or Edward Green. Ralph Lauren,

Dolce & Gabbana, and YSL have all rolled out their versions of these classic coats at one time or another, and with gloves to match. 

According to Nick Wheeler this latest menswear trend started on the Internet. "Gloves in overcoats," he says, "is an Italian look that due to websites like the Sartorialist and Face Hunter is becoming more common." 

But it�s not for everybody. "My honest opinion," says Sonny Balani of Balani Custom Clothing in Chicago, "would be that they are trying too hard. I would definitely not do this." 

For Timothy Everest, a custom-tailor in Spitalsfield, England, trying too hard is

not necessarily a bad thing. "People do try too hard," he says. "A big fear men have when trying to match accessories is that they think they�ll get it wrong and look ridiculous. My advice is have a go at it because you�ve got to break a few eggs to make an omelet. Some of the better-dressed men in history had the ability to mix things together that really shouldn�t work. The Duke of Windsor is

a great example." 


Sometimes it�s just a matter of practicality. "It�s also an interesting way," says Duncan Quinn, "to circumnavigate an issue that can arise with a very form

fitting suit: you cannot in all good faith stuff your gloves into the pockets as

you will upset the sublime lines of the suit.  Hence, placing them into the

breast pocket of an overcoat also has some practical value." 

Matt Deckard of Matt Deckard Apparel agrees. �If you stick them in your jacket hip pocket they cause a bulge,� he says, �so you need to place them somewhere. Why not somewhere with flare like your jacket pocket? If in a navy suit, a good brown pair of soft sheepskin gloves always looks dashing when the fingers are draping from your chest. Polo and Brooks Brothers have nice soft pairs, yet Tommy Hilfiger takes the cake for luxury with a softer lambskin and a cashmere lining.� 

What with all the sales, you can acquire a    quality pair of gloves for even less than a cost of a neck tie. Making a style statement has never been so inexpensive. There's another upside too: "The English tradition is for pocket squares not to be worn in the city�too showy and elaborate," says Nick

Wheeler, "but we feel that top pocket adornments are an inconspicuous bit

of fun in these trying times." 


Richard Torregrossa is the author of "Cary Grant: A Celebration of Style,"

and six other books. (Charles Tyrwhitt)  

These silk lined hand finished   cape leather gloves have an in-seam construction without any detailing on the back of the

hand � perfect for those wanting  simplicity of design. Available


Silk Lined Gloves are available at Pickett in London's Burlington Arcade, about $100.


Richard Torregrossa is now the menswear columnist for, a hot new webzine that covers all the latest

and greatest trends, news, and timely topics associated with

style and fashion. Torregrossa's column is called "Manifesto."

His most recent column is "How to Make an Entrance."
Check it out here or at


by Richard Torregrossa

January/February 2009 | Issue Three


How to Make an Entrance
So you�ve got the right suit, the right shoes, and if they gave out
frequent flyer miles for all the time you�ve logged at the health club,
you�d be able to take a trip around the world.

Still, somehow you�re not making much of an impression at the places
that count - office functions, swanky soirees, that wedding you went to
last summer.

Ever wonder why? You might be underplaying one of the most important
weapons in your social arsenal - the entrance. Here are five tips to
help you get noticed before you even join the party - and for all the
right reasons.

1. Next time you�re at a social or business event take note of the
people you notice - and learn from them. One quality they all probably
have in common is that they arrive with authority. There�s nothing
tentative about the way they enter a room. They don�t look lost,
confused, surprised, bored, or nervous. They look like guests who are
not only expected but eagerly anticipated.
2. Most people experience some form of social anxiety at parties and
corporate events, but that�s still no excuse to proceed invisibly. Few
of us have implacable confidence in all areas of our life, so fake it.
It�s okay. Most people do, except those who are unpardonably lazy.

3. Always take off your overcoat before you enter the room. Wearing
outdoor clothing indoors makes you look daft and befuddled, like some
barmy English detective in a Miss Marple mystery. Instead, drape it
over your arm or toss it aside at the first opportunity to show that
you�re in tune with your surroundings.

4. Be positive. Always enter with a cheerful, upbeat comment, or
something witty if you can manage it. But never arrive with a
complaint. None of that stuff about how maddening the traffic was on
your way to the party, surely the most tiresome of topics and one that
will mark you as an unimaginative bore. If you can�t think of anything
pointedly witty to say, there is one remark that is guaranteed to
please no matter how many times it is uttered by arriving guests
throughout the evening - how lovely your hostess looks.

5. I find a pre-party cocktail loosens me up, so I often nip into a bar 
for a drink before heading to an important event. I actually learned 
this from a famous movie star. One drink is really all you need. It�ll 
help you unwind and boost your confidence, even if it is chemically 
induced. But any more than one drink might make you tipsy, too 
expansive, or out-of-step with sober guests.

All the great movie stars of Hollywood�s golden era were experts at 
making entrances, both on screen and off - Joan Crawford foremost among 
them. Her entrances are still recalled with delight by people who were 
lucky enough to witness them.

Hollywood columnist and author James Bacon recalls that Joan used to 
enter New York City�s �21� Club dragging her mink coat across the 
floor. Heads turned, conversation stopped, and all eyes followed her. 
She achieved exactly what she desired - attention but also the thrill 
of pleasing and entertaining onlookers by showing them what has now 
become the lost art of making an entrance.


 RICHARD TORREGROSSA: Manifesto Contributor
A prolific journalist, author, illustrator, and blogger, Richard has a 
passion for fashion. An expert on style and entertainment, he appears 
frequently as a guest on national network and cable television 
programs. Last year he appeared in two segments for E! News with Ryan 
Seacrest. Born and raised in New York City, he is the critically 
acclaimed author of Cary Grant: A Celebration of Style, Foreword by 
Giorgio Armani, Afterword by Michael Kors� a groundbreaking biography 
of screen icon Cary Grant written with the rare assistance of some of 
the most celebrated names in the literary, fashion, and media world, 
including Giorgio Armani, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Eva Marie Saint, 
Peter Bogdanovich, Tom Wolfe, Oleg Cassini, Alan Flusser, and Grant�s 
former Savile Row and Beverley Hills tailors.

In addition to his groundbreaking style bio, he is a frequent 
contributor to the Style sections of The Financial Times of London, The 
San Francisco Chronicle, The Huffington Post, The Chicago Tribune, and 
The Washingtonian. His work has also appeared in Self, Cosmopolitan, 
Town & Country, Movieline, Family Circle, Yoga Journal, Parents 
Magazine, The South China Morning Post, Departures, and Hemispheres.

His forthcoming books include The Style Spa and a biography, George 
Clooney: A Celebration of Style. For more information visit


Richard Torregrossa, a former male model, is a journalist, author, blogger, stylist, and television commentator.






























Illustration by Richard Torregrossa. Copyright 2009; all rights reserved.


Financial Times of London


OUT AND PROUD: Men are wearing their slippers outdoors
By Richard Torregrossa
Published in the Financial Times: November 22 2008

The leather-soled velvet monogrammed slipper, traditionally worn with 
a silk dressing gown for elegant evenings at home - think Prince Albert 
or No�l Coward - has taken a fashionable step forward into the great 

"There's a new thing I've noticed," says Richard Edgecliffe-Johnson, 
chairman of London's oldest established shoemakers WS Foster and the 
bespoke footwear brand Henry Maxwell. "Some young people are starting 
to wear slippers outside. A young dapper-looking Australian fellow who 
works for one of our graphic design companies came to the office this 
summer in a pair of velvet slippers."

Hilary Freeman, managing director of Edward Green & Co, boot and 
shoemakers of Northampton, England since 1890, sees the trend gaining 
traction globally. "We've noted a growing interest in our men's 
slippers, especially from America," says Freeman. "This is slowly 
moving west to Europe, then Russia and onwards. We are even starting to 
see interest from Japan."

But with the credit crunch, job layoffs, downsizing and outsizing, is 
this really the time for an expenditure that might make one look like a 
member of the landed gentry?

Well, it seems the answer is yes. David Coleridge, managing director 
of Huntsman, one of the most expensive tailors in Savile Row, extols 
the virtues of purchasing a new pair of quality shoes - or in this 
case, slippers - especially during recessionary times. "Invest in good 
shoes and accessories. Not only can they set the tone of an outfit, but 
they are often a lesser investment than clothing and, if well looked 
after, can last as long."

The Italian businessman and playboy Flavio Briatore, who married 
28-year-old "Wonderbra" model Elisabetta Gregoraci in June, may have 
kicked off the trend when he was spotted wearing men's slippers sans 
socks at his wedding. Today, the trend is being fuelled by several 

"This is possibly a move towards 'smart casual'," says Freeman. "It's 
a little less predictable than a pair of moccasins, the first items of 
footwear to be worn without socks, which started in Italy. I would say 
it was probably Ralph Lauren who picked up on the sockless trend in 
Italy and introduced it to the US."

Another factor is that the monograms themselves are now more fun than 
fusty, more rock'n'roll than regal. You're as likely to find a skull 
and crossbones or a dancing devil as you are royal crowns and Prince of 
Wales feathers gracing the toes of these comfortable slip-ons that are 
available in suede, velvet, silk and other plush materials.

"This year, due to popular demand, we extended our slipper range to 
include new designs such as a skull and crossbones and a seahorse," 
says George Glasgow, chairman of GJ Cleverly on London's Old Bond 
Street. "We also introduced a dark midnight blue dress slipper in 
cashmere, which has been very popular because it is not something many 
shoemakers offer."

Stubbs & Wootton has taken a more humorous approach to the funny money 
besetting the world markets. They've designed the "currency slippers", 
featuring a euro or a dollar, which are embroidered in gold or green 
metallic thread set on a classic black velvet slipper. Choose between 
"the euro" in gold or "the dollar" in green.

But many footwear fanciers prefer to design their own monograms to 
reflect their personal taste or lifestyle. "One of our customers raises 
a rare breed of cattle and sent us photographs," says Freeman of Edward 
Green. "We made deep brown velvet slippers and hand-embroidered two tan 

The laceless, pull-on, tab-fronted fireside dress slipper was 
popularised by Prince Albert, who married Queen Victoria in 1840. His 
name is now the generic term for the gentleman's slipper that is as 
sturdy as a shoe.

The icons of Hollywood's golden era embraced the Albert slipper in the 
1940s and 1950s.

 "People like Clark Gable would wear those kinds of slippers with 
coloured socks and a matching shirt," says Stephen Lachter, a 
shirtmaker at 16 Savile Row. "It's a casual, yet elegant look."

Today, adding a pair of leather-soled men's slippers is one of the 
newest ways to smarten up one's wardrobe without breaking the budget. 
For example, Crockett & Jones' plain Albert velvet ready-to-wear 
slippers retail for �115. Their made-to-order line starts at about �150 
and can cost as much as �425 if the customer requests a monogram such 
as a family crest or a company logo.

Edward Green's custom footwear service, meanwhile, goes a step 
further. Their Edinburgh model is more of an evening shoe and can be 
made in matte black calf skin but also in patent leather (perfect for 
facing the elements) with a silk bow in dark navy, burgundy or green. 
For added dash they offer a matching silk bow tie, by Drakes of London. 
No�l Coward, eat your heart out.

Richard Torregrossa is the author of the forthcoming biography, 
'George Clooney: A Celebration of Style'


more at:


CopyrightThe Financial Times Limited 2008


New luxury bags turn heads of both sexes

by Richard Torregrossa



October 19, 2008

Left: The Damier Graphite Renzo, $1,020 at Louis Vuitton, 919 N.
Michigan Ave. Right: Herm�s' new Jypsi�re, up to $7,850, at Herm�s, 110
E. Oak St.

Made for men, admired by women

The man bag just got manlier. In August, Louis Vuitton released the

Damier Graphite line of luxury luggage and accessories that has a
distinctly masculine edge.

Designed by Marc Jacobs, the Damier Graphite pattern boldly announces
that black is back. Jacobs references the previous Damier
canvases�Damier Azur and Damier Ebene�but looks forward by creating a
modern styling of black with contrasting gray checks. (Damier is French
for "checkerwork." Damier Ebene is the brown, the classic; Damier Azur
is the blue.)

The collection includes a weekender, a wheeled cabin case, a briefcase
with a dedicated laptop compartment, a duffel and even a crash
helmet�tricked out with smooth leather and polished palladium hardware.

Whatever your choice (the Roadster duffel would be mine), the geometric
pattern and harmonic tonality present a subliminal sense of exquisite
order, just the thing to calm the nerves of a multitasker faced with
anarchic financial and housing markets.

That may be why Damier Graphite has caught the eye of both male and
female urban warriors. According to BlissBags and other blogs, women
were among the first to catch on to the line's retro styling.

�Richard Torregrossa is the author of the forthcoming biography "George
Clooney: A Celebration of Style."



November 16, 2008

A classic men's lounging shoe makes strides outside
By Richard Torregrossa

Ralph Lauren has a monogrammed serpent on his. Crocket & Jones has a roaring lion, Edward Green a stag's head, and W.S. Foster a fox and 
riding boot.

There's a new trend in men's footwear. The men's leather-soled velvet 
monogrammed slipper, traditionally worn with a smoking jacket for 
elegant evenings at home�think Prince Albert or Noel Coward�has taken a 
fashionable step forward into the great outdoors.

"A new thing I've noticed," said Richard Edgecliffe-Johnson, chairman 
of London's venerable Jermyn Street footwear companies W.S. Foster and 
Henry Maxwell, "is that some young people are starting to wear them 
outside. A young dapper-looking Australian fellow who works for one of 
our graphic design companies came to the office this summer in a pair 
of velvet slippers."

Hilary Freeman, managing director of Edward Green & Co., boot and 
shoemakers of Northampton, north of London, since 1890, sees the trend 
gaining traction globally. "We've noted a growing interest in our men's 
slippers, especially from America," Freeman said. "We are even starting 
to see interest from Japan, which until the last year or so has not 
even looked at slip-on shoes."

Italian businessman and playboy Flavio Briatore, who fathered a child 
with Heidi Klum and married 28-year-old Wonderbra model Elisabetta 
Gregoraci in June, seems to have kicked off the trend last year when he 
was spotted out on the town wearing men's slippers sans socks. Today, 
the trend is fueled by several factors.

"Possibly," Freeman said, "this is a move toward 'smart casual.' It's 
a little less predictable than a pair of moccasins."

Another factor is that the monograms are now more fun than fusty. 
You're as likely to find a pirate with crossed cutlasses as you are 
royal crowns gracing the toes of these slip-ons, available in suede, 
velvet, silk and other plush materials.

"Due to popular demand," said George Glasgow, chairman of G.J. 
Cleverley Ltd. on Old Bond Street in London, "this year we extended our 
slipper range to include new designs such as a skull and crossbones and 
a seahorse. We also introduced a dark midnight blue dress slipper in 

Some footwear fanciers design their own monograms.

"One of our customers raises a rare breed of cattle and sent us 
photographs," said Freeman of Edward Green. "We made deep brown velvet 
slippers and hand-embroidered two tan cows. Another customer who wanted 
to 'get away from it all' asked for a palm tree monogram."

The laceless, pull-on, tab-fronted fireside dress slipper was 
originated by Prince Albert, who married Queen Victoria in 1840. His 
name is now the generic term for the gentleman's slipper that is as 
sturdy as a shoe.

The icons of Hollywood's golden era embraced the Albert slipper in the 
1940s and '50s. "People like Clark Gable would wear those kinds of 
slippers [at home] with colored socks and a matching shirt," said 
Stephen Lachter, a shirtmaker at 16 Savile Row, who has made garments 
for Frank Sinatra and Ralph Fiennes. "It's a casual yet very elegant 

Today, Crockett & Jones' plain Albert velvet ready-to-wear slippers 
retail for about $180. Their made-to-order line starts at about $235 
and can cost as much as $660 if the customer requests a special 
monogram such as a family crest.

Now with the holidays just around the corner, the Albert slippers 
might be the present with the most panache, but what about the 
punishment they'll receive from the sleet and the snow of gritty city 
streets or the mud of country roads?

Edgecliffe-Johnson provides a simple solution. "Galoshes," he said.

The stag's head monogrammed men's dress slipper by Edward Green 
(;  [email protected]).

Richard Torregrossa is the author of the forthcoming "George Clooney: A 
Celebration of Style"

Copyright � 2008, Chicago Tribune

This article also appeared in The Hartford Courant: and The Morning Call:
































































Masculine Mystique

New luxury bags turn heads of both sexes

October 19, 2008



Left: The Damier Graphite Renzo, $1,020 at Louis Vuitton, 919 N. Michigan

Ave. Right: Herm�s' new Jypsi�re, up to $7,850, at Herm�s, 110 E. Oak St.

Made for men, admired by women

The man bag just got manlier. In August, Louis Vuitton released the

Damier Graphite line of luxury luggage and accessories that has a

distinctly masculine edge.

Designed by Marc Jacobs, the Damier Graphite pattern boldly announces

that black is back. Jacobs references the previous Damier canvases�

Damier Azur and Damier Ebene�but looks forward by creating a modern

styling of black with contrasting gray checks. (Damier is French for

"checkerwork." Damier Ebene is the  brown, the classic; Damier Azur is the blue.)

The collection includes a weekender, a wheeled cabin case, a briefcase

with a dedicated laptop compartment, a duffel and even a crash helmet�tricked

out with smooth leather and polished palladium hardware. Whatever your

choice (the Roadster duffel would be mine), the geometric pattern

and harmonic tonality present a subliminal sense of exquisite order, just

the thing to calm the nerves of a multitasker faced with anarchic financial and

housing markets.

That may be why Damier Graphite has caught the eye of both male and female

urban warriors. According to BlissBags and other blogs, women were among the

first to catch on to the line's retro styling.

�Richard Torregrossa

more at mystique

Boast After Wearing
London cobbler to the stars offers Chicago men a chance to walk in
celebrity shoes

By Richard Torregrossa |  Special to the Chicago Tribune

September 28, 2008


Wrapped up and ready to go: G.J. Cleverley & Co. designed these loafers 
for Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts.

George Clooney wears them. So do Daniel Day-Lewis and David Beckham.

But you can't buy them in the United States unless you catch up with 
Dominic Casey, a designer for G.J. Cleverley, one of the oldest and 
perhaps the best custom shoemakers in the world, who will be in Chicago 
for fittings at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel this week.

A recent convert, Clooney experienced G.J. Cleverley's distinctive 
style and customized fit in February when his stylist included the 
brand among 40 pairs of shoes brought to Clooney's Hollywood home. The 
star of the new Coen brothers comedy "Burn After Reading" now owns a 
pair of casual loafers and a more formal pair of Cleverley brogues.

Day-Lewis visited the Cleverley showroom in London for his first 
fitting this summer, joining a current and past client list that 
includes Tom Hanks, Tom Wolfe, Fred Astaire, Humphrey Bogart and Sir 
Winston Churchill.

"We have quite a few celebrity clients," Casey said, "but most of our 
clients are not famous. They just like quality footwear."

Cleverley bespoke or custom-made shoes start at about $4,000; the 
ready-mades at about $700.

"What makes Cleverleys special," Casey said, "is quality, style, fit 
and distinctive shape. Also, a 100-year tradition unchanged in the 
making process."

That means that, unlike the majority of shoes in stores today, they 
are not produced en masse in a factory. Even the brand known to many 
affluent men, John Lobb, makes its ready-to-wear shoes in a factory 
(and they sell for almost twice the price of Cleverley's ready-to-wear 

Cleverleys are crafted in the upstairs workshop at the same showroom 
where they are sold�their only location, on London's Old Bond Street�to 
assure that the company's standards are rigidly maintained.

The bespoke process begins with meticulous measurements of the 
customer's feet, from which a handmade wooden last or mold is sculpted. 
The last precisely reflects every variation or quirk unique to the 
individual, so that when the shoes are finished, often after several 
adjustments, they are exquisitely comfortable.

Cleverley shoes are available in more than 100 styles, all displayed 

To make an appointment with Casey (from 9:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 
Wednesday and from 9:15 to noon Thursday), call him at The Ritz-Carlton 
Hotel at 312-266-1000 or e-mail him at [email protected].

Richard Torregrossa is the author of " Cary Grant: A Celebration of 

Star tracks
George Clooney and Daniel Day-Lewis are recent converts to the 
cult of G.J. Cleverley, maker of exquisite handcrafted footwear.


more at:


Hemispheres, the in-flight magazine of United Airlines, Sept. �08:


By Richard Torregrossa 

The economy might have its ups and downs, but investing some

attention in your business attire always pays off. A few simple

alterations to your office style can have you dressed to impressed.  

More at:




By Richard Torregrosssa


More at:







Hemispheres, the in-flight magazine of United Airlines, Sept. �08.





By Richard Torregrossa 


When I began working from home on my biography about Cary

Grant I thought I could simplify at least one aspect of my life: my

wardrobe.  More at:


Financial Times of London
Style & Shopping

By Richard Torregrossa
Published: August 30 2008

It�s a dressy world. And it just got dressier. You used to

be able to rent or buy a tuxedo and rest easy in the

knowledge that you were prepared for any formal

business or social event. Not any more. A tux that hasn�t been

fashionably tweaked is like a suit from the 1970s: a back-lot

costume redolent of mothballs and better times. For example, at

this week�s Venice  Film Festival opener, Burn After Reading,

its star George Clooney wisely chucked the dour black-on-black

Armani tuxedo that he claimed in 2006 to have worn for 10 years

in favour of a classic narrow-lapel single-breasted model paired

with a crisp white shirt and proper bow tie. Co-star Brad Pitt opted

for a double-breasted peak-lapel tux with a natty white pocket square.

The Coen brothers, who directed the spy comedy, posed on the

red carpet in formal black attire sans ties for a more artsy look.

It continued what had begun earlier this summer at the Cannes Film
Festival, where American Vogue editor-at-large Andr� Leon Talley
appeared in a double-breasted tux with a straight tie and glittery
buckles on his patent-leather shoes, Sean �P Diddy� Combs sported black
pants with a white dinner jacket and a black pocket handkerchief, and
fashion designers Stefano Dolce and Domenico Gabbana drew  inspiration
from the 1960s with rail-thin ties and slim lapels to create the
�skinny tux�.

�The main trend in this area,� says Bernard Thomas, general
merchandising manager of men�s wear at Lane Crawford in Hong Kong,
�would be the reworking of eveningwear, jackets specifically, by using
unpredictable fabrics and details, such as military, casual or outwear

Case in point: David Beckham, who wore a retro wonder of a tux with
wide shawl lapels to the Costume Institute Ball at the Metropolitan
Museum of Art last May. The gents in Savile Row call such a style �the
band-leader model� because its eye-catching feature was once popular
with Tommy Dorsey and other big band leaders of the 1940s.

Even Carson Kressley, the sneaker-clad mouthy character from the US
reality TV show Queer Eye For The Straight Guy, has been well-turned
out of late, most recently at a New  Yorkers for Children charity gala
event, where he appeared to be channeling Fred Astaire. As for why?
Well, Pamela Danziger, a consumer insight specialist at Unity Marketing
in Stevens, Pennsylvania, sees a dressier world being the paradoxical
result of a dress-down culture. �In the US,� she says, �as people
continue to sink to lower and lower levels of casualness, dressing up
has become a point of real distinction, a way to stand out among the
crowd.� According to a Unit Marketing study, in 2007 about 10 per cent
of US luxury consumers bought men�s formal eveningwear � up from 7 per
cent in 2006. Women�s formal and evening wear rose even higher � from
17 per cent in 2006 to 22 per cent. And although not dramatic, the
up-ticks are significant given the sluggish US economy.

However, Danziger believes globalisation is also driving the trend.
�What you see in Europe are people who are  more comfortable wearing
formal wear. It might be that our growing attention here to formal wear
is being influenced by international travel.�

�In Asia,� says Mimma Viglezio, executive vice president at Gucci
Group, �women show up in gowns even if the event doesn�t say black tie.
In Hong Kong, and even now in Beijing and Shanghai, as soon as they
have the opportunity to dress up, they do. In Japan, a conventional
woman will show up in a kimono and she will look amazing.� And, as the
women, so too the men.

The effects have been felt as far afield as Los Angeles, the city where
a graphic T-shirt and pressed jeans used to pass for formal. At
Victoria Beckham�s birthday bash at Via Vineto in Santa Monica, for
example, hubby David and guests Tom Cruise, Usher, and Diddy all wore
three-piece suits complete with cuff-links, handkerchiefs, waistcoats
with gold chains, and neatly combed  hair.

As for San Francisco: �Evening wear has been really strong here,� says
Wilkes Bashford, of the city�s eponymous men�s and women�s store. �Not
only in the standard tux, but in alternative evening wear: velvet
jackets, pattern jackets in paisleys and silks. A lot of people buy
black-tie for the opening of the opera and the symphony, and there�s a
multitude of fundraisers. That�s been great for promoting clothes for
special occasions.�

As has, paradoxically, the economic climate. �During times of
recession,� says Stephen Lachter, a bespoke shirt-maker at 16 Savile
Row, �especially at work, people tend to dress more formally: there�s
more of a sense of trying to impress.�

Richard Torregrossa is the author of �Cary Grant: A Celebration of

more at


Groomed: Sean "P Diddy" Combs smartens up
his act at the Cannes Film Festival in May.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2008












Stylist and author Richard Torregrossa

Financial Times of London

Style & Arts Section

By Richard Torregrossa
July 12, 2008

There's a dust up at the Garrick Club and the gloves - well, to

be specific, the neck ties - are off. For the past three months

the meeting place created in 1831 by the King's brother, The

Duke of  Sussex, where "actors and men of refinement and education might meet on  equal terms," has been in the midst

of a trial to test how sartorially  equal they can be by abolishing

their ties-all-day dress code. At the club's Annual General

Meeting on July 7 the verdict was finally  delivered - to no

one's satisfaction. The no-tie trial would continue  and be

discussed again at the next General Meeting. So what

happened?  Was the issue of To Tie or Not To Tie really

such a knotty problem?

Apparently yes, if you talk to the various members involved.

The decision to experiment with no neckwear until 5:30 in

the evening  alarmed some patrons, who feared it might

start a downward sartorial  spiral.

"I think the trial runs are a disaster," says Charlie Scheips, a 
curator at Phillips de Pury & Co, the art auction house, and

author of  American Fashion, "because a dress code actually

solves rather than creates a problem."

"It makes something special of what might otherwise be

another  every-day experience," says Brian Angel, who has

been an 18-year  alumnus of the Chelsea Arts Club, which

does not have a dress code. "As a guest at the Garrick you

tend to get a reminder: 'You do remember  that it's not like the Chelsea Arts and the Groucho Club? You are required to wear

a tie.' I might find it a bit of a stuffy ethic,

but one does like the Garrick for its great tradition."

However, Angel continues, "It might be that the Garrick felt

it must  recognise that smart casual would be more acceptable

to the actors and  artists of this generation" than its rather more mature members, and  might be necessary to ensure the club's thriving membership into the future.

Still, the timing is a bit odd, given that men are dressing better

now than they have in decades. "We've seen a big increase in

the sale of  ties," says Nick Wheeler, managing director of

Charles Tyrwhitt, a  men's specialty store in Jermyn Street.

"People said the tie was dead.  Our neck tie sales were up

50 per cent in 2007 from the year before."

"Anytime there's an upheaval economically in the world,"

observes  Scheips, "people dress up more." On the other

hand, he goes on, "maybe  the problem isn't the dress codes;

maybe the question is, 'Do these  kinds of clubs have any

relevance in 21st century society?' I think  that they do. They're

part of our cultural heritage."

Richard Torregrossa is the author of 'Cary Grant: A Celebration

of  Style'

more at:
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2008

"FT" and "Financial Times" are trademarks of the Financial  Times.
Privacy policy | Terms
� Copyright The Financial Times Ltd 2008













Stylist and author Richard Torregrossa

The San Francisco Chronicle's monthly fashion supplement, SFiS, June 2008.


Far from the runways, S.F. is a fashion trend-setter.



Modern Gentleman's Blog

Friday May 30, 2008


Can I Get French Cuffs with That?

by Richard Torregrossa


You sure can. More and more men are finding that French

cuffs are a wise way to distinguish themselves from the

increasing number of well-dressed gents in the workplace

and on the social scene. But are they for you?


By Richard Torregrossa

The Financial Times of London
Published: May 3, 2008

Confused by conflicting reports about a global recession? Well,

you're not alone. Even the experts disagree. According to Morgan

Stanley, the US is already in one. Then CNN commentator Lou Dobbs hysterically  announced that the US economy was flirting with disaster. Meanwhile, the luxury industry asserts it's sitting pretty, as

recession-proof as ever.

Clearly sectors such as the housing market are already experiencing

an economic downturn but amid the predictions and chatter about

the  world's current and future fiscal health, there's one important 
question that hasn't been asked: if there is a recession, what does

one wear? It's not as trivial as it might seem.

"The last thing people should do is dress down," says Simon

Doonan,  creative director of Barneys. "You'll just depress the people

around  you. A little bit of optimistic flamboyance is what is required

during  a recession. Think of Auntie Mame, who inspired the musical

of the same  name. She still wore a big hat even when she had

no money."

Stylist and author Richard Torregrossa 

The Modern Gentleman's Blog
Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Jealousy and the Well-Dressed Man
by Richard Torregrossa

Some of our readers have expressed concern about the liability of
dressing too well�particularly better than one�s boss. Common wisdom
says that if you dress better than your boss, you risk his/her ire or
jealousy, so you should dress down. I agree, but only if your ambitions
go no farther than being a subservient cubicle drone happy with a
stagnant but secure job. But if you want to earn your boss�s job
someday or one like it, kicking up your personal style is a guaranteed
way to distinguish yourself from your rivals.




April 28, 2008

By Richard Torregrossa

Size doesn't matter; thickness does. Just ask Bill Clinton who has

suddenly started wearing fat ties with cutaway collars.

Richard Torregrossa explores the confluence between politics
and fashion.


Modern Gentleman's Blog
Monday April 28, 2008

The Secrets of the Perfect Martini

by Richard Torregrossa

These days it�s nearly impossible to find a good martini. And it�s all
James Bond�s fault.



Modern Gentleman's Blog
Tuesday April 22, 2008

Was Cary Grant a Modern Gentleman, Part II

by Richard Torregrossa

Last week, we explored a question at the intersection of On The Fly's
point-of-view and my book: Was Cary Grant a "modern gentleman"? It�s an
intriguing question because Ami would consider Mr. Grant an icon of
"Old School" style -- an actor who not only made movies during
Hollywood�s golden era but who epitomized it. And that was a very long
time ago.

But the arc of his life, from Archibald Leach, a poor and awkward kid
from the English provinces, to the suave movie star at the top of
Hollywood�s A-list, is essentially a story about a very modern
obsession� the makeover.







Modern Gentleman's Blog

Wednesday April 16, 2008

Was Cary Grant a "Modern Gentleman"?

by Richard Torregrossa

More than a year after my biography, �Cary Grant: A Celebration of
Style,� was published, and after writing more than a few articles about
him during that time, I return again to the topic.

But I do so not because of any obsession with the iconic movie star or
lack of interest in a new subject or even to shamelessly plug my book.
I do so because Cary Grant is of enduring interest to you, the movie
fan, the sartorialist, the connoisseur, the keen-eyed shopper.

Rarely does a day go by that I do not receive a question about him sent
to my web site email address. The appetite for information about him
seems insatiable, a testament to his timeless appeal and his mystifying
achievement as a man of style.










Modern Gentleman's Blog

Thursday April 10, 2008

The Poor Pocket Square
by Richard Torregrossa


Yes, we know they�re back (and for some of us they never went away).
It seems everybody from college grads to corporate swells have
discovered this nifty accessory. Although we�re all for smart dressing,
we cannot endorse this trend wholeheartedly for one simple reason:
pocket square abuse is rampant, especially in the media, where anchors
like Glenn Beck and Bill O�Reilly commit the most heinous of sartorial
crimes: they match their pocket squares with their ties, a tell-tale
sign of the amateur.

It is our informed opinion that the pattern of your pocket square
should not replicate the pattern in your tie.











Modern Gentleman's Blog

Saturday March 15, 2008

What Knot to Wear

by Richard Torregrossa


Bill Clinton, David Beckham,  Jay-Z, and Prince Michael of Kent walk
into a bar...

Actually, why even try to finish that joke when the title of this blog
is already so clever. It's based on an article I wrote for the
Financial Times noting the recent resurgence of thick tie knots. While
big, thick knots have been the norm in Italy for the past few years,
the trend has slowly crept stateside. It was something I noticed but
didn't feel the need to write about until I saw Bill Clinton stumping
for Hillary with a giant orange knot under his giant red face. Given
the absolute lack of personal expression in most politicians' wardrobe
choices -- navy suit, white shirt, red tie anyone?

By Richard Torregrossa

Published: March 15 2008
The Financial Times of London  Weekend Edition

Life as a potential First Husband is clearly a difficult adjustment for Bill Clinton, who keeps making news

by whatever means possible. Most  recently, for

example, while stumping for wife Hillary in her 

presidential campaign, the former president appeared

in a very British  cutaway collar with a Windsor-knotted

neck tie � a pointed departure  from the conservative business attire he�s worn his entire political  career.

He�s not the only one. Suddenly the thick tie, whether

it�s a fat four-in-hand or the classic or semi-Windsor,

is everywhere.  more...


Modern Gentleman's Blog

Thursday Feb 28, 2008 


How to Rock an Ascot
by Richard Torregrossa


Every once in a while I like to go off-trend and try a different look
just for the fun of it. And to see if I can pull it off.

I�ve always wanted to give the ascot a shot and when I was invited to
a wedding this weekend, I seized the opportunity.














By Richard Torregrossa

Published: February 16 2008 02:00 |

The Financial Times of London  Weekend Edition

If American presidential election law was different, and

non-US born  citizens were able to run for the highest

office in the land, it is  possible to imagine a scenario wherein California Governor and former  A-list action-

movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger would take his place  among the Republican frontrunners (indeed, Republicans themselves often  imagine this). However, if he did so, a certain statement he made a few years ago might come back to haunt him: specifically, the admission  that he is

"a major shoe queen".

On the other hand, it might be less of a problem than one might expect.  Increasingly, when it comes to men and shoes, it seems Schwarzenegger 
is not alone. read more at:

Richard Torregrossa contributed to this new textbook, "Realities of Nutrition," by Stanford University Professor Judi S. Morrill, Ph. D., who specializes in teaching science to non-scientists.

This book will free you from dependence on popular sources of information�often misinformation�so

you can distinguish illusion from the realities of

nutrition. The book is available on,

but it can be purchased for a special price at .



Richard Torregrossa
Sunday, December 16, 2007

More and more I find myself admiring fat people. In recent days, for
instance, on the Iron Mountain hiking trail in Poway - about 25 miles
east of San Diego - I passed a large woman who was huffing and puffing
on the rocky path that has a peak elevation of about 2,700 feet.

I was on the way down; she was on the way up. Round-trip it's about a
6-mile haul, so she had a long way to go. But although she was huffing
and puffing, taking big gulps of hot dry air as the sweat poured down
her glistening face, she seemed fiercely determined, and I had to
admire that. more...


Richard Torregrossa, Special to The Chronicle
Sunday, December 9, 2007




According to several new studies, America is losing the battle of the

This might not come as a surprise, especially during the holiday
season, when tempting treats and festive foods are everywhere, but
there's still hope for a trimmer tomorrow.

The solution, however, might not be in your diet but in how you dress.
It's also in the colors and patterns and even the pocket placement you 

choose.  more...


Richard Torregrossa, Special to The Chronicle
Sunday, December 2, 2007

It was fun while it lasted.

Men's blousy boxers in plucky patterns, such as shamrocks, cartoon
characters, smiley faces, polka dots and whimsical plaids, outpaced
sales of traditional white underwear for the first time last year,
according to the NPD Group, a consumer tracking service, but that might
be changing.

The generation that grew up sporting Underoos and other playful
skivvies developed a fondness for kiddy-themed underwear that became a
habit well into adulthood, but with the advent of a more sober approach
to men's dressing, there's a new trend on the rise - sexy boxers with
classic styling that emphasize fit and fabric over funky colors and
preppy patterns.

Leading the way is Birds Outstanding Boxers, a Sausalito company headed
up by husband-and-wife team Megan and Michael Papay. They launched
their company's retro-style boxers with a modern construction last year
to fill what they call a void in the fine men's underwear market.

Richard Torregrossa, Special to The Chronicle

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Esmail Astanboos, who has been a tailor since 1965, has made men's
suits and shirts for politicians, businessmen and even the occasional
movie star, Bruce Willis among them.

But lately his shop, on Beale Street, a few blocks from AT&T Park, has
attracted customers of a new sort - women.

It was once almost exclusively the domain of men, but now women have
discovered the benefits of "bespoke" custom tailoring in which clients
dictate the design and detailing of the clothing. more...


Richard Torregrossa
Sunday, November 25, 2007

Bespoke. It's a word you hear a lot these days.

Custom and made-to-measure are also terms that frequently come up in
conversations about clothes. But is there a difference? And what about
ready-made or off-the-peg? Confused? If you are, you're not alone.
Here, then, is a guide to set things straight. more...


By Richard Torregrossa


In this groundbreaking new feature article style writer and

author  Richard Torregrossa reveals new insights and

historical information about the most iconic suit in film

history worn by Cary Grant in the Hitchcock classic,

"North by Northwest."


It has been featured in fine menswear magazines in

over 50 cities around the world, including Gene Hiller

in Sausalito, California, Gary Waters in Ontario,

Canada, and The Ascot Shop in La Jolla, California.

But now you can read it here.

Cary Grant and the Secrets of the Perfect Suit  



  A survey of insights from media around the world.
  September 9, 2007, 5:40 pm

A Football Coach�s Fight to Wear a Suit

 San Francisco 49ers head coach, Mike Nolan,

 is making progress in his  two-year fight to wear

 suits at games, writes Richard Torregrossa 

 in the San Francisco Chronicle. In 2005, Mr. Nolan

 announced his plan as a tribute to his sharply dressed

 father, former 49ers head coach  Dick Nolan. However,

An NFL Fashion No-No   a licensing agreement, which won�t expire until 2012,

                              requires NFL coaches to wear Reebok apparel such

 as windbreakers and hooded sweaters. In a compromise last year,

 Mr. Nolan was allowed to wear a suit at two home games, so long as

 Reebok made it. The company�s first foray into designer menswear

 �was more befitting a toll-booth operator,� says Mr. Torregrossa, who

 wrote �Cary Grant: A Celebration of Style.� This year, Mr. Nolan can

 wear suits at all home games, which are designed by the upscale

JA Apparel Corp., owner of the Joseph Abboud trademark. The jackets

are lined with team colors and the ties have tiny logos on them.

Mr. Nolan says he will push to wear suits at away games as well. � Robin Moroney

In This Issue:
Fit for a Queen
London�s famed Savile Row has much to offer the well-dressed woman.
by Richard Torregrossa



Richard Torregrossa, Special to The Chronicle
Sunday, September 9, 2007

When Mike Nolan, head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, takes the field 
Monday in the season opener against the Arizona Cardinals on "Monday 
Night Football," he will have already won an important victory - the 
right to wear a suit on the sidelines.

While most men look for excuses to dress casually, Nolan has fought 
long and hard for the right to dress up, sparking a controversy that 
has made him a coach who stands for old-school values, a symbol of a 
new direction for a struggling team and a suited hero among football 
fans and fashionistas. Nolan came in at No. 11 on Esquire's Best 
Dressed list for 2007.

The sartorial struggle began in 2005, when Nolan was hired as the head 
coach of the ailing 49ers and said he would like to wear a coat and tie 
on the sidelines as a tribute to his father, Dick Nolan, another suited 
hero, who was head coach of the 49ers from 1968 to 1975, and had just 
been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. more ...


Richard Torregrossa, Special to The Chronicle
Sunday, August 12, 2007 


The fanfare that greeted soccer star David Beckham's arrival in this
country to play for the L.A. Galaxy soccer team has proved that he's as
popular here as he is in Europe. If you're a fan who has ever wondered
what it would be like to walk a mile in his shoes, here's your chance.

Read the latest interview with Richard Torregrossa on




Blog on to The Sartorialist for a style face off between Fred Astaire
and Cary Grant. Who's better? Read Richard Torregrossa's essay, "The
Real Secret of Cary Grant's Style" and post your comments:




The audacity of hope -- and a good suit
Richard Torregrossa, Special to The Chronicle
Sunday, July 22, 2007



One question that will not be asked but should be inserted into Monday 
night's Democratic debate is, "Clothes make the man, but can clothes 
make a president?"

David Letterman and Halle Berry think so.

Sen. Barack Obama's appearance in April on "The Late Show" sparked an 
uncharacteristically sincere compliment from the wry talk-show host. 
"This is a tremendous suit you have on. That is a very electable suit," 
said Letterman, surveying Obama's attire admiringly.
Berry, who followed Obama in the guest queue, agreed. "I like his 
suit," she said. "I'd vote for his suit, too."

Obama's black single-breasted suit, standard white shirt and pale blue 
tie was not exactly a sartorial groundbreaker, so what was all the fuss 
about? more...

Let us know what you think. Post your comments at


Celebs take golf fashion to the street
Richard Torregrossa, Special to The Chronicle
Sunday, July 29, 2007


 Is the golf course the new red carpet?

Could be. Established luxury brands like Chanel, Louis Vuitton and 
Swarovski have gotten into the game with new clothing lines and glam 
gear that make the links the hottest style source since the catwalk.

Hip, new specialty lines like Peter Millar, UGG (Urban Golf Gear), 
Tattoo Golf, Golfjunkie and Jodie Kidd create clothes that are so 
stylish and comfortable they're worn off as well as on the links.

Jessica Alba, who was voted the sexiest woman in the world by Britain's 
FHM magazine, was spotted Christmas shopping in Beverly Hills dressed 
in golf clothing, a sporty change from her usual skin-baring attire, 
but she turned heads nonetheless. more 

Also, visit the related blog,"RT's Ten Most Stylish Celebrity Golfers" 
at Fashion on the Fairways   and post your comments.

Have questions about Cary Grant for author Richard Torregrossa?

Please submit your questions to

Author Richard Torregrossa


Watch E! NEWS with Ryan Seacrest and Giuliana DePandi on June 12th ,13th, 14th at 7pm and 11pm,  8am and  noon, and

throughout the week to see style writer and author  Richard Torregrossa talk about how today's stars

make old Hollywood new.  And let us know what you think at here's the link: 





From the WASHINGTONIAN May, 07

Capital Comment

Will Obama Kill Pleated Khakis?

By Richard Torregrossa

Is Barack Obama the next DC fashion icon? He favors slim-cut suits and tapered ties in keeping with the new trends in men�s fashion. It�s a more youthful look that contrasts with the navy-blue uniforms of President Bush and company.

�I describe his style as modern, crisp, a straight line,� says Pamela Keogh, author of Jackie Style.

He even wears the fashion pants in his political party�flat-front instead of the pleated trousers favored by the old boys on Capitol Hill. His main rival for the Democratic nomination, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, cut a fashionable figure with the help of Donna Karan in the 1990s, but not anymore. She�s settled into pantsuits at the Capitol and on the campaign trail.

�He knows how to look elegant,� says menswear designer Alan Flusser. �The tie has a dimple in the knot; it�s pulled up pretty authoritatively into his collar.�

But Flusser doesn�t think Obama has reached the level of a style icon.

�He doesn�t dress that specially,� he says. �If he were wearing a pocket handkerchief, then I would say here is somebody who�s trying to develop a sartorial sophistication. He�s got more style than the average Beltway politician, but he doesn�t want to go too far.�

And that might be a kind of sophistication in itself. President Kennedy was a Savile Row regular until he realized that he might appear too posh.

Obama has made himself vulnerable in a similar way. New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd criticized him for snuggling up to Oprah, spending too much time in the gym, and posing for fashion spreads in Men�s Vogue. �Does Barack Obama,� she wrote, �want to be a celebrity or a man of history�or is there no longer any difference?�

Perhaps he�s just trying to get elected.

�The majority of my customers are politicians and lobbyists who put a lot of thought into what they wear,� says Craig Fox of Wm. Fox & Co., a menswear store two blocks from the White House, which has no relationship with Obama. �Everybody is looking for an edge. Style is a powerful tool.�



The New Gentlemen

Step aside, Mr.Metrosexual. Another sharp dresser is here, and he takes is cue from a higher authority--the Golden Age of Hollywood.


Richard Torregrossa, Special to The Chronicle

Sunday, February 25, 2007


The Academy Awards ceremony tonight serves as a reminder that men need style tips too, even if they're movie stars....more














                                    People Magazine


                                                   Style Watch, February 14, 2007

                                                   Give Your Guy Some Grant Style


 Here's a clever--and subtle--way to upgrade your guy's style this Valentine's Day. Give him a copy of  Cary Grant: A Celebration of Style, by Richard Torregrossa, available at for $24. This new book looks at the

movie icon's fashion and cultural influences, with a forward by

Giorgio Armani and an afterward by Michael Kors. After a few pages your guy will be itching to try this confident

and elegant look out with you. Better keep your LBD handy,

just in case.


From May, 07 issue of San Diego Magazine...


Dressing the Part




While writing a book about Cary Grant�s style, San Diego writer Richard Torregrossa discovered the power of a jacket and tie



THERE�S NOTHING LIKE a crisp, white dress shirt, a well-fitting wool suit and an understated pair of cufflinks to make a man feel powerful. To make him feel like, well, Cary Grant. Journalist Richard Torregrossa had just this sort of transformative experience while writing his new book, Cary Grant: A Celebration of Style (Bulfinch Press, $35). The Rancho Bernardo� based author spent nearly three years researching and writing, and in the process went from starting his day in sweats to starting his day in a suit, shirt and tie. He even donned cufflinks for a while, until they made it difficult to use the computer�s mouse.


It all began when Torregrossa, who�s covered fashion for the past decade, attended the Giorgio Armani fall show in New York in 2003.


 Armani noted his line that year had been inspired by �the timeless elegance of Cary Grant� and cited movies such as Notorious and North by Northwest as evidence of the actor�s superb style. (Armani wound up writing the book�s introduction.) Torregrossa�s curiosity was piqued. When he returned to San Diego, he rented the Alfred Hitchcock movies and had a fashion epiphany.


�I realized Cary Grant�s style is as relevant today as it was when he made those films,� he says. Thus began Torregrossa�s journey through the actor�s life. The resulting book is part biography, part style manual.


Grant was born Archibald Alexander Leach into a workingclass, dysfunctional family in Bristol, England. He left home at 16 to play the greatest role of his life: Cary Grant, movie star.


�He transformed himself from a poor kid into an aristocratic presence, and he did it by dressing like the men he wanted to become,� says Torregrossa. �What I learned from him is that clothes are empowering. Style is a tool of empowerment.� In fact, Grant�s style��what he wore and how he wore it��likely launched his career as a leading man. Torregrossa writes that Mae West spotted Grant��dressed in an impeccable white Navy uniform costume��across a parking lot at Paramount and told her producer, �If he can talk, I want him in my picture.� (The resulting film was She Done Him Wrong.)


After traveling to Savile Row and Beverly Hills to interview Grant�s former tailors, Torregrossa began to view clothing as an art form. �Grant had such respect for clothes and the power of style,� he says. �This wasn�t like going to the dry cleaners and getting your pants altered. Grant used to say it takes 500 details to make one favorable impression. That�s something akin to Picasso.�


When he began dressing better and paying attention to his own clothes, Torregrossa felt like a new person. �I say this somewhat jokingly, but not only did my clothes become more stylish but my prose did, too. I was definitely more productive and more connected to the world,� he says.


I glance down at my own work attire��unflattering gray sweatpants and a Rutgers College sweatshirt��while cradling the phone on my shoulder. �Really?� I ask.


�Really,� he says. �In fact, I�m wearing a suit right now.�





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Cary Grant:  A Celebration of Style

by Richard Torregrossa, Georgio Armani (Foreword)

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