To say that Nickelson Wooster is the creative director at JC Penny, is not to say much about him at all. And yet it’s a partnership that highlights an essential part of his sartorial appeal, and perhaps more than his previous roles at Barneys, Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman.
Taste-maker, blog idol, serial collaborator — it’s hard to keep track of all the projects and accessories that bear the Wooster mark. And yet the man himself never mystifies fashion. In fact Wooster claims not to be a fan of things trendy at all. His penchant for camouflage and hyper-groomed facial hair may look highly distinctive, but his style advice is tried and true: buy the classics, the best you can afford, and make sure it fits. A mantra so simple and yet so all, any devotee will tell you it actually takes years to reach true wardrobe enlightenment. Still, it’s an attainable goal, and as Wooster attests, well worth the effort.
At its core, Wooster’s style is based on uniform. His statements are essentially variations on old themes: the man in the grey flannel suit, the soldier, the school-boy. Such standards transcend fashion. And in fact, what may seem so ‘fashionable’ about Wooster is not necessarily what he’s wearing, but how he’s dressed — the way he pulls things together, the way it meets the occasion.
Though a master of detail and inventive pairings there’s a strong vein of good sense and good manners that runs through Wooster’s style. Already his first two seasons at JC Penny have seen that mantra at work. Reports indicate the stores are already sporting solid basics, slimmer cuts, classic fabrics. It seems like there’s hope for a new era of mainstream casual ware. Steeped though the man may be in camo, in tattoos, Nickelson Wooster affirms, once again, that he’s a gentleman at heart.