"People assume we all dress like the Kaiser Chiefs..." Following a damning poll, three Yorkshiremen defend local style

Being true Yorkshire comes with several rules. You must enjoy chips and gravy, you must indulge in cheery chats with complete strangers on public transport and above all, you will defend your own with a pride normally reserved for your closest family members. When a Yorkshireman is badmouthed, we’re ready to roll up our sleeves and wade in to defend their honour. It’s simply a matter of pride. 

With that in mind, we couldn’t stand idly by when we stumbled upon a recent poll that revealed Leeds men to be the 'least stylist' in the UK. Over a third of Leeds females said that their male partners had no dress sense whatsoever, beating the likes of Birmingham, Cardiff and Norwich by well over 10%.  

So why are ladies throwing our fellas under the bus? Are Leeds lads really incapable of holding their own in the style stakes? At Body Confidential, we think we know better, so we took to the streets and chatted to three stylish men (with very different looks).

Brand owner Aqeel Zulfiqar, barista Sam Humphris and events customer service advisor Liam Hudson reveal all about Leeds fashion, wardrobe essentials and the state of British menswear...

So... do you think Leeds men are stylish?

Aqeel: “Being born and bred in Yorkshire I do think Leeds men generally have a good sense of style. Frequently, when I’m out shopping or on a night out I see men wearing trendy clothing and occasionally I have asked others where they have purchased a particular item of clothing they are wearing which caught my eye.”

Sam: “I work in Call Lane, and I spent a lot of the day silently judging people who walk past (Ed: don’t we all?) and it’s 99% of the time negative. That could be a lot to do with the location but generally I’d have to say I think Leeds is pretty poor in the style stakes.”

Liam: “I would have to say we are stylish, as being a Leeds lad we can’t have people slagging us off. What you have got to remember is that these people who slagged us off have probably never been to Leeds and just assume we all dress like the Kaiser Chiefs.”

18 04 16 Leeds Men Fashion Liam Hudson
"These people who slagged us off have probably never been to Leeds," says Liam

Who are your style inspirations?

Sam: “I spent a lot (far too much) of my time trawling Instagram for new outfit ideas. I couldn’t really choose anyone in particular but at the moment I’m edging towards 30s workwear. It’s really exciting to add new inspirations into my wardrobe.”

Aqeel: “My style inspiration is somewhere cross between James Dean and ASAP Rocky. Even though they both have a completely different sense of style, my creativity is influenced by them. James Dean is someone my father was inspired by which I believe has passed on to me. I love that his style is still admired today. ASAP Rocky is the modern day fashion icon and to me he can style out anything that he wears. He has an aura about him and is definitely a trendsetter.” 

Liam: “I take a lot of my style inspiration from the music I listen to as well. I think music and style have always been heavily connected. I’m also into the whole Scandinavian minimal vibe.

“I do have to admit, I do love GQ and although the price range may be a bit of a stretch, I take a lot of inspiration from there. If I had to pin point who are my style icons I would probably have to say Father John Misty and Ryan Gosling. Although that being said I have heard rumours that people are getting Ryan confused for myself so maybe he styles himself on me…”

The fancier I look the worse I'm feeling

18 04 16 Leeds Men Fashion Sam Humphris
Sam Humphris

What does style mean to you?

Sam: “I see how I dress myself as I way I make myself happy, how I cheer myself up when I’m having a hard time. As a general rule, the fancier I look, the worse I’m feeling.” 

Liam: “Style is about feeling good and being comfortable. I think your style says a lot about who you are and gives people a little bit of an insight into what you are into without having to be asked.”

Aqeel: “People tend to think that style is the same as fashion whereas I believe it’s completely different. You can be up to date with the latest fashion but at the same time have a very poor sense of style. Fashion is what you buy, style is what you do with it. Even though fashion and my wardrobe keeps on changing, my style is still the same.” 

18 04 16 Leeds Men Fashion Aqeel Zulfigar
"Fashion is what you buy, style is what you do with it," says Aqeel.

Where do you like to shop?

Sam: “I try not to shop. I’m always on some kind of shopping ban, whether that’s plants or clothes. Mostly charity shops, TKmaxx or vintage fairs.”

Liam: “I would say I’m pretty standard with where I shop. For my essentials I pretty much just go to Zara and ASOS, however I do like quality brands so I’ll occasionally go to Whistles and Cos.”

Aqeel: “ASOS hands down is my number one spot for shopping. It’s not only because they have a huge variety of clothing ranging from the top designers to the cheap and cheerful but mainly because of the service. The use of next day delivery makes shopping easier and the ability to return for free is just an added bonus.”

I’m never not wearing braces or a pair of vintage framed glasses

18 04 16 Leeds Men Fashion Sam Humphris 2
Sam Humphris

What are your three wardrobe essentials?

Sam: “Essentials are hard! Currently I’m a little too attached to my flat cap. But I’m never not wearing braces or a pair of vintage framed glasses - but I’d walk into people if I didn’t wear them.” 

Aqeel: “I think every male wardrobe should contain at least one crisp smart white shirt. Personally a white shirt gives me a serious confidence boost. Secondly some faded blue denim jeans that can match anything from shoes and a blazer to a bomber jacket and trainers. I also really love a good sturdy pair of black leather Chelsea boots.” 

Liam: “My outfits pretty much just consist of a rotation of plain black, white & grey t-shirts and some trousers or jeans which is good because it makes shopping pretty easy. I think all any guy really needs is a good quality plain t-shirt, black fitted trousers and a minimal watch. It’s worth breaking the bank a little over a nice watch as it just adds that bit of class.”

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