Matt Benns. Photo / Supplied

A Stylish Man: Hairstylist Matt Benns On Personal Style

The New York based ex-pat shares what personal style means to him

I've never met a hairstylist who is not interested in fashion, but when it comes to Matt Benns, he's always been one of my favourites when it comes to true personal style. Having moved to New York in 2017, Matt's range of work has appeared on runway shows and in editorials for VivaVogue Australia and iD Magazine. He shares his style advice and what self-representation means to him. 

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What does personal style mean to you? 
My personal style changes seasonally, which I love — during the colder months of fall and winter, I like a mix of utilitarian/athletic and a well-tailored Jacket. I cycle from Brooklyn to Manhattan to work nearly every day so clothing that’s easy to move in. Functionality in the city is so important because sometimes you don’t have the luxury of making it home to change before heading out after work — it needs to be weather durable but still professional.

I wear a lot of denim and brands like GmbH, Carhartt and Acne. During the summer I love a tank top and denim moment. I’m definitely channelling young Jared Leto and Leonardo DiCaprio. I don’t feel comfortable overdressing. I like a mix of a well-designed garment integrated with simplicity. I can’t wait to wear custom-designed Zak Syroca pant this summer — he's so talented.

When did you become interested in style? 
I guess I’ve always had an interest, but it wasn’t until my mid-20s that I really defined my personal style.

What's your favourite style memory or moment in your life/childhood? 
Oh God, definitely between the ages of 4-6 in the early 90s. I had a rats tail and loved wearing oversized printed T-shirt’s and colourful shorts and sneakers

Matt counts Jared Leto as a style inspiration. Photo / Supplied

You've lived in New York for a couple of years now. How has the city if at all made an impact on the way you dress now? 
Living in a city like New York you’re surrounded by a mix of people that are confident in their own skin, and I think from there personal style comes so naturally to most. To be honest I’ve never felt more confident with how I express my self via clothing. Never afraid to wear anything or to dress in a certain way because, no one is going to say anything — if anything it’s always a compliment — I really think it’s important that a guy can feel sexy, there’s nothing wrong with that!

What in your opinion should every guy have in his wardrobe? 
A good range of sneakers and dress shoes — also I think a personal scent is really important. That is style, and I believe just as important as clothing. It’s part of the “you” experience.

What advice do you have for guys that aren't as confident with their personal style? 
Invest in pieces that really make you excited, keep an eye on your silhouette, well fitted/ tailored clothing is key.

There is value in self-representation beyond clothes — what do you think men should be doing better in 2019 when it comes to presenting themselves to the world 
Personal grooming is key and I don’t mean superficial — it’s health, take care of your skin, exercise often, eat well, stay hydrated, take care of your mental health, take time out to be on your own, take a vacation, swim in the ocean!

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