Jacob Artist, 21, wishes he looked as cool as his character, bad-boy crooner Jake Puckerman, on Glee, but he could probably do without the loincloths.
By Brandon Voss
Essential Homme: How would you describe your personal style?
Jacob Artist: It’s pretty casual, leaning toward vintage-y. I appreciate vintage clothes because I like the character of something that’s a little worn down.
What else is important to you when putting together an outfit?
Really, it’s all about being comfortable. And when I’m back home in Buffalo, New York, it’s all about being warm.
Did you have to completely overhaul your wardrobe after you moved to L.A. from New York?
Yeah, totally. I left a lot of my winter coats at home, for starters. L.A. is also more colorful than New York, which I’ve been embracing, because I love that beachy, sunny vibe. One of my favorite things about L.A. is the weather, so I love that I can always throw on a T-shirt and shorts and be totally fine.
Even when you might be recognized by fans?
As long as I don’t look like a homeless person.
You modeled for Abercrombie & Fitch’s “Stars on the Rise” campaign last summer. When veering away from vintage, which labels appeal to you?
I’ve worn quite a bit of Armani for red carpets, and they fit me really well. It is possible to look great and still be comfortable. I usually use a stylist for special events because I know they’ll help me look my best without making me lose my own personal taste and style. I don’t have many opportunities to dress up and wear cool suits, so it’s really fun to put together an outfit that’s outside of what I normally wear.
Have any celebrities inspired your style?
Oh, I take inspiration from just about everyone.
You play hot-tempered high school ladies’ man Jake Puckerman on Glee, which is in its fifth season on Fox. His glee club performance costumes aside, do you have any input when it comes to Jake’s street clothes?
Yeah, the wardrobe department likes to work with us individually to find out what we like to wear, while also pushing us to wear what they think the character would wear. They put Jake in a lot of G-Star and Rag & Bone with a bunch of cool watches and boots. Jake’s a little bit flashier than I am, but his outfits are always perfectly put together. I wish I could do that.
Do you enjoy shopping for clothes?
Not particularly, to be honest, so I have about 10 great pieces in my closet that I wear in different combinations.
What was the last item of clothing you splurged on?
I’ve always wanted a really cool leather jacket, and I recently found the perfect one at a great vintage store on Melrose, which wasn’t as cheap as I thought it would be. But I didn’t care how much it cost; I just had to go for it. Maybe Jake is influencing me a bit.
You grew up training as a competitive dancer. How do you think that background influenced your style?
If anything, it may have hurt my style. There were a lot of sweatpants and gym shorts, so it probably made me choose comfort over everything else. I also had to wear some crazy costumes, which oddly prepared me for Glee.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve had to wear on Glee so far?
In our “A Katy or a Gaga” episode, I had to wear a loincloth, which was pretty interesting. It took a lot of mental preparation. After that, it’s like, Whatever, let’s do this!
Essential Homme, April/May 2014 issue.