Best known stateside for his Tony-winning turn in One Man, Two Guvnors, British funnyman James Corden plays unlikely opera sensation Paul Potts in the new biopic One Chance, but the Into the Woods star wouldn’t mind looking more like a lad in One Direction.
By Brandon Voss
Essential Homme: How would you describe your personal style?
James Corden: I don’t know if I have one, but I always try to look my best. At the moment I’m really into blazers and trousers instead of suits. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love suits, but I just feel sometimes you can be a bit braver with a good jacket — a little bolder than you could be with a full suit.
What’s most important to you when putting together an outfit?
Whether I feel good in it. Am I comfortable? Does this make me feel confident? If the answer is no, I get changed immediately.
Which labels are you most drawn to?
Right now I have three go-to labels. Lanvin is, for me, the best men’s designer in the world. I would say half my wardrobe is from them. It’s all just so effortless, from the polo shirts to the incredible suits, and the sneakers are the best around. There’s also a British designer called Spencer Hart who has some incredible suits and pieces with a really cool, almost Rat Pack-infused style. My newest find is Yang Li. I just bought two of his jackets and I love everything I’ve seen of his. If Chanel did menswear, this is what it might feel like.
How has your remarkable weight loss in recent years changed the way you dress?
Is it remarkable? It could be more remarkable! I do feel better now I’ve lost a few pounds. It is nice to be able to shop a little easier and find more off-the-peg stuff. I do think it’s sad that a lot of people who are heavy are so restricted when it comes to designer clothes. It’s why I salute Lanvin and Tom Ford; they’ve never excluded anyone because of size, and they should be applauded for that.
How do you prepare for red carpets and special events?
I have a brilliant stylist called Luke Day and he always helps me look my best. It’s not an easy job for him, but he’s fantastic.
You’re likely to be recognized on the streets of London. Does that influence what you wear when you leave the house?
I find that when I’ve made an effort, I never get papped. It’s always when I'm looking like absolute shit that people seem to recognize me.
How much do the tastes of your lovely wife, Julia Carey, influence what you wear?
My wife is amazing when it comes to my clothes. I once bought a really expensive jacket from Rick Owens, went home, and she told me I could never wear it. She loved the jacket, but not on me. It was returned the next day.
In the event of a closet fire, which item of clothing would you save first?
My Burberry pea coat. It just lifts every bit of clothing I have. I love it.
Which celebrity’s style do you most admire?
I really love Harry Styles’, erm, style. He has that thing that David Beckham has where he could wear anything and it just works. I wish I had such qualities.
You’re pals with Vogue editor Anna Wintour. Has she given you any good fashion advice?
Anna has given me some great fashion advice in the past. She’s so fantastic and always right — that’s the truth. She helped me once with a tux from Tom Ford, and next thing I knew I had emails from the man himself telling me how to best wear it!
Essential Homme, February/March 2014 issue.