Style: Dress the Part — “White Collar”

3 STY Matt Bomer
Eric Odgen/USA Networks


“’Ocean’s Eleven’ with Frank Sinatra inspired Neal’s look,” Bomer says of his “White Collar” character.

What the best-dressed man on TV wear. And some tips on how to get his look.

From his fedora to footwear choices, Neal Caffrey — the dashing con artist-turned-FBI consultant on the USA Network drama White Collar — can probably claim the mantle of best-dressed man on television. “Neal’s look is Rat Pack-meets-Harry Belafonte-meets Thomas Crown with a little bit of Alain Delon in Le Samourai,” says the show’s star, Matt Bomer. In the series, which returned Jan. 18, Neal is rarely seen in anything but impeccably tailored suits (John Varvatos and Simon Spurr are favorites) with slim-fit, French-cuff dress shirts. Sharp men’s accessories including bold-patterned ties with sterling tie bars, pocket squares and cuff links refine his style — “his look has evolved to become less retro and more modern,” costume designer Stephanie Maslansky says. “The focus is classic pieces with unexpected pairings like a textured pink shirt with a lavender tie.” But the key to Neal’s chic appearance is the fit: “There’s almost a sense of shrunkenness because everything is so precise,” says Maslansky, who primarily uses tropical-weight suitings because they hang best on the body. “The slim suits that he wears require a Saville Row-experienced tailor to get an even slimmer, perfect fit.”

HOW TO GET NEAL'S LOOK: Tips From Matt Bomer

  1. Find a reputable tailor. “A good tailor can make a $150 suit look like $1,000, but a $1,000 suit that isn’t properly tailored can look like it only cost you $150,” Bomer says. “Unless something is absolutely perfect off the rack, it should be brought to the tailor.”
  2. Invest in the basics. “Every guy should own a couple of sharp dress shirts in simple colors like white and blue that are versatile,” says the actor, who wears Thomas Pink, Paul Smith and Dolce & Gabbana on the show.
  3. Suit up. “You need black, navy and, for those warmer-weather moments, maybe gray or a light-tan suit. I’m comfort-oriented when it comes to my own style, but I’ve learned from Neal that it pays to make an effort.”
  4. Remember that the accessories make the man. “Your cuff links, ties and tie bars should reflect your character,” Bomer says. “If you want to really individualize your look, shop high-end vintage stores because no one else will have the same pair of cuff links on.”