Over the last few years, the Irish actor Paul Mescal has firmly established himself as one of Hollywood’s most promising young stars—and its most aspirationally stylish everyman. Whether he’s dressing up in a floppy Gucci suit or down in his go-to sporty micro-shorts (and, crucially, a Clairo hoodie), the actor’s relaxed personal style has endeared him as a tongue-wagging internet boyfriend—and landed him on countless menswear mood boards.
But the trick to Mescal’s style is how his clothes fit—more specifically, how he tends to wear everything a bit cropped. (As Mescal’s stylist Felicity Kay told British Vogue last year, their red-carpet approach centers on “classic, great tailoring but subtly subverted. A little rough around the edges, tactile and contemporary.”) That’s right on trend as far as his tops are concerned. But his highwater trousers fly in the face of the menswear moment of the last few years, in which longer, droopier, baggier pants—with a healthy break—have dominated the market. By snipping a few inches off a T-shirt hem or taking up the inseam on a pair of jeans a notch or two, he manages to make the most normal of outfits seem just a bit cooler.
In other words: What Mescal’s ensembles lack in fabric, they make up for in allure.
On a recent jaunt around SoHo in Manhattan, the Gladiator II star blended into his downtown surroundings in an Aimé Leon Dore-branded Mets cap and grubby tan canvas work coat layered over a hoodie and a white tee. He wore his go-to worn-in blue jeans whose hems, crucially, hit right at the ankle bone, in turn brandishing a few inches of white sock ahead of his gum-soled Adidas Gazelles. He deployed similar proportions at this past weekend’s Saturday Night Live afterparty, where he wore a cropped gray V-neck sweater and a long, tailored topcoat that led right to the hem of his deep-blue Gucci jeans, which hovered just above a pair of cranberry-hued Adidas.
Even Mescal’s dress pants—like the Studio Nicholson trousers he wore during a recent press event in London—cut just below the tibia. Consider, too, the masterclass in clipped proportions he sported en route to Jimmy Kimmel Live last November: a vintage, hand-cropped Timberland graphic tee worn with the sleeves rolled up over a gauzy white long-sleeve with blue jeans and—what else?—Adidas Gazelles.
And since we’re on the subject of cropped pants: don’t ask Paul Mescal about the short shorts anymore. In a recent interview with UK radio station Heart, Mescal said he’d rather not discuss his fondness for thigh-skimming athletic shorts (or, for that matter, Connell’s chain necklace from Normal People) ever again.
“Let’s stop talking about it,” the actor implored. “Please, for the love of God.”
Originally Appeared on GQ
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