We caught up with menswear stylist Joe Ottaway to hear about what home means to him and his styling tips for the perfect at-home wardrobe.
Where are you right now?
I am currently living and working from Madrid, before Covid I used to split my time between London and Spain as my wife lives and works from Madrid.
Where is home?
Home is Walthamstow, my wife and I have lived there for 5 years and have really enjoyed seeing this part of London develop into a really exciting and modern community with lots of creatives living and working here and well-known luxury fashion brands using Walthamstow as a base to produce and design products too.
What three most important items in your home would you rescue first in a fire and why?
Firstly my wedding album as it’s one of the most memorable and best days of my life, handmade leather brogues handed down from my grandad and dad and our favourite leather Chesterfield armchair given to my wife and I from my mum.
What's the first thing you do when you get in the door after a few days away from home?
As boring as it sounds the first thing I do when I get home after a few days away is unpack and get all my luggage organised and washed, followed by a run or a quick HIT workout especially if I have come off a flight and need to wake my body up.
As a stylist and menswear consultant you’ve been working from home long before us all in lockdown. How do you maintain the boundaries, what helps you get into work mode and then out of it at the end of the day?
I am lucky to do something for a living that I have a natural passion and interest for but I am also hugely passionate about fitness and strongly believe in living a healthy and active lifestyle. I really like to have structure and discipline to my working day and week and use fitness to maintain the boundaries. For me training is a great escape at the end of the day.
You have always worn a lot of suits and formal tailoring - how do you see that part of your wardrobe being used in the future?
Even though I still enjoy wearing suits and have a huge amount of respect for the heritage of formalwear, wearing a full suit shirt and tie is becoming less relevant today and evolving into a much more relaxed and unstructured aesthetic, lockdown has sped this process up and really brought the at-home wardrobe into the limelight.
What have you been wearing during this unusual time spent at home?
During lockdown I appreciate that feeling comfortable was really important but I also feel that dressing more comfortably doesn’t mean compromising style. I always tried to make an effort in what I wore to ensure I still felt well presented especially having to dial in to constant Skype meetings and calls.
My favourite pieces from Hamilton and Hare are the waffle bomber jacket, and terry towelling sweats - during lockdown they proved to be go-to staples that made me feel comfortable but also felt like an extension of my wardrobe in terms of style. They are perfect for working from home in.
Do you think underwear is an important part of your wardrobe?
I am great believer in the importance of investing in good quality underwear, it should be a natural extension of a stylish wardrobe, why would you want to wear a beautiful pair of trousers or shorts with sub-standard underwear? I appreciate underwear is personal choice but since having the chance of wearing the Hamilton and Hare briefs they have been the perfect all-rounder for day to day and active underwear. When it comes to storage my top tip is to keep it simple and store all underwear in a separate draw to any other clothes and accessories and have enough pairs for a healthy washing rotation.