Paul Mescal Offers a Welcome Alternative to Your Tired Fleece Vest

Paul Mescal recently put a kibosh on speaking about his most signature of garments: the humble Gaelic football short, an item the Irish actor had become so synonymous with that a small-town Irish football club once sold €10,000 worth of raffle tickets for a Mescal-autographed pair of striped O’Neills; the lucky winner was a 78-year-old farmer who knew the actor’s grandparents. (Paul had signed the shorts: “To the Normal People of Cooraclare.”)

Lately though, the All of Us Strangers star has become just as admired for his everyday casual style as his skinty athleticwear. His inclination toward worn-in layers, generously cropped jeans and tees, and hearty workwear—the sort of easygoing and exceedingly regular clothing that really tends to set menswear hearts fluttering—has turned him into an accessibly aspirational style icon.

An archetypal Paul Mescal ensemble, as seen in New York City last month.


This week, Mescal went for a morning walk around New York City in a relaxed, all-black outfit: black beanie, dark Jacques Marie Mage shades, wired headphones, a hoodie layered underneath a zippered work vest, and black nylon track pants, which he wore tucked into white Nike socks with his standard suede Adidas trainers. (My condolences to all the quibblers out there who can’t stand the sight of a Nike sock with an Adidas shoe, or vice versa. These things happen.) These are nonspecific pieces that don’t necessarily go together, but the jet-black coordination ties them together. An enviable display of tonal layering, or at least pretty close to the ideal post-gym “dust fit”: utilitarian and just odd enough to manifest intrigue.

(Mescal’s leather-trimmed vest, from the German industrial-workwear manufacturer Texxor, is especially nice—though I’d wish luck upon anyone hoping to score an identical one on eBay outside of Europe. Thankfully, Carhartt offers a nice, local alternative.)

He looked, as he often does, like a Normal Person who just so happens to wear normal clothes well. If the ongoing fascination around Daniel Day-Lewis’s prestige-actor workwear is any indication, this is a good place for a promising young performer to be.

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