With his signature blend of jazz, blues, and R&B, Nick Waterhouse is a refreshing departure from the current pop charts, and his debut LP, Time’s All Gone, takes you back to a moment when the mashed potato and twist ruled the dance floors (or so we assume—all that was a bit before our time). Seeing as we’re a men’s style operation, we’re just as interested in what Waterhouse wears as we are in his tunes. Here, Waterhouse gives us the lowdown on his look, which is as classically retro — and highly specific — as his sound.
Tell us a little about your music. How would you describe your sound?
New Breed R&B.
Who were your musical influences and how did you get exposed to them?
Mose Allison, Booker T & The MGs, Van Morrison, Dan Penn. I’ve been listening to American music since I was a kid — what was popular with my friends wasn’t really doing it for me.
How would you describe your own look?
As American as my music; slim and a true natural shoulder.
How do you dress differently than you did two years ago?
Fewer suits due to regional weather change.
How do you expect to be dressing differently two years from now?
More suits due to regional weather change.
What’s one thing every guy should be wearing this season?
A subtle Batik print button-down shirt.
How about something guys should not be wearing?
Greasy Hawaiian shirts.
What’s on your shopping list right now?
I really want another summer-weight, checked sportcoat — half-lined, 3/2 roll, two-button cuffs, no shoulder padding, and a center vent.
You’re from Southern California. How does that inform the way you dress?
I like the idea of the heat informing casual looks. I am more likely to wear a shirt without a jacket so the statement has to be made with that item instead of a suit or sportcoat. I can dress a lot “sportier” here more often…colors, lighter fabrics. It all feels like a Will Claxton photo to me.
What is the best — and worst — style advice you’ve ever received?
Best: “Let the clothes fit you; don’t strive to fit the clothes.”
Worst: “This is exactly your style.”
What’s the best meal you’ve ever eaten, and why?
Tadich Grill San Francisco — two martinis and a filet always brings me to a high place.
Name the best concert you’ve ever been to (besides your own, of course).
Gene Ludwig, Pearl’s San Francisco in 2005.
Who would you like to see featured in Men of Style?
Matt Correia, of Allah-Las.