How To Get Idris Elba’s Style

Idris Elba is a unique name for an equally not-so regular guy. The British actor has played some very important film and television roles in the last two years – Nelson Mandela in ‘Long Walk To Freedom’ – as well as Detective Luther in hit series ‘Luther’ (for which he won a Golden Globe).

Offscreen, Elba is starring in his very own style show too: on the red carpet, at New York fashion week and ducking through LAX as he travels regularly between LA and London – where he was raised.

“How you look says a lot about who you are,” Elba explained in a recent interview, when asked who he approach his very own style. Wise and simple words – from a man who is ready to take over the world.

Breaking It Down


Elba is one of those style all-rounders who look good in anything. His hefty height and muscular, well-proportioned physique put him ahead of the pack; broad shoulders cutting a sharp silhouette in a tailored jacket, while his pillared legs were made for the slim-cut trend – never rolling his trouser cuff.

The actor respects classic men’s fashion too. But it’s his penchant for on trend colours that adds panache to traditional outerwear, formal shoes and shirts, leaving the neutral hues to tailoring where – according to Elba – the fit is the most important.

Bond Sophistication


Having already played on-screen real life hero Nelson Mandela, Elba’s sartorial prowess has named him as one of th men in the running to play fictional hero James Bond – after Daniel Craig‘s finale in ‘Spectre’.

Elba’s black tie styling is elegant – single-breasted with subtle contrast lapel – and the jacket and trouser are finished in matte wool to pop the silk in the bow-tie. The shoes are leather but never patent, to avoid too much pazazz.

Other times, Elba looks to the grey suit pairing the smokey-hued single-breasted number (which narrows out his gym junkie physique) with a tonal silver tie and black Oxford lace-ups. Classic stye hasn’t let the future-007 down yet.

Top Coat Tee


Who said a top coat and t-shirt couldn’t be fashion friends? In the autumnal months, Elba swaps the button down for a polo shirt, the collared casual tee fastened up to the neck for a streamline look. Over a black palette, a dusty blue Chesterfield – in double-breasted cut – is left open to complement the casual polo, the peak lapel flared like wings (with grey suede neck trim) for an optical style feature.

Working the on-trend monochrome, Elba takes a v-neck Breton t-shirt and black sateen trousers, layering an oh so Seventies leather top coat with shearling underlay. The black – adds a modern edge to the retro jacket – and makes it more night-time for a dressier feel.

Quirky Stripes


Dressing down for New York fashion week, Elba shows his casually-cool side with block-coloured stripes. With long-sleeves, the muted Breton returns in a scoop neck cut – cuffed at the wrist for a sport-ish, slimmer fit. Black chinos base-out the monochrome look with matching luxury sneakers in exotic skins, adding some spice. As do the quirky accessories: metallic digital watch, black crystal beaded bracelet and aviator-style spectacles with clear frames.

Come spring, the stripes are more candy-coloured, the saccharine red and pink fronting the pavement with blue-violet chinos. Blacks specs – on hand again – the colours work together with Elba colour-matching his moccasins to his summer cotton chinos.

Sneaker-y Suits


The final Elba look is a grand finale of the aforementioned – colour, tailoring and casual nuances – based out with killer sneakers.

Elba gives a collegiate nod to prep with a pastel grey sports jacket and red window pane check – the crimson tide spilling onto cotton trousers and a straight tie. The tricolour sneakers are an active version of the Brogue.

Elsewhere, the actor adopts demure navy in an athletic fashion The silhouette is softer – more relaxed – the jacket worn unbuttoned (despite the satin lapel formalities). Elba hijacks the dress shoe with an electric blue hi-top; the contrast sole in white matching the open-neck business shirt – Elba doing the half-tuck for some sprezzatura of his own.

Key Elba Fashion Items

Suits: Tuxedo (Tom Ford or Thom Sweeney); grey single breast (Berluti or Hardy Amies)

Shirts: Polo shirt (Reiss or J.Crew); Breton t-shirt (Saturday Surf NYC or Sunspel).

Shoes: Exotic-skin sneakers (Maison Margiela or Christian Louboutin), penny loafers (Burberry or Tod’s); black dress shoes (Grenson or Church’s).

Accessories: Metallic watch (Uniform Wares); black spectacles (Cutler & Gross); bead bracelet (Miansai).

Need More Inspiration?

RELATED: How To Get Lewis Hamilton’s Style
RELATED: How To Get Jude Law’s Style
RELATED: How To Get Colin Firth’s Style

If so, subscribe to our daily newsletter to receive our top tending stories.