Skip to main content

Interview: TV’s Leading Man Joshua Sasse on His Style, Suiting and Sturdy Workwear

Although he has worked in film and on the stage, 27-year-old British actor Joshua Sasse has made the biggest splash as the titular star of the ABC musical comedy TV show “Galavant,” which was recently renewed by the network and is currently filming its second season in the UK. Described by some as a kind of “Monty Python and The Holy Grail” meets “Glee,” the silly yet ultimately clever show features Sasse as a medieval knight who is trying (quite unsuccessfully) to win back his love from an evil king. The series has already featured such notable guest stars as Ricky Gervais, Rutger Hauer, “Weird Al” Yankovic and Hugh Bonneville and will return to its Sunday night time slot in early 2016.

Sasse, who splits his time between LA and the UK, was recently in New York to attend shows during the city’s first dedicated menswear fashion week. In between poses and outfit changes during a photo shoot with James Weber, who specializes in shooting actual old-fashioned tintypes, the handsome, affable actor spoke to me about his personal style, how being British has influenced his approach to dressing and the joys of donning a suit instead of jeans.

Related Videos

How would you describe your personal fashion style?

I suppose I am an amalgamation of classic British style and Japanese workwear. I like the juxtaposition of smart and scruffy.

You recently attended New York Fashion Week: Men’s. Did you see anything you liked?

Yes, I loved Robert Geller’s collection in particular. That is totally up my alley. I think he is doing really well that amalgamation and exactly that mix of streetwear and tailoring and making it more wearable. I think people are fairly trepidatious to wear suits in their spare time, especially guys who work in an office. I feel like when it comes to that smart tailoring they feel like they are too made up to wear on the street and what Robert is doing is really bridging that gap.

What are some of your favorite pieces in your own wardrobe?

My Brooks Brothers suits–those are my pride and joy because there is nothing more comfortable than a suit. If a suit is tailored really well and it’s made with a really great fabric there’s nothing comfier. You see guys so often wearing jeans and they are crossing their legs and they are uncomfortable and their thighs are too tight or they are wearing it around their ass and it’s too tight around their waist and it’s never comfy. But a good suit is just the perfect thing. It’s not too hot, it’s not too cold, it’s not too heavy and it’s not too light. I believe a man should look like a man.

What are your other go-to fashion pieces?

I’ve got a Levi’s vintage artist’s jacket that I will sling on every single day because I like to have clothes that I don’t have to worry about getting messy or roughed up and can take the wear and tear because I’m always around the house with my dogs or I am cooking or gardening. I do a lot of gardening so if I can’t garden in it I’m not likely to wear it.

How has being British affected your sense of style?

I definitely think it has had an influence on it. My stepfather wore a shirt every day and he always wore a jacket and brogues every day. He’s an artist but he’d work in that so that was definitely an influence for me. But my style icon is unequivocally Prince Charles. I love that and that’s where I come from. I love tailoring.

How important is clothing to you when you are playing a character?

It can be very important, especially in the construction of a character. That piece of clothing can completely transform your understanding of who that person is. Lots of times in rehearsals a hat or a jacket is fundamental in preparation because you embody that character slowly but surely and in a few rehearsals you might wear a little bit more and a little bit more. If you are playing Richard III you are going to want to have a hump on and you are going to want to work with that throughout the process. And if you are a king you want to have that crown that sits heavy on your head and is symbolic.

Has there been a specific situation when clothing has helped you develop a character?

I don’t work as… and I don’t want to say as consistently as that. The way I enter a mindset jumps in and out. I need to be able to step away from a character to get back into it. I’m quite reflective so I’ll give it all I have and then I will strip it bare again and do it again. I’m much more experimental so I’ll try a plethora of things and take a step back and see what kind of sits the most with me. I’m very improvisational so for me it’s less about having an idea and running through with it as it is about having a lot of ideas and giving everything a chance. But in the show I’m doing now to have my boots on or something like that just reminds you [of who your character is]. I’ve got to shoot with high heels on and it makes me walk a different way.

What do you think about the style in Los Angeles at the moment?

Not very much. The problem with LA is that it’s warm all the time so it dictates dress code in a sense whereas in New York you change with the seasons and that creates an evolution of style from one year to the next. As seasons come and go so do the styles and you grow with that from year to year whereas in LA it doesn’t. And I think style is stinted and stolen as opposed to original. I think a lot of the cultural aspects that come from LA are not from LA. They’re from Europe or the East Coast.

What will your next major fashion purchase be?

Probably a warm coat from my wife. I don’t go out and buy clothes a lot. I’m very content with what I have. I’m not an avid shopper like that. I will wear something until it falls off me.

How extensive is your wardrobe?

A little more extensive since I have been working with Brooks Brothers. My suit collection has grown a lot but not too much. My wife will say I pretty much wear the same thing every day in my life.

And you’re happy with that?

I am very happy with that. I don’t think about it too much and I think to be an artist you have to stop looking in the mirror. Day to day and as an actor a lot of your downtime is spent, for me anyway, reading and researching and writing and that’s the majority of what I do. I think to be an actor it’s about experience. You have to further your own knowledge and understanding and to do that you have to constantly try to grow. What I wear is not a big part of that.

Image credit: James Weber

Editors' Recommendations

Why Men Are Turning to Virtual Stylists to Look Zoom-Ready
Stitch Fix work from home style outfit

In our previous reality, we woke up early, commuted, and showed up professionally groomed and dressed for our nine-to-five office jobs. But since government-enforced social distancing and self-quarantining have become an everyday phenomenon, many of us suddenly needed wardrobe assistance to adjust to our new normal. The clothes we’d worn for the occasional sick day were barely a consideration before when we'd defaulted to cozy pajamas or sweats.

Now our uniforms of freshly pressed woven shirts and dressy chinos — to say nothing of crisply tailored suits and ties — feel out of place at the kitchen table or on the living room sofa. The fact that many of us are suddenly contending with kids sent home from school indefinitely complicates matters further. Where could we call for style assistance in the age of working remotely? Turns out, men across the country are turning to virtual stylists for much-needed advice on looking camera-ready for video conference calls.

Read more
The Ultimate Work-From-Home Style Guide
ultimate work from home style guide man working in a outfit unsplash

I got my first taste of working from home when I decided to become a freelance writer. I realized pretty quickly that my most productive days weren’t the ones where I jumped out of bed, opened my laptop, and started banging away on a story while slurping coffee in my underwear. The best days were structured ones when I'd actually dress up for work. Sure, I’d get coffee and breakfast, but then I'd jump in the shower and get dressed to start my day. No, I wasn’t putting on a suit and tie, but I was at least taking a moment to wear clothes that made me feel good. Studies show that dressing up isn’t just about impressing those around you, it’s also great for stimulating abstract thinking, which is just what we all need during these surreal times. 

Set Up Time to Prepare
Taking a moment to transition between waking up and work time helps you feel better, especially when you're working from home. Preparing in the morning lets your brain know that it's not the weekend, a holiday, or (we hope) a sick day — the other times when you're normally at home during the day. Even putting on my shoes sends my unconscious mind the clearest message that the daily grind is about to get underway.
Keep It Real
Since you're not at the office, don't be afraid to skew more casual with your employment dress code, but still, make sure that you feel professional. While you may be tempted to tug on that college sweatshirt that got you through grad school, you still need to look camera ready for video conferences. Comb your hair. Groom your beard. Take the lead in this situation and be the one who shows up -- even if you show up alone -- looking polished, comfortable, and in charge. 
Spring Ahead
Working remotely also opens up a chance for you to get a jump on spring trends. Order in a few pieces to further build your work-to-weekend wardrobe, while doing your bit to stimulate our stressed-out economy. Here are our choices for the ultimate work-from-home style.
Our Favorite Work-From-Home Styles
Tasc Audubon Gingham Performance Sport Shirt

Read more
The Best Sustainable Outfit for a Business Casual Look
taylor and stitch pants

 

The business casual dress code has become ubiquitous in today’s office culture, yet there still seems to be some confusion (or perhaps rebellion against?) this style. It’s meant to be a comfortable yet professional mix of both business and casual attire, but people sometimes lean too far into the causal side of their closet. It’s almost impossible to dress too nice in a business casual office since it includes suits and collared shirts. The only distinction between business and business casual in terms of suiting is that you don’t have to wear a tie in a business causal office and can unbutton that top button.

Read more