Nick Wooster talks tattoos

There’s no doubt that Nick Wooster is a sharp dresser, but one whose sartorial influence extends beyond clothes and accessories. To my eye, Wooster is equally as likely to influence a gent’s decision to get a tattoo as he is to influence his the rules that help compose his autumn / fall 2011 wardrobe.

So it is that Esquire magazine asked Wooster about his non-cloth sleeves, his thoughts on getting tattoos, and what he’d do differently if he had his time again:

It started for me in 1993 or 1994. I was in Miami — and this is a bad, clichéd story: I had a pair of white Dries Van Noten sailor pants. So I thought I had to have a sailor tattoo: a heart with a dagger through it that said MOM on my left bicep.

My mom was not impressed, by the way.

What people say is true: The first one is a gateway drug. It will lead to another: “Oh, shit, I want something else.”

I was 39 when I did, essentially, a three-quarter sleeve on my left arm. It was very late in life, which is good: I can’t think of any decision I made at 19 that I’d be happy with at 39 or even now, at 51.

Yes, there are probably too many tattoos. But there are too many bad haircuts, too many bad shoe choices, too many bad jeans.

I love the idea of being covered-up in a suit and nobody can tell. That’s a conscious choice you have to make, though. I really like neck tattoos and hand tattoos. They’re just not for me.

People torture themselves about getting the right thing. It doesn’t matter what it is. It’s about coverage. My opinion is leave it to the professionals. Because I’m not an artist. That’s the other thing that always make me laugh — people who try to art-direct themselves.

If I had to do it over again, I would not do color. My body doesn’t keep the red and orange ink as well as the black and gray. I’ve had to get it touched-up more frequently — my body’s poison, I guess. Every three or four years I go back in, which is more of an inconvenience than anything.

You can read the full interview at Esquire.

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