1971 "Michael Jayston, making a smart move" by Jill Whiffing

Actors aren't reckoned to be the best dressers in the world; nor would it seem to bother them. The good ones have a kind of magnetic quality that overrides clothes and Michael Jayston is like that.

Still never averse to gilding the lily, I asked Jayston (who is appearing in this week’s Armchair Theatre play Competition) to wear the casuals pictured left. Oh, and I asked him to let me change his hairstyle, with the help of Peter and Leonard of Mayfair.

An easy-going sort of chap, he agreed, although he couldn’t quite see why.

“I’m not fashionable, never have been and can’t say I really want to be,” he explained.

Happily, he ended up wanting to buy the clothes in much the same way he’ll buy a fellow-Thespian’s cast-offs if he likes them, rather than bother with shopping; that morning, he had on David Warner’s shoes. Jayston was wearing a corduroy jacket, yellow sweater and black trousers (as in the picture, right) The effect was comfy, baggy, lived-in, charming and totally unsmart. It seemed a shame to change him, that is until we stood back and viewed the end result. For a chap who is supposed not to follow fashion, he proved surprisingly sharp. He approved of his new hairstyle, and his new narrow sweater and his new wider trousers. Of the jazzy, check jacket, buttoned nice and high, he said “This is certainly my kind of outfit: it’s smart and casual and what’s more, very masculine, which is more than you can say for a lot of the gear seen around today.” He even kept them all on when he left.