As Matthew Crawley in Downton Abbey, Dan Stevens was always impeccably turned out. But his off-screen style is equally admirable, according to sartorial experts. The actor has been named Britain's best-dressed man, beating perennial favourite David Beckham, Bradley Wiggins and the Prince of Wales to come top of GQ magazine's annual list.
Stevens, whose fate broke hearts across the nation on Christmas Day when his character was killed off in the period drama, also pipped heartthrobs Robert Pattinson of Twilight and Jame Bond star Daniel Craig.
The Prince of Wales, with his wardrobe of finely-tailored suits, hunting gear and Wellington boots, came in at eighth place, trouncing his son the Duke of Cambridge, who scraped in at 37th.
Charles, who was only one place behind the much-idolised Twilight star known as R-Patz, was praised for his enduring elegance. According to the magazine, "despite sticking to a classic uniform, he always looks on trend". This, it added, may not always be planned. "This is a man who knows what he likes, knows how to wear it and sticks with it whatever the prevailing fashions," wrote the list's authors. "HRH may be bemused at being a fashion icon, but he's proved himself the king of tailoring."
But Prince William's efforts to be more fashionable were praised, if largely attributed to the influence of his well-dressed wife, the Duchess of Cambridge. William, the magazine states, "epitomises true British style", adding: "Has the Duchess of Cambridge upped her husband's fashion game? It would appear so."
Sports personality of the year and newly knighted Bradley Wiggins, who last year won the Tour de France before tasting further triumph in the London Olympics, was a new entry at 30. The cyclist created a newfound enthusiasm for long sideburns during the summer, and wore a daring midnight-blue Mod suit during the awards ceremony for the BBC awards show.
Homeland star Damian Lewis is a new entry at 12, One Direction singer Zayn Malik came in at 17, and Paralympic champion Jonnie Peacock proved that wearing a tracksuit on a daily basis can be considered stylish, after appearing at 48 on the list.
Stevens saw off competition from the other four entrants in the top five best-dressed males – actor Tom Hiddleston, rapper Tinie Tempah, Radio 1 Breakfast Show host Nick Grimshaw and The X Factor presenter Dermot O'Leary.
Idris Elba, who played the occasionally sharply suited gangster Stringer Bell in The Wire, comes in at sixth, followed by Pattinson and Charles. Comedian David Walliams is ninth, with My Week With Marilyn actor Eddie Redmayne completing the top 10.
David Cameron, rarely seen out of a classic suit and blue tie combination made it into the list at 28, but was beaten by Take That's Gary Barlow (11) and – somewhat bafflingly – Elton John (21).
David Beckham, a regular name on various best-dressed lists, only made it to 36th place, behind Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch at 24 and actor Jude Law at 35.
Cross-dressing artist Grayson Perry makes it into the list at 22, yet the make-up-loving cage fighter Alex Reid, who was married to Katie Price, was named one of the worst-dressed stars, alongside singer Ed Sheeran, who came top of the worst-dressed list, followed by Labour MP Jon Cruddas.
The best-dressed men list is in the February issue of GQ, available from Thursday.
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