Paul Houlding established the independent advertising agency Isobel along with his partners in 2003, working with brands such as Kettle Chips, Bernard Matthews and Grand Marnier.
Suit by Armani
I dress informally and for comfort, because one moment I could be talking to a chief executive in a business environment and the next a creative director in a creative environment, so my outfit needs to be occasionless. I treat work clothes like a uniform – three identical Armani suits, and I mostly wear shades of black or blue. I never wear a tie because it feels constricted and I think you can still be smart without one, and sometimes I’ll wear a suit jacket with jeans if I’m travelling. I do love dressing up formally for black-tie events, though.
Shirt by Thomas Pink
If I’m feeling adventurous I’ll wear a pink shirt, but mostly it’s blue or black. There has to be no starchiness about it, and it’s always a single cuff in a classic fit. I have about eight versions of the same shirt in the same size. Now when I go into the shop the sales assistant just hands me the shirt. I’m not a great shopper, but I have a sort of uniform so I can concentrate on other things. Colour matching – that’s hard.
Shoes by Clarks Originals
I’ve been through Church’s and trainers but these black desert boots are my favourite shoes – I have two pairs. Occasionally I’ll wear slip-on trainers by Agnès B – they add a bit of style without being pompously formal. I think we’re more creative dressers in advertising because of the nature of the job.
Watch by Longines
This was given to me by my wife. I like the simplicity – no big ostentatious watch face. It has an understated elegance.
Glasses by Lafont
I like these because they feel Parisian, slightly 1950s. And they don’t make me look middle-aged. They’re actually my first pair of glasses. I love France and Parisian style, it’s elegant and understated.
Wedding ring from Waltons Jewellers
This is a second-hand one from an antiques shop in Cardiff. My wife and I bought the same one on the same day, rounded yellow gold. Really simple, really plain.