Fresh off ITV show Text Santa, Matt Littler and Darren Jeffries discuss fashion, their style heroes and who they thought the fittest Hollyoaks actress was

Words By Carl Anka

Photography By Parisawalklett/ITMCreative

After ten years as one of soap’s best soap bromances as Max and O.B in Hollyoaks, Matt Littler and Darren Jeffries have moved into presenting, becoming the faces of T4’s music show Freshly Squeezed. I caught up with the boys, Fresh off ITV show Text Santato talk about fashion, their style heroes and who they think the fittest Hollyoaks actress were…

TOPMAN GENERATION: Who were your style icons growing up?
Darren Jeffries: When we were younger our style icons tended to be our peers so we all kind of copied each other. If someone had the guts to wear something that was pretty cool and girls liked it then everyone started rocking it. We’d all be chasing each other’s tails too much to be following fashion icons or anyone on television.
Matt Littler: I could tell you my style icons now, but growing up I just wore whatever was in the cupboard. I suppose the films we’d be watching would play a part. Growing up with The Goonies—
Darren: So Sloth was your style icon then?
Matt: Pretty much…

TOPMAN GENERATION: So who are your style icons now?
Matt: Probably someone like Ewan McGregor or Jude Law. I tell you who I really like; I don’t have the balls to pull off what he does but I think Labrinth is a really sharp dresser. The clothes he wears at first make you go “What?!” but he pulls it off. I’ve seen him wear some risky outfits but I’ve never seen him look stupid.
Darren: I don’t think there are that many male style icons out there. Even if you had one, as a bloke you probably wouldn’t admit you had one. I think blokes like to make out that they carve their own path when it comes to fashion, I’m not sure if anyone would admit to copying someone. I do think there are some snappy dressers out there. Joseph Gordon-Levitt looks pretty good every time I see him in a magazine. I like suits a lot and I think Tom Hiddlestone wears one with class. He knows how to dress.

 
People spend hundreds of pounds on suits but only £30 on jeans, but you wear your jeans so much more than your suit.

TOPMAN GENERATION: How would you describe your own personal dress sense?
Matt: I don’t like faff. Something with ten zips on or an extra cord just baffles me. Keep it simple. I’d rock a pocket square but not something without a purpose. As I’m getting older, I’ve started to buy things I know will last a bit like a great pair of shoes that I’ll get resoled rather than replaced. People spend hundreds of pounds on suits but only £30 on jeans, but you wear your jeans so much more than your suit.
Darren: I’d say mine is smart and sensible. I don’t wear anything too bright or heavily printed. I don’t like to wear anything that’s too attention grabbing. Not to say I dress like a dullard, just I know what I tend to avoid peacocking. If you've got a solid wardrobe, it makes choosing outfits so much easier. Having a great pair of jeans and a great coat you know you can rely on all you need is a top and shoes. Men’s fashion is easier than women’s I think; we don’t have to follow trends as much.

TOPMAN GENERATION: Who’s been the best dressed people you've had on Freshly Squeezed?
Matt: Labrinth has been on and he was looking pretty sharp. And Wretch 32 came on I remember him having a great top.
Darren: We interviewed Professor Green and he came in wearing double denim which was ballsy but he pulled it off. For the girls, I’d say Paloma Faith – you never know what she’s going to turn up in and she always pulls it off.
Matt: Marina Diamandis, (of Marina and the Diamonds) – she’s got balls, not actual balls! she’s not afraid to try some great things. At the moment she’s rocking a Marilyn Monroe, femme fatale look that I think is great.

TOPMAN GENERATION: What special or lucky items of clothing do you own?
Matt: My wife bought me a coat last year and whenever I wear it I get a whole bunch of “Oh where did you get that coat?” compliments. I’ve started to wear it less now because I’m afraid of losing a button or it getting played out. Out of all of my clothes, if you asked me to pick out one nice piece, that would be it. 

 
I am constantly baffled by fashion. Onesies make no sense to me. If you’re at home hungover everyday fine, but don’t go to the shop in your onesie, that’s just very naughty.

TOPMAN GENERATION: Are there any fashion trends that you find baffling?
Matt: Constantly. I am constantly baffled by fashion. Onesies make no sense to me. If you’re at home hungover everyday fine, but don’t go to the shop in your onesie, that’s just very naughty.
Darren: I was sympathetic to onesies until I recently went to a clothes show and every single model backstage wore onesies likes it was a uniform. I guess they wear it because they’re easy to get on and off again but that put me right off.

TOPMAN GENERATION: What’s the first item of clothing you saved money for?
Matt: It’s a pair of Nike Air Forces. My Dad was a joiner and I cleaned out bin bags full of sawdust for about three weekends to get myself a pair. Before that, I had a pair of trainers that were just called Winners. Couldn't be doing that.
Darren: The first bit of clothing I put money aside for was when I was a bit more grown up and wanted a suit. It wouldn't suit me now but I went out and bought myself a Paul Smith suit. Looking back, it was awful but it was the 90s – bootcut trousers. Terrible.

TOPMAN GENERATIONG: And to finish it off, you two were on Hollyoaks for the best part of 11 years. The  has show had it’s fair share of attractive actresses so I have to ask – who was the fittest?
Matt:  Oh that’s a toughie! You’re talking about a ten year window!
Darren: From my time on Hollyoaks I suppose you could say Gemma Atkinson was special. She was a great looking girl and has a fantastic personality - she knew how to have a good laugh. On a night out she’d be doing shots with the lads and then probably throwing up outside afterwards and not care.
Matt: I worked really closely with Sarah Dunn and Carly Stenson and they were lovely to be around and work with and lovely to look at. Is that weird to say? The thing is, you’d be working six days a week, ten hours a day and you don’t see your fellow cast members in that light – they end up being your housemates who you do crosswords with in between takes.
Darren: Sometimes a scene would come up where a actress would dress up for a night out and you’d be “wow” , but  you’re with each other for so long you just get used to it. Apart from when a new cast member joins….
Matt: And then one or two of them would pitch in trying to get to know her which was always quite amusing.

Matt & Darren present Freshly Squeezed, Channel 4's music breakfast show that airs on weekends on C4 at 7am. You can find out more about Text Santa and donations here