On Song

Hav­ing moved on from the du­bi­ous out­fits of his boy-band past, Ro­nan Keat­ing shows you how to hit the high notes of per­sonal style

Men's Health (Australia) - - Contents - HAR­RIET SIM

Ex boy­ban­der Ro­nan Keat­ing on hit­ting the high notes of per­sonal style.

BOY-BAND LIFE is a bit like the sports car you cov­eted in your youth. The aes­thetic is bold. The ar­rest­ing sound turns the heads of women. And, above all, it seems like one hell of a ride.

Alas, if you’ve ever re­con­sid­ered that bright-red Porsche in your adult­hood, the sen­ti­ment “What the hell was I think­ing?” may be all too fa­mil­iar.

Rem­i­nisc­ing about ques­tion­able Nineties fash­ion is for­mer Boy­zone front­man Ro­nan Keat­ing. “I re­mem­ber there was one out­fit I wore on stage that was a ze­bra-print suit with a match­ing cow­boy hat. It was so wrong,” says the Irish megas­tar.

Truth is, style over sub­stance is a trade­mark of the boy-band pack­age. “With Boy­zone, im­age was ev­ery­thing: what we wore, how we wore it and how we looked af­ter our­selves,” says Keat­ing. “Im­age in the be­gin­ning was more im­por­tant than the mu­sic.”

An orig­i­nal mem­ber of Boy­zone from the age of 16, Keat­ing helped shift more than 25 mil­lion records be­fore em­bark­ing on a stel­lar solo ca­reer, which pro­duced global hits in­clud­ing

When You Say Noth­ing at All and If To­mor­row Never Comes.

A fix­ture on the tal­ent-show scene since 2010 as a judge on The X Fac­tor and The Voice, Keat­ing says his decades in the in­dus­try have given him a keen eye for the look of suc­cess. Here to pro­mote his lat­est show, All To­gether

Now (which premiers soon on Chan­nel 7), he sug­gests the ten­dency to make in­stant judg­ments about per­form­ers is in­stinc­tual.

“When a con­tes­tant walks out you try not to look at them in that sense,” he says, “but some­times you can’t help but go, ‘This guy looks like a star!’”

Tran­si­tion­ing be­tween out­fits on the set of MH’S style shoot, it’s clear Keat­ing has found his sar­to­rial swag­ger. Gone is the time when a denim tuxedo would meet with the scream­ing ap­proval of fans. These days, Keat­ing favours a more un­der­stated look.

“Sim­plic­ity is ev­ery­thing, I’ve found, as I’ve got­ten older,” he says. “As a 41-year-old man, I think tai­lor­ing is cru­cial, along with be­ing clever with your hair prod­uct and not tak­ing bold fash­ion risks.”

That said, the fa­ther-of-four ad­mits he doesn’t al­ways get it right. “I sent my el­dest son a photo of some boots I bought the other day and he replied, ‘Yeah, they’re fresh’. I asked him if he would wear them and he re­sponded with a blunt ‘No’. My son is far cooler than me.”

His big­gest critic? His Aus­tralian wife. “I will al­ways ask Storm what she thinks. I think feel­ing at­trac­tive to your part­ner is re­ally im­por­tant and feel­ing like you look good next to them is im­por­tant for your re­la­tion­ship.”

What­ever its fash­ion sins, the boy band is a pow­er­ful force; Boy­zone re-formed in 2007 and have been busy ever since. How­ever, the ti­tle of their up­com­ing al­bum, Thank You and Good­night, sug­gests Keat­ing and co have fi­nally de­cided to put the baby to bed.

Be­tween the al­bum’s re­lease in mid-novem­ber, a Boy­zone farewell tour kick­ing off early next year and a one-year-old to chase around, Keat­ing is far from slow­ing down. His ad­vice for liv­ing your for­ties in style? Ease. “When you don’t look com­fort­able in your own clothes, it shows. Own the risks you take and at the very least learn to tie a bow tie.”

Here’s to grow­ing older then. You’ll wear it well. ”

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