HEY, ISN’T THAT JAMES VAN DER BEEK? That smarmy, bottle-blond bastard your high school sweetheart used to pine over on Dawson’s Creek? Why, yes, yes it is. But what is he doing here? And how come he looks so much less, well, punchable?
Mostly, it’s because, while you weren’t looking, Van Der Beek became a man. Now 36, the former teen idol has evolved into a very respectable character actor with a knack for self-parody and offbeat comedy. Both sides of his skill set will be on full display this winter: first up, he’s appearing in the Jason Reitman-directed drama Labor Day, alongside heavy-hitters Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin; then, in early 2014, he’s returning to the small screen as the star of a new CBS sitcom called Friends With Better Lives.
But his dramatic rise of late is also, in our opinion, at least partly due to the fact that the guy happens to be a damn sharp dresser. Van Der Beek has mastered the art of layering, and it’s a skill he’s graciously agreed to demonstrate here. Over the next few pages, you’ll find all the sweaters, vests, jackets and coats you need to survive the season, as well as essential advice for wearing them in style.