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Not Just Talk--Snyder Gets a Look

The Series: “The Late Late Show With Tom Snyder,” CBS, weeknights at 12:30 a.m.

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The Setup: The longtime talk show host, formerly seen on cable, conducts conversations with Hollywood wits and cuties (Garry Shandling, Fran Drescher) and more serious folk (ex-Congressman Dan Rostenkowski) from a new network perch.

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The Look: New job, new set, new clothes--the three go hand in hand, just as they did when “Late Late” producer David Letterman arrived at the same network last year. Like his boss, Snyder truly benefited from the fashion make-over. He looks, well, really with it now, having dumped the wide, striped ties and dated straight-arrow look that followed him for 20 years in favor of an elegant, comfortable, soft-shouldered, Italian American merger. The man even wears pocket squares nonchalantly stuffed into his front pocket. Cary Grant, eat your heart out.

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You Should Know: Though Letterman’s look is altogether different--strictly English American, though now he’s gone heavily into telegenic bright neckties--both he and Snyder are as polished as brass doorknobs. It’s not a coincidence. Snyder was told by the powers-that-be to get a look! (Too bad they didn’t insist on a new haircut, but more on that later.) He did so with the help of L.A.-based stylist Cary Fetman, who also pulls together the host’s wardrobe on “Dennis Miller Live.”

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The Psychology: Anyone can see that Snyder’s shirts, ties and suits are primarily blue and navy with some grays (save for a splash of, say, gold in a subtly patterned tie). That’s because of his coloring and partly to do with the hour. “You’re talking about 1:30 at night when people are in bed and winding down. You want monochromatics and things that are relaxing. I’m not doing bright brights,” Fetman says.

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Inspiration: “I keep going through all the magazines--Uomo, GQ, Vogue--and then I shop the stores constantly,” Fetman explains. “I love to watch David Letterman and Ted Koppel and Maury Povich--who have a beautiful style.”

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Bad Hair Day: Tom, Tom, Tom, the silver is great, but the shape is a “Dateline” guess-what-year-this-happened quiz. Answer: 1971 (just guessing) was when the host first latched onto the modishly long haircut with a wide, side-wall part and sideburns.

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Quoted: “I’m not trying to make him look like a young stud muffin. I’m trying to make Tom look like a man his age (he’s 58), a distinguished gentleman,” Fetman says.

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Trivia: Snyder had to learn to live without so much Brooks Brothers in his life. “He always felt that because he’s such a large man--6-foot-4--that a little wider tie and a spread collar was his best look. I had to convince him that small collars actually are a better look. They frame his jaw and give more angle to his face.”

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Sources: Snyder’s Donna Karan, Armani and Vestimente suits and silk ties (many different labels) are from Ron Ross in Studio City (which Kevin Costner, Bob Saget and other Hollywood types also frequent). Some suits and shirts are from Brooks Brothers.


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