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For the Guys

Tommy MacDonald is looking sharp

Out of his woodworking studio and into a new role: Master of ceremonies

This shirt’s small, repeating pattern looks great with his textured suit.
This shirt’s small, repeating pattern looks great with his textured suit. Photograph by Joel Benjamin; Styling by Christopher Muther/joel benjamin

TOMMY J MACDONALD, a fine-furniture maker and the host of the PBS show Rough Cut: Woodworking With Tommy Mac, is a T-shirt-and-jeans kind of guy. When I first met him three years ago, he told me his wardrobe needed help. As his show enters its fourth season, he’s graduated to better-fitting jeans and T-shirts, though he says he still struggles with what to wear outside the workshop, especially for semiformal occasions.

Now that Rough Cut has been nominated twice for an Emmy and he regularly makes personal appearances, MacDonald needs dressier clothes that both fit his personality (so, not too formal) and are as well made as the furniture he crafts. Next month, for example, he’ll serve as master of ceremonies at the Prism Awards, a night honoring the best home builders and designers in Greater Boston.

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That night, MacDonald will be onstage in front of hundreds of his peers. He realizes that the suit he bought eight years ago and his very loud ties from the 1990s will not serve him well for the occasion. So he recently put aside his disdain for shopping and found a nicely discounted Versace suit to wear that evening.

But one Versace suit does not a wardrobe make. We went on the hunt to find other ensembles MacDonald can wear the next time he needs to put down the hammer and pick up a microphone:

> Pictured in a Versace suit and Vineyard Vines belt, both MacDonald’s own; Zara shirt, $60, 212 Newbury Street, Boston, 617-236-1414, and Natick Mall, 508-655-5040, zara.com; H&M tie, $13, CambridgeSide Galleria, 617-225-0895, and other locations, hm.com; Magnanni shoes, $475 at Neiman Marcus, Copley Place, Boston, 617-536-3660, and Natick Mall, 508-620-5700, neimanmarcus.com

> John Varvatos suit, $1,795, shirt, $245, and tie, $135, Copley Place, Boston, 617-236-8650, johnvarvatos.com

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> Ted Baker London blazer, $548, shirt, $158, and tie, $75, 201 Newbury Street, Boston, 617-450-8339, tedbaker-london.com

> Zara blazer, $169, zara.com; Black Fleece for Brooks Brothers vest, $650, 75 State Street, Boston, 617-261-9990, and other locations, brooksbrothers.com; Carlos Campos shirt, $225 at International Playground, internationalplayground.com

To see the outfits, click here.