Menswear from the Movies

On-screen fashions will come and go, but the ones that last need to be iconic. From sci-fi to crime, every genre has had its influence on the way we dress. Menswear trends have lived and died as a result of movie magic…

Making the gangster fashionable

There’s nothing quite as iconic as the epic that is The Godfather. Al Pacino’s leading role as Michael Corleone sees a young man transformed into one of the coolest gangsters to ever grace the screen – and his dress sense reflects this.

Pacino’s character wears light-coloured suits to distance himself from his mob-upbringings. As he progresses in his position within the criminal underworld, Michael begins to clothe himself in dark, expensive three piece suits that signify power. Michael (and his father Vito) also wear long double-breasted wool overcoats and dark Homburg hats in the films, with clear mobster connotations. Even when he dresses down, Michael is generally wearing a button-down shirt, smart waistcoat and tailored trousers.

How to get the look: You can’t just wear it, you need to have an attitude to match. While you won’t get away with the outlandish thick pinstripes on show in some scenes, opting for a black three-piece suit and using a small amount of product to slick your hair down will give you access to a powerful look – like Michael Corleone, you’ll need to own it. Noose & Monkey have a range of prom suits that will make sure you look the part for any role that you’re playing.

Dressing for affluence – American Psycho

As Patrick Bateman, Christian Bale played the psycho that we all know and fear! A portrayal of a man obsessed with male grooming, this was a terrifying example of the ‘metrosexual’ movement that included ice packs, facial masks and exhaustive workout routines to enhance a man’s vanity.

Reeking of businesses-sense, without being mild-mannered, Bateman’s appearance consists of 80s exuberance. His main style consists of pinstriped suits, collared shirts, suspenders and trousers with geometric patterned ties. He also dons a double-breasted jacket on a few occasions, showing true style.

Defining Cool – The Great Escape

Whether you know it or not, Steve McQueen is the king of cool – and here’s why. His fashion sense has long encapsulated American style. The leather bomber jacket worn by McQueen in The Great Escape has set a trend in worn-in workwear that persists to this day. A pair of khakis, jumper, service boots and his jacket were all it took to make Captain Virgil Hilts a modern day sensation. Even in later films like Bullitt, McQueen was still setting trends in turtlenecks and casual style.  

Combing the future and the past – Blade Runner

Defining a generation of movie-goers, Blade Runner is one of the most iconic films ever to be made. Unlike other efforts in that genre, the costume designers avoided tropes like latex body suits and jumpsuits, instead opting for a mixture of punk, Japanese and 1940s styling to create a unique noir look.

Garbed in outlandish dresses, puffed out shoulders, and anything outrageous – the women in the film shine. However, it’s Harrison Ford’s Deckard that shows men a thing or two about what and what not to wear. He sports a long trench coat over a modernist-patterned shirt and tie with tan trousers – kindling a detective look.

Business is power – There Will Be Blood

There Will Be Blood is a story of love, family, ambition and death. Daniel Plainview, portrayed by Daniel Day Lewis, is a man for whom success is everything – and he’s willing to do whatever it takes.

More than any character on screen, the oil-tycoon adorns suits graciously and without compromise. Styling a wool three piece over a simple white shirt and red tie, Plainview’s power is completed by a stiff-brimmed hat. He begins the film, however, in work garb as a prospector and then his subsequent outfits become more ‘professional’ until culminating in the iconic dark wool three piece with pocket watch and tan hat. Signifying power in style, Plainview wears tailored clothing in a time where few others could afford it.

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