Seen on screen: Movie Menswear Lessons
The silver screen sets many trends – but few are as iconic as the on-screen fashion that has had an impact on how we dress in our daily lives. 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… Here are some of the best, picked out by menswear brand Noose & Monkey.
Gangster’s Making It Fashionable – The Godfather
There are few looks as iconic as the 1950s-gangster film era. 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.
At the beginning of the trilogy, Pacino’s character wears brown or light-coloured suits to signify his distance from the dark workings of the family business. 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: Gangsters dress smart. 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.
The Well-Groomed Affluent Look – American Psycho
Christian Bale’s part as Patrick Bateman shot to iconic status almost instantly when American Psycho graced screens in the year 2000. 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.
Clothing-wise, Bateman’s public appearances all consist of exuberant 80s styling that reeks of business-sense. 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.
How to get the look: The 80s might be out of fashion now, but the idea of staying in good shape and looking after your skin is still applicable to all men today. Give yourself a good grooming routine and keep it up daily (weekly at the least.) If you’re feeling brave, a pinstripe business suit still stands out.
The King of Cool – The Great Escape
Steve McQueen is commonly referred to as the king of cool, and it’s easy to see 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.
How to get the look: The dress-down style features workwear, so think of aviator or bomber jackets combined with denim or khakis. It’s easy enough to replicate the outfit – but you also have to live up to McQueen’s effortless cool factor. No simple feat.
Futuristic styling – Blade Runner
Blade Runner is one of the most iconic sci-fi films ever 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.
Women in the film are garbed in a selection of outlandish dresses such as Rachel in her black suit with puffed shoulders, but its Harrison Ford’s Deckard that teaches men something about grungy menswear. He sports a long trench coat over a modernist-patterned shirt and tie with tan trousers – kindling a detective look.
How to get the look: Combine geometric patterned shirt and ties with a long overcoat to get the film noir style Deckard is famous for.
Business is power – There Will Be Blood
There Will Be Blood is a searing story of a man’s ambition above all things. Daniel Plainview, portrayed by Daniel Day Lewis, is a man for whom success is everything – and he’s willing to do whatever it takes.
The oil tycoon also happens to wear suits better than almost any other character on screen. 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.
How to get the look: Dressing for power means buying tailored, dark suits that are made with expensive materials. Complement it with choice accessories that make you really stand out. The moustache might also help, if you’re feeling brave.