Brad Pitt as Robert “Rusty” Ryan, casino heister and hotel manager
Las Vegas, June 2007
Film: Ocean’s Thirteen
Release Date: June 8, 2007
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Costume Designer: Louise Frogley
Happy Memorial Day! I hope all you gents out in BAMF Land will be celebrating the holiday with an outdoor cookout… or possibly planning a multi-million dollar casino heist with your buddies.
In either case, it’s safe to wear white again.
What’d He Wear?
Rusty meets with his con artist cohorts Danny Ocean and Roman Nagel while wearing the loudest outfit of the trio. While Danny and Roman prefer all black, perhaps in accordance with the shady nature of their planning session, Rusty aims more for climate and style than criminal purpose. Rusty’s suit is white-on-white tonal pinstripe in lightweight silk. As usual, Rusty wears his suit without a tie.
The perfect fit of the suit confirms my belief that the mid-2000s was a sartorial high point in recent years, bridging the extra-baggy ’90s and overly slim suits seen today. Then again, it would be a challenge for any costumer to make Brad Pitt look bad.
The suit jacket is single-breasted with notch lapels (and a buttonhole through the left lapel). The shoulders are padded with roped sleeveheads.
Rusty’s suit coat closes in the front with a single brown horn button, although he leaves it open for the whole of the sequence. The sleeves have fully-functional 4-button “surgeon’s cuffs”, although he only leaves three fastened, following the rakish pattern set by Daniel Craig’s James Bond to mark a bespoke suit. It’s a flashy gesture that fits a flashy dresser like Rusty.
In addition to the welted breast pocket, Rusty’s suit coat has flapped hip pockets that slant rearward like a hacking jacket. Unlike a hacking jacket, it has double rear vents.
The flat front suit trousers rise low on his waist. They have two frogmouth front pockets and jetted rear pockets. The waistband closes with an extended squared hook closure tab in the front, although the trousers are meant to be worn with a belt.
Although Rusty wears white chino trousers with a few other outfits in Ocean’s Thirteen (including with his mustard sportcoat at the airport), these are clearly a different pair that matches the suit as evident by the tonal pinstripe and the frogmouth front pockets that differ from the on-seam side pockets on the other chinos.
A stylish guy like Rusty isn’t going to ignore the matching belt and shoes rule, although we don’t get much of a look at the latter. His distressed leather belt is caramel brown with dark brown gradient edges and a thin squared gold buckle. The brief glimpse we get of his shoes offers what may be light brown leather with cream dress socks.
Some men might opt for a more subtle shirt to offset such a loud suit… not Rusty, though. Rusty wears a gold shirt with a distinctive metallic sheen. It has a large collar that he wears open with the top two buttons undone, buttoning the rest down the placket-less front. He also wears the rounded barrel cuffs unbuttoned, typically rolling up his sleeves when the jacket is off.
Rusty is no slave to sartorial conventions by any means, but when he sports a white suit, brown supplements, and a gold shirt, it makes sense that he’d keep his jewelry all gold for a consistent palette. He wears his usual thin gold necklace with a gold pendant, mostly concealed by his shirt here.
His watch is a gold Rolex GMT Master II with a black bezel and black dial, secured to his right wrist on a gold link bracelet.
The watch is on his right wrist here, but it rotates with the rest of his accessories and shows up on his left wrist for the closing scene of the movie. His multiple rings also rotate from hand to hand and finger to finger. In this scene, he wears a gold ring with a flat amber stone on his right ring finger (although this production photo shows it on a different hand.)
The production photo also ignores the gold pinky ing that Rusty wears on his left hand.
Go Big or Go Home
The scene could also double as a beer ad as two of the coolest men in Hollywood wear sharp suits and plan a slick casino heist all while enjoying bottles of Stella Artois.
How to Get the Look
Once again, Brad Pitt’s Rusty Ryan offers a flashy, distinctive outfit that many can attempt, but few will actually pull off.
- White-on-white tonal pinstripe lightweight silk tailored suit, consisting of:
- Single-breasted jacket with notch lapels, 1-button front, welted breast pocket, rear-slanted flapped hip pockets, 4-button “surgeon’s cuffs”, and double rear vents
- Flat front low rise trousers with belt loops, frogmouth front pockets, jetted rear pockets, and plain-hemmed bottoms
- Gold sheen dress shirt with large collar, plain front, and unbuttoned barrel cuffs
- Caramel brown leather laced dress shoes
- Cream dress socks
- Caramel brown leather belt with dark brown gradient edges and squared gold buckle
- Rolex GMT Master II wristwatch with a gold case, black bezel and dial, and gold link bracelet, worn on right wrist
- Gold ring with brown stone, worn on right ring finger
- Gold pinky ring, worn on left pinky
- Thin gold necklace with a round gold pendant
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Ray Liotta as Henry Hill, New York mob associate and club owner
Queens, NY, June 11, 1970
Release Date: September 19, 1990
Director: Martin Scorsese
Costume Designer: Richard Bruno
As Morrie Kessler’s favorite “half mick, half guinea”, it’s nice to see Henry Hill channeling his Irish side with a green suit while out at a bar. In particular, his bar – The Suite Lounge in Queens. (In reality, the scene was filmed at the Lido Cabaret at 7320 Grand Avenue in Maspeth.) Unfortunately for us, it wasn’t St. Patrick’s Day, and unfortunately for Billy Batts, an angry Joe Pesci was around.
This scene, one of the most iconic of the film, marks the shift in tone between the “glamour” of the wiseguy era in the ’60s and the harsh and violent reality of the ’70s as it all comes crashing down. The first portion of the film may explain why Henry’s biggest ambition was to be a gangster as we see an endless parade of sharp suits, champagne on the house, and big-haired and bosomy mistresses.
After Billy Batts, the suits are replaced by prison uniforms (or worse, polyester disco shirts), the champagne becomes drugs, and the mistresses become strung-out coke whores who stab you in the back. The scene and its repercussions teach us an important lesson: don’t kill, kids.
What’d He Wear?
For Billy Batts’ release party (and subsequent murder) in his bar, Henry Hill wears a green suit with a distinctive shine that implies either silk or possibly a mohair/silk blend. The suit is a two-piece with moderate features appropriate for 1970, a sartorial transition period between the ultra-slim ’60s and excessively wide ’70s.
The suit jacket is single-breasted with notch lapels that roll down to the low 2-button stance. Both the buttons on the front and the two buttons on each cuff are constructed of dark plastic, likely black. The shoulders are slightly padded with roped sleeveheads.
Henry’s suit coat has a welted breast pocket and two flapped hip pockets that slant slightly back. The double rear vents rise to Henry’s natural waist.
The flat front suit trousers rise high on Henry’s waist with a straight fly and sharp creases down each slightly tapered leg to the plain-hemmed, full break bottoms. The slanted side pockets are visible, but Henry only removes the jacket when digging Batts’ grave so it’s hard to determine the rear pocket situation. He wears a slim black leather belt through the trousers’ belt loops.
Henry wears a black shirt, a popular choice for a casual suit on a night out. He leaves the top two white plastic buttons undone; the rest are buttoned down the front placket. Broken white edge stitching is visible on the shirt’s wide placket in close-up shots.
The shirt’s long sleeves close with a single button, and the straight hem is revealed when Henry untucks the shirt to dig Batts’ grave. The material is hard to determine, but it appears to be polyester.
His leather shoes are also black, and – although they don’t receive much screen time – they appear to have a cap toe and a lace-up throat. He also appears to be wearing black socks, which I think is a good choice as the green suit isn’t neutral enough to warrant green socks.
The gold watch on his right wrist is supposedly a Rolex Day-Date, although I can’t tell for sure from the angles we are given. It is certainly a gold case with a round white dial on a flat gold bracelet; I have typically seen Day-Dates worn on thicker link bracelets, but it’s possible that this was swapped out for Henry.
Henry sticks with gold jewelry, also wearing his usual pinky ring on his right hand and his plain gold wedding band on the third finger of his left hand.
Underneath, he is likely wearing one of his usual white ribbed cotton sleeveless A-shirts.
Go Big or Go Home
Since Henry doesn’t actually do any killing in this scene (glossing over his enabling, clean-up, and other general accessory duties), it’s fine to have a Henry Hill-style night out. We’ve already got the outfit down, so now all you need is the right cigarettes, the right car, and the right music.
Henry’s smokes of choice are soft packs of Winston Full-Flavor filtered cigarettes with a gold lighter. At the time, Winston was the most popular cigarette brand in the United States, holding its position from 1966 until 1972 when it was eclipsed by Marlboro, who has remained the market leader to this day. It’s also somewhat telling that Henry’s cigarette brand was in its prime whenever he was… and it lost its popularity once things got bad (prison, drugs, killings, witness protection, etc.).
I know it’s not Car Week, but I have to show my appreciation for Henry’s fine choice in American machinery. For the bulk of the film, Henry drives a dark brown 1968 Pontiac Grand Prix with a white hardtop.
’68 was a special year for the Grand Prix, a transition between the first two generations of body styles and the final year for the B-body platform full-sized Grand Prix. Since the convertible model had just been discontinued, the only option was the 2-door hardtop coupe, which Henry drives here. Engine options were the standard 400 cubic inch V8 with 350 horsepower, but an optional 428 was available with base 375 horsepower or a High Output (HO) 390 horsepower version. In reality, Hill drove a new 1970 Buick Electra, but all that you really need to take away from the scene is that the trunk was pretty much ruined after hauling Batts’ rotting corpse back and forth.
And finally, the music. Goodfellas has one of the greatest soundtracks of any movie, and this scene features two classic songs that nicely indicate the scene’s tone-changing effect on the rest of the film. The party is seen in high gear to the upbeat 1963 track “He’s Sure the Boy I Love” by the Phil Spector-produced group The Crystals.
Hours later, when Tommy returns to kill Batts and set the crew on its fatal course, the darker and deeper “Atlantis” by Donovan is used to punctuate the brutal murder.
Bonus points to anyone who can quickly – and correctly – pronounce Barabajagal, the name of Donovan’s 1969 album that contained the song.
What to Imbibe
Billy Batts: Give us a drink. And give some to those Irish hoodlums down there.
Jimmy Conway: Only one Irishman here, Billy.
Billy Batts: On the house. Salud.
Jimmy Conway: Top of the mornin’.
Whiskey is the order of the night for Jimmy and his crew, although he, Henry, and Tommy are more often seen drinking Crown Royal (Canadian), Cutty Sark (Scotch), or J&B (Scotch again) than anything Irish. Since Jameson will likely be flowing at your local bar on March 17th, feel free to down a shot or two with your local Irish hoodlums.
Now go home and get your fuckin’ shinebox.
How to Get the Look
Henry keeps his night out look flashy but simple using only three colors: green, black, and gold.
- Green silk suit, consisting of:
- Single-breasted jacket with notch lapels, 2-button front, welted breast pocket, flapped slanted hip pockets, 2-button cuffs, and double rear vents
- Flat front high rise trousers with belt loops, slanted side pockets, and plain-hemmed tapered bottoms
- Black polyester shirt with white buttons, white edge-stitched front placket, and button cuffs
- Black cap toe leather laced shoes
- Black dress socks
- Black slim leather belt with small silver square clasp
- White ribbed cotton sleeveless undershirt
- Rolex Day-Date with a gold case, white round dial, and flat gold bracelet
- Pinky ring, worn on right pinky
- Plain gold wedding band, worn on left ring finger
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Buy the movie.
As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster. To me that was better than being president of the United States. To be a gangster was to own the world.
Curious about what really happened to Billy Batts? It’s not that different from what Goodfellas shows us, although the film wisely condenses the action to one night rather than over the course of a couple weeks. As found on Tommy DeSimone’s Wikipedia page…
In the book Wiseguy, Henry Hill said they threw a “welcome home” party at Robert’s Lounge, which was owned by Jimmy Burke, for William “Billy Batts” Bentvena (confused as William Devino), a made man in Carmine Fatico’s crew (the same crew John Gotti was a part of) in the Gambino crime family.
Bentvena had just been released from prison after serving a six year term for drug possession. Hill states in Wiseguy that Bentvena saw DeSimone and asked him if he still shined shoes and DeSimone took this as an insult. Hill also said that Bentvena provoked DeSimone because he wanted to impress some mobsters from another crime family. A couple of minutes later when that issue was going to be forgotten, DeSimone leaned over to Henry Hill and Jimmy Burke and said “I’m gonna kill that fuck.” Hill saw that he was serious about it. A couple of weeks later, on June 11, 1970, Bentvena went over to “The Suite” owned by Hill in Jamaica, Queens to go drinking with DeSimone’s crew, including Hill, DeSimone, and Jimmy. Later that night DeSimone took his girlfriend home and Burke started making Bentvena feel comfortable. Twenty minutes later, DeSimone arrived with a .38 revolver and a plastic mattress cover. DeSimone walked over to him at the corner of the bar and attacked Bentvena. Before Bentvena was attacked, Jimmy Burke tightened his arms around Bentvena and he was pistol whipped with the .38 revolver. He was so inebriated that he couldn’t defend himself.
In the book Wiseguy, Hill said that before DeSimone started to beat Bentvena, DeSimone yelled, “Shine these fucking shoes!” DeSimone killed Bentvena not only because he had insulted him, but also because Burke had taken over Bentvena’s loanshark business while Bentvena was in prison. According to Hill, Bentvena had been complaining to Joseph N. Gallo about getting back this racket. Not wanting to return the business to Bentvena, Burke knew sooner or later Bentvena would have to be killed. After the beating, the three men put Bentvena into the trunk of Hill’s 1970 Buick Electra and later while the three men were driving on The Van Wyck Expressway, they discovered that Bentvena was not dead. Later, they visited DeSimone’s mother’s house to get a knife, lime, and a shovel. Later in the drive, closer to their destination, Hill said it had been an hour of DeSimone driving and he kept getting mad about the noises in the trunk and finally slammed the brakes and leaned over for the shovel and that Burke and DeSimone “didn’t actually shoot him, they just stabbed him, thirty or forty fucking times, fucking horrible.”
Hill does not mention a knife, but claims Burke and DeSimone finished Bentvena off by beating him with a tire iron and the shovel, respectively and the men later buried him under a dog kennel. At the time of the murder in 1970, Bentvena was 49 years old and was a respected and a feared made man in the Gambino crime family, as well as a personal friend of future Gambino boss John Gotti. Murdering a made man without the official consent of his family’s leadership was an unforgivable offense in the Mafia code of omerta, especially by a rival family and a mere associate such as DeSimone, and it was this murder (after the Gotti crew definitively tied DeSimone to the killing) that led to DeSimone’s own murder as retaliation.
Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash, badass but troubled country rock musician
Los Angeles, January 1968
Film: Walk the Line
Release Date: November 18, 2005
Director: James Mangold
Costume Designer: Arianne Phillips
Tailor: Pam Lisenby
Columbia Exec: Your fans are church folk, Johnny. Christians. They don’t wanna hear you singing to a bunch of murderers and rapists, tryin’ to cheer ’em up.
Johnny Cash: Well, they’re not Christians, then.
The terrific 2005 biopic Walk the Line features a great scene of Cash rebooting his career as a prison performer (and reformer) when he confidently strides into Columbia Records and announces his plan to record an album live from Folsom Prison. He dudes himself up appropriately in all black and is the most self-assured as we’ve seen him throughout the film.
To honor Johnny Cash’s birthday (he would have been exactly 83 years old today), here’s a look at Joaquin Phoenix’s take on “the Man in Black”.
What’d He Wear?
Columbia Exec: And what’s with the black? He looks like he’s going to a funeral!
Johnny Cash: Maybe I am.
…although some may consider this look a bit too badass for a funeral.
Cash suits up for his meeting by donning his trademark attire, black from head to toe. His three-piece wool suit is black with very thin tonal stripe that shine under certain light.
The suit jacket is single-breasted with a fashionable late ’60s cut. The slim notch lapels glide down to the single button closure at his waist. There is a welted breast pocket and the flapped hip pockets, including the right side ticket pocket, slant backwards.
His suit jacket has roped sleeveheads, 1-button cuffs, and long double rear vents. The lining is only briefly seen when he is putting on his jacket, but it is a very bright red silk that contrasts heavily with the rest of the outfit.
The suit has a matching waistcoat, although not much is seen of it as the low-fastening garment is mostly covered when he wears the jacket buttoned. It has slim notch lapels like the jacket. The same bright red silk lining on the inside of the jacket also adorns the back of the vest.
Cash’s flat front suit trousers have plain-hemmed bottoms with a very short break over his feet. His shoes are a very mod pair of black calf leather plain-toe loafers. They are very simple with no perforations, cap toes, side gussets, etc. Naturally, he wears a pair of black dress socks. This is no time for a “hint of color”.
I’ve found an affordable pair of similar loafers from Cole Haan; the Copley 2 Gore Loafer in black leather is currently offered from Jos. A. Bank’s site for only $148 if you’re looking for a reasonable pair. They also come in brown leather, but what color do you think Johnny would pick?
While he wears a white shirt for the eventual Folsom Prison performance, he wears a black silk shirt here. Like the suit, it has a thin tonal stripe, although this stripe is spaced further apart than on the suit. The shirt has a large collar, which he wears open, and no front placket. The shirt’s French cuffs are fastened by silver square links. Naturally, each link has a large black raised square in the center.
To maintain his aloof appearance (and perhaps battle his withdrawal), Cash keeps his sunglasses on throughout nearly the entire scene. They are a pair of black acetate wayfarers with dark green lenses, likely a classic pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarers before they started placing the logo on the temples and lenses.
June Carter: You wear black ’cause you can’t find anything else to wear? You found your sound ’cause you can’t play no better? You just tried to kiss me because “it just happened?” You should try take credit for something every once in a while, John.
How to Get the Look
They didn’t call him the “Man in Black” for no reason.
- Black wool tonal-striped three-piece suit, consisting of:
- Single-breasted jacket with slim notch lapels, 1-button front, welted breast pocket, slanted flapped hip pockets, slanted right ticket pocket, 1-button cuffs, and long double rear vents
- Low-fastening single-breasted waistcoat with slim notch lapels
- Flat front trousers with plain-hemmed bottoms
- Black silk tonal-striped shirt with large collar, no placket, and double/French cuffs
- Silver square cuff links with raised black centers
- Black calf leather plain-toe loafers
- Black dress socks
- Black acetate wayfarer-style sunglasses
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Buy the movie and, for cryin’ out loud, listen to Johnny Cash!
If you’re ever in the Pittsburgh area, friends of mine host Johnny Cash Day at the Elks Club on the North Side every September. More information is available on their Facebook page, but I can personally say that it’s an incredible event that celebrates his life, music, and style… plus there’s cheap beer and awesome bands. Even if you’re not in Pittsburgh, you should come to Johnny Cash Day.
January 13. I’ll be at Folsom Prison with June and the boys. You listen to the tapes. You don’t like ’em… you can toss ’em.
Ryan O’Neal as “The Driver”, professional getaway driver
Los Angeles, Spring 1978
Film: The Driver
Release Date: July 10, 1978
Director: Walter Hill
Costume Designers: Jack Bear, Robert Conwall, and Jennifer L. Parsons
The Driver is a perfect example of European-influenced, American-made, existential ’70s cinema featuring the male anti-hero so frequently seen throughout the decade. A laconic criminal not without his own set of ethics set in a bleak world filled with morally questionable characters, Ryan O’Neal’s unnamed protagonist follows in the footsteps of guys like Vanishing Point‘s Kowalski.
Writer, director, and all-around tough guy Walter Hill’s auteurism clearly shows through in this terrific and über-cool neo-noir where talk is cheap, and those doing the most of it typically have the least to say.
What’d He Wear?
The morally murky world of The Driver doesn’t define its characters by the traditional white hat vs. black hat costuming, despite The Detective’s insistence on referring to The Driver as “Cowboy”. Both men, the relentless and borderline dirty policeman and the code-driven but still criminal driver, sport black suits as their uniforms. In fact, all of the major characters wear the same clothing throughout the film, despite it taking place over a number of days.
Although very much styled of its era with the huge lapels, collars, and flaring trousers, The Driver’s suit is as understated as one would expect from him. While a suit like that would attract attention in 2014, he would have blended seamlessly into an L.A. night in 1978, perhaps only drawing a few female heads for being Ryan O’Neal.
The suit jacket is single-breasted with three black horn buttons in the front that he leaves open for the duration of the film. It fits O’Neal nicely with natural shoulders, roped sleeveheads, and a suppressed waist. Like many traditional American business suits, it has a single rear vent.
Since this is the ’70s, the suit jacket also has a set of massive notch lapels that extend nearly to the shoulders. There is a wide buttonhole and edge stitching present on both lapels.
Driver’s jacket has three patch pockets – one chest, two on the hips. Each cuff has 3 buttons to match the front buttons.
Driver’s suit trousers are flat front with a low rise and wide belt loops to accommodate the large black leather belt he wears. This belt closes in the front through a large squared silver clasp.
In a further indication of the era, Driver’s trousers flare out to the plain-hemmed bottoms.
The Driver wears a pair of thick black leather shoes with black laces and heavy black soles. Naturally, he also wears a pair of black socks.
Driver’s light blue shirt is also a unique part of the outfit. Rather than a traditional dress shirt, Driver wears a lightweight utility-style shirt with large collars and flapped chest pockets on each side. The pockets are low on the shirt, lining up with the fourth button down, and they close with a single button on a rounded flap.
The shirt also has a distinctive set of white plastic buttons down the front placket. After the top collar button, there are two chest buttons placed very close together, which he leaves undone. The rest of the buttons are spaced normally down the shirt.
The shirt is long-sleeved with mitred button cuffs.
The Driver is light on accessories, wearing only a simple square-shaped watch on his right wrist. This watch has a silver case, white dial, and black alligator strap.
Driver also sports pair of black-framed aviator-style sunglasses with dark lenses for a crucial moment of badassery.
Go Big or Go Home
And speaking of this crucial moment of badassery…
A particularly sleazy criminal in the film, known as “Glasses”, pulls a gun on The Driver after a job.
Glasses: Can’t get over the mistake you made. You’ve been set up, you know.
The Driver: By a cop.
Glasses: That’s right. He’s waiting for you right now at the wrong place. Me and my buddy don’t wanna show up. You two hot-shots have both been set up, haven’t you? You know what always amazed me about you? A guy with your attitude… never carries a gun. (cocks hammer) That’s stupid… very stupid.
As Glasses raises his own .45 to kill, The Driver reveals his own ace in the hole – a Single Action Army revolver and the precision to fire off three well-aimed and fatal shots from the hip, knocking Glasses dead to the ground.
Though he’s got a reputation with The Detective as a “cowboy” (and, appropriately enough, carries a cowboy-style SAA), The Driver has managed to keep the upper hand over his criminal associates by gaining an Andy Griffith-like reputation as an unarmed getaway driver. When a sleazeball like Glasses thinks he can get the drop on The Driver, The Driver seizes the opportunity and blows him away with three almost impossibly quick shots. As Tuco says in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: “When you have to shoot, shoot – don’t talk!”
The Driver is otherwise a consummate professional. He does his job efficiently, adhering to his own set of ethics and not getting in anyone’s way if they’re staying out of his.
As a super ’70s flavor to an otherwise subtle film, an interesting soundtrack choice in one of the film’s scenes is a disco-infused cover of The Chiffons’ “One Fine Day” by Julie Budd, credited only as Julie. Julie’s version of “One Fine Day” reached #93 on the U.S. charts in 1976.
When not out on the road evading cops or crooks, Driver holes himself up in a cheap motel room with a bottle of Jack Daniel’s and a case of Coors Banquet beer… just as any tough, down-on-his-luck ’70s anti-hero should.
The Driver wears a simple, strong, and utilitarian look very befitting for a man whose primary occupation is the execution of nighttime crime.
- Black wool suit, consisting of:
- Single-breasted jacket with wide notch lapels, 3-button front, patch breast pocket, patch hip pockets, 3-button cuffs, single rear vent
- Flat front trousers with belt loops, flared plain-hemmed bottoms
- Light blue lightweight shirt with large collars, flapped chest pockets with button closure, white buttons down front placket with unique “double buttons” at chest, and mitred button cuffs
- Black leather laced shoes
- Black dress socks
- Silver-cased wristwatch with white square face on black alligator strap
- Black-framed aviator sunglasses with dark lenses
Not surprisingly for a film called The Driver and about a getaway driver, quite a number of cars are prominently featured throughout the movie. The Driver really runs the gamut, showing no particular favor to any one make or style.
When we first meet Driver, he’s picking up a blue ’74 Ford Galaxie sedan. After the Galaxie does its job – or rather Driver does his job – he coolly leads it to its destruction. When a gang asks him to show off his skills, he does so, systematically destroying an orange 1970 Mercedes-Benz sedan with his parking garage maneuvering. A bank robbery and subsequent double-cross places him in the driver’s seat of a brown ’77 Pontiac Firebird, and the final act of the film finds him in the unlikely but spirited red 1973 Chevrolet C-10 Stepside pickup truck.
Chevrolet, which had been producing pickup trucks since the mid-1920s, introduced its full-size light-duty line in 1960 as the C/K series. “C” trucks were two-wheel drive while the “K” indicated four-wheel drive. 1973 was the first year for the third generation of GM trucks that incorporated radical body design changes for more rounded lines; hence this 1973-1987 era informally known as the “Rounded Line” generation for Chevy and GMC trucks.
There were two types of C-10 pickup models available in 1973. One, designated the “Fleetside” by Chevy (and “Wideside” by GMC), featured a full width pickup box with both steel and wood floors available. The simpler, narrower model was the “Stepside” (or “Fenderside” for GMC) with steps, exposed fenders, standalone tail lamps, and only wood floors.
As the rear-wheel-drive model, the C-10 pickup featured an independent front suspension system with contoured lower control “A” arms and coil springs. The rear suspension system was GM’s new Load Control system, consisting of a rear live axle with dual stage Vari-Rate multi-leaf springs and offset shock absorber.
The C-10 Stepside in The Driver is fitted with Chevy’s big-block 454 cubic inch V8 engine, a top performer that had become legendary as the powerhouse in the ’70 Chevelle. In the three years since the Chevelle’s heyday, however, the 454 was detuned to the LS4 454, a lower performing engine rated at 275 horsepower as opposed to the 450 horsepower of the LS6.
Body Style: 2-door pickup truck
Engine: 454 cu. in. (7.4 L) Chevrolet “LS4″ big-block V8
Power: 275 hp (205 kW; 278 PS)
Torque: 468 lb·ft (635 N·m)
Transmission: 4-speed Saginaw Muncie SM465 manual
Wheelbase: 117.5 inches (2984 mm)
Length: 191.5 inches (4864 mm)
Width: 79.6 inches (2022 mm)
Height: 69.8 inches (1773 mm)
At least two different C-10 trucks were used during the filming of The Driver. The primary truck, featured in most action scenes, clearly had a Hurst T-handle four-on-the-floor manual transmission. Other shots show a truck with the column-shifting 3-speed Turbo Hydra-matic automatic transmission. Given The Driver’s reputation and talent, it’s most likely that he was meant to be driving the manual transmission version with the automatic version on hand for some stunt or backup work.
The truck, stolen from The Driver’s duplicitous confederates, has California license plates 1E49974.
The other cars worth mentioning are:
The blue 1974 Ford Galaxie 500 pillared hardtop sedan with an automatic transmission, featured during the opening chase.
The “racing orange” 1970 Mercedes-Benz 280 S sedan that Glasses and his associates use to test The Driver.
Teeth: How do we know you’re that good?
The Driver: Get in.
And, finally, the dark brown 1977 Pontiac Firebird Esprit that The Driver is contracted to handle for the gang’s daytime bank robbery. This car, with California plates 487 BAK, serves The Driver well until he abandons it in the warehouse after his confrontation with Glasses.
Interestingly, other than the occasional Fury patrol car, The Driver seems to eschew Mopar vehicles while allowing prominent screen time for Ford, GM, and even foreign vehicles.
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Buy the movie. A lo-res version also appears to be on YouTube in its complete form.
Lotta crooks around these days.
SPOILER ALERT! Some photos in this post sorta give things away out of necessity. If you’re familiar with the film, great. If you’re not… eh, maybe wait a bit before reading this one.
Daniel Craig as an unnamed London drug dealer (“XXXX”, for simplicity’s sake)
London, Summer 2004
As summer comes to a close, so will the seasonal focus on how to wear a good summer suit. There have been a range of styles, from fashion-forward mod suits (Michael Caine in The Italian Job) to double-breasted three-piece affairs (J.J. Gittes and Chalky White).
At the end of Layer Cake, Dan Craig has effectively negotiated the dangerous London drug underworld to announce his retirement, even with the prospect of taking over staring him in the face. Unlike so many gangsters – both real and cinematic – “XXXX” decides he’s made enough and had enough, and he chooses to retire and drive off into the sunset (or the afternoon sun) with his new girlfriend. Unfortunately, he may have made one careless mistake too many…
What’d He Wear?
A few years earlier, fellow Bond-actor-in-non-Bond-role Pierce Brosnan wore a similar ensemble as crooked MI6 agent Andy Osnard in The Tailor of Panama (which I wrote about exactly one month ago). Brosnan’s suit was more tan than cream, but – like Craig – it was a linen and cotton blend worn with a light blue open-neck shirt and brown shoes. While Brosnan’s look was intentionally sloppy, Craig shows how well it can be pulled off for a casual summer outfit.
Of course, it helps that Craig’s suit was tailored by Richard James of Savile Row. According to Richard James’ blog:
The brief for Craig’s wardrobe… was ‘slim, contemporary Savile Row suits and definitive, well cut casual wear.” A suitable look, it was thought, for a character who professes, “I’m not a gangster, I’m a businessman whose commodity happens to be cocaine.”
Craig’s jacket is single-breasted with a long fit and a slightly pulled in waist. The slim notch lapels, which have swelled edges, roll down to the high 2-button front stance. The shoulders are lightly padded, and the cuffs are 4-button.
There is a welted pocket and the flapped hip pockets slant back like the traditional hacking jacket. The long fit and long single vent also indicate hacking jacket-inspired construction.
Craig’s matching suit trousers are flat front with a low rise best seen when he is leaning on a pillar outside the Stoke Park Country Club. The waistband has an extended hook-closure tab in the front and buckle adjusters on the sides. The side pockets are slanted, and there is a single jetted rear pocket on the left. The plain-hemmed bottoms fall with a long break over his boots.
Craig also wears the same boots as he wore throughout the rest of the film, a pair of dark brown (or “chestnut”) leather Chelsea boots with brown elastic side gussets and tall-heeled black soles. As many costume detectives have found out, these are R.M. Williams’ “Henley” boots.
Chelsea boots are a nontraditional option for summer suits, especially in such a dark color, with tan oxfords or loafers typically worn. However, brown definitely works better than black would, and a utilitarian like XXXX – classy though he maybe – would wear a shoe that is practical and comfortable.
His socks remain unseen due to the trouser break and the height of the boots, but they would likely be tan or taupe.
Craig wears a light blue poplin shirt with a large 2-button spread collar. It has white buttons down the front placket and French cuffs secured by walnut oval-shaped links with silver trim.
The only accessory Craig openly wears during the scene is his stainless wristwatch, possibly a Rolex Datejust, with a stainless bracelet and black dial.
Go Big or Go Home
Continuing the idea that Layer Cake directly led to Daniel Craig’s consideration – and eventual hiring – as James Bond, it must be pointed out that the location chosen for the finale is the Stoke Park Country Club in Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire. (That’s in England, in case you’re geographically disabled.)
“Stoke Park… that sounds familiar,” you say to yourself. Since you’re reading this blog, you’re probably familiar with the film Goldfinger. Stoke Park Country Club hosted James Bond and Auric Goldfinger’s gripping golf game that climaxed with Oddjob removing a statue’s head with a single toss of his bowler hat.
How to Get the Look
Some men eschew going tieless with a suit, but XXXX proves that it’s not always such a bad thing.
- Cream linen-cotton blend two-piece suit from Richard James of Savile Row, consisting of:
- Single-breasted jacket with notch lapels, 2-button front, welted breast pocket, slanted flapped hip pockets, 4-button cuffs, and single rear vent
- Flat front trousers with extended waistband tab, buckle side adjusters, and plain-hemmed bottoms with full break
- Light blue button-down shirt with large 2-button spread collar, front placket, and double/French cuffs
- Walnut oval cufflinks with silver trim
- Dark brown (“chestnut”) leather R.M. Williams “Henley” Chelsea boots with brown elastic side gussets
- Rolex Datejust wristwatch with stainless case/bracelet and black dial
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Buy the film.
My name? If you knew that, you’d be as clever as me.
Brad Pitt as Robert “Rusty” Ryan, hustler and casino heister
Las Vegas, Summer 2001
Whether you’re in town for a few crazy nights with friends or a multimillion dollar casino heist, you don’t want to look like a piker in Vegas.
What’d He Wear?
Rusty Ryan, one of the flashier dressers in Danny Ocean’s crew, accompanies Danny to casino big shot Reuben Tishkoff’s pad in a luxurious light gray summer suit in lightweight soft cotton. In some angles, the suit has the bright Nevada sun shining directly on it, so some people assume the suit to be white. These people are wrong, although Rusty is certainly the type of guy who would (and could) wear a white suit.
The suit was clearly tailored specifically for Pitt and was aimed to accentuate his shoulders. The jacket shoulders are padded with roped sleeveheads, and the jacket tapers down to his waist. Curved front darts extend out from each armpit down the front of the jacket, and a ventless rear keeps the fit close around the torso. It is a very retro style, evoking suits of the 1930s with a touch of modern luxury.
The jacket sleeves are too long, extending nearly to the base of his thumb and fingers. The 4-button cuffs are functional “surgeon’s cuffs”; Rusty leaves the last two buttons undone to indicate as much. This is also a common trait for Daniel Craig’s James Bond. Leaving surgeon’s cuffs unfastened has been described as very sprezzatura gesture, telling the world that one is wearing a bespoke suit without actually having to say anything and risk being called a braggart. This sort of stylish nonchalance can be seen as pretentious so if you plan on doing it, make up for it by being courteous and understated in other aspects of life. (i.e. Don’t be that asshole who parks his BMW across three parking spots then steps outside to “Check on my Beemer” every five minutes while bragging about out-lifting your trainer.)
Rusty’s jacket is single-breasted with a single button front closure. The rounded peak lapels are wide with a long and high slanted gorge, another very 1930s detail. There is a welted breast pocket, and the flapped hip pockets slant toward the rear. Edge stitching is present throughout, from the lapels and pockets to the edges of the lower quarters.
Rusty’s flat front suit trousers are very simple and clean-looking. The waistband is simple with no belt loops or visible fastening tabs, yet another indication that the suit was custom-fitted for Pitt. There are single front darts and a straight fit through the legs to the plain-hemmed bottoms.
No pockets are visible due to the nature of this short scene as Pitt leaves the jacket on the whole time, but the trousers offered with a replica suit (mentioned below) have slanted hip pockets and a single button-through jetted rear pocket. I can’t say for certain if that is at all reflective of the actual movie suit, but it’s reasonable to assume that these trousers are similarly-styled.
Rusty wears a blue, gray, and white striped silk shirt from Anto of Beverly Hills. The shirt’s black plastic buttons fasten down a plain, placket-less front. The spread collars are large with a dark blue inside lining. The shirt’s cuffs are never clearly seen either in the scene or on the auction page, but they appear to be unfastened French cuffs, something that the rakish Pitt somehow manages to get away with doing all the time. The Anto shirt was made specifically for Pitt in the film with “BP” and “Feb. 2001″ stitched on the tag.
The Heritage Auction I have been referring to can be found here with the following description:
Includes a light grey cotton suit and a striped silk Anto dress shirt with the initials “BP” sewn inside the collar, worn by Pitt in the hit 2001 heist movie.
Pitt’s outfit in the film sold for $2,151 on April 14, 2007. I found this to be a surprisingly low amount for such a snazzy suit worn in a major film by such a famous star.
Unfortunately, I can find very little information about Rusty’s shoes in the scene. Zooming in on them in the brief glimpse we get, they appear to be brown leather with dark laces and plain toes. Rusty likely wears them with light-colored socks in either a gray or brown tone.
Rusty’s accessories are much more recognizable. Throughout Ocean’s Eleven, he wears a thick silver ring on his right ring finger with a small, dark stone, and he wears a smaller silver pinky ring on his left hand. Pitt is also well-known to be a fan of Oliver Peoples sunglasses, often wearing them in his films. Ocean’s Eleven is no exception, with Rusty wearing a pair of Oliver Peoples “Whistle” sunglasses with a rounded brushed chrome frame and dark gray lenses. He wears these sunglasses both in this scene and while visiting Saul in St. Petersburg.
Earlier, I mentioned a replica of the suit available for purchase online. Like most costume replicas, it wouldn’t be an exact match for the distinctive and stylish suit in the film, but for $299, it could do in a pinch or for a costume-related outfit. The “white” suit is available from the Celebrity Suit Shop. As I warn, a few details are off (this jacket has 3 cuff buttons, etc.), and I can’t personally testify to the suit’s quality, but I want to be thorough and make sure it gets a mention!
How to Get the Look
Like many outfits worn by Brad Pitt, it’s important to recognize that most women would find the man attractive in even the worst clothing. He can make anything look stylish, which can be very endangering for a man who doesn’t know his own sartorial limits. Still, a look inspired by this suit should be a safe and comfortable summer bet.
- Very light gray soft lightweight cotton two-piece suit, consisting of:
- Single-breasted jacket with wide peak lapels, 1-button front, welted breast pocket, slanted flapped hip pockets, 4-button “surgeon’s cuffs”, padded shoulders with roped sleeveheads, curved front darts, and ventless rear
- Flat front darted trousers with plain waistband, straight legs, plain-hemmed bottoms
- Blue, gray, and white silk button-down shirt with large spread collars (lined in dark blue silk) and unfastened double/French cuffs
- Light brown leather plain-toe shoes
- Light-colored dress socks
- Oliver Peoples Whistle sunglasses with rounded brushed chrome frames and dark gray lenses
- Thick silver ring with dark stone on right ring finger
- Silver pinky ring on left hand
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Buy the movie.
Reuben: Look, we all go way back and uh, I owe you from the thing with the guy in the place and I’ll never forget it.
Danny: That was our pleasure.
Rusty: I’d never been to Belize.
Pierce Brosnan as Andy Osnard, sleazy and shrewd MI6 agent
Panama City, Fall 1999
The Tailor of Panama, John Boorman’s darkly comic adaptation of John le Carré’s spy novel, presents Pierce Brosnan as we’d never seen him before.
“Yeah, a hard-drinking MI6 agent who beds women in exotic locales. Real switch-up for him,” you say, dubiously.
Of course, Brosnan’s character Andy Osnard could best be described as the anti-Bond. Though a stupid marketing campaign at the time led people to believe Pierce would be playing the dashing spy just under a different name, Osnard is far more fitting of M’s GoldenEye appraisal as a “misogynist… relic of the Cold War” than Bond ever was. Bond may be a bit of a womanizer, but he always put his loyalty to his country and the mission first. Osnard is far more opportunistic, callously playing his assets like pawns as a very realistic – if somewhat satirical – le Carré-esque spy. He still has Brosnan’s trademark charm, but it’s the charm of a shrewd, back-stabbing cad.
What’d He Wear?
Unlike Bond, Osnard looks as though he hasn’t visited a tailor in years… until he begins working with Harry Pendel, of course. He has several suits which go through heavy rotation throughout the film. The first and least-seen is a rumpled gray suit that he wears for the brief introduction at the MI6 office. The ill-fitting suit is more Columbo than James Bond, even if the gray suit/blue shirt-and-tie color palette recalls promotional photos for The World is Not Enough.
Next, we see him flying to Panama for his mission, wearing a similarly ill-fitting check blazer. This jacket would become one of his go-to garments during the film. There were a few more one-scene casual ensembles, but the most prominent outfit that Osnard wears is a tan linen suit, one of the most popular summer wardrobe choices for gentlemen. (Of course, Andy Osnard is far from a gentleman.)
The suit is actually a blend of linen and cotton, cut in the full style of the ’90s that would’ve still made sense to be hanging in Osnard’s closet by the fall of 1999. Both the jacket and the trousers are fully cut to provide a loose hang in the tropical climate.
The suit jacket is single-breasted and, as part of the very casual suit, is considerably unstructured when compared to most suit jackets. The casual nature of the suit is further indicated by the ventless rear.
The jacket has notch lapels, which breaks high on the chest, with the top button aligning with Osnard’s breast pocket. The jacket fastens with three brown-toned buttons, spaced widely apart to accommodate the higher stance.
The 3-button cuffs match the buttons on the front, as they should (even on such a casual suit). There is also a welted breast pocket and flapped hip pockets. Additional jacket features include stitched edges and a plain tan silk lining.
The suit trousers are equally as loosely cut as the jacket. They are flat front with on-seam side pockets, and jetted rear pockets that close with a button (although Andy lazily keeps them unbuttoned… very fitting for his character). The trouser bottoms are plain-hemmed with a full break.
Rakish though he may be in some manners of dress, Osnard does not violate the best-known rule of men’s fashion: his shoes and his belt match. The belt is brown leather with a brass squared clasp.
Osnard’s shoes are brown leather plain-toe monk shoes with a brass buckle. Monk shoes are a surprisingly formal choice for a suit like this, as they’re considered to bridge the gap between the über-formal oxfords or balmorals and the informal derbies or bluchers. A pair of light cream ribbed socks ease the transition from trouser bottom into his shoes.
Osnard’s pale blue shirt is lightweight cotton with a voluminous fit that both matches the large fit of the suit and serves to keep him cool in the Panamanian climate. It closes with white buttons down a front placket, with Osnard leaving at least the top two unbuttoned at all times. The shirt has a breast pocket, which he often uses to place his cigarettes.
The shirt is long-sleeved with pleats at the top of the sleeve where it meets the shoulder. Further down the arm, Osnard keeps his gauntlet plackets unbuttoned, although he wears the rounded cuffs either buttoned or rolled up to his elbow. The cuffs have two buttons with one buttonhole to close.
The roominess of the shirt is enhanced by the center box pleat in the rear, the most common option for off-the-rack shirts. Osnard, unlike Bond, would be the type of agent to pick up his shirts off the rack rather than going to a shirtmaker like Frank Foster. This rear pleat is the least formal, and it allows the greatest degree of movement for most wearers.
Accessory-wise, Osnard doesn’t overdo it. He sticks to the basics of a wristwatch and sunglasses with a ring adding just the right amount of jaunty personality to his look.
Osnard’s wristwatch has a stainless round case, white face, and a black leather strap. I can’t identify it myself, but some readers *cough cough* who are greater experts in the wristwatch field may be able to lend a hand. *COUGH*
Hard to really tell from the picture, but the lugs appear to be slightly sculpted and that’s why I’m thinking that it’s a DeVille. Plus the fact that Brosnan was an Omega ambassador back then.
His sunglasses also remain a mystery. The frames are silver with black rubber temples and dark lenses. Brosnan is known to be a Persol fan in real life, but I’m almost positive these are not any model that Persol ever released.
Another Update! Ron, another great BAMF Style commenter, noted that these are likely a pair of Fossil sunglasses, which notably had wider metal arms like these in the late ’90s. Thanks, Ron!
Osnard’s other main accessory is a gold monogram ring on his left pinky. I don’t have the Blu-Ray version so I can’t tell for sure, but I’ll lay you eight-to-five the monogram on the ring is “AO”.
We never see him wearing it, but it’s also worth mentioning that Osnard carries a light cream Panama hat in one scene when he enters Harry’s shop. The hat has a slim black band and would accompany this suit very nicely.
Go Big or Go Home
I can’t speak from any personal experience, but I’ve heard that a spy must be pragmatic – dispassionate enough to make difficult decisions without allowing too much emotion in but smart enough to know how to handle people. As Sidney Reilly says in Reilly: Ace of Spies, you must be able “to see life as a bit of a game.” Andy Osnard takes the game a bit too far.
Finding himself on a downgraded assignment in Panama after an affair with a foreign minister’s mistress, Osnard disregards his superior’s warning of the Panamanian government’s corruption and, in fact, sees the move as an opportunity. After he begins working with Harry Pendel, a tailor of both clothing and misinformation, Osnard eventually realizes that Pendel is actually using him for his own gains. The men’s games grow wider in scope, involving Pendel’s wife, his friends, and – eventually – the governments of England and the United States.
Andy Osnard: Without the Yanks to hold our hands, London will pull the entire project.
Harry Pendel: Why?
Andy Osnard: Because in matters of intelligence, dear Harry, as in most matters merry England sucks on the American hind tit. It’s called “The Special Relationship”.
Rather than seeing that they have gone too far, Osnard recognizes the opportunity for financial gain.
Long story short (and spoiler alert!), Osnard ends up making it out of Panama with more than a million dollars in a briefcase and the help of the British ambassador.
Ambassador Maltby: I’ll walk you to your plane.
Andy Osnard: Could this be the beginning of a beautiful friendship?
Ambassador Maltby: I think it desperately unlikely.
Osnard’s brands are Marlboro Light cigarettes, and – as far as we can tell – 12-year-old Glenlivet single malt Scotch… neat, of course.
How to Get the Look
Osnard dresses for comfort rather than aesthetics, but there’s something to respect a man who still incorporates a suit into his tropical wear. Osnard’s attire is many steps down from Harry Pendel‘s immaculate suits, but – all things considered – he still looks far better than those vacationers who opt for fanny packs and floppy hats.
- Tan linen blend loose-fitting suit, consisting of:
- Single-breasted semi-structured jacket with notch lapels, 3-button front, welted breast pocket, flapped hip pockets, 3-button cuffs, and ventless rear
- Flat front trousers with on-seam side pockets, button-through jetted rear pockets, and plain-hemmed bottoms
- Pale blue cotton button-down shirt with point collar, front placket, and 2-button cuffs
- Brown leather monk loafers with brass buckles
- Light cream ribbed socks
- Brown leather belt with brass squared clasp
- Stainless wristwatch with a round white face on a black leather strap, likely an Omega DeVille Co-Axial
- Gold monogram ring, worn on left pinky
- Steel-framed Fossil sunglasses with dark lenses, wide arms, and black rubber temples
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Buy the movie and read le Carré’s book.
It’s dark and lonely work, Harry. Like oral sex, but someone has to do it.