From Russia With Love – Bond’s Gingham Shirt and Swim Trunks

Eunice Gayson and Sean Connery as Sylvia Trench and James Bond, respectively, in From Russia With Love (1963).

Eunice Gayson and Sean Connery as Sylvia Trench and James Bond, respectively, in From Russia With Love (1963).

Vitals

Sean Connery as James Bond, British suave government agent and lothario

Berkshire, England, Spring 1963

Film: From Russia With Love
Release Date: October 10, 1963
Director: Terence Young
Costume Designer: Jocelyn Rickards
Tailor: Anthony Sinclair

Background

I’m spending this week with family for a beach vacation, so I wanted to take a look at what James Bond would wear for his own seaside holiday outing.

The first appearance of 007 – the real 007 – in From Russia With Love finds Bond “reviewing an old case” in Berkshire in the form of Sylvia Trench, a casual fling that he first encountered while gambling at Le Cercle in Dr. No.

Punting man: It’s great sport, this punting!
Bond: (making out with Sylvia) I couldn’t agree with him more.
Sylvia: I may even give up golf for it.

Duty calls – or, more specifically, Miss Moneypenny calls – and Bond and Sylvia are forced to end their date with an implied quickie in the back seat of his Bentley. Unfortunately, this marked the last appearance of Sylvia Trench, who was intended to be part of a running joke in the series that would find Bond constantly halting their dates in service of his government. It’s a shame because I liked Eunice Gayson in the role, and not just because of her resemblance to Sherilyn Fenn.

What’d He Wear?

Though he’s never seen actually swimming in this scene, Bond dresses for his date with a pair of pale blue polyester swimming trunks with a very short inseam and a thin white stripe down each side. The waistband is fully elastic with no visible buttons, snaps, or drawstring. The bottoms of the shorts are straight-hemmed with no vents.

Just below the waistband on the right side, Bond’s shorts have a small coin pocket with a pointed flap that closes with a silver-toned metal button. The shorts have no other visible pockets.

Bond's swim trunks go to waste as his call from work ensures that the champagne is the only thing getting wet in this scene. Unless...

Bond’s swim trunks go to waste as his call from work ensures that the champagne is the only thing getting wet in this scene. Unless…

For a similar and somewhat simpler look, Parke & Ronen currently offers the 5″ Bright Lido Solid Stretch Tailored Swim Trunk for $145 in a bolder light blue color, which the company calls “porcelain”, than the pale blue worn by Connery. These trunks have a pointed coin pocket on the right like Connery’s and a double silver-toned metal button closure rather than the elasticized waistband of the From Russia With Love shorts.

“Give me my shirt, will you?” Bond requests Sylvia after receiving his call from the office. Evidently, Bond is the type who can’t take himself seriously when he’s topless. She hands him a cornflower blue and white gingham check long-sleeve shirt, a nice casual choice for his picnic day as it’s meant to be worn untucked and only a weirdo would tuck a shirt into his swimming trunks. Gingham is also an appropriate choice for the context given its roots in British country clothing; 007 is wise to save his bright pink and blue pastels for the tropical beach in Thunderball.

Bond’s shirt has a camp collar and long sleeves that he wears rolled partially up his forearms. Like many men’s casual shirts meant to be worn untucked, the bottom hem is straight and there are are two large square patch pockets on the hips. The most distinctive aspect of the shirt are the five large round silver-toned metal buttons down the plain front.

The shirt has a noticeably large fit on Connery. According to the DVD audio commentary from director Terence Young, it was Young’s own shirt that he provided to Connery after disapproving of the original shirt chosen for the production.

Bond gets a mouthful from Miss Moneypenny over the car phone. Lois Maxwell had originally been offered the part of Sylvia Trench but turned it down, feeling more comfortable in the role of Moneypenny.

Bond gets a mouthful from Miss Moneypenny over the car phone. Lois Maxwell had originally been offered the part of Sylvia Trench but turned it down, feeling more comfortable in the role of Moneypenny.

UNTUCKit currently features a modern update of this shirt, the “Colonnaro”, in blue and gray gingham cotton poplin with a point collar and regular plastic buttons.

Although blue canvas espadrilles are shown to be Bond’s aquatic shoe of choice in Goldfinger and Thunderball, he is barefoot here as he’s using his toes to chill their bottle of Taittinger champagne in the water.

Bond wears his stainless steel Rolex Submariner 6538 with black bezel and dial. It is fastened around his left wrist with a dark brown leather strap. This watch would best be seen in From Russia With Love when Bond is timing his escape from the Russian consulate in Istanbul with Tatiana and the Lektor device.

A reliable Rolex lets Bond keep track of the time his champagne is in the water to get appropriate chill.

A reliable Rolex lets Bond keep track of the time his champagne is in the water to get appropriate chilled.

Bond gets a call from the office and reaches for one of his early gadgets, a pager that he keeps in his jacket. This jacket is likely part of the Anthony Sinclair-tailored dark navy blue worsted suit that he wears to the office in the subsequent scene. The trousers appear to also be slung over the seat in Bond’s Bentley.

Go Big or Go Home

So what exactly is punting?

American troglodyte that I am, I was unfamiliar with the term when I first saw From Russia with Love as my only association with punting relates to Reggie Roby’s gridiron talents. I wasn’t sure if I misheard the fellow in the background call “bunting” a great sport, as I know a bunt has something to do with fishing or sailing. Eventually, Wikipedia enlightened me to the definition of a punt: “a flat-bottomed boat with a square-cut bow developed on the River Thames.” Having never been on or near the River Thames myself, I felt somewhat vindicated by what I felt was a relatively esoteric reference for an American teenager.

I thus took it upon myself to learn a little more about punting, which finds a punter standing in this flat-bottomed wooden boat and propelling it by pushing a long pole against the river bed. It seems easy enough, and an anonymous gentleman in From Russia with Love is eager to acknowledge that “it’s a great sport!”, but Jerome K. Jerome explains in his 1889 novel Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) that “Punting is not as easy as it looks. As in rowing, you soon learn how to get along and handle the craft, but it takes long practice before you can do this with dignity and without getting the water all up your sleeve.”

Bond and Sylvia seem to forego the actual punting (or sleeves in which they may get water) to explore other leisure activities by the riverside.

One can very easily understand why Bond is such a big fan of punting.

One can very easily understand why Bond is such a big fan of punting.

Safe to say that it’s been a pretty good day for these two. Moneypenny makes it clear in her call to Bond that most of the morning has passed, and the empty shaker by the punt implies that Bond and Sylvia have been enjoying a batch of martinis while waiting for the bottle of Taittinger champagne -suspended in the water by a string tied around Bond’s toe – to chill. Interestingly, Taittinger is also the wine that Red Grant later foregoes while joining Bond and Tatiana for a fish dinner on the Orient Express… tipping off Bond that something is a little wrong with his new companion.

After the success of Dr. No, director Terence Young seems to have felt empowered to further incorporate these more snobbish elements of the literary James Bond as developed by Ian Fleming. Talking about this film in particular, editor-turned-director Peter Hunt explains that “it’s full of Fleming’s snobbery… the right way to live and the right way to behave and the right clothes to wear and the right food to eat and the right wines to drink, and all of that class which, honestly, was delightful to have after a number of years of war and rationing.”

BENTLEY

From Russia With Love even includes a brief glimpse at a Bentley similar to the one mentioned in Fleming’s novels.

This scene is often remembered by automotive enthusiasts and fans of the original novels as it is the lone appearance of Bond’s 1930s Bentley convertible. Though not the same gunmetal 1930 Bentley 4½ Litre “Blower Bentley” that Ian Fleming had so carefully and almost religiously described in his books, it’s refreshing to see the filmmakers paying homage. The car in this scene is a green 1935 Bentley 3½ Litre Drophead Coupé with a body designed by British luxury coachbuilder Park Ward. The car notably has a car phone, an impressive innovation for the early ’60s. Die-cast models of the car, misidentified as the 4½ Litre, have been marketed to Bond fans.

How to Get the LookFRWL2swim-crop

Bond sticks to blue and white – with metal buttons – for his riverside date, evoking his bucolic English setting with gingham.

  • Cornflower blue and white gingham check long-sleeve casual shirt with camp collar, plain front with large round metal buttons, and patch hip pockets
  • Pale blue polyester short-inseam swimming trunks with white side stripes, elastic waistband, and button-down flapped right-side coin pocket
  • Rolex Submariner 6538 in stainless steel case with black bezel, black dial, and dark brown leather strap

Do Yourself a Favor and…

Buy the movie.

The Quote

I’ll be there in an hour… make that an hour and a half.

Bugsy’s Tan and Maroon Desert Sport Shirt

Warren Beatty as Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel in Bugsy (1991).

Warren Beatty as Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel in Bugsy (1991).

Vitals

Warren Beatty as Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, “celebrity” gangster and casino builder

Las Vegas to L.A., August 1946

Film: Bugsy
Release Date: December 13, 1991
Director: Barry Levinson
Costume Designer: Albert Wolsky

Background

The second warm-weather Mafia Monday in a row transports us from the glamour of 1950s Miami to the barrenness of the post-war Mojave Desert.

Bugsy Siegel has been dealing with a lot of professional issues. Construction of his “oasis in the desert” – the Flamingo Hotel and Casino – is going way over budget, and he’s just been arrested for the murder of his old pal Harry “Big Greenie” Greenberg (Elliott Gould). What’s a volatile celebrity mobster to do?

What’d He Wear?

A construction site in the middle of the Mojave Desert on a summer afternoon is a hot place to be wearing a suit, so Bugsy keeps fashionably cool with a soft silk sport shirt, worn untucked, with fully cut trousers, two-tone spectator brogues, and browline sunglasses.

Bugsy’s long-sleeved sport shirt is tan all around with a wide maroon front strip over the collar and buttons. The six light tan plastic buttons close down the maroon-colored plain front. The entire camp collar is also maroon, all around the neck, with a loop on the left notch that would be used to button the top button that Bugsy leaves unfastened. Each cuff closes on a single button.

 

Bugsy and Virginia survey their expensive project... and she may know a little bit more about those expenses than he suspects.

Bugsy and Virginia survey their expensive project… and she may know a little bit more about those expenses than he suspects.

The shirt has a single patch pocket over the left breast, bisected diagonally with the upper left portion in the same tan as the shirt and the lower right portion calling out the maroon of the collar and front panel. The pocket closes through a single button.

Bugsy’s shirt has a straight hem with a split vent on the right and left sides of the waist. The straight-hemmed bottom allows him to wear it untucked, which was starting to become both accepted and popular for men’s casual wear.

Since his shirt is untucked, the waistband of Bugsy’s cream linen trousers remain covered through the scene. They appear to have single reverse pleats and are fully cut down through the leg to the slightly flared and cuffed bottoms.

Bugsy tours the grounds of what would eventually become the world-famous Flamingo Hotel and Casino.

Bugsy tours the grounds of what would eventually become the world-famous Flamingo Hotel and Casino.

Bugsy wears distinctive two-tone derbies with dark brown longwing broguing that isn’t typically found on shoes with a cap toe. The cap toe is also dark brown, as is the open-laced facing with its matching dark brown laces. The perforated vamp is white leather. His socks are dark, likely dark brown.

A similar shoe, albeit a wingtip rather than a cap toe, would be the “Charleston Brown & White Two Tone Brogue” offered by Shipton & Heneage. Another cool wingtip alternative would also be the “Conard Wingtip” from Johnston & Murphy. This pair of genuine ’40s cap toe oxfords on Etsy is one of the closest examples I’ve been able to find of Bugsy’s shoes.

Under arrest, Bugsy is escorted through prison. He doesn't take off his sunglasses the entire time.

Under arrest, Bugsy is escorted through prison. He doesn’t take off his sunglasses the entire time…

Bugsy wears the same thick tortoise-framed browline sunglasses that he had earlier sported with his gray chalkstripe flannel suit. These glasses have gold rims and brown lenses.

The style is slightly anachronistic, as Shuron Ltd. didn’t introduce the first pair of browline glasses to the market until the following year, 1947, when the Flamingo had already been built and Bugsy himself was killed. (It could be argued that this is the film’s indication that a fashionable “visionary” like Siegel would’ve been ahead of the times in many ways, but…) In fact, an authenticated pair of sunglasses worn by the real Bugsy Siegel around this time much more resembled those worn by Virginia Hill on screen.

...although why would he? They are some pretty rad sunglasses.

…although why would he? They are some pretty rad shades.

The Movie Shop developed its own replicas of these sunglasses, called “Beatty Bugsy Style Sunglasses” on its site that were available for £12.99. ERLIK markets a pair of “BUGSY” sunglasses, although these brown tortoise acetate-framed sunglasses are not a browline style.

On his left pinky, he wears the same gold ring that adorns his finger throughout the whole movie.

How to Get the LookBugsy2TS-crop1

Bugsy dresses very en vogue for the immediate post-WWII years that found men in luxurious casual wear as a backlash against years of somber suits, scratchy military uniforms, and civilian fabric restrictions. The untucked silk sport shirt, fully cut trousers, and browline sunglasses are all evocative of postwar fashions and attitudes.

  • Tan silk long-sleeve straight-hem sport shirt with button cuffs and maroon camp collar, plain front button strip, and bisected button-through breast pocket accent
  • Cream linen single reverse-pleated full cut trousers with turn-ups/cuffs
  • Dark brown and white two-tone leather cap toe longwing brogue derby shoes
  • Dark brown socks
  • Thick tortoise-framed sunglasses with gold rims and brown lenses
  • Gold pinky ring with dark stone, worn on left pinky

Do Yourself a Favor and…

Buy the movie.

The Quote

Firstly, my name is Benjamin, as in the Bible. And second, I’ll see you all when the Flamingo opens on Christmas Day.

Mitchum as Marlowe: A Blue Suit in The Big Sleep

Robert Mitchum as Philip Marlowe in The Big Sleep (1978).

Robert Mitchum as Philip Marlowe in The Big Sleep (1978).

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Robert Mitchum as Philip Marlowe, private investigator

England, September 1977

Film: The Big Sleep
Release Date: March 13, 1978
Director: Michael Winner
Costume Designer: Ron Beck

Background

Following the recent theme of birthdays – particularly authors’ birthdays – today would have been the 128th birthday of Raymond Chandler, the author of popular hardboiled novels like Farewell, My LovelyThe Long Goodbye, and – perhaps his most famous work – The Big Sleep. It’s arguably impossible to discuss American noir or even modern crime fiction without recognizing Chandler’s influence; he redefined the genre with the character of Philip Marlowe, and his contributions to Billy Wilder’s 1944 film Double Indemnity have cemented its place as archetypical film noir.

I recently finished Tom Williams’ A Mysterious Something in the Light, a biography of Chandler, that included insightful commentary on Chandler’s own perception of his writing, resentful of the formula that he felt limited crime writers like himself and perhaps unaware of just how impactful his own work was in reinventing pulp fiction.

Chandler lived to see The Big Sleep first adapted to screen by Howard Hawks. Although it has become iconic film noir, the 1946 film suffered from studio oversight that wished to focus on the romance between Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall rather than the hardboiled source material.

Three decades later, director Michael Winner helmed an adaptation that stayed truer to the complex source material… despite updating the setting from 1940s Los Angeles to 1970s England. Still, the modern film meant reintroducing the more explicit elements of Chandler’s book related to sex and drugs, and lord knows the ’70s couldn’t get enough of either. Robert Mitchum reprised the Marlowe role he had played three years earlier in Farewell, My Lovely, making him the only actor – as of 2016 – to play the role more than once.

What’d He Wear?

The 1978 film adapts Raymond Chandler’s original language straight from the first paragraph of The Big Sleep, a style blogger’s dream as Marlowe describes his clothing that day for his visit to General Sternwood’s residence. Mitchum’s Marlowe describes the scene:

It was about eleven o’clock in the morning. I was wearing my dark blue suit, powder blue shirt, tie and display handkerchief, black brogues, black wool socks with dark blue clocks on them. I was neat, clean-shaven, and sober. I was everything the well-dressed private detective ought to be. I was calling on ten million pounds.

The only way Mitchum’s narration differs in from the literary Marlowe is flipping the shades of blue; Chandler’s written character describes “my powder-blue suit, with dark blue shirt, tie and display handkerchief.” (Of course, as the book was set in L.A., he is also calling on four million dollars rather than ten million pounds.)

Marlowe on the streets of London.

Marlowe on the streets of London.

We know Marlowe’s suit is dark blue because Robert Mitchum tells us so, but it appears to be more of a blue-gray constructed from a wool and mohair blend. In 1946’s The Big Sleep adaptation, Humphrey Bogart wore a heavier cloth, likely a dark brown birdseye wool.

Mitchum’s single-breasted suit jacket has a somewhat unflatteringly low two-button front, although the nipped waist counters that by emphasizing Mitchum’s strong build. The shoulders are padded and roped with 3-button cuffs at the end of each sleeve.

The suit jacket’s wide notch lapels – with a buttonhole through the left lapel – leave no doubt regarding the film’s contemporary setting. Another concession to the ’70s are the long double vents which work in Mitchum’s favor given his tall, 6’1″ stance.

Marlowe goes calling on ten million pounds.

Marlowe goes calling on ten million pounds.

The jacket has straight flapped hip pockets on the waist and a welted breast pocket where Marlowe wears the blue silk display kerchief that matches his tie.

Less is seen of the suit’s matching trousers, which have a flat front with belt loops around the natural waist. It has side pockets where Marlowe frequently places his hands, and the bottoms are plain-hemmed.

Marlowe makes a less-than-admirable first impression on Charlotte Sternwood Regan.

Marlowe makes a less-than-admirable first impression on Charlotte Sternwood Regan.

Marlowe’s “powder blue” cotton dress shirt has a long-pointed spread collar that was fashionable during the decade. It buttons down a front placket and with a single button on each rounded cuff.

Despite some of the extra width seen on his lapels and collar, Marlowe’s blue silk necktie is still a relatively classic width, tied in a four-in-hand knot. As stated, it indeed matches his blue silk pocket kerchief.

All Blues.

Mitchum channels Miles.

Marlowe’s feet aren’t given much screen time, but his voiceover description appears to be inaccurate as the shoes look more like plain black leather slip-ons rather than brogues as there are no visible laces. The bicycle-toe shoes have a high vamp that differentiates them from more casual loafers.

Despite the potential inaccuracy of the shoes, Marlowe’s socks appear to nicely match the description in both the book and the film narration. They appear to be a thin black wool with blue side striping that is possibly a series of “dark blue clocks”.

General Sternwood (James Stewart) discusses his preference for champagne and brandy with Philip Marlowe.

General Sternwood (James Stewart) discusses his preference for champagne and brandy with Philip Marlowe.

Robert Mitchum was a fan of the Rolex – specifically the Rolex DateJust – in real life and often wore them in his movies. As Marlowe in The Big Sleep, he wears a stainless DateJust with a silver dial that gets some prominent screen time when looking over the porn he picked up from Arthur Gwynn Geiger’s shop. The watch is worn on an all-steel “Jubilee” bracelet.

Marlowe leaves no doubt regarding his watch brand of choice.

Marlowe leaves no doubt regarding his watch brand of choice.

Marlowe’s only other visible accessory is the pair of large tortoise-framed glasses that he whips out when “disguised” at Geiger’s store.

This thick, oversized frame appeared to be a very popular style in the 1970s with some examples still found on Etsy or Pinterest.

How to Get the Look

BS78blue-cropIt’s nice to see a film adaptation pay tribute to the clothing outlined by an author in the source material, even if there are some departures. Robert Mitchum wears a more subdued version of the suit worn by the literary Philip Marlowe.

  • Dark blue-gray wool-mohair blend suit, consisting of:
    • Single-breasted 2-button jacket with wide notch lapels, welted breast pocket, straight flapped hip pockets, 3-button cuffs, and long double vents
    • Flat front trousers with belt loops, side pockets, and plain-hemmed bottoms
  • Powder blue cotton dress shirt with long-pointed spread collar, front placket, and button cuffs
  • Blue silk necktie
  • Black leather high-vamp bicycle-toe loafers
  • Black thin wool dress socks with dark blue clock motif side striping
  • Rolex DateJust steel-cased wristwatch with silver dial and steel “Jubilee” bracelet

Marlowe is proud of the blue silk display kerchief he wears in his breast pocket to match his tie. He is slightly less proud of the oversized glasses he wears to disguise his appearance during his investigation.

Do Yourself a Favor and…

Buy the movie and read Chandler’s 1939 novel.

The Quote

She’d make a jazzy weekend, but she’d be a bit wearing for a steady diet.

Ernest Hemingway in Midnight in Paris

Corey Stoll as Ernest Hemingway in Midnight in Paris (2011).

Corey Stoll as Ernest Hemingway in Midnight in Paris (2011).

Vitals

Corey Stoll as Ernest Hemingway, macho expatriate American novelist

Paris, 1920s

Film: Midnight in Paris
Release Date: May 20, 2011
Director: Woody Allen
Costume Designer: Sonia Grande

Background

Today is my 27th birthday, a day that I proudly share with brilliant artists like Ernest Hemingway, Robin Williams, Hart Crane, and even a few non-suicidal ones like Don Knotts, Cat Stevens, and Kay Starr.

Hemingway is arguably the most world-famous of my shared birthday buddies, and – at the time that he turned 27 – he was a war-haunted expatriate living the Parisian high life with a promising new novel just months shy of its publication. In fact, Hemingway had begun scribing The Sun Also Rises exactly a year earlier on his 26th birthday, July 21, 1925.

The Sun Also Rises is my favorite of Hemingway’s works and one of my favorites in general, partly due to his colloquial, in-the-moment depiction of American and British expatriates in Europe. Unrequited romance, Parisian café life, and the excitement of the Pamplona bullfights round out Papa’s roman à clef to what has been since deemed “the lost generation,” despite Hemingway’s own optimistic insistence that these characters are merely “battered” but not lost. As a wiser man than I might say, Jake Barnes abides.

Reading The Sun Also Rises always inspires a nostalgic sense for me to join Hemingway and his contemporaries like Gertrude Stein, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, and Ezra Pound hopping from one bistro to the next while discussing each other’s unwritten great American novels. It’s a shared sense of many, and Woody Allen ably tapped into both that romantic concept and the flaws of nostalgia in Midnight in Paris, which starred Owen Wilson as Woody’s surrogate Gil Pender, a disillusioned but optimistic screenwriter who wants nothing more than to be transported back to Paris during the postwar decade… a dream that comes alive as Gil is flown headfirst into the scenes captured in A Moveable Feast, Hemingway’s definitive chronicle of the era.

Appropriately enough, it is a tolling bell that signifies Gil’s time travel back into the age of Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Stein rubbing elbows with fellow artists Dalí and Picasso… all the perfect people to evaluate Gil’s own artistic endeavors.

Gil: Would you read it?
Hemingway: Your novel?
Gil: Yeah, it’s about 400 pages long, and I’m just looking for an opinion.
Hemingway: My opinion is I hate it.
Gil: Well you haven’t even read it yet.
Hemingway: If it’s bad, I’ll hate it because I hate bad writing, and if it’s good, I’ll be envious and hate it all the more. You don’t want the opinion of another writer.

Despite this wink at the inherent jealousy between the lost generation’s writers, Hemingway still offers a line of advice to Gil: “No subject is terrible if the story is true, if the prose is clean and honest, and if it affirms courage and grace under pressure.” Gil, in turn, quips to Hemingway that he believes all modern American literature can be traced back to Huck Finn, a declaration that has often been attributed to Hemingway.

What’d He Wear?

Few of the literary set that Gil Pender meets are necessarily adherent to the expected fashions of the era, partly due to the movie’s seemingly fluid timeline and also due to the self-described individualism that found its extremes in absurdists like Dalí. These were the hipsters of yesteryear, but Malcolm Cowley observed in Exile’s Return: A Literary Odyssey of the 1920s that “‘They’ tried to be individual, but there is a moment when individualism becomes a uniform in spite of itself.”

Midnight in Paris chronicles the popular image of Hemingway as a swaggering writer who could be expected to leap into succinct diatribes about manliness and his experiences in the war without a moment’s notice. This Papa rejects the pressed dinner jackets and stylish tailored suits of romantic contemporaries like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Cole Porter, instead embracing a more “alpha male” image in a rugged brown jacket and trousers with no tie.

Hemingway enjoys a glass of wine at Polidor when meeting Gil and the Fitzgeralds.

Hemingway enjoys a glass of wine at Polidor when meeting Gil and the Fitzgeralds.

Hemingway’s brown suede single-breasted sports jacket evokes popular hunting attire of the era, almost certainly a nod to the writer’s reputation as a sportsman. All of the jacket’s many buttons, including the three on the front, are brown woven leather. The front is darted and the back is split with a single vent.

The jacket has notch lapels with a throat latch that closes under the right lapel with a single button through a pointed tab. The sleeves also end with a pointed tab on each cuff that closes with a single button. There are three external patch pockets, all box-pleated with a squared flap closing on a single button: one pocket is over the left chest, and the other two slightly larger pockets are on the jacket hips.

It is a jacket that one at the time would more expect to see out on a hunt rather than in an urban café. In fact, the outfit recalls the popular brown Barbour sport jacket that Daniel Craig wore as James Bond in Skyfall‘s climactic battle scenes in Scotland. While photographs prove that the real Hemingway was certainly not above donning a tie (or even a beret!) for his life with the rest of his “moveable feast”, Stoll’s Hemingway is a reflection of the macho image that the author portrayed to both his readers and his contemporaries.

With each appearance, Hemingway wears a difference light-colored shirt with a large point collar, no pocket, and French cuffs. When he first meets Gil at Polidor (which was known to be one of Hemingway’s haunts), he wears a plain white shirt with the first few buttons undone on the front placket. His round cuff links are gold with a raised black finish.

More wine!

More wine!

On Gil’s next visit to the ’20s where he meets the alluring Adriana, Hemingway accompanies him to visit Gertrude Stein. This time, he wears a pale blue shirt with a maroon and white overcheck and plain front. Again, he wears no tie.

Hemingway and Adriana (Marion Cotillard) at Gertrude Stein's.

Hemingway and Adriana (Marion Cotillard) at Gertrude Stein’s.

Finally, Gil runs into Hemingway and the bullfighter Juan Belmonte at a Charleston dance. Papa’s white shirt is styled similar to his first with a front placket and double cuffs, but this one has thin, subtle gray striping.

A production image from Midnight in Paris clearly shows Hemingway's striped shirt and vintage Moët bottle.

A production image from Midnight in Paris clearly shows Hemingway’s striped shirt and vintage Moët bottle.

Hemingway sticks to earth tones with the rest of his outfits, typically wearing a pair of dark brown high-rise trousers with double forward pleats and a full cut down to the cuffed bottoms. His slim leather belt is slightly lighter brown with a gunmetal single-claw buckle.

Hemingway knew how to enjoy himself... it just meant that those around him often wouldn't enjoy themselves.

Hemingway knew how to enjoy himself… it just too often meant that those around him wouldn’t enjoy themselves.

During the stop at Gertrude Stein’s apartment, Hemingway wears an olive shade of brown trousers, similarly styled but worn without a belt, revealing the squared extended tab on the waistband. Like the other trousers, these are finished at the bottom with turn-ups.

Hemingway introduces Gil to Alice B. Toklas, Gertrude Stein, and Pablo Picasso all in one evening.

Hemingway introduces Gil to Alice B. Toklas, Gertrude Stein, and Pablo Picasso all in one evening.

Since Hemingway spends the bulk of his time drunkenly pontificating from behind a café table, his shoes don’t get much exposure. At Stein’s, he appears to be wearing a pair of tan leather apron-toe bluchers.

A plain gold wedding band is seen on the third finger of Hemingway’s left hand, symbolic either of his marriage to Hadley (which lasted until January 1927) or to Pauline (which began in May 1927).

With The Sun Also Rises fresh off the press, Hemingway lays down some sage advice for Gil, the aspiring novelist.

With The Sun Also Rises fresh off the press, Hemingway lays down some sage advice for Gil, the aspiring novelist.

Go Big or Go Home

Midnight in Paris glamorizes the expatriate lifestyle of the 1920s, an era that inspired Hemingway’s first novel The Sun Also Rises as well as A Moveable Feast, recounted decades later from his notebooks recovered from the basement of the Hôtel Ritz Paris.

Keep in mind that Hemingway was the type of guy who would go fishing with a Thompson submachine gun, as seen here in 1935.

Keep in mind that Hemingway was the type of guy who would go fishing with a Thompson submachine gun, as seen here in 1935.

In fact, the grand Hôtel Ritz, which reopened last month in the 1st arrondissement after a major three-year renovation, could be considered a first stop on a tour of Hemingway’s Paris. Ground was broken in 1705, appropriately during the reign of Louis XIV, although the palatial hotel itself didn’t open until nearly 200 years later with a “glittering reception” on June 1, 1898. The hotel became an instant legend with a reputation for luxury as everyone from artists and entertainers to politicians and royalty – Edward VII and a lover were once reportedly stuck in one of its bathtubs – over the decades. Hemingway featured the hotel in The Sun Also Rises and lived there for many years, with his tenure now honored by the hotel’s Bar Hemingway where head bartender Colin Field’s concoctions have taken legendary proportions of their own. Indeed, the hotel is one of the few places that would honor a guest who reacted to his wife’s request for a divorce by firing a pistol into a toilet where he had thrown her photo. Perhaps it was Hemingway’s endorsement of “the only reason not to stay at the Ritz [in Paris] is if you can’t afford it” that the hotel appreciates.

Before he could afford the Ritz himself, Hemingway and his first wife Hadley spent their first night in Paris at the Hôtel Jacob – now the Hotel d’Angleterre – in the 6th arrondissement.

Ernest Hemingway’s nightlife behavior had become legendary in his own time. According to Malcolm Cowley in Exile’s Return:

I remember being taken to an unfamiliar saloon – it was in the winter of 1925-26 – and finding that the back room was full of young writers and their wives just home from Paris. They were all telling stories about Hemingway, whose first book had just appeared, and they were talking in what I afterward came to recognize as the Hemingway dialect – tough, matter-of-fact, and confidential. In the middle of the evening one of them rose, took off his jacket, and used it to show how he would dominate a bull.

Midnight in Paris depicts Gil accompanying Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald to Crémerie-Restaurant Polidor on the Left Bank in the 6th arrondissement, where he first meets Hemingway brooding over a glass of burgundy. Polidor, originally founded in 1845, retains the spirit of turn-of-the-century Paris with its style of cooking, its decor, and even its bathrooms. Diners sit at long shared tables with communal saltcellars and pots of mustard. Once popular with Hemingway’s contemporaries and spiritual successors like Jack Kerouac, it remains a favored haunt of local college students. According to Fitzgerald in Midnight in Paris, it also offers a “diamond” whiskey sour, if you’re so inclined.

This was surely a common sight in 1920s Paris.

This was surely a common sight in 1920s Paris.

Channeling the spirit of his idol, Gil (in the present day) visits Shakespeare & Company in the 5th arrondissement, the English-language bookstore opened in 1951 by George Whitman after Sylvia Beach’s original shop in the 6th – a favorite of 1920s ex-pats like Hemingway, Stein, Fitzgerald, and James Joyce – had closed during the German occupation of Paris in 1940. Whitman’s new shop reflected the spirit of the original as a common meeting place for Bohemian writers, and Sylvia Beach publicly offered him the use of the Shakespeare & Company name while dining with him in 1958. Dwight Garner’s New York Times article in 2010 recalls an incident toward the end of World War II when a uniformed Hemingway, who had admired Beach, “would return to ‘liberate’ the bookstore, but it never reopened.”

As Time Out outlined in a great piece, most of Hemingway’s favorite haunts were on the Left Bank and many still remain almost a century later. His apartments at 39 rue Descartes and 74 rue Cardinal Lemoine are commemorated with plaques, and foodies can still enjoy the offerings of enthusiastic grocers  at the Marché Mouffetard, described in A Moveable Feast as a “wonderful, narrow crowded market street”.

It’s very understandable why Gil Pender is so nostalgic about the era and the lifestyle of its expatriates: plenty of coffee, cigarettes, and cocktails with hot jazz and the greatest artistic minds of the generation filling out the background.

Sidney Bechet’s “Si tu vois ma mère” serves as the de facto theme of Midnight in Paris, playing over the beginning and end credits with vignettes of Paris at its most romantic by day and night.

When I want to evoke this romanticized Parisian experience either to accompany some coffee or writing attempts, my go-to is always Django Reinhardt, the Gypsy jazz guitarist who developed his unique solo style after two fingers on his left hand were paralyzed in a fire. Born in 1910, Django was a bit too young to provide the soundtrack for the lost generation of the 1920s, but Woody has used plenty of his music in his films for decades to the point of writing Sweet and Lowdown as an homage.

The movie also includes my favorite “modern” re-interpretation of a ’20s-style arrangement of James P. Johnson’s “Charleston”, performed here by Enoch Light and his Charleston City All-Stars for one of several albums in the late 1950s that celebrated the music of the Roaring Twenties. (I previously celebrated this track when I posted about Jimmy Stewart’s Charleston dance in It’s a Wonderful Life.)

Gil dances the Charleston with Djuna Barnes, the celebrated modernist author who would eventually pen the groundbreaking novel Nightwood.

What to Imbibe

Reading Ernest Hemingway’s novels and memoirs will make your taste buds tingle for anything from a cold beer or neat whiskey to absinthe or – Hemingway’s favorite – a Daiquiri. Midnight in Paris depicts Papa drinking plenty of wine given his surroundings, including Château this-or-that claret and Moët & Chandon champagne.

The Sun Also Rises famously features protagonist Jake Barnes downing a Jack Rose cocktail at the Hôtel de Crillon bar while waiting for Lady Brett Ashley:

Hemingway might have called the drink unmanly if he saw someone drinking one, but he would have to admit that it is tasty if he placed one in his first protagonist's hand.

Hemingway might have called the drink unmanly if he saw someone drinking one, but he would have to admit that it is tasty if he placed one in his first protagonist’s hand.

At five o’clock I was in the Hotel Crillon, waiting for Brett. She was not there, so I sat down and wrote some letters. They were not very good letters, but I hoped their being on Crillon stationery would help them. Brett did not turn up, so about quarter to six I went down to the bar and had a Jack Rose with George the barman.

While its name may recall James Cameron more than Ernest Hemingway to modern drinkers, the Jack Rose was once so prolific that David Embury included it alongside mainstays like the Daiquiri, Manhattan, Martini, Old Fashioned, and Sidecar in his seminal The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks in 1948. The Jack Rose was likely developed in New Jersey, possibly by restaurateur Joseph P. Rose although the earliest mention of the cocktail appears to be a 1905 article in the National Police Gazette that credits Jersey bartender Frank J. May with its creation.

The Jack Rose consists of three ingredients; applejack brandy is the primary ingredient, and Laird’s has enjoyed increased sales of its applejack due to the resurgence of interest in the Jack Rose and classic cocktails of its ilk. In an ice-filled shaker, two parts of applejack are mixed with one part lemon juice and half a part grenadine syrup. After the fruity red concoction is strained into a chilled martini glass, it is typically garnished with a cherry and a lemon slice and served up. Lime juice and a lime slice may also be substituted for lemon.

How to Get the Look

Hemingway literally takes Juan Belmonte under his wing.

Hemingway literally takes Juan Belmonte under his wing.

Midnight in Paris depicts a young Ernest Hemingway in his prime, newly published and dressing in the style of a macho adventurer comfortable at a Parisian café, a Spanish bullfight, or an African hunt.

  • Dark brown suede single-breasted 3-button sport jacket with notch lapels (with pointed-tab buttoning throat latch), box-pleated left chest pocket with button-down flaps, box-pleated hip pockets with button-down flaps, single-button tab cuffs, and single vent
  • Light-colored subtly-patterned dress shirt with large point collar, front placket, and double/French cuffs
  • Gold round cuff links with black finish
  • Brown high-rise double forward-pleated trousers with belt loops, full cut, and turn-ups/cuffs
  • Light brown leather belt with gunmetal single-claw buckle
  • Tan leather apron-toe bluchers
  • Brown socks
  • Gold wedding band

Do Yourself a Favor and…

Buy the movie (or borrow it from a friend if you’re not a Woody Allen supporter), but you should certainly read Hemingway.

His most famous works are arguably A Farewell to Arms or For Whom the Bell Tolls, and many high-schoolers were unfortunately turned off by having to read The Old Man and the Sea, but my personal favorite is The Sun Also Rises, as I’m sure you could tell by this point.

I also greatly enjoy A Moveable Feast, which likely inspired much of Midnight in Paris and practically serves as a posthumous “Making of” featurette of The Sun Also Rises as it recounts the 1920s expatriate scene and the colorful characters that lived it.

The Quote

If you’re a writer, declare yourself the best writer. But you’re not – as long as I’m around – unless you want to put the gloves on and settle it.

HemingwayFightGif

Magic City: Ben the Butcher’s Baby Blue Shirt

Danny Huston as Ben Diamond in "Feeding Frenzy", episode 1.02 of Magic City (2012-2013).

Danny Huston as Ben Diamond in “Feeding Frenzy”, episode 1.02 of Magic City (2012-2013).

Vitals

Danny Huston as Ben “the Butcher” Diamond, sadistic and volatile Miami gangster

Miami Beach, spring 1959

Series: Magic City
Episodes:
– “Feeding Frenzy” (Episode 1.02, dir: Ed Bianchi, aired April 13, 2012)
– “Who’s the Horse and Who’s the Rider?” (Episode 1.07, dir: Nick Gomez, aired May 18, 2012)
– “Adapt or Die” (Episode 2.03, dir: Ed Bianchi, aired June 28, 2013)
Creator: Mitch Glazer
Costume Designer: Carol Ramsey

Background

If Ike Evans is the conflicted but ultimately virtuous protagonist of Magic City, then Ben Diamond is the show’s unapologetically evil antagonist. Described in an early New York Times review as a “suntanned sociopath”, Ben the Butcher rules the beach with coldblooded brutality.

As Huston himself told Rolling Stone in an excellent June 2013 interview:

I’m just going to play him for the badass that he is, because it makes him so unapologetic and somehow honest, amongst all these other characters that are morally compromised.

This week’s Mafia Monday installment will examine the seemingly tranquil beach-dwelling style of Ben Diamond as seen in three of the show’s sixteen episodes. Eric Tidd, operator of the virtual Miramar Playa, owns many items from the show including this outfit and accessories worn by Danny Huston.

What’d He Wear?

For his relaxing days spent playing poker either poolside or in his private cabana, Ben Diamond often wears a baby blue lightweight long-sleeve shirt decorated with vertical pleat strips down the front and back, making the shirt best described as a “pocketless guayabera”.

A true guayabera, a traditional Caribbean-originated dress shirt with a straight bottom hem meant to be worn untucked, has patch pockets and two vertical rows of alforzas along the front and back. Ben’s shirt, which has French cuffs and lacks pockets, shares some similarities with Mexican variants of the guayabera.

Ben presides over one of his many poker games in "Who's the Horse and Who's the Rider?" (Episode 1.07).

Ben presides over one of his many poker games in “Who’s the Horse and Who’s the Rider?” (Episode 1.07).

The alforzas on Ben’s shirt consist of four thin reverse pleats in a vertical strip down each front panel of the shirt. The alforzas run from the top shoulder yoke down to the bottom yoke that runs along the straight-hemmed bottom of the shirt. Both yokes are pointed where they meet the alforzas, with a decorative button on the bottom and a smaller decorative button at the top.

No matter what episode or context, Ben is rarely found without a cigar, a poker table, and his dear friend Bel Jaffe nearby.

No matter what episode or context, Ben is rarely found without a cigar, a poker table, and his dear friend Bel Jaffe nearby.

Ben’s shirt has a cutaway spread collar, always worn wide open, with clear plastic buttons down the covered front fly. The back, as confirmed by current owner Eric Tidd’s photos, has a wide single strip of pleats down the center of the back, connecting two pointed yokes that are each festooned with a decorative button. Like a guayabera, there is a split vent on the right and left sides of the shirt; each vent is fastened with three buttons.

The sleeves have open gauntlets with no buttons above the double cuffs. In the first season, the French cuffs of Ben’s shirt are fastened by a pair of silver square-framed cuff links with a large diamond (hey, that’s his name!) in the center.

In "Feeding Frenzy" (Episode 1.02), Ben makes it quite clear who's in charge when talking to Stevie Evans.

In “Feeding Frenzy” (Episode 1.02), Ben makes it quite clear who’s in charge when talking to Stevie Evans.

For the second season appearance of this shirt, Ben wears a pair of gold oval cuff links with dark blue settings.

Exclusive information and images from the outfit’s current owner Eric confirms that this shirt is either all-linen or a linen/cotton blend and was made by Renato, size large.

Photos of Danny Huston's screen-worn Renato shirt courtesy of Eric J. Tidd.

Photos of Danny Huston’s screen-worn Renato shirt courtesy of Eric J. Tidd.

Some similar shirts worn by Ben can be found in an eBay auction, all from the second season episode “World in Changes”. This auction includes a dark cotton shirt and a purple linen shirt similar to this one, both by Anto, and a lighter pink genuine linen guayabera from Ramon Puig.

Ben tends to wear either cream or black trousers with his guayaberas and casual shirts; in this case, it is the former. Ben’s cream flat front trousers are 100% Irish linen with plain-hemmed bottoms. Eric has confirmed that these Brooks Brothers trousers – with a size 36 waist and 32 length – have burn holes on the back left pocket. Both back pockets are jetted and each close with a single button.

Ben's trousers and shoes are best seen in this promotional image from "Feeding Frenzy" (Episode 1.02). Of course, Lily tends to take most of the attention away from anyone or anything else in the scene.

Ben’s trousers and shoes are best seen in this promotional image from “Feeding Frenzy” (Episode 1.02). Of course, Jessica Marais as Lily tends to take most of the attention away from anyone or anything else in the scene.

The trousers break high over his shoes, a pair of black leather bicycle-toe loafers that he wears without socks. Though not seen very clearly on screen (and the distraction of a bikini-clad Lily admittedly doesn’t make it easy to focus on a pair of shoes), some very helpful info and images from Eric confirmed that these Aldo loafers are a size 44 and have a black leather strap (not a monk strap) across the vamp with a silver-toned buckle on the outside of each shoe. Now discontinued by Aldo, these appear to be a pair of their M-19261 model, still available from Amazon as of July 2016.

Photo of Danny Huston's screen-worn Aldo loafers courtesy of Eric J. Tidd.

Photo of Danny Huston’s screen-worn Aldo loafers courtesy of Eric J. Tidd.

Ben Diamond wears a pair of black-framed wayfarer-style sunglasses, the Victory Suntimer “Palm Beach” with dark gray lenses. The exact model number is VCS 752 in size 52/20/140, still available from the Victory Optical Collection site for $210.

The gold watch that Ben Diamond wears in the first season has a small round case on a black leather strap. The black dial has twelve plain gold non-numeric markers and three gold hands.

Ben's equally adept at poker in the light (as seen in "Feeding Frenzy") or in the dark (as seen in "Who's the Horse and Who's the Rider?").

Ben’s equally adept at poker in the light (as seen in “Feeding Frenzy”) or in the dark (as seen in “Who’s the Horse and Who’s the Rider?”).

Ben’s watch in the second season appears to be the somewhat larger gold Hamilton Electric watch with a silver dial, gold numeric markers, and a dark brown alligator strap.

MCBenBlue-CX2-Watch2

Ben’s second season accessories, here consisting of a different watch and cuff links, are seen in “Adapt or Die” (Episode 2.03).

On his right pinky, Ben wears a gold ring with a large set-in diamond. In addition to the parallels to his name, Ben’s ring has some historical significance as Danny Huston told Rolling Stone in June 2013:

I wear a ring which is not dissimilar to Bugsy Siegel’s ring. I try to bring a certain bit of a show-off, proud – somewhat creating an empire, in that sense. There’s a sort of regal quality to him.

Eric, the current owner of a set of Ben’s rings, have confirmed that extended wear has led to some of the “gold” rubbing off to reveal copper underneath. As Eric notes, this is a small price to pay for owning such incredible TV memorabilia.

Go Big or Go Home

When not violently earning his “Butcher” moniker, Ben Diamond’s life is one of gangland luxury and leisure. “Feeding Frenzy” (Episode 1.02) finds Ben and his mob cronies playing a few hands of poolside poker while the laidback vocals of Bobby Darin crooning “Beyond the Sea” in the background recall the iconic Goodfellas scene of imprisoned mafiosi cooking veal behind bars.

During that one poker game alone, Ben is seen drinking a bottle of Ballantine Ale and a few neat pours of J&B Rare blended Scotch. His daily smokes are L&M Filter cigarettes with a gold lighter, but – like his nemesis Ike Evans – he also enjoys his Habana Partagas cigars.

Ben, Bel, and pals enjoy some poolside poker in "Feeding Frenzy" (Episode 1.02).

Ben, Bel, and pals enjoy some poolside poker and whiskey in “Feeding Frenzy” (Episode 1.02).

How to Get the Look

MCBenBlue-crop

Danny Huston as Ben Diamond in “Adapt or Die”, episode 2.03 of Magic City (2012-2013).

Ben the Butcher’s mix of summer-weight fabrics and name-appropriate diamonds keep him feeling comfortable but looking powerful for a warm spring day of leisure in Miami Beach.

  • Baby blue lightweight linen/cotton “pocketless guayabera” shirt with spread collar, covered front fly placket, 3-button side vents, double/French cuffs, and quadruple-pleat alforza strips down each front panel with decorative buttons
  • Cream linen flat front trousers with belt loops, jetted button-through back pockets, and plain-hemmed bottoms
  • Black leather bicycle-toe loafers with silver-toned buckle straps
  • Silver square cuff links with a center diamond
  • Gold pinky ring with set-in diamond
  • Gold wristwatch with a black dial and black leather strap
  • Victory Optical Collection Suntimer “Palm Beach” VCS 752 black-framed wayfarer-style sunglasses with dark gray lenses

Do Yourself a Favor and…

Buy the series.

Footnote

A major debt of gratitude is owed to Eric Tidd, the current owner of this outfit, who provided many one-of-a-kind images to help guide me as I put this post together. Eric also owns Ike’s cream dinner jacket, which had been featured in an earlier BAMF Style post.

Indiana Jones

Harrison Ford as Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones, Jr. in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).

Harrison Ford as Dr. Henry “Indiana” Jones, Jr. in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).

Vitals

Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones, adventurer and archaeology professor

Around the world, late 1930s

Film: Raiders of the Lost Ark
Release Date: June 12, 1981
Director: Steven Spielberg
Costume Designer: Deborah Nadoolman

Film: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Release Date: May 23, 1984
Director: Steven Spielberg
Costume Designer: Anthony Powell

Film: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Release Date: May 24, 1989
Director: Steven Spielberg
Costume Design: Joanna Johnston & Anthony Powell

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Today is the 74th birthday of Harrison Ford, one of the highest-grossing and most popular actors of all time who seems to have a knack for establishing an iconic role in major trilogy franchises… and then one follow-up film for each franchise a few decades later.

Created by George Lucas and brought to life by Harrison Ford under the direction of Steven Spielberg, it’s no wonder that Indiana Jones became such a success despite Spielberg’s insistence that “I made [Raiders of the Lost Ark] as a B-movie… [nothing] more than a better made version of the Republic serials.”

Although Indy may have been inspired by the steely, expressionless, generic treasure hunters of the cheaply-made adventure serials of the 1930s and 1940s, Harrison Ford’s characterization as the resourceful, cunning, and brave yet vulnerable archaeologist has led to Dr. Henry Walton “Indiana” Jones Jr. often ranked being among the greatest and coolest heroes in cinematic history. Indy came in 2nd on AFI’s 2003 list of the greatest film heroes of all time, 2nd on Entertainment Weekly’s list of The All-Time Coolest Heroes of Pop Culture, and 6th and 7th as the greatest movie characters of all time by Empire and Premiere magazines, respectively.

After the success of Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1981, Ford enthusiastically went on to play the character in a prequel (Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom), a sequel (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade), and a follow-up several decades later (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull).

What’d He Wear?

For true in-depth research into the iconic costume of Indiana Jones, the experts at IndyGear.com have got you covered with the definitive breakdown for everything from his fedora and leather jacket to his boots and bull whip.

Indiana Jones’s trademark outfit is one of the most memorable, beloved, and iconic costumes in movie history. The hat and jacket are currently on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History and his kangaroo-hide bull whip sold at Christie’s auction house for $43,000 in December 1999.

For Raiders of the Lost Ark, costume designer Deborah Nadoolman noted the original serials to which Spielberg and team were paying homage. She based the flying jacket and fedora on something similar worn by Charlton Heston’s treasure-hunting adventurer in Secret of the Incas (1954). Nadoolman’s concept of “ten military-style plain cuffed and plain hemmed leather jackets” resulted in an order from Wilson’s Leather in Los Angeles that was basically a modified Type A-2 flight jacket.

Indy's jacket has been on his back for plenty of years, but it's "mileage" like this that adds the distress.

Indy’s jacket has been on his back for plenty of years, but it’s “mileage” like this that adds the distress.

The A-2 jacket, originally designated as “Jacket, Pilot’s (summer)” for the U.S. military, had details that varied based on the manufacturer but all featured a snap-down collar, epaulettes, patch pockets on each hip that close with a snap-down flap, and jersey-knit cuffs and hem. The Wilson’s jackets were essentially A-2 jackets altered without the knit cuffs and waistband. After various testings that are best described at IndyGear.com, the final film-used jackets were eventually made by Peter Botwright and sourced from Leather Concessionaires.

The definitive Indiana Jones flight jacket is made from brown lambskin with a shirt-style collar that varies in size from film to film. The original shiny aluminum zippers were reportedly painted over in brass to dull their distracting presence on screen. The shoulders are left plain with no epaulettes or straps.

Although the jackets used in the production were new, the leather was always artificially aged by the costume team as seen here in Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

Although the jackets used in the production were new, the leather was always artificially aged by the costume team as seen here in Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

The set-in sleeves maintained the original alteration from the A-2 jacket omitting the knitting on the cuffs, instead ending in plain leather. The cuffs have no buttons or zippers as found on the naval Type 440 jacket as these would certainly get in the way as Indy is required to perform his various stunts.

Similar to the original A-2, Indy’s flight jacket has large bellows pockets on the hips. These patch pockets close with concealed snaps on slightly pointed flaps. There are no handwarmers behind the bellows pockets, as hands in pockets were considered “un-military” at the time of the A-2’s development.

The large bellows pockets on Indy's flight jacket, seen here in Raiders of the Lost Ark, served a functional purpose for transporting and protecting rare but large ancient artifacts while fighting impossibly large henchmen.

The large bellows pockets on Indy’s flight jacket, seen here in Raiders of the Lost Ark, served a functional purpose for transporting and protecting rare but large ancient artifacts while fighting impossibly large henchmen.

One very distinctive difference from original A-2 jackets were the “action-back” side pleats and the short leather adjustable straps that tightened the waistband through small brass buckles. These straps were likely inspired by the design of the 1930s Type 440 flight jackets sported by U.S. Navy fighter pilots. The jacket also has a yoke across the back shoulders with seams that extend slightly diagonally from the neck to the top of the shoulders and a seam across the upper back.

Indy's side pleats give him a greater range of movement for hanging from various ledges and fighting off angry tribes while also adding a distinctive vintage look... although the adjustable straps are one more thing that could become an impediment if caught on something.

Indy’s side pleats give him a greater range of movement for hanging from various ledges and fighting off angry tribes while also adding a distinctive vintage look… although the adjustable straps are one more thing that could become an impediment if caught on something.

Certain aspects of the jacket were enlarged or modified for the jacket in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, which also saw the return of original jacket maker Botwright. In addition to a heavier weight leather, the jacket also features a larger collar with a snap closure at the top and a wide storm flap over the zipper.

INDY

Note the larger collar, heavier construction, and wide storm flap over the zipper on the Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade jacket. (More on this scene below… tee hee…)

IndyGear.com provides a great analysis and history of Indiana Jones’ brown leather flight jacket in all of the films.

All of Dr. Jones’s adventure attire is military-inspired in one way or another, and his khaki cotton safari shirt is no exception. Field shirts have been popular from outdoorsy clothing brands like L.L. Bean for decades, but Indy’s shirt is differentiated by the single vertical self-strip that runs down each front panel of the shirt from under the shoulder straps to the bottom hem, running over the center of each breast pocket.

The shirt has a spread collar and seven buttons down the front placket that get progressively darker in each movie. The two patch pockets on the chest close with a single button on a pointed flap. The epaulettes are sewn at the shoulders and button down on the pointed end at the neck. The sleeves have a single-button squared cuff, although Indy often rolls up his sleeves… or just rips them off, as seen in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. According to IndyGear.com, the shirt was originally designed by Andreas Dometakis.

Indy's safari shirt sees its fair share of wear and tear in Raiders of the Lost Ark... although not nearly as much as in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom when he loses his sleeves!

Indy’s safari shirt sees its fair share of wear and tear in Raiders of the Lost Ark… although not nearly as much as in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom when he loses his sleeves!

Although Indiana Jones always wears a tie – be it a necktie or a bow tie – with his suits, it is only in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade that he dresses up his adventurer outfit by donning what IndyGear.com describes as “a black Irish poplin tie” with a pointed blade and a four-in-hand knot.

Sean Connery wears a tweed three-piece suit, checked trilby, bow tie, and glasses that all contribute to subliminally aging the 59-year-old actor to have the appearance of an older man. However, it is worth noting that Indy seems to have taken some style cues from dear old dad with the tweedy suits and bow ties that he wears while teaching at Marshall College.

Sean Connery wears a tweed three-piece suit, checked trilby, bow tie, and glasses that all contribute to subliminally aging the 59-year-old actor to have the appearance of an older man. However, it is worth noting that Indy seems to have taken some style cues from dear old dad with the tweedy suits and bow ties that he wears while teaching at Marshall College.

Indy appears to be wearing a variation of “pinks”, the light military shade of brown khaki twill wool trousers worn by U.S. Army and Army Air Corps officers during the World War II era. These trousers have single reverse pleats, seven belt loops, and a 4″ military style plain hem to give his bottoms enough of a break over his boots while scampering all over the world’s ancient obstacles. More information can be found at IndyGear.com, which determined that they were likely subcontracted by Angels Costumes in London to be tailored for Ford. He appears to be wearing a lighter pair, closer to tan, in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Indy's military-style trousers as seen in Raiders of the Lost Ark (left) and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (right).

Indy’s military-style trousers as seen in Raiders of the Lost Ark (left) and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (right).

The trousers have slanted side pockets and scalloped flap pockets in the back that each close with a single button. Appropriate for the era, the trousers also have a four-button fly. Zippers had only first appeared on clothing about a decade earlier when Schott incorporated them onto jackets in 1925. In fact, the A-2 jacket was one of the first articles of clothing expressly designed to use a zipper. The “Battle of the Fly” in 1937 marked the beginning of zipper supremacy on men’s trouser flies, but it’s safe to say that Indiana Jones would be somewhat unconcerned with the findings of Esquire magazine and French fashion houses. (In fact, Indy was so unconcerned with his pants that both Harrison Ford and Sean Connery shed their trousers while filming the zeppelin scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade; supposedly, the intense heat of the set was too much for the two actors who were also performing the scene in heavy leather and tweed jackets, respectively.)

Indy faces his greatest fear during the pre-credits sequence of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Luckily, snakes don't have the dexterity to open a button fly or he'd be in real trouble.

Indy faces his greatest fear during the pre-credits sequence of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Luckily, snakes don’t have the dexterity to open a button fly or he’d be in real trouble.

Indy wears a WWII-era brown U.S. Army officer’s style cotton web belt with a brass slider buckle. Although dark brown in the first two films, Indy seems to switch to a lighter colored belt that more closely matches his brown twill trousers in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

And there's Short Round.

And there’s Short Round.

Though they share some cosmetic similarities with military boots, Indy’s footwear was actually informed by Harrison Ford. Ford was reportedly a fan of the Middleborough, Massachusetts-based Alden Shoe Company‘s boots and sported the stock model 405 Truebalance in each of the Indiana Jones adventures… establishing their enduring popularity as “the Indy boot”. More information can be found at IndyGear.com, of course, and interested buyers can still buy the “405 Original Brown” work boots.

Indy has a rough day in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Indy has a rough day in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Indy’s leather Alden 405 ankle boots are brown waxhide with matching round brown laces through five eyelets and four hooks. The boots have an apron toe, rubber heels, and leather-faced cotton duck lining. He wears them with dark brown socks, likely cotton as they look lighter than wool, which would be oppressive in the action-packed heat that seems to follow Dr. Jones around the globe.

Indy's flying (or, at least, landing) skills may not be up to par, but at least he knows how to double-clutch a truck.

Indy’s flying (or, at least, landing) skills may not be up to par, but at least he knows how to double-clutch a truck.

One of the best-known aspects of the Indiana Jones costume is his loyal, well-traveled hat, which always seems to find a way back to his head despite the improbability of its return. While functional from a filmmaking perspective for both continuity and stunt double ease, it’s also a callback to the original serials of the ’30s and ’40s where our hat-wearing hero was never without his headgear despite his situation. This trope would get another wink at the end of the decade in the Coen brothers’ noir-ish masterpiece Miller’s Crossing.

Indy’s hat was sourced from Herbert Johnson Hatters in Savile Row, where Nadoolman had grabbed and twisted one of the shop’s Australian model fedoras then joined Harrison Ford in sitting on it to create “a very lived-in and well-loved” hat. The original material for Raiders of the Lost Ark was a very vintage-like lightweight rabbit felt that was replaced by a slightly heavier Borsalino felt for the next installment.

Indy's hat proves its usefulness when taking a snooze in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

Indy’s hat proves its usefulness when taking a snooze in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

IndyGear.com did the research to determine the original specifications of Indy’s brown fedora: size 7¼ with a tall 5.5″ pinched crown, a 1.5″ darker brown grosgrain ribbon, and a wide brim that extended 2 ⅝” on each side and 2¾ in the front and back; the front of the brim was shaped down to cover his eyes and further facilitate the ease of swapping in a stunt double for Ford without the double’s face being too obvious to audiences.

As Indiana Jones gets himself into some tough spots, he is prepared to protect his hands when needed with a pair of tan leather plain work gloves, which are debossed with the word “LARGE” on the inside of the wrist as seen in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

One of many tough spots in which Indy finds himself in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

One of many tough spots in which Indy finds himself in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

For less tense moments that require careful examination rather than quick action, Indy wears his 14kt gold-framed Savile Row “Beaufort Panto” glasses “Chestnut” tortoise rims and half-covered cable, as identified by SunglassesID.com.

To the best of my recollection, Indy only wears his glasses with his adventurer outfit in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Otherwise, they are relegated only to be worn with his professorial suits.

To the best of my recollection, Indy only wears his glasses with his adventurer outfit in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Otherwise, they are relegated only to be worn with his professorial suits.

Sometimes, big bellows pockets on your jacket just ain’t enough for transporting ancient artifacts around the globe… thus, Indy carries a drab-colored modified British Mark VII gas mask bag as a satchel. This bag, definitively identified by IndyGear.com, had been issued to British military and police during World War II as a precaution against the sad realities of the war. The bag’s original cotton web strap (similar to Indy’s belt) was replaced on screen with leather straps – with buckle adjusters – in various shades of brown, beginning with a lighter brown in Raiders of the Lost Ark and darker brown straps in the subsequent movies.

In Raiders of the Lost Ark, a weary Indy eyes his latest threat, a sword-wielding assassin...

In Raiders of the Lost Ark, a weary Indy eyes his latest threat, a sword-wielding assassin…

As a definitively American hero, Indiana Jones is always packing heat for his dangerous travels. His sidearm of choice varied from movie to movie, always carried in a brown leather military-style flap holster on the right side of a brown leather gun belt. IndyGear.com put plenty of research into analyzing the subtle differences between each gun belt and holster, including a design for the lighter brown holster that was custom-made for Indy’s Smith & Wesson revolver in Raiders of the Lost Ark before he switched to a much darker 1917-manufactured holster specifically designed for the Webley .455 revolver in his subsequent adventures.

...and he quickly and efficiently dispatches of the swordsman with a single shot before going about his business.

…and he quickly and efficiently dispatches of the swordsman with a single shot before going about his business.

David Morgan crafted many of Indy’s iconic kangaroo-hide bullwhips for the first three movies in the series, averaging 10 feet long but all within a range of 6 to 16 feet as reported by IndyGear.com and IMDB.

Indy's bullwhip secured to his gun belt, as seen in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Indy’s bullwhip secured to his gun belt, as seen in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

No matter how long it is, a bullwhip can be a cumbersome thing to carry around. Luckily, Indy has a handy brown leather strip attached to his gun belt, through which he can loop his distinctive tool. The tan leather loop in Raiders of the Lost Ark was riveted to the low-hanging gun belt on his left hip, the darker model in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was slid over the belt, and the whip holder in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was slid over both the gun belt and his trouser belt, providing the most secure fastening for all of Indy’s various tools.

Go Big or Go Home

As with Han Solo, much of what audiences loved about Indiana Jones came from Harrison Ford’s decisions and characterization. In fact, Ford much preferred playing Dr. Jones… despite not sharing the character’s fear or hatred of snakes.

It was Ford who quipped the now-famous line “It’s not the years, honey, it’s the mileage,” when explaining himself to Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) in Raiders of the Lost Ark, and it was also Ford who informed the now-famous scene against the flamboyant Arab swordsman on the streets of Cairo.

The scene originally called for the swordsman to proudly exhibit his abilities with the blade, and Indy would respond in-turn by using his bullwhip to disarm his opponent in what would be an impressively choreographed fight. Unfortunately, Ford was one of the many cast and crew members who was overcome by food poisoning and dysentery (yes, there was violent diarrhea) and left him struggling to perform the stunt as scripted. As Ford told an audience that included director Steven Spielberg at L.A. Live in 2011:

I had chosen to eat native food, unlike Steven who went to Tunisia with a steamer trunk full of Spaghetti-Os, and I had suffered mightily for that. I was no longer capable of staying out of my trailer for more than it took to expose a role of film, which was 10 minutes, and then I would have to flee back there for sanitary facilities.

Thus, Ford suggested just drawing his revolver and shooting his attacker. While the actor, Terry Richards, was disappointed that he didn’t get to show off his impressive abilities after much training, Spielberg immediately loved the idea and ran with it.

Indiana Jones proves that the gun is mightier than the sword.

Indiana Jones proves that the gun is mightier than the sword.

(This scene was called back in the prequel, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, when Indy goes to shoot two Thuggee swordsmen but is dismayed to find that his revolver is missing from his holster… thus, he is finally able to use the whip stunt that would’ve found its place in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Some call this an error since Indy wouldn’t have remembered the 1936 Raiders event in 1935 during Temple of Doom, but it’s possible that drawing his gun is Indy’s usual MO when facing off against more outmoded combatants and their antiquated tools of war.)

What to Imbibe

Indiana Jones clearly has a hankering for Jack Daniel’s whiskey, drinking the classic No. 7 Black Label when visiting Marion Ravenwood’s saloon in Nepal and later mourning her “death” in Cairo with a bottle of Belle of Lincoln.

Shades of Casablanca as Indy "mourns" a lost love.

Shades of Casablanca as Indy “mourns” a lost love.

Source: Antique-Bottles.net forum.

Source: Antique-Bottles.net forum.

“‘Belle of Lincoln?’ HREY! I thought you said Indy liked Jack Daniel‘s!”

While it may not be recognizable to Frank Sinatra (who hardly went a day without his square bottled and black labelled Tennessee nectar), the bottle of Belle of Lincoln whiskey that Indy turns to after the truck explosion in Cairo shows just how much the filmmakers had done their work. Belle of Lincoln was the name applied to a new brand of whiskey from the Jack Daniel’s distillery in the early 1890s, supposedly given its vague name to pay tribute to the lifelong bachelor Mr. Daniel’s many female paramours at the time who each believed the moniker was for her. Jack Daniel died in October 1911, and the Belle of Lincoln brand name shortly followed but was revived in 1979 in the form of a collectible decanter.

(Source: The Jack Daniel’s Collectors Page)

How to Get the Look

Indiana Jones’s military-inspired adventure outfit is one of the most iconic movie costumes of all time, and the experts at IndyGear.com are the definitive source for learning more about every piece of his attire from his brown fedora to his leather flight jacket to his well-worn Alden boots.

Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989).

Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989).

  • Brown lambskin leather flight jacket with shirt-style collar, brass-painted front zipper, snap-flapped bellows patch pockets on hips, set-in sleeves with plain cuffs, and “action-back” side pleats with adjustable buckle straps
  • Khaki cotton long-sleeve safari shirt with spread collar, pointed-flap button-down chest pockets, button-down shoulder epaulettes, vertical front strips, and squared 1-button cuffs
  • Light brown twill wool single reverse-pleated officer’s trousers with 7 belt loops, slanted front pockets, button-down scalloped flap back pockets, and 4″ military-hemmed plain bottoms
  • Brown cotton officer’s webbed belt with brass slider buckle
  • Brown waxhide leather Alden 405 apron-toe 5-eyelet/4-hook ankle boots with leather-faced cotton duck lining and rubber heels
  • Dark brown cotton socks
  • Brown leather gun belt with steel single-claw buckle
  • Brown leather flapped military-style holster, worn on right side for 4″ revolver
  • Brown felt fedora with dark brown 1.5″ grosgrain ribbon, tall pinched crown, and wide brim

Meeting up with dad or flying in style on a German zeppelin? Dress up your adventurous attire with a black poplin tie!

The Guns

As a self-proclaimed “cautious fellow”, Indiana Jones has a preference for early 20th century military revolvers chambered for powerful .45-caliber cartridges.

When we first meet Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark, it is 1936 and he is in search of a golden idol in Peru. Unfortunately, he is waylaid by natives led by his rival, the Nazi sympathizer Dr. René Belloq (Paul Freeman), who relieves Indy of his sidearm, a Smith & Wesson M1917 which had its original 6″ barrel custom modified down to 4″.

INDY

Interestingly, the same Smith & Wesson M1917 is clearly seen to be the same revolver that Indy packs when heading to Nepal… but it is a Smith & Wesson Mk II Hand Ejector that he actually carries and uses for the remainder of his adventures in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

When the bulk of Indy’s adventures start in Raiders of the Lost Ark, he is now carrying a Smith & Wesson Mk II Hand Ejector, chambered in the British  .455 Webley round as it was sourced from a British armorer, Bapty & Co. This revolver is most easily differentiated by its ramp front sight as opposed to the bladed front sight on the M1917.

Indy disables a truck driver in Cairo with a single shot from his Smith & Wesson Mk II Hand Ejector.

Indy disables a truck driver in Cairo with a single shot from his Smith & Wesson Mk II Hand Ejector.

According to IndyGear.com and IMFDb, both of these 4″-barreled Smith & Wesson revolvers were provided by Stembridge Gun Rentals in California, with the blank-firing Mk II Hand Ejector obtained from Bapty in the U.K. Thus, the M1917 would have been used for all U.S. studio filming while the Mk II Hand Ejector was utilized for location filming in the U.K. and Middle East. IMDB states that sound designer Ben Burtt used the sound of a .30-30 Winchester rifle for Indy’s revolver.

For his secondary firearm, Indy carries a Browning Hi-Power, a curious but impressive choice for a “backup” weapon that was likely chosen due to its cosmetic similarities to the American M1911A1 service pistol. As the .45-caliber rounds of the 1911 series were notably unreliable with semi-automatic pistols in the movie industry at this time, the 9mm Hi-Power would have been an adequate – if slightly anachronistic – choice. (The Hi-Power was first produced by the Belgian manufacturer Fabrique Nationale in 1935, a year before Raiders of the Lost Ark was set. However, Indy’s model on the Bantu Wind is a variant by Inglis of Canada, which did not begin production of its Hi-Powers until 1944.)

Indy draws his Inglis Hi-Power when aboard the Bantu Wind. He had previously used a Browning Hi-Power in Nepal and may have lost it, replacing it with this Inglis model... or it's simply an anachronistic continuity error.

Indy draws his Inglis Hi-Power aboard the Bantu Wind. He had previously used a Browning Hi-Power in Nepal and may have lost it, replacing it with this Inglis model… or it’s simply an anachronistic continuity error.

Indy spends the bulk of his adventurer scenes in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom without a sidearm after Willie Scott had notably dropped his Colt Official Police revolver out the window of their getaway car in Shanghai while he was clad in his white dinner jacket. It has been confirmed that this revolver was indeed a Colt Official Police – with a Smith & Wesson Model 10 swapped in for the actual fall – and not either of the revolvers used in production of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Indiana Jones once again finds himself armed in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, this time with a Webley “WG” Army Model revolver, chambered again for the .455 Webley military cartridge. Unlike the previous films where Indy opted for an American revolver with a swing-out cylinder and a 4″ barrel, this is a British break-top revolver with a 6″ barrel. Originally manufactured in the late 1890s, the Webley “WG” Army Model was actually a commercial variant of the British Army’s service revolver for private purchased by officers; the “WG” stands for “Webley Government” rather than the often incorrectly referenced “Webley-Green”.

Dr. Elsa Schneider (Alison Doody) stands behind Indy as he draws his Webley "WG" Army revolver in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Dr. Elsa Schneider (Alison Doody) stands behind Indy as he draws his Webley “WG” Army revolver in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Interestingly, Indy’s holster in both Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was an original WWI item meant for a 6″-barreled Webley. He again carries a Webley “WG” Army Model in 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Do Yourself a Favor and…

Buy the trilogy. If you also enjoy having the latest installment, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in your collection, “The Complete Adventure Collection” now includes all four movies.

I still haven’t seen Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and I’m also aware that the costume – while cosmetically similar to his previous attire – was much differently sourced than in the original series… hence the focus on the first three movies in this post.

The Quote

It’s not the years, honey, it’s the mileage.

Footnote

One can only wonder how much different the franchise would’ve been if the role of Indiana Smith (as he was originally named) had gone to Tom Selleck, who only turned down the role as he was already committed to Magnum, P.I. Interestingly, Thomas Magnum would eventually parody the character in the eighth season episode “Legend of the Lost Art” that found Magnum wearing a brown fedora and leather jacket, carrying a whip, and evading booby traps. Selleck would also play an Indy-like aviator in the 1984 adventure High Road to China.

Rusty’s Gray Silk Suit in Ocean’s Twelve

Brad Pitt as "Rusty" Ryan in Ocean's Twelve (2004).

Brad Pitt as “Rusty” Ryan in Ocean’s Twelve (2004).

Vitals

Brad Pitt as Robert “Rusty” Ryan, hotel owner and international thief

Los Angeles and Rome, November 2004

Film: Ocean’s Twelve
Release Date: December 10, 2004
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Costume Designer: Milena Canonero
Pitt’s Costumer: Bruno de Santa

Background

Today’s installment of “Hey, I actually kinda enjoyed that movie!” features the Euro-flavored meat in Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s trilogy sandwich, Ocean’s Twelve. This blockbuster brought the whole gang back together again, adding nemeses on both sides of the law in the form of Catherine Zeta-Jones and Vincent Cassel.

After the theft of more than $160 million from his Vegas casino years earlier, ruthless mogul Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) has spent plenty of time tracking down each team member of “Ocean’s Eleven”… a moniker that several of the team dispute. The last to be tracked down is Rusty Ryan, Danny Ocean’s smooth right hand whom we learn was actually considered the de facto leader by many of the group itself. Three and a half years after abandoning his girlfriend (CZJ) in Rome, Rusty is managing his own L.A. hotel and babysitting the washed-up Hollywood stars who bed down in it: “Jeez, Topher, you didn’t have to go all Frankie Muniz on me.”

Rusty is in the middle of the hedonistic Topher Grace situation when he gets that call from Benedict: “The last time we talked, you hung up on me.” Immediately realizing the significance of this greeting, Rusty gets into Neil McCauley mode as soon as he feels the heat. “You used nasty words,” Rusty responds, reverting to his cool persona and feeling comfort in the knowledge that Benedict isn’t able to see him desperately scrambling out of the building to his car(s). Of course, Rusty starts feeling the literal heat once Benedict triggers a bomb that detonates his favorite car, a ’63 Ford Falcon Futura convertible. Point taken.

What’d He Wear?

Ocean’s Twelve received plenty of criticism after its release, but there’s no denying that the music and suits are just cool, particularly the vestments sported by Brad Pitt’s Rusty Ryan. Milena Canonero was the costume designer on Ocean’s Twelve, and Bruno de Santa is credited as being Pitt’s specific costumer.

Canonero stated in an interview that “Rusty is more vain and more into his clothes. I used lots of satins and shiny material to give a shimmer and slickness to his look, just like lightning,” and explained that all of the characters would dress apropos their personalities three years after obtaining their millions in the first movie.

Even in a jail cell, Rusty shines like a million bucks. (Although that could just be the effect of wearing an Italian suit in an Italian jail...)

Even in a jail cell, Rusty shines like a million bucks. (Although that could just be the effect of wearing an Italian suit in an Italian jail…)

For his first scene on screen as well as several scenes later on when the gang is in Rome, Rusty wears a fashionable light gray two-piece suit that appears to be a lightweight silk and wool blend based on the way the suit shines in certain light.

The single-breasted suit jacket has edge-stitched notch lapels with a buttonhole through the left lapel. Both the two buttons on the front and the four buttons on each cuff are light gray plastic. The shoulders are straight with roped sleeveheads, and the long double vents rise to just above the hip pocket line.

Rusty faces off against everyone in Ocean's Twelve, from the Italian authorities to Topher Grace himself.

Rusty faces off against a litany of villains in Ocean’s Twelve, from the Italian authorities to Topher Grace himself.

Interestingly, the hip pockets are welted rather than jetted or flapped. The breast pocket is also welted. As Rusty makes his desperate exit from the Standard Hotel, we also get a look inside the jacket and see that there are three inside pockets on the left – an upper pocket, a pen pocket, and a lower pocket. There is one inner breast pocket on the right just above the black logo patch.

Rusty's aborted great escape.

Rusty’s aborted great escape.

The low rise trousers have single reverse pleats, straight on-seam side pockets, jetted button-through back pockets, and plain-hemmed bottoms with a full break. Rusty wears a distinctive tan belt with dark brown accents and a gunmetal rectangular buckle.

Even in one of the most fashionable cities in the world, Rusty manages to stand out.

Even in one of the most fashionable cities in the world, Rusty manages to stand out.

We get a glimpse of Rusty’s workday attire when we first see him, wearing this suit with a silver silk shirt and tie. The dark silver shirt is one of the satin items that Canonero mentioned. It has a large point collar, breast pocket, and button cuffs.

Rusty’s tie is a much lighter shade of gray with thin diagonal tonal stripes running right-down-to-left. He wears it in a loose four-in-hand-knot that hangs down below the unfastened top button of the shirt.

Nonplussed.

Nonplussed.

Rusty dresses down the same suit several scenes later when the gang is in Rome, planning their Fabergé egg heist. Rather than a dress shirt and tie, he wears an ivory gray short-sleeve polo shirt constructed from soft, luxurious knit silk. This fashion-forward shirt has a shallow v-neck rather than buttons. There is a patch pocket on the left breast.

O12BPgray-CL3-2Polo

The light silver satin shirt that Rusty wears for “day of” in Rome is similar to the L.A. dress shirt with its satin silk finish, large point collar and front placket. He leaves both the top two white buttons and the buttons on the rounded cuffs undone, although he keeps the gauntlet buttons fastened so the sleeves don’t flop around when he has his jacket off. This shirt has no pocket.

Rusty allows himself a satisfied smirk after pulling off the heist and riding off in a private jet with Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Rusty allows himself a satisfied smirk after pulling off the heist and riding off in a private jet with Catherine Zeta-Jones.

With a suit like this, you wouldn’t expect Rusty to wear a regular old pair of brown oxfords, would you? Instead, he wears a pair of very distinctive tan alligator full strap penny loafers with a pointed square bicycle toe. The soles are dark brown hard leather.

Although the full break of the trouser bottoms often conceals them, Rusty’s dress socks are appropriately light gray to continue the leg line into his shoes.

Rusty's distinctive loafers are seen while enjoying various degrees of freedom in Rome.

Rusty’s distinctive loafers are seen while enjoying various degrees of freedom in Rome.

Rusty isn’t one to shy away from accessories, one of the few non-mobsters on BAMF Style that can rock a necklace, ring (or multiple rings!), sunglasses, and watch. Of course, it helps that they’re all boutique items.

Brad Pitt is a well-known Oliver Peoples ambassador, but his eyewear of choice in Ocean’s Twelve has been identified as a pair of Diesel Cobretti sunglasses with “shiny light gold” (oM12) metal frames and brown gradient lenses (DD). The two-tone brown arms are tan in the front and brown for the back portion that rest behind his ears. Although discontinued, Diesel Cobretti sunglasses can still be found at some online retailer sites.

Cool under fire... and under arrest.

Cool under fire… and under arrest.

Rusty’s watch is clearly a silver-colored Rolex on a President link bracelet, and some discussion at the Rolex forums evidently deduced that his exact model was a platinum Rolex Day-Date 118366 with a “glacier” ice blue dial, 36mm case, and 24 baguette diamonds on the bezel. If you want your own, you can find one online for about, oh, $58,000.

On Rusty’s right pinky, he wears a silver ring with a flush square diamond.

Rusty enjoys a well-deserved martini on the rocks.

Rusty enjoys a well-deserved martini on the rocks.

Although their union wasn’t long for this world at the time of Ocean’s Twelve‘s release, Brad Pitt wears a thin silver necklace with a down-scaled replica of his wedding ring from his marriage to Jennifer Aniston. The necklace perfectly follows the shallow V-neck line of the polo shirt that he wears in Rome.

How to Get the Look

Although some of the rest of Ocean’s crew are flamboyant dressers, especially after obtaining their newfound wealth from the first movie, only Rusty manages to consistently balance flashiness with a fashion sense.
O12BPgray-crop

  • Light gray silk two-piece suit, consisting of:
    • Single-breasted 2-button jacket with notch lapels, welted breast pocket, welted hip pockets, 4-button cuffs, double vents
    • Single reverse-pleated trousers with belt loops, straight on-seam side pockets, jetted back pockets, and plain-hemmed bottoms
  • Silver satin silk dress shirt with large collar, front placket, and rounded button cuffs
  • Light silver diagonal tonal-striped silk necktie
  • Tan alligator bicycle toe full strap penny loafers
  • Light gray dress socks
  • Diesel Cobretti sunglasses with gold metal frames, brown gradient lenses, and two-tone brown arms
  • Silver thin-chain necklace with wedding ring replica pendant
  • Rolex Day-Date 118366 platinum wristwatch with 36mm case, ice blue dial, diamond-studded bezel, and President link bracelet
  • White gold or platinum Rolex Day-Date wristwatch on link bracelet
  • Silver pinky ring with flush square diamond

For more of a cool, casual take, lose the tie or even swap out the whole shirt for a casual ivory short-sleeve polo.

Do Yourself a Favor and…

Buy the movie. If you can’t bring yourself to just get the least beloved of the pack, check out the whole trilogy.

The Quote

I thought I’d be dead before I heard the sound that killed me.