Californication – Hank’s Flappy Shirt

David Duchovny as Hank Moody on Californication (Episode 1.06: "Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder")

David Duchovny as Hank Moody on Californication (Episode 1.06: “Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder”)

Vitals

David Duchovny as Hank Moody, womanizing novelist with substance abuse issues

Venice Beach, Summer 2007

Series: Californication
Episodes: “LOL” (Episode 1.05) & “Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder” (Episode 1.06)
Air Dates: September 10, 2007; September 17, 2007
Directors: Bart Freundlich; Ken Whittingham
Costume Designer: Peggy A. Schnitzer

Background

When we last checked in on Hank Moody, things weren’t going so well. He still wasn’t writing, his newest girlfriend left him for a douchey adulterous lawyer, he wasn’t writing, the 17-year-old daughter of his rival was beginning to manipulate and blackmail him, and he still had to face the fact that the love of his life was with another man.

So when he rolls into a Venice Beach convenience store around midnight one summer night, no one questions why his sunglasses are still on, his rumpled shirt is half-unbuttoned, he’s on his fiftieth cigarette, and he immediately pops open that fresh bottle of Scotch.

We might know, but Hank doesn’t know, that things will certainly get much worse. We’ll let him have his skid row moment for now.

What’d He Wear?

The scenes in question, overlapping from the end of “LOL” (1.05) to the beginning of “Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder” (1.06), are never explicitly referred to as being the same day, but he is wearing the same thing and it would make sense—given his state of mind at the end of “LOL”—that he would head directly to a liquor store.

His wardrobe for these sequences perfectly define the dejected New Yorker in a land of “California cool”. His clothes are open and flappy like many people associate with L.A., with omnipresent sunglasses to boot. But this is Hank Moody, and he isn’t trying to become a legend of the beach. He’s a city guy—a New Yorker, as we know— and his dark clothes and non-trendy sunglasses say it. They also say “Fuck off.”

Then again, so does that expression.

Then again, so does that expression.

Hank wears a charcoal blue work shirt in a lightweight cotton flannel. The major differentiating detail between this shirt and the rest of Hank’s wardrobe are the two flapped pockets on the chest, each designed to close with a single button.

Aside from the pocket flaps, Hank largely ignores the buttons on his shirt, both on the cuffs and the narrow front placket, keeping only the lowest two buttoned on the latter during his late night shopping trip. For the shirt’s earlier appearance, Hank wears it more modestly as he’s with his young daughter, wearing all but the top two buttons fastened.

A good dad like Hank knows perfectly well that your 12-year-old daughter doesn't want to be seen in public with Hasselhoff.

A good dad like Hank knows perfectly well that your 12-year-old daughter doesn’t want to be seen in public with Hasselhoff.

With the shirt, Hank wears a pair of very dark blue jeans, likely made by Earnest Sewn, and his black and white Nike Cortez shoes, found on Amazon. Underneath it all are his usual black boxer briefs and black socks.

His black leather studded wrist strap is present with its companions, the thin black leather braided bracelet and the silver ring on his right index finger. He wears his Izod 725 sunglasses the entire time, only taking them off when it appears he’ll be scoring with “Surfer Girl”. (In this sense, Hank’s sunglasses are much like Burt Reynolds’ cowboy hat in Smokey and the Bandit.)

Go Big or Go Home

These two scenes serve as a fine primer for the strange balance of Hank Moody’s lifestyle:

  1. Hank helps his beloved daughter by lending her some adult-like advice, providing examples of his own unrequited love and wisdom from Bob Dylan.
  2. Hank goes shopping late at night with cigarette and sunglasses dangling, taking an open bottle of Scotch to the mouth. This nonchalant trip results in going home and getting high with a PYT he just met and “rescued”.
If you know anything about this show, you know Hank isn't going to ignore what's happening behind him.

If you know anything about this show, you know Hank isn’t going to ignore what’s happening behind him.

Both scenes, of course, are laced with references to 70s rock as Hank quotes Bob Dylan’s “If You See Her, Say Hello” from Blood on the Tracks while consoling Becca after a heartbreak and uses Ozzy Osborne’s “Suicide Solution” lyrics to help a young woman in need make some shopping choices easier. When Hank naturally escorts the young lady home, they listen to Gus Black’s cover of “Paranoid” while lighting up.

See? What'd I tell you?

See? What’d I tell you?

If you’re looking for some consumables here, he smokes Camel Lights and drinks single malt Scotch during the whole thing. I’d love to be more detailed about the Scotch brand, but—by this time—the show was using labels of “Glen Deville”, a fictional prop brand that can be seen across other productions, including the 2001 film Blow.

How to Get the Look

David Duchovny as Hank Moody on Californication (Episode 1.06: "Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder")

David Duchovny as Hank Moody on Californication (Episode 1.06: “Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder”)

This is a rare look for Hank Moody at a point when the show was still trying to establish its protagonist’s style. The flapped-pocket shirt is a nice break from the other dark button-ups that would become his trademark, and it’s a shame that it’s sole (or dual) appearance finds it worn so insouciantly.

  • Charcoal-blue cotton flannel work shirt with black buttons on a narrow front placket, two button-flapped breast pockets, unbuttoned barrel cuffs, and swelled seams
  • Dark blue denim jeans
  • Black-and-white Nike Cortez tennis shoes
  • Black socks
  • Izod 725 sunglasses with brown lenses
  • Silver ring with two ridged bands, worn on the right index finger
  • Black leather bracelet with silver hexagonal and round studs, worn on the left wrist
  • Thin black braided leather bracelet, also worn on the left wrist

Looking for Hank’s bracelets? Check out Urban Wrist.

Do Yourself a Favor and…

Check out the first season.

The Quote

I mention above that Hank “rescues” the young lady in need at the liquor store. In fact, he steps in with some cash when it appears she has insufficient funds. What’s his rescue line?

Unless you got some ‘fuck you’ money stashed up your who-zee-what’s-it, you’re shit out of places to look.

Footnotes

And we’re back to Casual Friday. Do any of you have weekend plans that’d make Hank Moody envious?

Have a good weekend.

Have a good weekend.

4 comments

  1. Pingback: Hank Moody at the Gym | BAMF Style
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