George Clooney as Jack (aka “Edward”), weary paid assassin/hitman and gunsmith
Rome, April 2010
Film: The American
Release Date: September 1, 2010
Director: Anton Corbijn
Costume Designer: Suttirat Anne Larlarb
George Clooney is the titular hitman in The American, a 2010 film directed by Anton Corbijn based on Martin Booth’s novel A Very Private Gentleman. Though he’d played gun-wielding badasses before, The American was the first role placing Clooney in the now mythic film profession of paid assassin. (Syriana doesn’t count since that was more of a CIA gig…)
Humorously enough given the actor’s politics, Clooney’s character is also a knowledgeable gunsmith who is able to sneak around an old garage and find enough parts to modify a Ruger Mini-14 rifle (not an “M14” as the film calls it) for an assassination.
However, I’m getting ahead of myself. The film opens with Clooney holed up—not unexpectedly—with an attractive woman in Sweden. There is some gunplay, and I won’t give anything away, but he ends up heading for Italy, hopping on a train to Rome.
What’d He Wear?
Clooney steps off the train at Rome’s Termini Train Station looking very cool and comfortable, which is ideal for traveling, isn’t it? The look is mostly brown, with just enough gray peppered in to keep things from getting too monochromatic. Additional gray comes from Clooney’s hair, which has more dignified silver than we’re used to seeing.
Given that he’s coming from a chilly place like Sweden in April, Clooney’s character Jack (or Edward, if you will) wears several practical and easily removable layers for his journey. The top layer is a dark brown overcoat that extends down to his mid-thigh. At first, it looks like the coat is worn with a sport jacket underneath, but the extra set of lapels are actually from the coat’s gray lining. This is known as a “double coat”, and it means exactly what it sounds like.
The heavyweight coat has natural shoulders and notch lapels that roll down to a 2-button front. The front darts extend down each side to the flapped hip pockets. There is also a ticket pocket on the right side of the coat.
Underneath, Clooney wears a dark brown herringbone half-neck zipped cardigan sweater. Unlike “half-zip” or “quarter-zip” sweaters, like the rusty orange one worn by Matt Damon in The Bourne Identity, this zips all the way down and can be worn open like a jacket. The sweater cuffs are elasticized to fit snugly but comfortably around each wrist. He also wears this in plenty of later scenes, so I don’t want to ruin any fun by talking about it too m much now.
Underneath the sweater, Jack/Edward/George Clooney wears a short-sleeve heathered gray t-shirt. Since Zegna provided a lot of the wardrobe, it probably costs about $250, so just go find yourself a nice one at Nordstrom for $7, and you’ll be fine.
The trousers are only seen in long shots, but they’re definitely dark brown with flat fronts and plain-hemmed bottoms. If later scenes are any indication, they’re likely worn with a brown belt. Based on the rest of this outfit, I don’t think that’s too much of a gamble to say.
Jack also wears a pair of well-traveled brown leather hiking boots. They have four eyelets for the laces and two additional hooks, which Jack seems to ignore in some scenes, tying the boots lower on his feet.
Jack’s watch is a classic Omega Speedmaster Professional. It has a stainless round case worn on a black crocodile strap. The black face has three sub-dials at 3:00, 6:00, and 9:00. We get a view of it while Clooney is driving from Rome to Castel del Monte, but it is best seen later while he is gunsmithing and test-shooting. Clooney is a fan of Omegas in real life, having recently worn a De Ville Hour Vision to the premiere of Gravity.
Another brand often associated with Clooney is Persol, and he doesn’t let them down here either. For his arrival in Rome and drive to Castel del Monte, he wears a pair of Persol PO2883-S sunglasses with tortoiseshell “Havana” frames and chrystal gray green lenses, color code 24/31 if you’re interested. Like I said earlier, Ermenegildo Zegna provided a ton of costumes for him in this, so he later switches from the Persols to a pair of Zegna’s SZ3174 sunglasses.
Go Big or Go Home
When traveling abroad, especially in Europe—and especially in Italy, the last thing you want to do is look like a tourist. (Well, second to last… the last thing you probably want to do is get thrown in prison.)
Clooney’s Jack manages to avoid a touristy look, even though he is clearly an outsider in the small Italian village. His dress is simple but fashionable—no bulky hoodies, no fishing hats, and no goddamn fanny packs. He quickly assimilates into the culture, drinking Montepulciano d’Abruzzo—a favorite red DOC of mine. It is also very regionally correct, since Jack is in Abruzzo and “when in
He also appropriately drinks a Caffè Americano, which is just hot water added to espresso. The Clooney-espresso caused me to chuckle after I remembered this commercial from one of my advertising classes in college where Clooney overhears two women discussing the intense, rich coffee they are drinking and mistakes the subject of their conversation to be him. Anyone else remember these ads?
How to Get the Look
Clooney makes the most of layering with a functional brown and gray motif. I bet you could do the same if you tried hard enough.
- Dark brown thigh-length single-breasted “double coat” with gray lining, notch lapels, 2-button front, flapped hip pockets, and ticket pocket
- Dark brown zip-up cardigan sweater with elasticized cuffs
- Heathered gray short-sleeve t-shirt
- Dark brown casual flat front trousers with plain-hemmed bottoms
- Dark brown laced hiking boots
- Persol PO2883-S sunglasses with “Havana” tortoiseshell frames and chrystal gray green lenses (color code 24/31)
- Omega Speedmaster Professional wristwatch on a black crocodile strap
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Check out the movie.