Sorry this one took me long, fellas. I had planned to have it up by Tuesday (timed for the “polar vortex” ooooh…) but it’s a long-ass movie with a lot of clothes. However, this should still be pretty well-timed for anyone in North America dealing with record low temperatures this winter.
Daniel Craig as Mikael Blomkvist, disgraced Swedish investigative journalist
Hedestad, Sweden, Winter 2006
Film: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Release Date: December 20, 2011
Director: David Fincher
Costume Designer: Trish Summerville
This isn’t one of those movies you pop in just for a laugh on a summer day or to fall asleep to. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a very dark (both thematically and literally) film that’ll stick with you for days after watching. It’s long – closer to 3 hours than 2 – but the fast-paced, heart-racing sequences and the stellar acting, particularly from leads Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, make the time fly.
Craig plays Mikael Blomkvist, a journalist in some hot water after his investigation into a corrupt businessman resulted in a libel case. He is mysteriously called to the home of Henrik Vanger (the always excellent and debonair Christopher Plummer) and thrown into a dark investigation of a forty-year-old murder.
Craig does a nice job not reminding the audiences that he is James Bond. Although not a slob, his Mikael is much less appearance-driven than Bond and certainly much less of an action hero. He isn’t an anti-hero, as he is always driven by his desire to do the right thing although he often takes it too far and gets himself in trouble.
As I said, it was a very dark movie, thus most – if not all – of the images I captured had to be brightened to use here. Of course, this was David Fincher so I wouldn’t expect anything less.
What’d He Wear?
He wears a few dark suits in the beginning, which I’ll cover at some point, but Mikael spends most of the film in various layered sweaters and vests, almost always worn with an outer coat, a pair of jeans, and dark leather boots.
Since the film takes place over the course of a year (although I guess most of the action is relegated to the first few months of 2006), Mikael is seen often wearing the same clothing, but paired differently. Unlike most movies, this is a very realistic depiction of a person’s wardrobe. James Bond probably goes away for the week-long mission with six business suits, two dinner suits, and eighteen shirts, all meant to be worn once. With Mikael’s outfits, we see plenty of repetition, but it is always in different combinations depending on the weather, situation, and – likely – his laundry cycle.
A lot of help came from commenters like Brandon L., Craig Richards, Roman, and JM88. Brandon directed me to this Ask Ugeta link to answer a lot of questions about clothing brands in the film.
Thus, I think the most practical way to present the attire is to list it all out, presented in the order of its appearance, then to describe each combo by the situation.
Mikael wears two winter coats while in Hedestad, one for more formal occasions and the other a more casual winter coat:
- A dark charcoal single-breasted 3-button wool overcoat with notch lapels, a welted breast pocket, flapped hip pockets, 3-button cuffs, and a large rear single vent.
- A gray wool down jacket with a zip front with a 5-snap placket, a 2-snap standing collar, a snap-flapped breast pocket, zip slash side pockets, tightly elasticized cuffs to keep out snow and weather, and a snap under the rear collar. This jacket is the Moncler “Cezanne” model, which is unfortunately out of production. Brandon sent me this photo of the jacket, which shows a brand logo on the breast pocket which was evidently removed for the film.
Underneath his winter coats, Mikael typically wears either a cardigan sweater or a sport coat. His sport coats consist of:
- A gray single-breasted sport coat with small-notched lapels, 2-button front, welted breast pocket, jetted hip pockets, and 4-button cuffs. The natural shoulders have roped sleeveheads.
- A black unstructured single-breasted blazer with cran necker-style lapels, a 2-button front, a breast pocket, flapped hip pockets, and unfastened surgeon’s cuffs.
- A chunky dark charcoal ribbed cardigan sweater with a low button stance and large shawl lapels. It just looks like a charcoal gray in the film, but some production photos (including the one at the top of this post) give the sweater a blue-ish tint. Not as blue as the scarf, but a shade darker than his jeans. It likely is a dark charcoal blue, but it appears grayer in the film, so you can be your own judge there. It was made by Maison Martin Margiela.
- A very dark gray cashmere v-neck long-sleeve pullover sweater with horizontally-pleated shoulders and pleats down each arm to elasticized cuffs.
- A gray cashmere cardigan sweater with shawl lapels and ribbed/elasticized cuffs. It has a knit pattern that slightly resembles that of a fisherman’s sweater.
- A charcoal merino wool cardigan sweater with shawl lapels and a high 5-button stance. This isn’t seen until later in the film, but it is noticably thinner than the chunky sweater and has a higher button stance. The Ask Ugeta article mentions a Tom Ford cardigan being worn; as this resembles the black Tom Ford cardigan in Quantum of Solace, it is likely this one.
Mikael also shows a fondness for vests. Since Daniel Craig is British, though, he would probably call them waistcoats. Whatever you call them, they are:
- A gray pick-and-pick (or “sharkskin”) vest with a 6-button front, two welted lower pockets, and a notched bottom. The buttons are black, and Mikael usually leaves the bottom button unfastened.
- A dark charcoal flannel vest with a 5-button front and a notched bottom. The buttons here are also black, and Mikael indeed leaves the bottom button unfastened.
- A light gray vest with 7 black buttons down the front to a notched bottom. There are four welted pockets – two chest and two lower – and Mikael continues to leave his bottom button undone.
Most of Mikael’s shirts are very Columbo-esque wrinkled button-down shirts, including:
- A light gray button-down casual shirt with a narrow double-buttoned collar, button-flapped breast pocket, thin front placket with white buttons, and buttoned barrel cuffs.
- A black soft button-down shirt with black buttons. This appears to be a different fabric and style than the wrinkled utility-style shirts.
- A black button-down shirt with white buttons on the front placket.
- A light blue button-down casual shirt with a narrow double-buttoned collar, button-flapped breast pocket, thin front placket with white buttons, and buttoned barrel cuffs.
- A dark blue (with a green plaid check) long-sleeve button-down shirt with white buttons. The cuffs and gauntlets both have buttons, but Mikael only fastens the gauntlet buttons.
A few commenters have pointed out that most of Craig’s shirts in the film are lightweight cotton poplin work shirts made by the American company Save Khaki United. Although the shirts offered during the filming are no longer available, the site still has very similar and very cool shirts that Mikael would wear. Thanks to Craig Richards and JM88 for pointing this out! The shirts are featured in a Youtube video by David Zarinsky of The Z Lifestyle.
The company also offers t-shirts and cardigan sweaters very similar to the one worn by Dan in the flick.
Mikael wears both t-shirts and henleys as undershirts:
- A blue henley with four shiny black buttons.
- A medium-gray short-sleeve t-shirt.
- A plain white short-sleeve t-shirt.
- A gray long-sleeve henley with four white buttons.
- A dark blue long-sleeve thermal henley with three dark blue buttons.
Mikael has a preference for jeans, although he sports a pair of casual trousers from time to time. The belt situation varies, but when he wears one it is a dark brown leather belt with a dulled silver rectangular clasp. His pants include:
- Dark blue wash straight-cut denim jeans, made by Scotch & Soda in their “Ralston” slim cut. (According to this link and a briefly-seen logo during the climax.) The bottoms are usually cuffed a little bit.
- Dark gray flat front casual trousers with plain-hemmed bottoms and jeans-style 5-pocket layout.
Mikael wears laced leather boots, a wise choice for stomping around in the snowy winters of Sweden. He has at least two pairs in black and brown. According to the Ask Ugeta link above:
[Mikael] also had a great pair of carmel color boots he wore a lot that I also loved; they were like an ankle oxford. These were by Crockett & Jones which you can get at Barneys, or if you’re in NYC or London they have their own stores. He also wore a black leather round toe lace up ankle boot by Fiorentini & Baker and a grey suede lace up boot by Costume National.
Things might look pretty repetitive here, so if you’re looking for a scene in particular, scroll ’til you find it. I wanted to be thorough here, but that can also mean boring. Hopefully the screenshots will liven things up a bit. Here we go!
When he first meets with Henrik in Hedestad, around Christmas 2005, he wears the charcoal overcoat over the gray sport coat, light gray button-down shirt, gray pick-and-pick vest, dark wash jeans with a belt, and black leather boots. He accessorizes (and keeps himself warm) with a thick charcoal blue and gray striped wool scarf, worn in most of his outdoor scenes in Hedestad. He wears his Omega watch and his Mykita acetate glasses, both of which I will discuss at the bottom of this section.
After meeting with Henrik, Mikael goes back to the Millennium magazine office and sees Erika. Not much is seen below the waist here, but he definitely wears the chunky charcoal cardigan and the first blue henley.
Mikael returns to Hedestad, this time to stay for the investigation. He alights from the train wearing his gray wool down jacket, the striped wool scarf, his dark jeans, black leather boots, and – naturally for Dan – his Omega watch. We don’t see anything under the coat since the next scene is him in his pajamas, but we do see an additional outerwear accessory: a dark gray tobbogan (“beanie”) hat. Interestingly, it is this cold with him wearing a hat, scarf, and insulated winter coat, but he wears no gloves? Is this just a Swedish thing or what?
The next day, Mikael meets with Henrik. It is just as cold as the previous day, but he wears his more formal charcoal overcoat with the charcoal blue and gray striped scarf.
Mikael returns to his computer to get some invetsigating done. He wears the chunky charcoal cardigan, a gray t-shirt, and the charcoal flannel vest. He is also sporting his Mykita acetate glasses.
When Mikael meets with retired detective Morrell, he wears the charcoal overcoat, his light gray button-down shirt, and his dark jeans. He again wears his Omega watch and the Mykita glasses. There is a newly seen item here, a dark gray cashmere v-neck sweater. He only wears it in this scene and towards the end when talking to Erika.
For dinner with Martin Vanger and his wife, Mikael wears his dark overcoat and scarf when outside. His dinner attire is a black unstructured blazer, the light gray button-down shirt, dark wash jeans, and dark brown laced boots.
Soon after, Mikael is talking to another Vanger when Cecilia stops by his shack. For this visit, he wears the dark charcoal cardigan, a black long-sleeve button-down shirt, a gray t-shirt, dark wash jeans, and his Mykita glasses.
Evidently in a mood to keep talking to the Vanger kids, Mikael heads off to see Anita via plane. For the plane ride, he wears a soft gray cashmere cardigan sweater, a light gray button-down, and a light gray t-shirt, all paired with the gray pick-and-pick vest, dark wash jeans, and black leather boots. His trusty Omega is on his left wrist, and he also whips out his Mykita glasses from time to time. When he steps off the plane and goes to see Anita, he is wearing his charcoal overcoat and the striped scarf.
When he gets back to Hedestad, Erika visits him. He is wearing his Moncler gray down jacket, the dark gray toboggan, the charcoal blue and gray striped scarf, and the same gray cashmere sweater and light gray t-shirt from his trip to see Anita. He is wearing a black button-down shirt, this one with white buttons, and a dark gray pair of flat front trousers, perhaps feeling more formal with his main squeeze in town.
Mikael the photographer treks into the city to document some of the locations where Harriet had spent her last known day. The photo at the top of this post is a production still from this scene. Mikael is wearing his chunky dark charcoal cardigan, the charcoal blue and gray striped scarf, the charcoal flannel vest, dark blue denim jeans, and black leather boots. His shirt is a light blue version of the light gray button-down casual shrit he’s worn so much of in the film. Naturally, he also wears his Mykita glasses.
Mikael’s daughter comes to visit him after his adventure in the city. After she leaves, Mikael knocks back some Cragganmore with Dirch Frode. During this whole sequence, he wears the chunky dark charcoal cardigan, a light gray t-shirt, dark wash jeans, and black leather boots. He wears a light gray vest under the cardigan, but it is lighter than his pick-and-pick vest and has 7 black buttons as opposed to 6. He also wears his Mykita glasses and Omega watch. When outside, his outerwear is the gray wool Moncler down jacket, his dark gray toboggan, and the charcoal blue and gray striped scarf.
After Mikael discovers that Lisbeth Salander has been investigating him, he goes into Dragan “Serbian Guy from ER” Armansky’s office wearing the dark charcoal cardigan, the charcoal flannel vest, dark jeans, and the light blue casual button-down shirt.
When he finally goes to meet Lisbeth Salander for a memorable scene in her apartment, he wears the black unstructured blazer from his dinner with Martin, paired with a gray scarf, the light gray 7-button vest, dark jeans worn with a dark brown leather belt, and a black long-sleeve button-down shirt with white buttons.
Mikael heads back alone to the Vangers’ island, wearing his dark charcoal overcoat, light blue wrinkled button-down shirt, a white t-shirt, the light gray 7-button vest, and dark jeans, again with the dark brown leather belt. Black leather boots appear to be his footwear of choice here.
In mid-April 2006, Henrik is hospitalized and Salander finally arrives to help Mikael with the investigation. He heads to the hospital to visit the family in his gray cashmere cardigan, a medium gray t-shirt, his dark charcoal overcoat, and the charcoal blue and gray striped scarf.
Mikael runs some mostly photo-related errands wearing his dark charcoal cardigan, gray pick-and-pick vest, and dark wash jeans. The new item here is a gray long-sleeve henley. The standard items here are the Mykita eyeglasses and his black and stainless Omega watch.
The action really starts picking up when Mikael is shot at! For this, he wears a newly-seen thin charcoal cardigan (not the chunky one!) with the light gray t-shirt, dark jeans, and black leather boots.
The next day, Mikael goes to meet Martin and Frode at the Vanger office. His outerwear is the charcoal overcoat, dark gray tobbogan, and the charcoal blue and gray scarf. Inside the office, he sheds his layers and wears the gray cashmere sweater, black casual button-down with white buttons, medium gray t-shirt, dark blue jeans, and black laced leather boots.
After this, we get to the climatic day as Mikael faces off against the film’s big villain! If you want a spoiler, highlight this: Martin Vanger. If you didn’t want a spoiler, I hope you didn’t highlight that…
In this sequence, Mikael wears his dark charcoal overcoat. Since it’s getting slightly warmer, probably around late April or early May around this time, he isn’t wearing a sweater or a vest. Instead, he layers a dark blue long-sleeve button-down shirt with a green plaid check over a dark blue thermal henley. He wears his dark blue Scotch & Soda jeans without a belt as well as his brown boots and Mykita acetate glasses.
Chances are, it’s gonna be tough for me to avoid spoilers here, so read with caution if you haven’t seen the film. Mikael (he lives, yay!) takes a return flight to Anita wearing a gray-ish unstructured overcoat with peak lapels and surgeon’s cuffs. I can’t tell much about this coat, as it’s only seen in one shot, so fuck that coat. He also wears a black long-sleeve casual button-down shirt with black buttons.
When he goes to confront Anita with the truth, he shows up on her doorstep at night wearing a newly-seen scarf. The scarf looks like it is gray cashmere with a dark gray and blue check. The jacket is his dark charcoal overcoat, paired with dark wash jeans and he is wearing a a pair of brown leather laced calfskin split-toe medallion bluchers. The confusion doesn’t end for me when he is seen talking to Anita in the park. Here, it looks like he wearing a black windbreaker with upturned collars.
However, some production photos exist of him wearing the brown shoes with a black peacoat and gray scarf. Can anyone shed light on this? By this point, I’d been screencapping the film for about four hours, so I may not have been thinking straight as I took notes.
For Henrik’s reuniting with Anita/Harriet, things finally get back to normal for me sartorially as Mikael wears his thin charcoal cardigan, light blue wrinkled shirt, long-sleeve gray henley, gray casual trousers, and Omega watch.
Later, possibly around June 2006, Mikael is talking to Erika. He wears the light blue wrinkled shirt under the dark pleated-shoulder sweater worn for the Morrell interview. He appears to also have a thin dark-colored cardigan over this whole affair. Mikael’s accessories here are his loyal Mykita glasses and Omega watch. A production photo shows that he is also wearing his dark jeans.
Finally, around Christmas 2006, Mikael is watching the news with the Millennium staff. He is wearing his gray cashmere cardigan, the light gray 7-button vest, the black button-down shirt with white buttons, dark gray casual trousers, black laced boots, and his Mykita glasses, which dangle from his face.
Well, that was an adventure.
Mikael has three accessories that he wears nearly all the time. One, which he is never seen without, is a silver pendant on a thin silver chain throughout the film. I don’t know the significance of this, and I have yet to actually read the books (I know, I know!) so I don’t know if it were mentioned there.’
Since Dan Craig is an Omega man, his watch in the film is an Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Chronometer 188.8.131.52.06.001. It has a 38.5 mm round stainless steel case, a teak-gray dial with a domed scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and a black leather strap. If you’re interested, check out Omega’s site and see what you can get.
Mikael also wears a very cool set of eyeglasses, a pair of Mykita Collection No. 2 “Helmut” acetate eyeglasses with brown tortoiseshell (“Peridot”) frames.
Just for shits and giggles, and since he spends a good bit of time in them, let’s quickly talk about Mikael’s pajamas. He wears a set of dark red and blue flannel pajamas with a button-down top and elastic-waisted bottoms. Since it’s cold as heck, he wears light gray wool socks and almost always has an undershirt, whether it’s a dark blue henley or a gray t-shirt. He often wears his dark charcoal cardigan over the pajamas, even sleeping in it. For pajama investigations, he puts on the Mykita glasses, and when he has to step outside, he wears a pair of black leather boots with orange lining.
Go Big or Go Home
For a badass movie that takes no prisoners, Mikael is a pretty mild-tempered character. He is more like Daniel Craig’s pragmatic gun-hating drug dealer from Layer Cake than James Bond and is very dedicated to his work and doing a good job. While this may land him in hot water when he goes too far, it also endears him to women and friends.
Speaking of badass, the title sequence immediately sets the stage for the disturbing film, with a rendition of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails and vocals from Karen O. of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
The Product Placement Gods have also made it very easy to replicate Mikael’s style. In addition to the clothes above, you can nab a 2nd generation Apple MacBook Pro and hook it up to a Lacie d2 Quadra external hard drive and an Epson Stylus Office BX320FW printer and – voila! – you’ll be able to solve forty-year-old murders!
He also smokes Marlboro Reds, but the Philip Morris folks frown on product placement and probably aren’t too crazy about his habit of buying a pack just to smoke one cigarette and toss the rest away.
Was anyone else surprised by all the Apple product placement in a Sony movie? Sure, they gave Mikael (and Lisbeth) a Sony Ericsson Cybershot phone and a black flat screen Sony TV, but using an Apple computer was a pretty big surprise. If you’re gonna fill your cabinet like Mikael, have some nutella and Felix Rårörda Lingon jam on hand. Now when it comes to booze…
What to Imbibe
Mikael himself keeps Cragganmore 12-Year-Old single malt Scotch whisky in his home on the Vanger grounds, drinking it neat when Dirch Frode visits.
When he heads to Martin’s household, first for a social visit, he drinks a glass of Château Clinet red wine from Pomerol with Martin and his wife.
When he returns a few months later, for a decidedly more sinister visit, he is offered a glass of Mackmyra Brukswhisky, a very appropriately-placed Swedish single malt whisky. Due to the bottle, many people mistake this for Bruichladdich (which is also awesome), but it is indeed Mackmyra.
Mikael also chugs vodka when he needs it, pouring two mini-bottles for a double vodka on the plane and drinking straight from the bottle after he is shot at.
Thanks to blog commenter Roman, who has identified the “bathtub” vodka as the Swedish brand Vanlig, which I was unfamiliar with before this post. The mini-bottles on the plane are likely Absolut, another Swedish brand to keep things regionally accurate.
How to Get the Look
This is pretty much what I did up there. Go up and read it again if you wanna look like Mikael so badly.
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Buy the film.
The last time I reported on something without being absolutely sure I lost my life savings.