I apologize for the recent delay in blog posts; I sustained a concussion on Sunday evening, and both the idea and action of looking at a computer screen are quite headache-inducing. Luckily for me, my wise and fast-acting girlfriend was present to drive me to an emergency room and ensure that my already gin-damaged brain would continue to operate. Keeping this in mind (pun), I donned a pair of my darkest sunglasses and set to work in brief increments to bring you…
George Clooney as Jack (aka “Edward”), American hitman-in-hiding
Dalarna, Sweden, April 2010
Film: The American
Release Date: September 1, 2010
Director: Anton Corbijn
Costume Designer: Suttirat Anne Larlarb
The opening of The American finds our titular protagonist hiding out in Dalarna in central Sweden with the lovely Ingrid. Although his Syriana days are long behind him, Clooney sports a salt-and-pepper beard to let us know right away that he has been out of action for sometime. For anyone familiar with the film due to its marketing campaign or regular ol’ smarts, this “action” is contract killing.
Unlike The Bourne Legacy, where the hero is just setting out on his journey in the snowy wilderness, Jack believes he has reached the end of his. A sniper who trained at the Imperial Stormtrooper School of Gunfight Accuracy pulls Jack out of his funk, and Jack quickly puts the sniper down. Unfortunately, Ingrid witnessed this case of badassery and thus is quickly eliminated by Jack also. He flees to Rome to get to the bottom of everything and begins a quiet and viscerally-appealing story that combines the aesthetics of ’60s James Bond with the realism and paranoia of ’70s thrillers against the stunning backdrop of rural Italy.
What’d He Wear?
Not expecting action but always ready for it, Jack’s dark winter attire presents a stark contrast against the white snowy landscape of central Sweden. While going out for a walk with Ingrid, he dons a brown winter jacket, almost definitely from Ermenegildo Zegna, the Italian luxury fashion house that well-publicized its connection to Clooney and the film.
Constructed of insulated waterproof-treated micro-suede, Jack’s heavy brown Zegna down jacket would work well in any cold climate. It has dual fastening down the front with a zipper reinforced by six plastic buttons. Jack zips up to his upper chest and buttons the third, fourth, and fifth buttons, providing a warm and secure fit that still allows him the necessary range of motion.
The jacket has four external pockets. There is one zippered vertical pocket on each side of the chest. Unlike some winter outerwear, these are not crossover pockets; the right pocket is meant for the right hand to access, and the left pocket is meant for the left hand. Below those are two large square patch pockets on the hips, which fasten with two buttons on each side of the flap. These patch pockets also have a small grommet on the inner bottom corner. Jack keeps his handy Walther PPK in the right hip pocket for easy access when coming under sniper fire.
The jacket’s sleeves have a single half-strap on each cuff that closes with a button. The button appears to be more for fashion than function, as there is only one on each cuff.
Under his jacket, Jack wears a thick chocolate brown ribbed wool sweater with a full-zip front, similar to the more lightweight version he wears in the rest of the film. Underneath that, he appears to wear a black crew neck long-sleeved shirt with a zippered chest, zipped up to the neck.
Jack’s trousers are also rich dark brown, like his sweater, and appear to be constructed of a softer material like corduroy. While corduroy may not be most men’s first choice for activewear in the snow, they certainly are a warmer alternative to the usual wool or even flannel. The trousers have rear patch pockets and plain-hemmed straight bottoms, worn outside of his boots.
On that note, Jack wears a pair of black leather weatherproof laced combat boots with heavy soles.
Though he doesn’t wear gloves or a scarf, Jack does wear a black knit winter cap, also known as a “beanie” by the sort of people who would call it that.
Jack continues the black and brown mixing (as sartorial traditionalists shriek in horror!) to his undershirt, a sleeveless black ribbed A-shirt that appears to be his undergarment of choice throughout the film.
Jack’s watch, a stainless Omega Speedmaster Professional with a black dial and black calfskin strap, is hardly seen at all here. He should be commended for protecting his Omega from the elements, but it’s a shame that watch aficionados don’t get to see it during these opening scenes.
Jack provides a smart and warm winter look for fashion-minded men heading out into the snow. It’s none too flashy (quite the opposite, actually), but it’s efficient and comfortable.
- Brown waterproof micro-suede winter down jacket with 6-button/zip front, vertical zip chest pockets, button-fastened flapped patch pockets, button-fastened cuff straps
- Dark brown ribbed wool full-zip sweater with elasticized cuffs
- Black long-sleeve shirt with quarter-zip chest
- Dark brown corduroy trousers with patch rear pockets and plain-hemmed bottoms
- Black ribbed sleeveless undershirt
- Black leather combat boots with black laces and heavy soles
- Black knit cap
- Omega Speedmaster Professional stainless wristwatch on a black calfskin strap
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Buy the movie.