The Newsroom: Will McAvoy’s Tan Cotton Sportcoat
Jeff Daniels as Will McAvoy, crusading TV news anchor and managing editor
New York City, Summer 2011
Series: The Newsroom
* “The Blackout Part I: Tragedy Porn” (Episode 1.08, aired August 12, 2012, dir. Lesli Linka Glatter)
* “The Blackout Part II: Mock Debate” (Episode 1.09, aired August 19, 2012, dir. Alan Poul)
* “The Greater Fool” (Episode 1.10, aired August 26, 2012, dir. Greg Mottola)
Costume Designer: Hope Hanafin
The final three episodes of Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom find Will McAvoy in the midst of a rough summer. McAvoy is a brillianter-than-thou TV news journalist who had enjoyed popularity for years before he was reinvigorated to “do the news” right. This personal mission of his is equally inspired, bolstered, and hindered by his idealistic and talented executive producer Mackenzie MacHale (Emily Mortimer)… whom he also used to date before a messy breakup marred by some Paul Schneider-induced infidelity.
More than a year after McAvoy reinvented his news program to the chagrin of his ratings-hungry corporate overlords, he sells his soul to save the show’s popularity by focusing on the Casey Anthony trial rather than the more relevant news in the world. No wonder he needs therapy.
What’d He Wear?
A man of considerable vanity, Will McAvoy isn’t going to let summer heat get in the way of his fashion sense. Will finds a comfortable way to dress up his casual summer attire by donning a loosely-structured tan cotton sport coat with his usual button-up shirt and dark jeans.
Will’s tan jacket has a single-breasted 3-button front with notch lapels. The left lapel has a non-functioning diagonal slit serving as a decorative “buttonhole”. Edge stitching is present on all of the jacket seams from the notch lapels to the pockets. The breast pocket is a rounded patch, and the hip pockets are flapped. The 3-button cuffs match the same dark brown buttons on the front.
The jacket has a naturally loose and cooling fit due to its lack of structure, enhanced by the natural shoulders and rear vent. It is unlined with a pen pocket and flapped inside pocket on the left.
Will always wears this jacket with a pair of dark brown cotton jeans. These are more subtle than the usual denim jeans and thus more passable as a dressier pant. They still have the same features as standard jeans: belt loops and the five-pocket layout (two slanted front pockets, coin pocket on the right, and two rear patch pockets) with rivets along the seam joints.
Will’s brown leather belt is a lighter shade of brown than his jeans. It fastens in the front through a rectangular steel single-claw buckle. This belt and jeans combination seems to be a particular favorite among Will’s first season casual wear.
Will first wears this jacket in “The Blackout Part I: Tragedy Porn” with a dark royal blue casual shirt. This shirt has a soft slim collar with dark buttons down the plain front. Underneath the buttons is a strip of four broken pale blue stripes, concealed when the shirt is buttoned although the top of the stripes are revealed as Will doesn’t button the collar.
This royal blue shirt, which also has no pockets, makes another appearance two episodes later in the season finale, “The Greater Fool”. Based on the way the shirt wrinkles, it appears to be made at least partially of linen, perhaps a linen-cotton blend.
In the next episode, Will brings out a white multi-stripe shirt that he’d also worn in a few previous episodes with a blue sweater and jeans. The stripes are best described as double sets of brown and light blue vertical stripes that criss-cross on the inner collar and cuffs for a crooked check pattern.
This cotton shirt is structured more like a traditional dress shirt and features a large point collar, breast pocket, and plain front with mother-of-pearl buttons. Interestingly, Will buttons the mitred cuffs but leaves the gauntlets unbuttoned. Although this shirt appears in other episodes, he only wears it with the tan cotton sport coat in “The Blackout Part II: Mock Debate”.
Will shows up in the “News Night 2.0” studio during the season finale, “The Greater Fool”, wearing another dark blue shirt with the tan sport coat and brown jeans, except this shirt has muted blue and brown stripes. It is similarly styled to his first shirt with its soft collar, plain front, button cuffs, and no pockets.
In case you haven’t caught on, Will’s casual wardrobe tends to be a happy mix of browns and blues. Since he wears a brown belt, a fashion horse like Will follows the rules and also wears brown leather shoes – in this case a pair of pointed-toe penny loafers. Although we barely see them in these episodes, he usually wears a pair of brown dress socks with these shoes and jeans.
Will’s wristwatch has been identified as a Breguet Classique in white gold on a black alligator strap.
It’s likely the Classique 5157BB/11/9V6 which boasts a “silvered gold dial, hand-engraved on a rose engine” with a 38mm sapphire-backed case according to the Breguet site.
How to Get the Look
Will McAvoy gives us a sophisticated way to dress down for the summer while still looking professional enough for an office gig.
- Tan cotton unstructured single-breasted sport coat with notch lapels, 3-button front, patch pocket, flapped hip pockets, 3-button cuffs, and single rear vent
- Royal blue linen-cotton blend shirt with soft collar, plain front, and button cuffs
- Dark brown cotton jeans
- Brown leather belt with rectangular steel single-claw buckle
- Brown leather pointed-toe penny loafers
- Brown dress socks
- Breguet Classique 5157 white gold 38mm case wristwatch with a silvered gold dial on black alligator leather strap
If you want a spot of color or some variety, Will would certainly approve of a striped shirt… as long as those stripes connect with other colors in the outfit.
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Buy the first season, or just check out the whole series.
I’m not crazy about being interviewed in print. Print journalists play it fast and loose with exclamation points. “I love the news” becomes “I love the news!” Suddenly, I’m deranged.
Thank you so much for this website and these posts: I’m learning to make more detailed observations of outfits and to “know what I’m seeing”, learning more about what works and what does not.
Thanks for the kind words! I’ve noticed the same thing as I write it. I started it about three years ago with much interest but little actual knowledge.
The trick is knowing what the rules are… then finding your own way to break them and still look good. For example, Daniel Craig often wears a black belt and brown shoes with his casual wear in his recent Bond films. It’s not that Craig and his costumers don’t know about the rule against it; on the contrary, they’re fashionable enough to find a way to make it out without looking slipshod.
We need to see more posts from Jeff Daniels style in Newsroom @Luckystrike721 .Thanks.