Justified – Raylan’s Black 1-Button Suit
Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens, old school Deputy U.S. Marshal
Harlan County, Kentucky, Spring 2010
– “Fixer” (Episode 1.03, Director: Fred Keller, Air Date: March 30, 2010)
– “The Hammer” (Episode 1.10, Director: John Dahl, Air Date: May 18, 2010)
– “The Moonshine War” (Episode 2.01, Director: Adam Arkin, Air Date: February 9, 2011)
– “Cottonmouth” (Episode 2.05, Director: Michael Watkins, Air Date: March 9, 2011)
– “The Spoil” (Episode 2.08, Director: Michael Watkins, Air Date: March 30, 2011)
– “Reckoning” (Episode 2.12, Director: Adam Arkin, Air Date: April 27, 2011)
Creator: Graham Yost
Costume Designers: Ane Crabtree (Season 1) & Patia Prouty (Season 2)
A laconic, black-suited lawman with a troubled personal life and deadly accuracy with a firearm. The first name that would come to mind for most people is Wyatt Earp. It’s no coincidence that Justified‘s showrunners also ensured that the description would fit Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens to a T.
You are every inch the goddamn gunslinger I’ve heard.
…is Judge Mike Reardon’s praise for Raylan in “The Hammer”, and it is a very apt description given the lawman’s throwback tendencies to an era when gunslingers roamed the dusty streets of the old west.
What’d He Wear?
Ah, the black suit. A controversial part of men’s fashion, black suits are typically considered inappropriate for day-to-day business lest one be mistaken for a clergyman or a hitman who is trying too hard. Black suits are often starter suits, purchased for awkward teenage boys by their parents for Bar Mitzvahs and high school dances. It’s still a useful suit to have in adult life – especially for funerals and evening functions – but many men make the mistake of sporting a black suit when they’d be better served wearing navy or charcoal.
Ever the individualist, Raylan Givens doesn’t follow these rules… nor does he necessarily need to. He already flouts sartorial convention by pairing suit jackets sometimes with jeans and always with cowboy boots. Death follows Raylan Givens wherever he goes, so it makes sense that his black suits throughout the series render him a walking funeral. In fact, Raylan’s black suits nicely evoke his dark, taciturn demeanor while also betraying the fact that this is a guy who cares little for fashion.
Timothy Olyphant’s lean 6′ frame sporting a black suit, cowboy hat, and riding boots makes him look every bit the old-time lawman we know he is inside. Raylan wears at least three different black suits over the course of the show, sporting a new one every two seasons.
The black lightweight wool suit from Banana Republic that he wears in the first two seasons can be differentiated by its single-button jacket. He always pairs it in these early seasons with a blue shirt—often plaid—and a black tie.
The quality of Raylan’s black lightweight wool suiting is discernible by examining the detailed pick stitching running along the edges of the jacket’s slim lapels and pocket flaps. This suit’s jacket makes its first appearance in the second episode, but it doesn’t show up as a full suit until the subsequent episode, “Fixer” (Episode 1.03). The suit coat is very simple, minimal, and clean with a single-breasted front that closes with a low-stanced single black button.
Raylan’s suit coat has a welted breast pocket and straight flapped hip pockets. The sleeves have roped heads and 4-button cuffs. There is a single rear vent in the back. The inside is lined with black satin-finished polyester, and there is a single jetted pocket on the inside of each panel.
The low rise trousers are just as basic as the jacket with a plain front and plain-hemmed bottoms. There are two jetted back pockets and two straight side pockets where Raylan often sticks his hands.
All first season episodes and a few early second season appearances feature a very dark brown tooled leather belt with edge stitching along the top and bottom. The belt is so dark that it looks black in some lighting, but close-ups and its worn edges reveal that it is indeed black. It closes in the front through a slim, simple square steel buckle with a single prong. (Try saying that three times fast, Francis Dolarhyde.)
In “The Spoil” (Episode 2.08), Raylan wears a rust brown leather belt that is a little more coordinated with his “cigar”-hued brown boots.
Shirts and Ties
Not only does Raylan make snooty sartorialists cringe by frequently wearing black suits, but he also goes the distance by always wearing a blue shirt with his black! (A combination not endorsed by GQ until this spring, if that means anything to you.)
Shirt #1: In “Fixer” (Episode 1.03, this suit’s first appearance) and “The Spoil” (Episode 2.08), Raylan wears a triple-tone blue plaid cotton shirt with a pattern that can best be described as a smaller-scale buffalo check. The pattern is a blue check overlapping to create navy squares at each intersection, all on a lighter blue ground.
The shirt is long-sleeved with a slim spread collar and a front placket with dark gray plastic buttons. The soft barrel cuffs close with a single button, and the patch breast pocket has a pointed bottom. Light blue contrast stitching is visible along the top of the pocket and about 1/4″ deep on the collar, placket, and cuffs.
Raylan wears this shirt with a plain, solid black tie in both of its appearances.
Shirt #2: The same solid black suit and tie show up in “The Hammer” (Episode 1.10) when Raylan goes to interrogate Doug E. Doug, whose character name doesn’t matter since he’s played here by Doug E. Doug. Raylan wears a different plaid shirt with a snap-down front. The more complex plaid consists of a dark blue multi-check and a wide brown gradient grid on a light gray ground. It has a super slim collar, brown contrast edge stitching, and two edge-stitched patch pockets with flaps that each close with a single snap.
He secures the tie in place with a plain silver tie bar, a sporadic accessory for Raylan but also a smart method of ensuring his tie stays in place during one of his many quick-draw situations.
Shirt #3: Earlier in “The Hammer”, Raylan swapped out the blue plaid shirts and solid black tie for a blue chambray shirt and white diamond-dot tie. The shirt, which he also often wore with his gray peak-lapel suit, is from the Target house brand Merona and has a concealed button-down collar that gives the appearance of a standard slim spread collar. It has seven white plastic buttons down a front placket, two button-closed mitred patch pockets on the chest, and squared button cuffs.
Raylan sports another black tie with this shirt, although it has clusters of four white polka dots throughout. This silk Geoff Nicholson tie—also secured with the same silver tie bar—is worn long with the blade extending down past Raylan’s belt.
Shirt #4: Raylan wears this same black suit into the second season. He wears it in the premiere, “The Moonshine War” (Episode 2.01), with another solid blue shirt, although this is a more traditional dress shirt with a spread collar, button cuffs, and double rear side darts. This metallic light blue shirt—with its slim front placket and no pocket—offers a simpler look than his more rugged alternatives from the first season.
This shirt makes another appearance with the same coat and tie six episodes later, although he swaps out the trousers for a pair of jeans.
Raylan’s slim silk tie with this outfit is also black, although it is subtly printed with a single white and a single brown rectangle, evidently placed along a subtle black curve.
Shirt #5: During a brief sequence in “Cottonmouth” (Episode 2.05) when Raylan visits the hapless dimwit Dewey Crowe in jail, he wears another blue check shirt. This one has an added layer of complexity with a light blue windowpane grid. Eagle-eyed fans will have spotted the same shirt in Episode 1.11, worn with the same black suit coat except more casually with jeans, no tie, and a dark blue henley underneath. His tie in this scene is solid black ribbed silk.
Shirt #6: While guarding Carol Johnson (Rebecca Creskoff) in “The Spoil” (Episode 2.08), Raylan swears a very dark blue flannel shirt with a black triple overcheck, slim spread collar, and two mitred patch pockets with pointed button-down flaps. This all-dark look gives Raylan the intimidation factor that he needs to protect the “townie” Carol from the hearty denizens of Harlan County.
Shirt #7: Raylan’s first black suit appropriately makes its own swan song at a funeral in “Reckoning” (Episode 2.12), paired with a simple white cotton poplin dress shirt and solid black tie. Raylan hardly ever wears white shirts, but he knows when the time is right to introduce tasteful subtlety for a somber occasion. His white dress shirt has a point collar, front placket, and button cuffs.
Outerwear & Accessories
In “Fixer” (Episode 1.03), Raylan heads out for an investigation during some light rain, introducing us to his charcoal herringbone wool topcoat that extends down to just above his knees. The lightweight coat has a pick-stitched Prussian collar and four black buttons up the front, left undone to allow him smoother access to his holstered Glock.
This very simple coat reflects Raylan’s no-frills personality. The cuffs are plain with no tabs or buttons, and the back is broken only by a long single vent. There are two vertical welted-entry pockets on the outside and a jetted inner pocket on each side plus a smaller jetted pen pocket on the inner left panel. Raylan, a practical dresser, pulls out this coat when he needs an extra layer against the elements, and he’s also been seen wearing it on top of his “denim sandwich” jacket and jeans.
An entry in the AskAndyAboutClothes forum included this quote from costume designer Patia Prouty: “And that overcoat we used in all of the press this year? That’s an old (six years) Hugo Boss overcoat from a rental house that we sorta/kinda never returned. I’ve been forever trying to replace it because we always need extras, but I can’t find any more. I even went so far as to look for fabric like it to re-create it.”
While he only wears his overcoat for rainy or chilly weather, Raylan Givens always wears his Stetson-style hat and I mean always… to the point where an entire episode is called “Hatless” as Raylan spends the bulk of it without his trademark headgear. Doyle Bennett even tells Raylan in “The Moonshine War” that “You and your hat are famous.”
Raylan’s cattleman’s hat was custom made for Timothy Olyphant by Baron Hats of Hollywood, in sahara tan 200XXX beaver with a 3.25″ brim, 4.25″ crown, and a thin 3/8″ tooled leather band with a ranger-style buckle on the left. “The RG”, based on the hat developed for the show, is available at Baron Hats’ site.
Shift from top to bottom to find Raylan’s other signature gear: a pair of dark brown Justin anteater cowboy boots, worn across the first two seasons until Raylan switches to Lucchese ostrich leg boots for the third season onward. The boot shafts are decoratively stitched, although Raylan wears his trouser bottoms over the boots.
Raylan’s tried-and-true Bianchi Model 59 Special Agent® thumb break paddle holster in tan-finished full grain leather is fixed to the right side of his belt for a fast, strong-side draw. Armed with the knowledge that he is a right-hand shooter and carries a full size Glock with a 4.49″ barrel, we can deduce that the exact model of Raylan’s Bianchi holster is #19128, carried for the first season until he switched to a custom-made holster for the second season onward.
The silver tie bar that shows up briefly in “The Hammer” is our only peek at Raylan’s additional accessories with this suit. Otherwise, he keeps everything the same: a sterling silver horseshoe ring on his right hand and a stainless TAG Heuer Series 6000 Chronometer sports watch on his left wrist. The TAG Heuer has a brushed steel case and a white dial, worn on a brown alligator strap.
What to Imbibe
Raylan is marked as a true “son of Kentucky” with his drinking habits – both alcoholic and otherwise – especially in “The Moonshine War” (Episode 2.01). The “premium alcohol” that Tim refers to as Raylan relinquishes his Glock is Blanton’s, a high-proof single barrel Bourbon distilled at the Buffalo Trace distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky. Blanton’s led the single barrel revolution when it was launched in 1984 by the legendary Elmer T. Lee (who has a pretty great Bourbon named after him as well, shown to be the whiskey of choice for Boyd Crowder).
Blanton’s was named for Albert B. Blanton, an honored “Kentucky Colonel” who shares his title with the likes of Jim Beam and Colonel Sanders. A nearly-perfect bourbon—in my opinion—it’s been showing up more recently on shows and movies like Bored to Death, Gone Girl, and John Wick. I first heard about it five years ago on the eve of my 21st birthday when a friend recommended it via Facebook solicitation. Thanks for the recommendation, Frank!
And, even though he’s sworn to uphold the law, Raylan also isn’t above downing a shot of Mags’ Bennett’s famous “apple pie” moonshine, a legendary country concoction of white lightning and apple cider. Mags proudly breaks down her recipe for Raylan:
I make it 180 proof. Cut it with cider, some apple juice, add some cinnamon and vanilla.
Simple enough, although with a ABV like that, it makes sense that Raylan would need something a little less potent to wash it down. While Raylan and Rachel (Erica Tazel) continue their visit to the Bennett store in Harlan, Raylan enjoys a bottle of Ale-8-One, a soft drink often described as “ginger ale with a kick” due to its citrus flavor.
“Ale-8”, as it’s known, was developed by Winchester, Kentucky soda bottler G.L. Wainscott in 1926 and has spent much of its history available only to Kentuckians. Availability has slowly spread to surrounding areas in Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida, but the soda’s appearance on Justified indicates an extra degree of verisimilitude.
(Actually, the bottle that Raylan is drinking appears to be the diet version, Diet Ale-8, which was introduced in 2003.)
Even before Justified offered Glock fans a new outlet for appreciation, U.S. Marshals (1998) brought the U.S. Marshal Service’s standard sidearm to the forefront as a plot point for Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Downey Jr. to quibble over. U.S. Marshals correctly depicts the .40 S&W caliber series of Glock pistols—the full-size 22, compact 23, and subcompact backup 27—as the service’s issued weapon, but Justified uses the more common Glock 17, chambered in 9×19 mm Parabellum, as Raylan Givens’ “sword of justice”.
Raylan is a fan of the Glock, choosing to replace his lost model in “The Moonshine War” with yet another. As Tim tells him over a glass of bourbon:
Relinquishing a firearm can be a very emotional moment, and there always must be another deputy in attendance. Add in some premium alcohol, what could possibly go wrong?
The choice to arm Raylan with a Glock 17 rather than the slightly more true-to-life Glock 22 was almost undoubtedly made since the 9mm blank ammunition would be cheaper to keep our quick-triggered protagonist’s magazines full. In “The Hammer”, however, Raylan does tell Judge Reardon that he’s packing a “.45-caliber Glock”, implying that he carries the cosmetically similar Glock 21.
The Glock 21 would be a fine choice for Raylan. Like his clothing, it appears to be just the same as the rest but closer inspection reveals that it packs a heavier punch. The .45-caliber also makes sense for an old-timey lawman like Raylan Givens, considering that the .45 Long Colt round was developed in 1873 for the Colt Peacemaker, one of the classic firearms referred to as “The Gun That Won the West”.
How to Get the Look
Raylan Givens proudly wears his black suit, blue shirt, and black tie with a subtle touch that sets him apart as the rugged, bucolic old-time lawman. (And by “subtle touch”, I mean more subtle than a cowboy hat and boots.)
- Black lightweight wool Banana Republic “Monogram” suit, consisting of:
- Single-breasted 1-button jacket with notch lapels, welted breast pocket, straight flapped hip pockets, 4-button cuffs, and single rear vent
- Flat front low-rise trousers with belt loops, straight side pockets, jetted rear pockets, and plain-hemmed bottoms
- Blue check shirt with slim spread collar, front placket, and button cuffs
- Slim black ribbed silk necktie
- Dark brown tooled leather belt with squared steel single-prong buckle
- Tan full grain leather Bianchi Model 59 Special Agent® belt holster for a full-size Glock pistol
- Dark brown anteater cowboy boots
- Baron Hats “The RG” sahara tan 200XXX beaver cattleman’s hat with a thin tooled leather band
- Charcoal lightweight herringbone wool single-breasted 4-button knee-length topcoat with edge-stitched Prussian collar, side pockets, plain cuffs, and single rear vent
- TAG Heuer Series 6000 Chronometer wristwatch with brushed steel case, white dial, and brown alligator strap
- Sterling silver horseshoe ring with braided side detail
For a more casual look—and one sure to piss off sartorial purists even more than his outifts already do—Raylan subs in a pair of well-worn Levi’s jeans. But we’ll get into that later.
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Check out the entire series. The screenshots featured here are from the first and second seasons.
If you’re looking for these episodes in particular…
- “Fixer” (Episode 1.03) features Raylan facing off against a duo of inept debt collectors who kidnapped a bookie and foolishly challenge him to a showdown.
- “The Hammer” (Episode 1.10) finds Raylan assigned to protect an eccentric pistol-packing judge, Mike Reardon (Stephen Root!), while trying to make a new case against his old nemesis Boyd Crowder.
- “The Moonshine War” (Episode 2.01), named after Elmore Leonard’s unrelated 1969 novel, establishes the new season-long dispute pitting Raylan against the ruthless Bennett clan that rules the Harlan County drug trade.
- “Cottonmouth” (Episode 2.05) begins with Raylan meeting with an imprisoned Dewey Crowe to get information about the Bennett family.
- “The Spoil” (Episode 2.08) once again places Raylan in the role of protector, this time assigned to guard mining executive Carol Johnson who is arguably one of the least popular newcomers to Harlan County.
- “Reckoning” (Episode 2.12) finds Raylan dealing with the effects of a death in the family and setting him up for a major confrontation.
Y’all go poking the bear, and it’s his fault when you get bit.
Don’t know if this kind of ring has any particular meaning, but this isn’t the first time I see horseshoe ring on TV screen. Similar (but pimped-out) style of ring is worn by “Big Pussy” Bonpensiero on Sopranos.
I own the original screen-worn shirt #4 from ‘The Moonshine War’, it is made by Theory and is a cotton/polyamide/elastane blend