The Sopranos: Christopher’s Blue Herringbone “Made Man” Suit

Michael Imperioli as Christopher Molitsanti on The Sopranos (Episode 3.03: "Fortunate Son").

Michael Imperioli as Christopher Molitsanti on The Sopranos (Episode 3.03: “Fortunate Son”).

Vitals

Michael Imperioli as Christopher Moltisanti, newly “made” mob soldier

New Jersey, Fall 2001

Series: The Sopranos
Episode: “Fortunate Son” (Episode 3.03)
Air Date: March 11, 2001
Director: Henry J. Bronchtein
Creator: David Chase
Costume Designer: Juliet Polcsa

Background

This suit had been requested a few weeks ago, and – as both a huge fan of The Sopranos and a kindred spirit of the tragic Christopher Moltisanti character – I was more than pleased to delve a little deeper into the suit and scene where Christopher finally “gets his button” for Mafia Monday.

Christopher’s two passions – the Mafia and the movies – come to yet another head in “Fortunate Son” when he finally receives the call to look sharp and be ready in an hour… he’s getting made. Having decided a season earlier in “D-Girl” to pass up his dream of a career in Hollywood (although it’s dubious that his misspelled screenplays would have turned any heads), Christopher is finally given the opportunity to dedicate his life to the most infamous criminal organization in America. Despite his excitement, Chris’ habit for watching too many movies keeps him on his toes and especially wary of any of his fellow Mafioso riding behind him during the journey.

Silvio chides him for it (“He sat on one asscheek the whole way over!”), but many real-life mob associates have been summoned to secret ceremonies only to never be seen alive again.

Luckily for Christopher, this was a genuine summons and he soon finds himself happily embraced by Tony Soprano in a New Jersey basement. Christopher and fellow inductee Eugene Pontecorvo are then told:

You know why we’re here. So, if you got any doubts or reservations, now is the time to say so. No one’ll think any less of you… ’cause once you enter this family, there’s no getting out. This family comes before everything else. Everything. Before your wife and your children and your mother and your father. It’s a thing of honor.

While this would become a problem for poor Eugene by the sixth season, Christopher is very eager to finally join the ranks of La Cosa Nostra. In yet another indication that the showrunners have done extensive research, Christopher and Eugene’s fingers are then pricked by a needle to draw blood before Tony places a photo of St. Peter in each of their hands and initiates them into the mob code of omertà:

Now, as that card burns, so may your soul burn in hell if you betray your friends in the family.

What’d He Wear?

He told me to look sharp and meet him at Modell’s in half an hour.

After years of loyal service, the Soprano crime family is finally “opening the books” for Christopher Moltisanti, and he wants to look his best for the occasion. This is the sole appearance of the navy blue herringbone two-piece suit that he chooses for such a momentous day, and the way it shines in certain light indicates that it is likely made from silk or at least a silk blend.

Chris becomes wary of a potential bad omen during the ceremony.

Chris becomes wary of a potential bad omen during the ceremony.

Christopher’s suit, as well as the ones worn by Tony, Paulie, and Silvio during the same scene, are among the more than 5,000 artifacts exhibited at the Museum of Television.

Christopher’s single-breasted suit jacket has notch lapels that roll abruptly to the top of the three-button front. The flapped hip pockets sit straight on his waist line, and a cream silk handkerchief puffs from the welted breast pocket. The jacket has padded shoulders, roped sleeveheads, and long double side vents.

Chris's suit jacket, shirt, and tie as well as a "continuity photo" taken on set of Imperioli, all sourced from the Museum of Television.

Chris’s suit jacket, shirt, and tie as well as a “continuity photo” taken on set of Imperioli, all sourced from the Museum of Television.

The low rise trousers have belt loops for Christopher’s black leather belt. The plain-hemmed bottoms have a long break that drapes over his shoes.

Find me a shirt and tie to go with this. Not the Camelia, though; Paulie’s got one just like it.

Whether it was he or Adriana who picked it out, Christopher’s monochromatic shirt and tie combination evokes the look of a classic movie gangster… before it was more commonly associated with Regis Philbin. This is the most important day of Christopher’s criminal life, and a movie buff like him is going to revert to what he knows to guarantee that he looks the part.

Had there been a little more time, Christopher and Paulie could've gotten some shopping done before leaving the shopping center.

Had there been a little more time, Christopher and Paulie could’ve gotten some shopping done before leaving the shopping center.

His cream dress shirt has squared French cuffs, which Paulie instructs him to show off – “Shoot your cuffs” – before they get into the car. A pair of small black, gold-trimmed links fasten the cuffs into place.

Christopher’s tie is also a cream silk, matching both the shirt and the pocket handkerchief in his suitcoat’s breast pocket.

Sops303ChrisMade-CL3-Tie

He told me to shine my shoes…

Although the shoes don’t receive much screen time, it’s important to these guys that Christopher maintains his appearance from top to bottom. Despite only having an hour to get ready and meet Paulie at Modell’s, Christopher takes the time to ensure that his black leather bluchers are shined to gangland standards.

His socks go unseen, but Christopher’s habit for hanging around the house in his underwear tells us that he likely wore one of his usual white sleeveless undershirts under his suit as well as a pair of gray boxer shorts. We also see his gold St. Christopher medallion, worn on a thin gold necklace around his neck.

A nice touch of realism comes from this look inside Christopher's closet, where we see familiar pieces like his red sportcoat.

A nice touch of realism comes from this look inside Christopher’s closet, where we see familiar pieces like his red sportcoat.

After briefly switching to a Rolex DateJust for the second season, Christopher once again wears a yellow gold Cartier tank on his left wrist for the third season. This particular wristwatch, an 18-karat Cartier Tank Française, has diamonds embedded in the right and left sides of the square case. The square dial is white with Roman numerals, and it is worn on a gold chain-link bracelet.

Good thing Chris wasn't wearing polyester or that open flame might've caused more trouble than he expected.

Good thing Chris wasn’t wearing polyester or that open flame might’ve caused more trouble than he expected.

Go Big or Go Home

Always ambitious but never quite motivated enough, Christopher was clearly going to spend a lazy day at home in his underwear. Hanging out with Adriana, drinking a bottle of Bud, and rolling a joint were the only items on his to-do list before his Motorola StarTAC rings and Paulie delivers the exciting news.

A day in the life of a low-level mob associate.

A day in the life of a low-level mob associate.

Christopher zips into action as soon as he realizes the significance of the call. If even he can be ready for anything in an hour’s notice, what’s your excuse?

How to Get the Look

Christopher presents a more subtle look than we’ve seen on him, employing only two solid colors – blue and cream – for his big day.

Christopher receives some needed sartorial advice from the always dapper Paulie Walnuts.

Christopher receives some needed sartorial advice from the always dapper Paulie Walnuts.

  • Navy blue herringbone silk suit, consisting of:
    • Single-breasted 3-button jacket with notch lapels, welted breast pocket, straight flapped hip pockets, 4-button cuffs, double rear vents
    • Flat front trousers with belt loops and plain-hemmed bottoms
  • Cream dress shirt with point collar, front placket, and double/French cuffs
  • Cream silk necktie
  • Small black gold-trimmed cuff links
  • Black leather belt
  • Black leather bluchers
  • Black dress socks
  • White ribbed cotton sleeveless undershirt
  • Gray cotton boxer shorts with elastic waistband
  • Thin gold necklace with a round gold St. Christopher medallion
  • Cartier Tank Française gold wristwatch with diamond-crusted square case, white dial, and gold link bracelet

Do Yourself a Favor and…

Buy the entire series, and check out the third episode of the brilliant third season if you want to see The Sopranos‘ take on the “getting made” ceremony.

The Quote

May I burn in hell if I betray my friends.

2 comments

  1. Pingback: The Sopranos: Christopher’s Black-on-Black in “D-Girl” | BAMF Style
  2. Pingback: Goodfellas: Joe Pesci in Glen Plaid | BAMF Style

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