Robert De Niro as Sam “Ace” Rothstein, Vegas casino executive and mob associate
Los Angeles, Summer 1974
Release Date: November 22, 1995
Director: Martin Scorsese
Costume Design: Rita Ryack & John A. Dunn
As the weather is warming up here in the Northern Hemisphere, folks are swapping out the heavy flannel in their closets for linen and planning their trips to sunny locales.
Sam “Ace” Rothstein and his new wife Ginger touched down in L.A. after their ill-advised wedding in Casino although it was technically more of a business trip than a vacation. This outfit, one of Ace’s loudest in the movie (and that’s saying something), is shocking in that it’s what he wears for banking… of course, when you show up with a few million dollars in cash and jewels to deposit, I would imagine no banker would judge.
What’d He Wear?
In Rear Window, Thelma Ritter’s character unflatteringly describes a murderer’s expression as one that wouldn’t “get him a quick loan at the bank,” and one can only wonder what Stella would’ve thought when seeing Ace and Ginger striding into a conservative Los Angeles bank while wearing a bright yellow jacket and blue leather miniskirt, respectively. Luckily for the Rothsteins, they’re packing a solid briefcase full of “shakedown and kidnapping money” that any banker worth his or her salt would be wise to accept.
Ace’s yellow sport coat is likely a linen and wool blend as it’s more structured and differently textured than pure linen. The single-breasted jacket is styled almost identically to the burnt orange polyester jacket he wears later in the film with its distinctive fishmouth (or cran necker) lapels, long double vents, and three large squared patch pockets on the breast and hips.
The padded shoulders with roped sleeveheads add bulk to De Niro’s frame, making Ace look more imposing. The two buttons on the front and the single button on each cuff are large white plastic.
This isn’t the last that we see Ace wearing yellow as he would wear a golden suit as part of an all-yellow outfit when ejecting an insolent cowboy from the Tangiers a few scenes later.
Ace contrasts the bright yellow of his jacket with a deep dark blue silk shirt, one of many made by Anto for the film. The shirt has a large point collar and dark blue buttons down the plain front. Although only the squared edges of the barrel cuffs are seen, they’re likely the same distinctive “Lapidus” single button-tab cuffs on many of his shirts.
Ace’s subtly-checked buttercream trousers keep the outfit light and summery while providing just enough of a contrast with the solid yellow jacket. The fine check consists of a rust brown grid with a smaller-scale light blue check that calls out the blue of the shirt.
The flat front trousers have a squared-end tab that extends over the right side of the waistband for a hidden closure. The legs flare out at the plain-hemmed bottoms… this was the height of the bell bottom era, after all. Both the era and a closer look at the trouser material seem to indicate polyester or at least a polyester blend. They likely have the same frogmouth front pockets of many of his similar trousers.
Sartorial rules – which I tend to dislike and Ace Rothstein tends to eschew – dictate matching socks to trousers to continue the leg line, but Ace takes it a step further by also matching his shoes, sporting a pair of cream leather moc-toe loafers with beige silk socks.
When alighting from his private jet on the L.A. airstrip, he wears a pair of brown plastic-framed aviator-style Carrera 5425 sport unglasses with a white stripe down each arm. Once he’s inside the bank, he folds his sunglasses and places them in his jacket’s outside breast pocket. (These sunglasses are the same ones he wore when talking to Andy Stone poolside in an earlier scene.)
Aware of the earth tones in his outfit, Ace keeps his accessories yellow gold. His all-gold wristwatch has a square dial and a gold link bracelet.On his right pinky, he wears a 14-carat gold ring with an emerald cut blue synthetic stone set flush in a geometric polished shank. The ring may be another Bvlgari piece since Bvlgari was credited with the film’s jewelry.
This outfit was especially well-represented on the now-famous poster that Ibraheem Youssef created that breaks down all of Ace’s suits, accurately showing off the differing tones of each garment including the fine check of his polyester trousers.
Go Big or Go Home
If you’re gonna be shady, at least be witty about it. Ace appropriates the name of a venerated cocktail as his sobriquet:
I put two million in cash in a Los Angeles bank under the name of Mr. and Mrs. Tom Collins. This was strictly my shakedown and kidnapping money. And, since I’d either be in jail or locked in a closet when I needed the money the most, I gave Ginger the only key to the cash that could get me back alive.
How to Get the Look
Ace takes an unorthodox approach to casual dressing for warm weather, but it’s just as colorful and distinctive as one would expect from him.
- Yellow linen single-breasted 2-button sport coat with fishmouth lapels, patch breast pocket, patch hip pocket, 1-button cuffs, and long double side vents
- Dark blue silk Anto shirt with large point collar, plain front, and “Lapidus” single button-tab cuffs
- Cream subtly-checked polyester flat front trousers with extended squared waistband tab, frogmouth front pockets, and flared plain-hemmed bottoms
- Cream leather moc-toe loafers
- Beige silk dress socks
- Gold wristwatch with rectangular case, light gold square dial, and gold link bracelet
- Yellow gold 14-carat pinky ring with flush emerald-cut blue synthetic stone
- Carrera 5425 brown plastic “sport” aviator sunglasses
As this jacket was almost certainly made specifically for De Niro to wear in Casino, it would be damn near impossible to find out in the wild. The best bet would be to narrow your search to yellow linen blazers and sport coats with similar – if not exact – styling. Alan Flusser currently offers a lighter weight linen jacket through SteinMart for only $69.99 that has Ace-approved white buttons, patch pockets, and long double vents. It’s a less pastel shade of yellow and lacks the distinctive Parisian lapels of Ace’s jacket, but it’s a fine, affordable option.
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Check out the movie.
Crooked cops and kidnappers… they don’t take checks.