Michael Imperioli as Christopher Moltisanti, drug-addled mob soldier
New Jersey, Fall 2002
Series: The Sopranos
Episode: “Pie-O-My” (Episode 4.05)
Air Date: October 13, 2002
Director: Henry J. Bronchtein
Creator: David Chase
Costume Designer: Juliet Polcsa
There are two types of silk suits that mobsters seem to prefer: one can be worn with a tie, and the other is usually worn with sneakers. The latter, also known as a “Bensonhurst tuxedo”, will be featured in today’s Mafia Monday post using an example from—what else?—The Sopranos.
In the show’s fourth season, the ambitious Christopher Moltisanti is plagued with issues ranging from the stress of being a newly “made” man to his increasing reliance on drugs and alcohol. Even forces unknown to him, like his girlfriend Adriana’s forced defection to FBI informant, are bringing him down.
By “Pie-O-My” (Episode 4.05), Adriana’s guilt is physically manifesting itself to the point where she feels unable to join Christopher for a family dinner with Tony Soprano. She cites the flu, but he isn’t having it. “Couple of drinks, it’ll kill the germs,” suggests Dr. Moltisanti. Adriana remains steadfast, so a frustrated Christopher shoots up some heroin and leaves without her.
What’d He Wear?
Many equate the image of a successful mobster with pristine silk suits and shiny gold pinky rings. While the latter might hold true, Juliet Polcsa and her costume team on The Sopranos knew that many mobsters opted for a “Bensonhurst tuxedo” when it came to everyday dressing. Usually a zip-front tracksuit made from a luxurious fabric like velour, the Bensonhurst tuxedo is what made guys wear when loafing in front of a butcher shop or idling the day away at a no-show job site.
Christopher Moltisanti was bred to be a mafioso from the day he was born, and he sports track suits in many of his early appearances, almost always in his favorite colors of black and red. By the fourth season, Chris has finally been inducted into the DeMeo crime family and is well on the rise as a made guy. He’s clearly upgraded too, opting for Genelli Silk Wear tracksuits rather than the cheaper but more athletically-oriented Nike and Fila shell suits of his younger days.
The Genelli tracksuit that Christopher wears in “Pie-O-My” (Episode 4.05) was sold for $2,375 by Christie’s in their June 2008 “Pop Culture” auction. The jacket is black and red, with an all-black collar, front panel on both sides of the zipper, and black “stripe” down the back. The elasticized straight hem is also all black, save for where the red border stripe extends all the way to the bottom to separate it from the front panel. Each red portion is a 90-degree angle that extends down the arm and torso with that thin red border stripe following it a few millimeters away.
The jacket zips all the way up the front with a black zipper on black tape. It has a flattened “shirt-style” collar that can still zip all the way to the edge, if necessary. Each raglan sleeve ends with an all-black elasticized cuff. There appears to be a slanted hand pocket on each side.
The pants are all black with an elasticized waistband, plain bottoms, and side pockets.
Pretty much all of the info I can find online about Genelli relates to its popularity among The Sopranos characters, particularly Paulie “Walnuts” Gualtieri. Genelli seems to appeal more to the, uh, “less-than-active” gentleman who desires the intersection of luxury and comfort that only a silk tracksuit could provide. Christopher would later wear another Genelli tracksuit – this time in light brown – during the show’s sixth season.
Underneath the tracksuit, Christopher’s only shirt is his usual sleeveless white ribbed cotton undershirt, also known as an “A-shirt”. The gold St. Christopher medallion always worn around his neck hangs down just enough to hit the top of the shirt.
Chris wears a pair of white sneakers with white laces, white rubber soles, and a navy-accented tongue. Based on what looks like the British Union Flag flag on the sides, they may be a pair of Reebok running shoes, similar to the current Reebok Classic Leather 101. He wears them with a pair of white tube socks.
Mostly unseen here but certainly his watch of choice throughout the fourth season, Christopher wears a yellow gold Cartier Pasha Grid wristwatch, named for the gold grid that covers the round white dial.
While this is the most prominent screen time for this specific tracksuit from Christopher’s closet, it made what I believe to be its inaugural appearance during Tony’s extended dream sequence at Asbury Park in “Funhouse” (Episode 2.13), worn again with white sneakers but also layered under a black gabardine raincoat.
How to Get the Look
Christopher Moltisanti grew up around mobsters, so he knows that a black-and-red silk tracksuit is the thing to wear when there’s no one you need to impress.
- Black-and-red silk Genelli tracksuit, consisting of:
- Black-and-red zip-front jacket with flattened “shirt-style” collar, side pockets, elasticized cuffs, and elasticized straight hem
- Black pants with elasticized waistband and side pockets
- White ribbed cotton sleeveless undershirt
- White Reebok sneakers with white laces and white rubber soles
- White cotton tube socks
- Thin gold necklace with a round gold St. Christopher medallion
- Cartier Pasha Grid yellow gold wristwatch with round case, white dial (under a gold grid), and gold bracelet
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Check out the entire series!
Come on, get dressed. Couple of drinks, it’ll kill the germs, you’ll forget all about it.