Californication – Hank Moody’s Brown Shirt

David Duchovny as Hank Moody in “Lights. Camera. Asshole”, Episode 4.08 of Californication.

Vitals

David Duchovny as Hank Moody, womanizing novelist and screenwriter

Los Angeles, Spring 2010

Series: Californication
Episode: “Lights. Camera. Asshole.” (Episode 4.08)
Air Date: February 27, 2011
Director: Adam Bernstein
Costume Designer: Peggy A. Schnitzer

Background

It just seems appropriate to feature Hank Moody on 6/9, so today’s #NiceDay post explores one of his lesser seen outfits.

Midway through the fourth season, in the midst of Hank’s post-Mia revelation legal troubles, he is offered a gig to rewrite the shitty dialogue littering the script of a zombie movie starring his latest fling, Sasha Bingham (Addison Timlin), as a police officer.

Of course, Sasha’s request for our favorite writer turns out be more libidinous than literary, so Hank escapes this potentially sticky situation… and finds himself landing in another one.

In the meantime, Hank’s daughter Becca (Madeleine Martin) has found herself following in her father’s substance-abusing footsteps, forcing Hank to reevaluate his life choices… and unfortunately giving him some relatable talking points when he finds himself talking to another frustrated parent (Callie Thorne) at a hotel bar. We all know how that will go.

What’d He Wear?

Hank’s outfit in this scene is an interesting outlier against his usual spectrum of navy to black. For all of his loyalty to brown leather jackets and boots, we rarely see Hank wearing a shirt any browner than the olive button-up that he started sporting in the show’s third season.

Yet, for this one episode in season four, Hank visits Sasha on set in a brown shirt with a slim collar and six brown plastic buttons down the front placket. He wears the button cuffs undone and rolled up to his elbows.

Hank promotes himself from writer to director over the course of a single episode.

Hank promotes himself from writer to director over the course of a single episode.

So why did this shirt make an appearance? And once it did… why just once? For one thing, it does seem a little tight on Duchovny’s torso, especially pulling at his shoulders.

Also, we may be discovering the origins of Hank’s preference for black shirts when he bends over to kiss Sasha’s forehead and reveals a large spot that is undeniably armpit sweat. Black and navy are the best colors for hiding moisture… although the darker fabrics may also create sweatier situations by absorbing the intense sunlight of a southern California afternoon.

Out of context, this screenshot looks rather problematic.

Out of context, this screenshot looks rather problematic.

Dark jeans are a staple of Hank’s wardrobe, worn for all occasions from a cocktail party to a trip to the gym. In just the previous episode, “The Recused” (Episode 4.07), Hank describes denim as “the people’s fabric” to a snobbish country club staffer.

Through most of the show’s run, including the fourth season, Hank wears Earnest Sewn bootcut jeans with copper buttons, the usual five-pocket layout, and belt loops that goes perennially unused.

Hank's hotel room hijinks are intensified when Sasha discovers the identity of his newest bedmate.

Hank’s hotel room hijinks are intensified when Sasha discovers the identity of his newest bedmate.

Hank wears his tried-and-true Timberland Torrance chelsea boots, although the dull brown suede of his well-loved boots contrast against the warmer shade of his shirt.

Not even convincing as a zombie, Hank proves why he should stick to writing rather than acting.

Not even convincing as a zombie, Hank proves why he should stick to writing rather than acting.

Despite the new shirt, his accessories remain the same. His thin gunmetal-framed sunglasses are the same brown-lensed Izod 725 shades that he’s worn since the first episode.

Hank wears his usual silver double-ridged ring on his right index finger and doubles up the black leather bracelets on his left wrist; a slim braided bracelet ist tied around his wrist with the studded snap bracelet worn just above it.

HANK

UrbanWrist’s reproductions of Hank’s bracelets are one of the company’s best sellers, available in this $40 bundle pack.

Go Big or Go Home

Need something to listen to? The show’s second episode introduced Becca’s fandom of the band Eagles of Death Metal which, four seasons later, made it into the show’s soundtrack with its “Stuck in the Metal with You” cover of Stealers Wheel’s similarly named and melodied 1973 hit single.

How to Get the Look

Perhaps it stands out because it’s so different from his usual, but Hank Moody’s brown shirt in this fourth season episode of Californication has always stuck out in my mind.

  • Brown shirt with slim collar, front placket, and button cuffs
  • Dark blue bootcut denim jeans
  • Brown sueded leather Timberland “Torrance” slip-on Chelsea boots with black elastic side gussets
  • Black socks
  • Black boxer briefs
  • Silver ring with two ridged bands, worn on the right index finger
  • Black leather bracelet with silver hexagonal and round studs, snapped on the left wrist
  • Thin black braided leather bracelet, also worn on the left wrist
  • Izod 725 sunglasses with thin gunmetal frames and brown lenses

Do Yourself a Favor and…

Check out the whole series. My favorites are the first and second seasons, but this episode appears smack in the middle of the fourth season.

The Quote

No stranger to misery, are you? I like that in a woman sitting alone at a bar.

One comment

  1. Simon

    The reason he is wearing a brown shirt might be something incredibly mundane like they only took one black shirt and when they got to the location to film they discovered that it was stained or damaged and they had to go with what they could find quickly.

    Typically you shoot the location scenes first and when you are on location therre is a huge rush to get scenes filmed quickly as it is expensive and you always want to beat the weather/light. No time to go shopping for black shirts.

    Having filmed on location with a brown shirt, that locks you into filming with a brown shirt in your studio scenes for continuity.

    You never know… some weird decisions are made “on the go” in filming.

    Like

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