Tony Soprano’s Copper Tweed Jacket at the Track

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano with Joe Pantoliano as Ralph Cifaretto on The Sopranos (Episode 4.05: "Pie-o-My")

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano with Joe Pantoliano as Ralph Cifaretto on The Sopranos (Episode 4.05: “Pie-o-My”)

Vitals

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano, New Jersey mob boss

Monmouth Park, Oceanport, NJ, Fall 2001

Series: The Sopranos
Episodes:
– “Pie-o-My” (Episode 4.05, dir. Henry J. Bronchtein, aired 10/13/2002)
– “Eloise” (Episode 4.12, dir. James Hayman, aired 12/1/2002)
Creator: David Chase
Costume Designer: Juliet Polcsa

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

In the spirit of the upcoming Kentucky Derby, today’s #MafiaMonday post features a day at the races for Jersey wiseguys Tony Soprano, Silvio Dante, Carlo Gervasi, Hesh Rabkin, and Ralph Cifaretto, whose recent purchase—a racehorse named Pie-O-My—delights the guys by coming from behind to win.

“If it’s not love at first sight between Tony and the episode’s eponymous racehorse, it’s love at first victory, particularly since Tony’s strategic advice helped it win,” observes Matt Zoller Seitz and Alan Sepinwall in their masterful episode analysis in The Soprano Sessions, released earlier this year.

Also along for the day at Monmouth Park is Tony’s financial investor, Alan Ginsberg, who offers his takes on Carmela’s investment suggestions. Ginsberg’s suggestion to forego a life investment trust puts Tony on guard regarding his wife’s motives and leads to one of many confrontations between the two when he returns home.

The Soprano marriage isn’t faring much better seven episodes later during a visit to their daughter’s apartment in New York. Carmela recently learned that Furio, Tony’s Italian-born associate whom she’s been obsessing over, has left the country, leaving her heartbroken, bitter, and unprepared for a discussion of the homoerotic undertones of Herman Melville’s Billy Budd with Meadow’s worldly, intelligent, and open-minded friends..

Meadow's friends, Colin (Evan Neuman) and Alex (Aleksa Palladino), in "Eloise" (Episode 4.12).

Meadow’s friends, Colin (Evan Neuman) and Alex (Aleksa Palladino), in “Eloise” (Episode 4.12). Palladino would later make an impression on Boardwalk Empire audiences as the Bohemian artist Angela Darmody.

The scene also includes one of my favorite low-key Sopranos humor moments. The Billy Budd conversation begins when A.J. shares that he got a C on his paper about the book. Carmela is incredulous, but Tony rises to his son’s defense, albeit mildly: “He usually gets D’s and F’s. What’s with you today, you okay?” Carmela vehemently denies the book’s homosexual content suggested by Meadow and her friends, and one of them describes a passage where Melville compares Billy to a nude staute of Adam before the Fall. A disgusted A.J. recoils with “really?”, prompting a disappointed Tony to sternly comment: “I thought you read it,” and A.J. looks down in shame. It’s a subtle moment but a relatable one, made all the more effective by the fact that the conversation keeps going despite the aside between the two Soprano men.

Tony Soprano may be a Mafia boss whose top enforcer fled the country just as he’s stressed about a potentially deadly dispute with the New York mob… but he’s still a dad, and a good dad gets upset when his kids are under-performing in school.

What’d He Wear?

Always a champion of well-cut, classic sport jackets, Tony Soprano wears a rich copper brown sports coat in lightweight tweed with a subtle light blue windowpane check, both for a day at the racetrack cheering on the titular horse in “Pie-O-My” (Episode 4.05) and again, albeit more casually, for a dinner party with his daughter’s friends in “Eloise” (Episode 4.12).

He may be a mob boss, but he's also a dad. Tony can't help but to make a dentistry joke after finding out his daughter's boyfriend's chosen vocation.

He may be a mob boss, but he’s also a dad. Tony can’t help but to make a dentistry joke after finding out his daughter’s boyfriend’s chosen vocation.

The copper tweed sports coat has notch lapels that roll to a top of a three-button front. Tony’s single-breasted jackets vary between one-, two-, and three-button fronts across the series, with the actor’s 6’1″ height helping him effectively balance the latter as seen on this particular garment. The jacket has double vents, four-button cuffs, and straight hip pockets with flaps that are occasionally tucked in to present the appearance of jetted pockets.

At the racetrack in “Pie-O-My”, Tony wears a solid slate-blue silk pocket square in his jacket’s welted breast pocket, coordinating with his shirt and tie while also drawing out the subtle windowpane check of his sports coat.

The hippodrome is a curious place to be issuing or receiving investment advice, but that doesn't stop Tony from asking some questions from his curiously named financial advisor, Alan Ginsberg (Stewart J. Zully).

The hippodrome is a curious place to be issuing or receiving investment advice, but that doesn’t stop Tony from asking some questions from his curiously named financial advisor, Alan Ginsberg (Stewart J. Zully).

Tony’s “Pie-O-My” shirt is a rich French blue cotton with a point collar and plain front fastened with mother-of-pearl buttons. The shirt has squared double (French) cuffs, worn with a set of knotted gold cuff links.

Tony takes Ginsberg's advice by signing all but one of Carmela's financial requests...a life insurance trust that could cause problems should the two divorce.

Tony takes Ginsberg’s advice by signing all but one of Carmela’s financial requests…a life insurance trust that could cause problems should the two divorce.

The mobsters on The Sopranos—Tony included—occasionally mimic the early 2000s-era trend of matching their solid silk ties to their shirts, popularized by Regis Philbin on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, but Tony averts the trend here by wearing a slate silk tie similar to the shirt but closer to gray for a more noticeable contrast. The tie has faded brown-and-yellow woven silk dots that also coordinate with the jacket.

Tony’s light brown slacks are only a shade lighter than his jacket, a low-contrast look that evokes a two-piece suit until one looks closer to note the jacket’s textured tweed and subtle pattern. Like many of Tony’s trousers, the slacks have triple reverse pleats with side pockets, button-through back pockets, and turn-ups (cuffs) on the bottoms. He wears them with a dark brown leather belt that has a polished steel single-prong buckle.

Tony goes in for some gabagool after "giving" Carmela "two out of three" financial requests.

Tony goes in for some gabagool after “giving” Carmela “two out of three” financial requests.

Champion jockey Aaron Gryder with the show's cast.

Champion jockey Aaron Gryder with the show’s cast.

Brown shoes are a wise choice with this earthy outfit, and Tony wears a pair of dark walnut calf derby shoes that are best seen in this behind-the-scenes photo posted on the Twitter account of Aaron Gryder, the professional jockey who also played Pie-O-My’s jockey in this episode.

When the guys are venturing out onto the grounds at Monmouth Park to meet with Pie-O-My’s winning team, Tony layers against the autumn chill with his go-to black wool raglan coat. The coat made its first appearance as the Jersey weather started getting colder in “The Telltale Moozadell” (Episode 3.09) with several appearances toward the end of the third season, though I believe the Monmouth Park scenes in “Pie-O-My” are the coat’s swan song.

The black coat has a Prussian collar with an exposed button at the neck with a concealed fly for the remaining buttons down the front. Each raglan sleeve tightens at the cuff with a half-tab that closes with a single button.

It’s a warmer day in early spring when Tony next dons the copper jacket, this time for a family dinner with Meadow, her boyfriend Finn, and her college roommates. The informality of the occasion gives Tony a chance to dress down, and he wears an inky royal blue short-sleeved polo shirt with a cross-check textured knit pattern and three flat black plastic sew-through buttons, worn with the top button undone. He accents the look with a navy patterned silk pocket square that avoids directly matching the shirt.

Again, Tony neutralizes the warmth of the jacket with cool blues that calls out the subtle blue windowpane check.

Again, Tony neutralizes the warmth of the jacket with cool blues that calls out the subtle blue windowpane check.

To keep his look casual and avoid the more formal suit-like appearance of the closely matching light brown slacks, Tony wears dark navy pleated trousers.

Tony gets some concerning news about Furio... though it's hardly as concerning as the update he would receive about his one-time favorite enforcer in the next episode.

Tony gets some concerning news about Furio… though it’s hardly as concerning as the update he would receive about his one-time favorite enforcer in the next episode.

Once again, we’re treated to Tony’s usual assortment of gold jewelry and accessories. He wears his gold religious pendant on a gold chain around his neck and a gold curb-chain link bracelet on his right wrist. Dressing his right pinky is a gold ring with a diamond and ruby stones, balanced by his gold wedding band on the third finger of his opposing hand.

Tony’s luxury watch is an 18-karat yellow gold Rolex Day-Date ref. 18038 “President”, so named for its distinctive link bracelet with a hidden clasp. This chronometer has Roman numerals around the champagne gold dial with a long display for the day of the week at the top and a date window at 3:00.

Tony flashes his gold jewelry and accessories during dinner at Meadow's apartment.

Tony flashes his gold jewelry and accessories during dinner at Meadow’s apartment.

If you haven’t been quite as lucky at the track as Tony Soprano but you want your wrist to look the part, Seiko offers a gold-toned stainless lookalike for about 1% of the price of a new Rolex President.

What to Imbibe

Mint Juleps may be the classic libation for the Kentucky Derby, but Tony, Ralph, and the guys celebrate with Cristal, the famous flagship cuvée of Champagne Louis Roederer.

Cristal dates back to 1876, six years after the death of Louis Roederer himself. Alexander II of Russia lived in fear of assassination (rightly so, as the events of March 1881 would prove), and the Tsar was nervous that the standard dark green champagne bottles with their indented bottoms would mask any potential assassin’s means, be they the insertion of explosives into this indentation or otherwise. Thus, for the Three Emperors Dinner with the leaders of Germany and Austria-Hungary, Alexander requested that the Roederer team design his personal cuvée in transparent crystal glass bottles with a flat bottom. The lead glass used for construction of the bottle led to the name Cristal.

Cristal outlived the Russian monarchy, as Louis Roederer—once the official wine supplier to the Imperial Court of Russia—decided to market internationally after the fall of the Russian Empire in 1917. More than a century later, this champagne has become an alcoholic shorthand for wealth and luxury.

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano on The Sopranos (Episode 4.05: "Pie-o-My")

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano on The Sopranos (Episode 4.05: “Pie-o-My”)

How to Get the Look

Tony Soprano illustrates how one sport jacket can be dressed up for a day at the track or dressed down for dinner with your daughter and her friends (…wait, shouldn’t that be reversed?)

Dressed up:

  • Copper brown (with subtle sky blue windowpane check) single-breasted 3-button sport jacket with notch lapels, welted breast pocket, straight flapped hip pockets, 4-button cuffs, and double vents
    • Slate blue silk pocket square
  • French blue cotton shirt with spread collar, plain front, and double/French cuffs
    • Gold knot cuff links
  • Slate gray silk tie with woven brown-and-yellow dots
  • Light brown triple reverse-pleated slacks with belt loops, side pockets, button-through jetted back pockets, and turn-ups/cuffs
  • Walnut brown calf leather derby shoes
  • White ribbed cotton sleeveless undershirt
  • Black wool topcoat with Prussian collar, concealed fly front, and raglan sleeves with buttoned half-tab cuffs
James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano on The Sopranos (Episode 4.12: "Eloise")

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano on The Sopranos (Episode 4.12: “Eloise”)

Dressed down:

  • Copper brown (with subtle sky blue windowpane check) single-breasted 3-button sport jacket with notch lapels, welted breast pocket, straight flapped hip pockets, 4-button cuffs, and double vents
    • Navy blue silk pocket square
  • Dark indigo cross-check textured knit short-sleeve polo shirt with 3-button collar
  • Dark navy triple reverse-pleated slacks with belt loops, side pockets, button-through jetted back pockets, and turn-ups/cuffs
  • White ribbed cotton sleeveless undershirt

With both outfits, Tony wears his usual accessories:

  • Rolex President Day-Date 18238 yellow gold wristwatch
  • Gold open-link chain bracelet
  • Gold pinky ring with ruby and diamond stones
  • Gold wedding band
  • Gold open-link chain necklace with round St. Jerome pendant

Do Yourself a Favor and…

Check out the entire series.

The Quote

We all get lucky.

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