True Detective – Ray Velcoro’s Mustard Tweed Sports Coat

Matt Bomer as Monroe Stahr on The Last Tycoon (Episode 8: “An Enemy Among Us”)

Colin Farrell as Ray Velcoro on True Detective (Episode 2.02: “Night Finds You”)

Vitals

Colin Farrell as Ray Velcoro, troubled and crooked Vinci PD detective

Ventura County, California, October 2014

Series: True Detective
Episodes:
– “Night Finds You” (Episode 2.02, dir. Justin Lin, aired 6/28/2015)
– “Maybe Tomorrow” (Episode 2.03, dir. Janus Metz, aired 7/5/2015)
Creator: Nic Pizzolatto
Costume Designer: Alix Friedberg

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

As we get deeper into autumn, let’s crib a fall-friendly look from the second episode of True Detective‘s divisive second season. Even if you weren’t a fan of the neo-noir sophomore season of Nic Pizzolatto’s HBO series, there’s still something undoubtedly fun about Ray Velcoro’s cowboy-inspired take on a detective’s daily attire. (And if you really can’t stand anything but the first season of True Detective, you have less than three weeks left to wait until BAMF Style revisits one of Rustin Cohle’s looks!)

The second episode of the season, “Night Finds You,” includes Ray Velcoro (Colin Farrell) and his new task force partner Ani Bezzerides (Rachel McAdams) finding a creepy psychiatrist, Irving Pitlor (Rick Springfield), at his Esalen-like institute during their investigation into the death of Vinci, California city manager Ben Caspere. Following the meeting, Velcoro chases his own leads…and two volleys from a shotgun find his torso at point-blank range to the tune of “I Pity the Fool” by Bobby “Blue” Bland.

What’d He Wear?

Unlike the Western-yoked tweed jackets that Ray Velcoro wears, at least in the earlier episodes of the second season, Colin Farrell wears a more traditional sports coat in a rich mustard brown woolen tweed.

According to Valli Herman in a 2015 Costume Designers Guild article, costume designer Alix Friedberg sourced fabrics from L.A. wholesaler B. Black & Sons to create Velcoro’s vintage-inspired sport jackets that nod to some of the most visually masculine pop culture heroes from Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry to Waylon Jennings and Tom Waits. Men’s fashions in the mid-2010s were at the most dramatic of the latest super-slim trend, but Velcoro’s jackets with their larger fit and wider lapels suggest a silent sartorial rebellion favoring the timeless rather than the trendy.

Velcoro’s two-button sports coat has notch lapels with swelled edges that roll to a two-button front. The jacket has a welted breast pocket, straight flapped hip pockets, and a single vent. The shoulders are padded with roped sleeveheads and three-button cuffs at the end of each sleeve.

Ray Velcoro has little patience for Dr. Pitlor.

Ray Velcoro has little patience for Dr. Pitlor.

Velcoro wears a flannel snap shirt, patterned in a bronze, slate, and ivory shadow plaid and detailed with pointed Western-style yokes that are echoed by the pointed single-snap flaps over the two chest pockets. In addition to the mother-of-pearl button at the collar, Velcoro wears the first snap down the front placket undone for an insouciant effect.

Alternatives:

  • Howler Brothers “Gaucho” shirt in Roper tan Thornton plaid cotton/poly (Amazon, $57.85)
  • Pendleton “Western Canyon” shirt in brown/gray ombre plaid woolen flannel (Amazon, $127)
  • Pendleton “Western Canyon” shirt in taupe/gold ombre plaid woolen flannel (Pendleton, $99-$149)
  • Steton “Men’s Y/D Twill” shirt in brown/blue ombre plaid (Stetson, $79.50)
Velcoro takes a life-affirming drag the morning after he took two shotgun blasts to the stomach.

Velcoro takes a life-affirming drag the morning after he took two shotgun blasts to the stomach.

Under the shirt, Velcoro wears one of his usual white ribbed cotton sleeveless A-shirts. Both the undershirt and his brown leather belt get plenty of exposure when Velcoro wakes the morning after he’s been shot in the belly with rubber buckshot. He wears his Vinci PD badge fastened to just the left of the belt’s dulled steel single-prong buckle.

A rude but relieving awakening for Ray Velcoro in "Maybe Tomorrow" (Episode 2.03), as the compromised detective had good reason to think there was no tomorrow for him after he was blasted twice with a shotgun.

A rude but relieving awakening for Ray Velcoro in “Maybe Tomorrow” (Episode 2.03), as the compromised detective had good reason to think there was no tomorrow for him after he was blasted twice with a shotgun.

Like his fellow TV cowboy cop Raylan Givens, Ray Velcoro balances his sport jackets and boots with classic American jeans, in this case a pair of dark blue denim Levi’s 501® Original Fit button-fly jeans with his knife clipped into his right side pocket. These iconic jeans, which have been essentially unchanged since the most recent design was standardized in 1947, are widely available directly from Levi’s as well as from retailers like Amazon.

The character’s signature dark brown square-toed boots are consistent with the rest of his style, with Friedberg working together with Farrell until they landed on the ideal pair of custom-made cowboy boots from the Stallion Boot Company of El Paso.

TRUE DETECTIVE

For a brief scene in the season’s first episode, “The Western Book of the Dead” (Episode 2.01), we catch up with Velcoro at the wheel of his Charger, sporting this same tweed jacket over a blue denim-like snap shirt with two patch pockets that each close with a mitred-corner flap. Again, no bolo tie; evidently, Velcoro saves those for his Western-yoked jackets.

Classic chambray work shirt in "The Western Book of the Dead" (Episode 2.01)

Classic chambray work shirt in “The Western Book of the Dead” (Episode 2.01)

What to Imbibe

“Night Finds You” includes a scene of Ray Velcoro settled into the oversized booth at his usual watering hole, the darkened Black Rose dive bar, with a bottle of his brew of choice, Modelo Especial.

TRUE DETECTIVE

Modelo Especial was first bottled in 1925 and the Mexican pilsner-style lager is now a leading product of Grupo Modelo. As of 2017, Modelo Especial was the #2 best-selling imported beer in the United States in 2017 and the #7 best-selling beer overall. (Source: USA Today)

How to Get the Look

Colin Farrell and Rachel McAdams on True Detective (Episode 2.02: "Night Finds You")

Colin Farrell and Rachel McAdams on True Detective (Episode 2.02: “Night Finds You”)

Ray Velcoro spends much of his duration for the Velcoro PD decked out in Western-yoked tweed jackets, bolo ties, and jeans, but this particular outfit that makes its brief appearance in “Night Finds You” is considerably more accessible for the non-horseback layman with its more traditional tweed sports coat, snap-front flannel shirt, and—perhaps most crucially—lack of a bolo tie.

  • Mustard brown woolen tweed single-breasted 2-button sport jacket with swelled-edge notch lapels, welted breast pocket, straight flapped hip pockets, 3-button cuffs, and single vent
  • Bronze, slate, and ivory shadow plaid flannel Western-yoked snap-front shirt with two pointed single-flap chest pockets and triple-snap cuffs
  • White ribbed cotton sleeveless A-style undershirt
  • Levi’s 501 Original Fit button-fly jeans in dark blue denim
  • Brown leather belt with dulled steel squared single-prong buckle
  • Brown leather square-toed short slip-on roper boots

Do Yourself a Favor and…

Check out the second season of True Detective a chance… but you’d really be doing yourself a favor if you watch season one.

The Quote

Bad habits. Never lost one yet.

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