Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens, old-fashioned Deputy U.S. Marshal
Harlan County, Kentucky, Fall 2011
Episode: “Harlan Roulette” (Episode 3.03)
Air Date: January 31, 2012
Director: Jon Avnet
Creator: Graham Yost
Costume Designer: Patia Prouty
More than two years have passed since I last waxed poetic about Justified, Graham Yost’s continuation of Elmore Leonard’s stories and novels centered around Raylan Givens, a modern-day Deputy U.S. Marshal who brings old west sensibilities and style to his duties. After being criticized by his superiors for his all-too-quick—if justified—trigger finger, Raylan is reassigned to the Eastern District of Kentucky, which includes the coal-mining Harlan County where was raised and acquainted with arch-criminal Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) as well as many other colorful characters who shoot in and out of the series over its six seasons.
As we get closer to the weekend, I wanted to revisit one of my favorite moments from the series as well as Raylan’s characteristically dressed-down off-duty duds.
The third season episode “Harlan Roulette” opens innocuously enough with Raylan and his ex-wife Winona (Natalie Zea) discussing potential homes—and their respective commodes (“sounded better than crapper”)—as they explore their own reconciliation. Raylan’s buzzing BlackBerry calls him away to a roadblock related to his ongoing investigation of the dimwitted petty crook and oxy addict Wade Messer (James LeGros, who was the first to portray Raylan Givens in the 1997 made-for-TV adaptation Pronto.) Raylan’s pursuit of Messer leads him to a pawnshop owned by the crooked Glen Fogle (Pruitt Taylor Vince) and eventually back to the messy Messer homestead, where he elicits from Fogle that the local oxy chain leads up to smarmy Dixie Mafia chief Wynn Duffy (Jere Burns) before a standoff between Fogle and his own flunky Wally Becket (Eric Ladin) results in both men dead… and a still-standing Raylan fuming over his lost lead.
In a rage, Raylan storms into Duffy’s trailer—initially ignoring the even smarmier Robert Quarles (Neal McDonough) beaming at him from the corner—and knocks Duffy to the floor with two hits, ejecting a live round from his Glock and tossing it onto Duffy’s chest with the badass threat:
Next one’s comin’ faster.
What’d He Wear?
“That guy down there with the hat… his name’s Raylan Givens, he’s a marshal,” Wade Messer tells his friend as they pull up to the roadblock. As that wide-brimmed hat is arguably his sartorial signature, let’s start with Raylan’s crowning accessory and work our way head to toe through his extremely accessible layered look.
One of Elmore Leonard’s conditions in allowing Justified to get made would be outfitting Raylan with the proper hat as the author cites this wardrobe failure from the making of Pronto when “they gave poor James LeGros a George Strait hat that looked like it was ready to take off.” While Timothy Olyphant’s screen-worn cowboy hat wasn’t exactly Leonard’s preferred Stetson Open Road—previously favored by presidents like Ike and LBJ—the handsome hat that made its way onto the show becomes an integral part of the Raylan Givens image.
Olyphant had first worked with Baron Hats when they crafted his character’s headgear on the HBO proto-Western series Deadwood, so the L.A. milliner was a natural choice when he needed to dress his dome for Justified. Baron Hats proudly elaborates on their work for Justified on their website, where they continue to market “The RG”, available in the same sahara tan 200XXX beaver felt as worn on the show with a 4.25″ cattleman’s crown, 3.25″ brim, and that slim tooled leather band with its steel ranger-style single-prong buckle.
As this wasn’t supposed to be a workday for Raylan, he’s dressed not in his usual sport jacket and tie but instead a button-up shirt layered over a coordinating henley. The long-sleeved henley shirt is black cotton with a three-button top, worn under a shirt patterned in a subdued black-and-taupe mini-grid check.
Identified by the Facebook page @EverythingJustified as a Converse by John Varvatos garment, this shirt has a short point collar, a front placket with contrasting double edge-stitching and all seven mixed brown plastic buttons worn undone, and long sleeves with the button cuffs also unbuttoned and rolled up his forearms.
Whether on duty or off, Raylan invariably wears Levi’s jeans, evidently wearing the classic Levi’s 501 “Original Fit” button-fly jeans here with all the familiar elements like the two horse back patch, arcuate pocket stitching, and small red tab sewn against in the inside of his back right pocket.
Raylan wears a dark brown tooled leather belt with a steel single-prong buckle. On the right side of his belt for a strong-handed draw, he wears a tan full-grain leather holster for his Glock service pistol, which had been custom made by Alfonso Gun Leather of Hollywood (confirmed by the post-wrap ScreenBid auction) to resemble the Bianchi Model 59 Special Agent® that he’d worn in the first season.
Kentucky State Police trooper Tom Bergen (Peter Murnik) accuses Raylan of letting Messer get away, but Raylan corrects him: “One of your boys let him get away, I got the driver… besides, these boots aren’t made for runnin’.”
“And yet, chasin’ fugitives is a marshal’s primary function,” counters Tom. “Ironic, isn’t it?” comments Raylan.
Raylan surprisingly admits to putting form over function in his choice of footwear, sporting cowboy boots that support his “cowboy cop” image while potentially hindering his job performance. After costume designer Patia Prouty joined the series for the second season onward, she would eventually swap Raylan’s already well-worn Justin anteater boots with the familiar cigar-colored Lucchese ostrich leg boots—specifically model L1380—for the third season onward.
Raylan’s watch alternated between a Rolex Submariner and a TAG Heuer Series 6000 Chronometer in the pilot episode, though the TAG Heuer won out and would be his timepiece of choice for the first two seasons. Following that, it was inexplicably replaced with a cheap Versales quartz wristwatch. Strapped to a black leather band, this Japanese-made watch has a round stainless steel case with an extra pusher at 2 o’clock to activate the luminous round white dial.
For an additional cowboy-influenced touch, Raylan regularly wears a sterling silver statement ring with a horseshoe and braided sides that taper toward the back of the band.
“Howdy. That’s a big gun,” greets Robert Quarles as Raylan storms into Wynn Duffy’s trailer, Glock-first. It’s the same Glock 17 service pistol that Raylan had carried from the first season, chambered in 9x19mm Parabellum despite his telling Judge Reardon in “The Hammer” (Episode 1.10) that it was a .45-caliber model.
As a badass TV lawman in the tradition of the old west, Raylan gets plenty of screen time with his Glock, though “Harlan Roulette” features arguably one of the most memorable moments when he racks the slide to eject a round, catches it in mid-air, and throws it onto the floored Wynn Duffy, warning him: “next one’s comin’ faster.”
Developed in the early 1980s, Glock pistols heralded a revolution in the world of firearms, kicking off a series of mostly identical polymer-framed, striker-fired semi-automatic pistols with high-capacity magazines a reputation for reliability that led to widespread adoption by countless law enforcement agencies and military forces around the globe. The company had been founded by Gaston Glock, an Austrian engineer whose experience extended to curtain rods rather than firearms by the time he answered the Austrian Armed Forces’ call for a new, modernized service sidearm to replace its aging stocks of World War II-era Walther P38 pistols.
Glock pulled together experts from across Europe to develop a pistol that met all 17 criteria ordained by the Austrian Ministry of Defence and its final product, the 17th patent procured by the company (hence the designation “Glock 17”), was deemed the winner with production beginning in 1982 following its swift adoption by the Austrian military.
When the public learned of Glock’s innovative lightweight polymer frames, fear-mongering rumors spread of the “plastic gun” that would be able to bypass airport security, propagated by a 1986 article in The Washington Post and again as a significant but ultimately erroneous plot point in Die Hard 2. (While the frames are polymer, most internal parts are still metal… not to mention the ammunition!)
One notable aspect of Glock pistols are that models of the same caliber have interchangeable magazines, regardless of the frame size. For instance, Raylan could use the same magazines in his full-size Glock 17 pistol as in the other 9x19mm models, including the compact Glock 19, subcompact Glock 26, and even the selective-fire Glock 18. As of August 2020, Glock’s lineup includes nearly three dozen pistols of varying sizes across eight different caliber options.
What to Listen to
In addition to its bluegrass-meets-hip hop theme song “Long Hard Times to Come” by Gangstagrass, Justified excels in scoring its episodes with little-known but deliciously Southern-fried tracks that add flavor without distraction. For example, Raylan’s visit to Glen Fogle’s pawnshop features “If I Change My Mind” from Steven Yell’s 2012 album The Good Life and Hard Times of Rayford Mulestedder Greatest Hits, Vol. 2.
I doubt I would have ever heard this catchy country song outside of Justified, but it’s exactly the sort of music you’d expect to hear from the show and that album name alone justifies its inclusion.
How to Get the Look
While the cowboy touches of cattleman’s hat and ostrich leg boots may not be your particular style, the rest of Raylan Givens’ off-duty garb in “Harlan Roulette” provides a comfortable, casual, and easy template to follow when layering over the seasonal transition from summer into fall.
- Black cotton long-sleeve 3-button henley shirt
- Black-and-taupe mini-grid check cotton long-sleeve shirt with short point collar, front placket, and button cuffs
- Blue denim Levi’s 501 Original Fit button-fly jeans
- Dark brown tooled leather belt with a dulled steel single-prong buckle
- Tan full grain leather thumb-break belt holster, for full-size Glock pistol
- Lucchese “cigar”-colored brown ostrich leg Western-style boots
- Baron Hats “The RG” sahara tan 200XXX beaver felt cattleman’s hat with a thin tooled leather band
- Stainless steel wristwatch with luminous white dial and black leather strap
- Sterling silver horseshoe ring with braided side detail
- White ribbed cotton sleeveless undershirt
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Check out the series. I also recommend that fans of the show who are on Facebook follow the great page @EverythingJustified which features many great photos, videos, and moments from the series as well as shots of screen-worn gear.
I think the question you should ask is whether I care if you ride out of here cuffed in the back of my car or get carried out of here in a coroner’s bag. The answer is: me and dead owls… don’t give a hoot.