Brad Pitt’s Green Needlecord Shirt in World War Z
Brad Pitt as Gerry Lane, former United Nations investigator-turned-zombie fighter
Cardiff, Wales, Fall 2012
Film: World War Z
Release Date: June 21, 2013
Director: Marc Forster
Costume Designer: Mayes C. Rubeo
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
With the world under siege by a rapidly spreading virus, the need for a vaccine grows more desperate each day… and only Brad Pitt can save us.
Until that last line, you may have thought I was beginning an essay on life in 2020 (and who knows, maybe the star somehow will become a crucial figure in discovering a vaccine!) World War Z may be the perfect movie to watch during the Halloween season this year, tapping into this year’s zeitgiest of viruses and vaccines dominating headlines.
The final act of World War Z is set at a World Health Organization lab outside the Welsh capital, where ex-U.N. field agent Gerry Lane (Pitt) has just crash-landed with an IDF officer (Danielle Kertesz) with whom he had escaped from Jerusalem just as the city was being overrun by the zombies that are terrorizing the world. Only a skeleton crew of WHO researchers remain, eager to test Gerry’s theories after his firsthand experiences fighting and evading these viral zombies around the world.
Though a considerable departure from Max Brooks’ excellent source novel of the same name, World War Z was positively received as a suspenseful thriller with exciting action sequences and a more realistic approach to the fabled zombie apocalypse than previous entries in this oft-explored horror subgenre.
What’d He Wear?
Gerry Lane’s costume gradually evolves over the course of World War Z through three core outfits. In the opening scenes, Gerry is dressed in blue layers when he and his family first confront the virus at home in Philadelphia. Costume designer Mayes C. Rubeo told the Costume Designers Guild that her goal was to dress Gerry’s family in “non-gloomy colors to represent a sense of hope and their try for survival — without distracting from the action.” Once Gerry is recruited back into action, he’s dressed for duty in a more militaristic utility shirt and cargo pants with a shemagh scarf for the warm Mediterranean climate upon his arrival in Israel.
After crash-landing in Wales, Gerry dresses in a fresh shirt that he would wear through the end of World War Z. This dark forest green shirt is made from a thin-waled corduroy, also known as “needlecord” cotton, and remains a popular style with outfitters like Charles Tyrwhitt, Everlane, and even Amazon house brand Goodthreads offering similar shirts as of October 2020.
The button-down collar and open breast pocket indicate that this is certainly more of a civilian’s shirt than anything military-issued, though the green shade codes to the audience that Gerry is still in mission mode. The buttons fastening the collar to the body of the shirt as well as those up the plain “French placket” and on the barrel cuffs are all black sew-through plastic.
Under the corduroy shirt, Gerry wears a faded charcoal cotton T-shirt with short “muscle” sleeves that can be easily rolled up for easy administration of a vaccine injected into his upper arm. The T-shirt’s crew neck slackens as though it had been stretched or pulled, revealing a tarnished sterling silver pendant stamped “FOREVER” on a thin silver necklace.
While a comfortable corduroy shirt and that go-to broken-in T-shirt should be staples in any civilian’s closet, Gerry puts form considerably ahead of fashion for his baggy and bulky tactical trousers. Guided by the built-in knee pads, contributors at The RPF and EDC Forums have suggested than Pitt’s screen-worn trousers are the Crye Precision G3 Combat Pant™, “designed as a no-compromise assault uniform, these pants are aggressively cut for maximum mobility.” You can read more about these “combat-proven” cargo pants from Crye Precision.
If Pitt’s khaki cargo pants are the G3 model, they would be constructed to military specifications from “50/50 NYCO Ripstop”, the rugged cotton and nylon blend used for BDUs. These flat front pants have a total of ten pockets, starting with slanted hand pockets on the front, a pair of zip-fastened pockets on the back, large cargo pockets on the side of each thigh supplemented by slightly smaller inverted box-pleat cargo pockets on the front of each thigh, and finally a smaller cargo pocket positioned over each ankle. There is also a designated knife/light holder slot positioned above the highest set of cargo pockets on each side.
Gerry wears derby-laced plain-toe work boots in brown napped leather with heavy lugged light brown outsoles.
Through all the combat and crashes, Gerry continues to wear his wedding band—which appears to be white gold—on the designated third finger of his left hand.
Gerry also continues to wear his same watch, one of seven Terra Cielo Mare Orienteering PVD watches provided by the Italian family company for Pitt wear on screen, as costume designer Mayes C. Rubeo explains in her interview with Designed by Hollywood.
The Orienteering watch line was introduced in 2010 and “dedicated to the great explorers who have always needed an instrument to orient themselves on land and sea, even in adverse conditions,” according to the company’s site. The model worn by Pitt has a black PVD-treated titanium 44mm case, black dial, and a brown English leather 22mm-wide strap.
Under the closed cuff of his right shirt sleeve, Gerry likely still wears the two colorfully knotted “friendship bracelets” that were likely made for him by his daughters.
How to Get the Look
Gerry Lane may be a man on a mission, but he still dresses for casual comfort in his forest-shaded needlecord shirt layered over a T-shirt with cargo pants, a versatile and fall-friendly outfit perfect for a weekend of fighting zombies or just kicking back on the couch to watch Brad Pitt fight ’em for you.
- Forest green thin-waled corduroy cotton long-sleeved shirt with button-down collar, plain front, breast pocket, and adjustable-button barrel cuffs
- Charcoal faded cotton short-sleeve crew-neck T-shirt
- Khaki cotton/nylon combat-ready cargo pants with ten pockets and built-in knee pads
- Brown leather belt with squared steel single-prong buckle
- Black leather plain-toe derby boots with dark brown outsoles and brown laces
- Sterling silver “FOREVER” pendant on a thin silver necklace chain
- Terra Cielo Mare Orienteering watch with black PVD-coated titanium case, black dial, and brown leather strap
- Two colorful friendship bracelets
- White gold wedding band
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Check out the movie. It has the personal distinction for me as the last movie I ever saw at the iconic Twin Hi-Way Drive-In theater outside of Pittsburgh, a place where my family often watched the latest releases when I was a kid.
If you can fight, fight. Be prepared for anything. Our war has just begun.
Maybe for a lark for Halloween, you could do Borat’s suit.
I’m glad that’s one you’d be interested in as I wrote about it for April Fool’s Day a few years ago! https://bamfstyle.com/2015/04/01/borat/
Though it’s an older post and could certainly benefit from me revisiting it, especially with some additional items from Borat Subsequent Moviefilm