Succession: Logan Roy’s Birthday Party Style

Brian Cox as Logan Roy on Succession (Episode 1.01: “Celebration”)

Vitals

Brian Cox as Logan Roy, media mogul and domineering patriarch

New York, Fall 2018

Series: Succession
Episode: “Celebration” (Episode 1.01)
Air Date: June 3, 2018
Director: Adam McKay
Creator: Jesse Armstrong
Costume Designer: Catherine George (Pilot episode only)

Background

The third season of Succession premiered a year ago today, and many—including yours truly—still eagerly await the return of this deliciously profane HBO series that satirizes the culture of unscrupulous wealth in corporate America via the fictional Roy family, a dysfunctional dynasty fighting for control of the global entertainment conglomerate started by the aging patriarch, Logan. Brian Cox has received much deserved acclaim for his performance as the manipulative, tyrannical Logan Roy, said to be partially inspired by real-life media magnates like Rupert Murdoch, Sumner Redstone, and Arthur Ochs Sulzberger.

Succession begins on Logan’s 80th birthday, and while the brusque business mogul is hardly the type to celebrate with balloons and cake, he’s still having a party in his honor, hosted by his third wife Marcia (Hiam Abbass). The party gives us an opportunity to meet the offspring constantly vying for either control of the company, their toxic father’s affection, or the supremely unfeasible combination of both.

What’d He Wear?

The first time we see Logan Roy fully dressed, he’s comfortably layered for his birthday, which is suggested to be sometime in late fall based on the state of the foliage. In her InsideHook interview with Brian Cox last year, Caroline Reilly described Logan as “TV’s best dressed dad, if not TV’s best dressed man at large.” Having amassed unfathomable wealth and power in his fourscore years, Logan no longer needs to project the image of a successful businessman by wearing suits, regularly dressing in comfortable knitwear that still flatters yet challenges any sartorial nay-sayers to fuck off.

When we first meet Logan in “Celebration”, the mogul is dressed not in a crisp white shirt and tie but rather a soft navy-blue long-sleeved polo made from a luxurious knitted cloth like cashmere. The shirt has a three-button top, which Logan wears with the bottom two buttons done to cover most of the charcoal crew-neck T-shirt he wears as an undershirt.

Brian Cox as Logan Roy on Succession

Logan wears khaki trousers rigged with a set of pleats on each side that add the roominess appropriate for a man who, as Mr. Cox described himself to Ms. Reilly, has “this tendency to look like a bulldog standing on his hindquarters.”

Despite the actor’s own deprecating description of himself, the trousers are still smartly cut to provide an appearance more sophisticated than the stereotypical octogenarian’s khakis. Held up by a dark brown leather belt that remains mostly unseen under his untucked shirt hem, the trousers have side pockets and jetted back pockets, the left of which closing through a buttoned loop. The bottoms are finished with turn-ups (cuffs) that break over his brown pleather plain-toe derby shoes.

Brian Cox as Logan Roy on Succession

Once it’s time for the party, Logan pulls on a dark brown sports coat with a sophisticated check pattern of a tonal brown plaid shadow-framed by a dark blue windowpane check. The woolly cloth is lightly napped like flannel, though I wouldn’t rule out cashmere and/or silk for a man with Logan’s luxurious taste.

The single-breasted jacket has notch lapels that roll to a lower two-button stance, in addition to a welted breast pocket, straight jetted hip pockets, three-button cuffs, and double vents. The wide shoulders flatter Cox’s broad frame and project an imposing silhouette as the power-mad Logan Roy would want. (Michelle Matland, who took over as costume designer for the second episode onward, explained to Ms. Reilly in a 2019 interview for Variety that she had Logan’s suits tailored by the prolific Leonard Logsdail, though I’m not sure if Mr. Logsdail would have provided the tailored jacket for this first episode before Ms. Matland’s tenure.)

Logan clearly favored this look, repeating the aesthetic—if not the exact same jacket—for yet another “surprise” party in his honor in “Dundee” (Episode 2.08).

Brian Cox as Logan Roy on Succession

When Logan travels into the office to “visit” his son Kendall (Jeremy Strong) at the office, he layers for the city in a navy cashmere double-breasted overcoat. The buttons are arranged in a classic 6×2 formation, with a narrow wrap that typically flatters shorter and stouter men like the 5’9″ Brian Cox by narrowing the waist and emphasizing height.

The coat has peak lapels—per usual on double-breasted garments—with sporty swelled edges. Though longer and heavier, the coat features all the hallmarks of traditional suit jacket design like the welted breast pocket, straight jetted hip pockets, and cuff buttons.

Brian Cox as Logan Roy on Succession

After the party, Logan deems that “it’s my birthday, so yes, we’re playing the game,” flying the family—and their entourage—out of the city for their traditional softball game. Logan demonstrates a canny sartorial sensibility by wearing not his navy cashmere coat but a more countrified “double coat” with a black suede thigh-length outer shell, lined in brown leather with three snaps up the front that close the coat over a charcoal knitted inner shell that zips up from waist to neck, though Logan wears the top unzipped to mid-chest to allow for his scarf.

The outer shell only snaps up to mid-chest, though the collar can be folded up like a funnel-neck and closed through a belted throat latch with a nickel-coated buckle. The set-in sleeves have half-straps at each cuff that close via one of two snaps to adjust the tightness over each wrist. Each side of the jacket has a vertical hand pocket at chest level and a bellowed hip pocket with a button-down flap, showing brown leather behind the pocket folds.

Brian Cox and Sarah Snook on Succession

In their cozy fall layers with copper mugs in hand, Logan and his daughter Shiv (Sarah Snook) negotiate her potential position in the Waystar organization.

With both coats, Logan wears the same brown cap, scarf, and leather three-point gloves.

Much has been written about the obsession among Succession‘s elite with what Jacob Gallagher described in the Wall Street Journal as “status baseball caps” to “subtly telegraph their affluence.” These blank baseball caps are completely devoid of logos, emblems, or ornamentation of any sort, instead sturdily constructed of expensive cashmere that allows brands like Brunello Cucinelli Loro Piana to justify charging hundreds of dollars for plain headgear like Loro Piana’s “My Baseball Cap” that Kendall wore through the third season. Logan’s charcoal-brown mini-checked wool cap offers the “storm system” of tuckable flaps that can be extended to protect the wearer’s ears against the elements, be they weather or protestors outside his home.

Unlike Brian Cox, who explained that “many scarves in my wardrobe have a particular sentimental value, either given to me as first-night gifts or more probably by girlfriends, but then I wear them too much, they age and I have to part with them,” it’s hard to picture Logan Roy attaching sentimental value to anything—even his own children, let alone a scarf. In the first episode, Logan wears a scarf with a brown, black, and stone houndstooth arrangement similar to a traditional gun club check, the stalwart estate pattern that originated in Scotland, like Logan and his portrayer Brian Cox.

Brian Cox as Logan Roy on Succession

“One of the upsides of having light sensitive eyes, is that it provides a great excuse to don designer shades,” Brian Cox had shared with Caroline Reilly, and we see this exemplified throughout Succession with his black acetate rectangular-framed Persol PO3048S sunglasses, easily identifiable by the Italian eyewear brand’s signature silver arrow temple logo.

Even when wearing his sunglasses, Logan regularly keeps his reading glasses handy, attached to a black cord around his neck. The glasses could be described as a modified or modernized “browline”-style, with straight black rectangular semi-frames across the top of each lens and flush with the wide arms, while the narrow lenses themselves have only a thin silver rim. Logan’s glasses are otherwise detailed with squared silver panels over each temple and two vertically arranged rivets on each end of the front.

Brian Cox as Logan Roy on Succession

For all of its prestigious trappings and easily identifiable watches (Shiv’s Cartiers! Cousin Greg spending $40,000 on a Rolex!), the exact timepieces dressing Logan Roy’s wrist remain surprisingly mysterious. We even get a few good looks at his watch in the first episode, strapped to a black exotic leather bracelet with a round silver-toned case that’s likely platinum or white gold of elegantly simple design with an unguarded crown. The round white dial features a silver ring for the hour indices and dark blue hands.

Craig Karger theorized for Wrist Enthusiast that Logan may wear an IWC Big Pilot Big Date and, while he may in another episode, that does not appear to be the watch in the pilot episode. (A Redditor also suggested a Breguet 7147BB, though that doesn’t appear to be quite right either.)

Brian Cox as Logan Roy on Succession

What do you get a man who wears an elegant Swiss watch? Why, goo, of course.

While we’re not sure what’s really on his watch, there’s no doubt about the Patek Philippe that Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfadyen) purchases as Logan’s birthday gift in the desperate yet futile attempt to impress his possible future father-in-law. Unfortunately for Tom, Logan Roy may be one of the few men that a new Patek Philippe would not impress.

Tom: It’s just a- it’s a Patek Philippe, so…
Logan: Yeah, it says “Patek Philippe.”
Tom: Yeah. I know. It’s incredibly accurate. Every time you look at it, it tells you exactly how rich you are.
Logan: (not laughing) That’s very funny. Did you rehearse that?
Tom: No. Yeah, well, no. Yes. But…

Brian Cox as Logan Roy on Succession

Tom may have done just as well saving his money and buying Logan a Casio. Note that Tom wears a Barbour jacket, as evident by the brand’s embroidered logo on his left pocket flap.

How to Get the Look

Brian Cox and Sarah Snook on Succession (Episode 1.01: “Celebration”)

Brian Cox himself described the “elegant contemporary look of Logan Roy’s quiet but pronounced style,” and I couldn’t describe it better myself. The template was set from the get-go, as the mogul dressed in comfortable yet luxurious layers for his 80th birthday party with a tasteful plaid sports coat over his elevated menswear staples of a navy polo and khakis, adapted with the appropriate outerwear for both city and country.

  • Brown tonal-plaid and blue shadow-windowpane check wool single-breasted 2-button sport jacket with notch lapels, welted breast pocket, straight flapped hip pockets, 3-button cuffs, and double vents
  • Navy cashmere 3-button long-sleeve polo shirt
  • Khaki pleated trousers with belt loops, side pockets, jetted back pockets (with button-loop back-left pocket), and turn-ups/cuffs
  • Brown leather belt
  • Brown leather plain-toe derby shoes
  • Dark brown mini-checked wool baseball cap
  • Persol PO3048S black acetate rectangular-framed sunglasses with silver temple logos and green frames
  • Black semi-“browline” reading glasses on black neck-cord
  • Brown, black, and stone gun club check cashmere scarf
  • Black suede thigh-length “double coat” with brown leather lining, charcoal zip-up insert, vertical chest pocket, flapped bellow hip pockets, and snap-strap cuffs
  • Dark brown leather three-point gloves

Do Yourself a Favor and…

Check out the series, currently streaming on HBO Max.

For fans of the show’s style, I recommend following the great Instagram accounts @successionfashion and @successionfits.

The Quote

Politics is what comes out the asshole. Wouldn’t you rather be up front, feeding the horse?

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