Jude Law as Graham Simpkins, charming book editor and widowed father
Surrey, England, Christmas 2005
Film: The Holiday
Release Date: December 8, 2006
Director: Nancy Meyers
Costume Designer: Marlene Stewart
Happy 50th birthday, Jude Law! The London-born actor has been frequently featured on BAMF Style before but today’s post offers a more practical look for those of us who aren’t regularly jaunting off the Italian coast or solving crimes in Victorian England.
In recognition of Law’s December 29th birthday landing directly between Christmas and New Year’s Day, it feels most appropriate on his milestone birthday to review his scarf-positive performance in Nancy Meyers’ yuletide romantic comedy The Holiday, which was incorrectly rumored this month to be receiving a sequel 17 years after its initial release.
For those unfamiliar, The Holiday centers around American movie promoter Amanda Woods (Cameron Diaz) and English columnist Iris Simpkins (Kate Winslet) who arrange to escape their respective holiday heartbreak by swapping locales via homeexchange.com, and—this being a Nancy Meyers joint—finding love in the process. While Iris lands the affable composer Miles (Jack Black), Amanda ends up with Iris’ “semi-respectable big brother” Graham, who drunkenly dashes into her life with a tan that defies what admittedly little I know about UK winters.
Amanda meets Graham several days before Christmas when he drunkenly shows up at Iris’ cottage in Surrey, a situation that may have been a “meet-cute” for 2006 audiences but would surely trigger red flags among scores of murderinos today. Though initially alarmed by his pounding at the door and asking to use the bathroom, Amanda quickly grows comfortable with the stranger and shares how she ended up staying in his sister’s cottage to try to assuage her holiday loneliness. After Amanda fears she’s overshared, she quips “I bet you’re glad you knocked on this door,” to which Graham earnestly responds “I am, actually,” and kisses her goodnight… a well-received risk that results in her impulsively asking him to spend the night.
What’d He Wear?
Graham had likely started his day dressed for work before it devolved into an evening at the pub, clad in a plaid sports coat and tie dressed down with jeans and layered under one of his requisite overcoat-and-scarf combinations. Though it’s only a relatively brief scene, we get a clear sense of his wardrobe as he strips down from being inside to crash on Iris’ couch as usual… and then to dress again the next morning after sleeping with Amanda.
This first scarf is arguably the simplest of Graham’s screen-worn collection, made from a thick charcoal wool that has significant pilled. While certainly functional, this scarf doesn’t make as much of an impression as the natty plaid scarf he would wear the following evening when hoping to run into Amanda at his local pub.
I’m particularly fond of Graham’s topcoat in these scenes, a brown Donegal tweed thigh-length coat with the colorful flecking characteristic of this Irish-woven woolen fabric. Other than its length, the flattering three-button coat is styled like a tailored single-breasted sport jacket with its “swelled”-edge notch lapels, welted breast pocket, straight flapped hip pockets, single vent, and set-in sleeves with roped shoulders and four “kissing” buttons on each cuff.
When Graham drunkenly slides out of his coat while getting to know Amanda, we briefly see his stylish wool sports coat, patterned in a black-on-brown glen plaid with a teal-blue graph overcheck. The single-breasted, two-button jacket has straight, padded shoulders, roped sleeveheads, and long double vents. Front darts shape the jacket into a handsome hourglass silhouette. In addition to the welted breast pocket, the hip pockets are slanted rearward with wide, rounded flaps.
The most unique aspect of the jacket are the skirted cuffs, which have a deep vent and wide gauntlets that each fasten to a single button in lieu of traditional cuff buttons.
Aside from the white shirt during the New Year’s Eve-set finale, Graham wears exclusively light blue shirts, both solid and in various stripes like the shirt he wears when he meets Amanda. This particular shirt is pale-blue cotton with stripes alternating between a narrow double set of burgundy track stripes and a hairline-width light-blue stripe. Fitted to flatter Law’s frame, the shirt has a spread collar, French front (no placket), and single-button rounded cuffs with additional gauntlet buttons.
Coordinating with his shirt’s track stripes, Graham’s dark burgundy silk tie is patterned with a neatly organized field of white pin-dots and tied in a four-in-hand that—given how he spent the first part of his evening—is already considerably loosened by the time he arrives at Amanda’s door.
Even with a jacket and tie, Graham typically wears dark indigo denim jeans, which he mentions are often battling hot chocolate stains thanks to his fatherly festivities with Sophie (Miffy Englefield) and Olivia (Emma Pritchard). As was fashionable through the mid-2000s when The Holiday was filmed, Graham’s jeans have gently flared boot-cut bottoms with full breaks that envelop his brown leather oxford-laced shoes… though we admittedly don’t see enough of them to know that they’re not boots. The footwear likely match his dark brown leather belt that goes unseen here but flashes a silver-toned square single-prong buckle in other scenes.
Graham wears a gold dress watch that has a gold dial detailed with non-numeric hour indices and sub-dials at the 12 and 6 o’clock positions, worn on a russet crocodile-scaled leather strap.
Having misplaced his contact lenses, Graham puts on his black-framed glasses the following morning, adding a dash of bookish sensitivity apropos this self-proclaimed “weeper” that indicate his increased vulnerability as he stumbles through trying to share his feelings for Amanda in the morning.
Law wore the FACE À FACE “Oscar” frame that reportedly garnered the French eyewear brand so many inquiries that they rereleased a limited run of 300 copies stamped with The Holiday markings along the inside.
What to Imbibe
Despite the fact that he’s returned from getting “inordinately pissed” at the local pub, Amanda offers Graham a drink (“Glass of water? Tea? Wine, maybe?”) to which he responds by pointing out a bottle of Raynal VSOP tucked among Iris’ Bombay Sapphire gin and Glen Moray whisky, requesting “Maybe there’s a bottle of brandy… fancy a glass?”
I’ve never tasted Raynal myself, but Total Wine & More describes this budget-friendly brandy as:
A blend of three eaux-de-vie sourced from the most famous French wine regions. Carefully handcrafted and aged in French oak to provide a smooth, velvety taste containing notes of almond and walnut. Long finish, with hints of candied fruit and ginger.
How to Get the Look
There are certain things I suspect Graham Simpkins can get away with because he’s played by Jude Law—for instance, spontaneously kissing a woman just minutes after you met her by drunkenly pounding on her front door—but a distinctive sport jacket should be on any man’s wishlist, incorporating an eye-catching design like Graham’s plaid as well as unique detailing like his button-down gauntlets. It may be just the panache you need to wear a jacket, tie, and jeans without looking like Jerry Seinfeld. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that…)
- Brown-and-black glen plaid (with teal-blue overcheck) wool single-breasted 2-button sport jacket with notch lapels, welted breast pocket, slanted flapped hip pockets, wide button-down gauntlet cuffs, and long double vents
- Pale-blue track-striped cotton shirt with spread collar, plain front, and 1-button rounded cuffs
- Dark burgundy pin-dot silk tie
- Dark indigo denim jeans
- Dark brown leather belt with silver-toned square single-prong buckle
- Brown leather oxford shoes
- Brown flecked Donegal tweed single-breasted 3-button thigh-length overcoat with notch lapels, welted breast pocket, straight flapped hip pockets, 4-button “kissing” cuffs, and single vent
- Charcoal woolen scarf
- Black-framed glasses
- Gold dress watch with gold dial on russet croc leather strap
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Check out the movie.
Utter honesty! Very refreshing…