A Warm December: Sidney Poitier’s Camel Blazer
Sidney Poitier as Matt Younger, widowed father and clinic physician
London, Summer 1972
Film: A Warm December
Release Date: May 23, 1973
Director: Sidney Poitier
Wardrobe Supervisor: John Wilson-Apperson
To remember the late screen legend Sidney Poitier KBE—born 96 years ago today on February 20, 1927—today’s post returns to the Oscar-winning actor’s second directorial effort, A Warm December.
In addition to directing, Poitier also stars as the recently widowed Dr. Matt Younger, who arrives in London with his daughter Stefanie (Yvette Curtis). Looking for nothing more than a mindless vacation with his daughter and riding his motorbike, Matt’s trip becomes considerably more complicated after an interesting encounter outside his Pall Mall hotel with the mysterious Catherine Oswandu (Ester Anderson).
What’d He Wear?
Matt arrives in London wearing a camel-colored twill single-breasted blazer, handsomely tailored but not without some concessions to ’70s trends like the wide notch lapels and long double vents that align with the vertical side seams under each armpit. (In this, “camel” refers only to the rich tan color and not the specific fabric, which appears to be a wool serge.)
The blazer has roped sleeveheads and appropriately sporty patch pockets over the hips and left breast. The metal buttons contribute to the jacket’s definition as a blazer and not simply a sports coat, with three brass shank buttons on the front and three smaller matching buttons on each cuff.
Matt’s cotton poplin shirt is a pale cream—just a shade warmer than white, softening the contrast against his blazer—most likely made by London shirtmaker Frank Foster given the setting, the front placket stitching, and the fact that Sidney Poitier was a customer in real-life. The shirt has a substantial spread collar and single-button rounded cuffs.
He wears a woolen flannel tie woven in a gun club check pattern, consisting of an alternating black and olive houndstooth check with a red houndstooth overcheck against a beige ground.
Matt keeps his outfit tonally coordinated with dark brown flat-front trousers, detailed with then-fashionable “frogmouth”-style open-top front pockets and slightly flared plain-hemmed bottoms. The trousers are held up with a wide dark brown leather belt that closes through a squared gold-toned single prong buckle.
The belt leather coordinates with his dark brown leather moc-toe loafers, each detailed with a silver-toned three-piece horsebit detail. For additional consistency, Matt wears dark chocolate brown dress socks that continue the trouser leg-line into his shoes.
Later in the film, Matt plans to take the train to Portsmouth for a motorbike race but ultimately aborts his journey in favor of returning to London with Stefanie and using their car trip to educate Stefanie about Catherine’s sickle cell anemia.
Matt wears the same blazer, trousers, belt, and shoes but with a drab mustard turtleneck instead of his previous shirt and tie. Likely made from merino wool, this sweater has a soft, tightly woven body and a narrowly ribbed roll-neck.
How to Get the Look
Matt Younger dresses to make a stylish impression upon his arrival in London, modeling how to tastefully pair light and dark shades of brown with his camel-toned blazer and dark trousers, with additional visual interest from his checked flannel tie and horsebit loafers.
- Camel wool serge single-breasted 3-button blazer with wide notch lapels, patch breast pocket, patch hip pockets, 3-button cuffs, and long double side vents
- Pale-cream cotton poplin shirt with spread collar, front placket, and button cuffs
- Beige multicolor gun club check woolen flannel tie
- Dark brown flat front trousers with belt loops, frogmouth front pockets, and plain-hemmed bottoms
- Dark brown leather belt with squared gold-finished single-prong buckle
- Dark brown leather moc-toe horsebit loafers
- Dark brown socks
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Check out the movie, most accessibly available on DVD as part of a four-film “Sidney Poitier Collection” box set from Warner Brothers.
You take a chance. After all, how many times do you pass through?
Shortly after his arrival, Matt also meets up with his friend and fellow doctor Henry Barlow, played by George Baker, whom Bond fans may recognize as the real Sir Hilary Bray in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969).