I’m again pleased to present a guest post contributed by my friend Ken Stauffer, who has written several pieces for BAMF Style previously and chronicles the style of the Ocean’s film series on his excellent Instagram account, @oceansographer.
George Clooney as Danny Ocean, veteran casino heister
Las Vegas, Summer 2007
Film: Ocean’s Thirteen
Release Date: June 8, 2007
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Costume Designer: Louise Frogley
Happy birthday to George Clooney, who turns 62 today! To honor the two-time Academy Award-winning filmmaker and tequila company founder, we’re taking a look back at a standout outfit he wore in his last turn as Danny Ocean (so far) in Ocean’s Thirteen.
After the mixed reception that Ocean’s Twelve received, it was decided that the gang would return to Las Vegas for the duration of the next film. As such, the 2007 threequel finds Ocean & Co. reuniting to get revenge on ruthless hotel tycoon Willy Bank (Al Pacino, in one of his best late career roles) after he swindles their brother-in-arms Reuben Tishkoff (Elliott Gould), sending him into a coma by way of a heart attack. The bulk of the action takes place as the crew prepares for the grand opening of Bank’s opulent new Vegas Strip casino on July 3rd.
Mid-way through the film, we watch as Danny and his right hand man, Rusty Ryan (Brad Pitt), navigate a series of debilitating setbacks while running around Las Vegas on one very long June day. Sure, they’re out of time and money, and their plan is falling apart, but you’d never know it to look at them. Through a combination of movie star charm and expert tailoring, the pair manage to exude an effortlessly cool air even in 100°F+ desert temps.
What’d He Wear?
Though he’s most often seen in dark colors, Danny opts for a decidedly lighter ensemble on the day that Reuben finally awakens from his six-month coma. Consisting of a mid-gray two-button suit, white dress shirt, black belt, and black shoes, the outfit interestingly mirrors one that the thief wore six years prior when he pitched the original Bellagio job to Reuben during a poolside meal. This ended up being the outfit seen throughout almost all promotional material for the film, though it was notably darkened on some posters.
Costume designer Louise Frogley—a frequent collaborator to both Steven Soderbergh and Clooney—was new to the Ocean’s series when she took on the daunting task of styling the film’s large A-list cast. To keep things manageable, she consciously gave each member of the gang “an instantly recognizable silhouette.” For Ocean, that meant classically tailored, solid-color, two-button suits paired with simple dress shirts and polos, worn open at the neck.
While the suits in Ocean’s Eleven were designed by Jeffrey Kurland and custom-made specifically for the productions by Dominic Gherardi, Frogley opted to source costumes from a number of designer brands that she felt fit the style of the individual characters. As she described to the Daily Mail, “as suave leader Danny Ocean, Clooney needed to espouse the most understated elegance in particular, so all of his shirts are made-to-measure and his suits are classic Gucci and Armani.”
This particular suit was made by Gucci, as were the two suits that the smooth criminal wore in Ocean’s Twelve, and at least five that he wears over the course of this film. It’s cut in a traditional fit sporting a two-button front, medium notch lapels, a center vent, and is fully lined in a coordinating gray Bemberg. The shoulders are moderately padded and roped, elegantly enhancing Clooney’s frame with a slight extension. The straight hip pockets have flaps with very rounded corners, and the welted breast pocket is set a little low and close to the shoulder seam to avoid being covered by the lapel.
Fitting for the 2006 filming date, the suit has a raised button stance, resting above the actor’s natural waist, while the length remains traditional, ending near the bottom of Clooney’s thumbs. The bottom button ends up visibly higher than the top welt of the hip pockets, as well as the point where the foreparts of the jacket curve away from center. This unfortunately allows the wearer to fasten the lowest button without realizing it, an unfortunate recurring habit of Clooney’s in the aughts.
We get our best look at the suit when Danny wears it a second time to a group brainstorming session with new senior partner Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia). The buttons on the suit are made from dark brown horn, each etched with the Gucci logo on the rim. All of the buttonholes, including the one on the lapel, are sewn in a charcoal thread darker than the suit fabric, creating a slight contrast. The sleeves are completed with five kissing buttons, a distinctive feature on many Gucci suits ever since Tom Ford’s tenure, that take up a good deal of real estate on each forearm.
Now, what really differentiates this suit is its fabric: a wool-mohair blend that’s great for the summer heat. While earth-tone linens and cottons are more ubiquitous warm weather options today, they tend to lend one a more casual air. Mohair offers similar temperature control, but with a smoother appearance and slick sheen, more often in cooler tones of gray and blue. Perhaps most popular in the ’60s, when it was worn by everyone from British mods to the Rat Pack, mohair blends have become a premium fabric in menswear.
Unlike high-twist wools and cashmere that are silky or soft to the touch, mohair is a bit more stiff and coarse. This gives it a natural resistance to wrinkles, helping maintain a more polished and professional appearance throughout the day. It also means that mohair necessarily needs to be blended with other, softer materials to allow for movement and comfort. This suit was made from a 75% wool / 25% mohair blend in a plain weave. The color is a semi-solid medium gray created by weaving light gray threads in one direction and black ones in the other.
The suit’s matching trousers have a flat front, on-seam side pockets, and a hook-and-bar closure at the center of the waistband. The legs are cut straight with plain bottoms, and Danny wears them with a black dress belt, with a simple, square silver-tone buckle and two matching leather loop keepers.
On his feet, Clooney wears a pair of cap-toe derbies in smooth black calf leather, polished to a high shine. They have four eyelets and black rubber soles, and due to Ocean’s penchant for suits in a limited color palette, he wears them throughout the entirety of the film. Rather than coordinate his socks to his suit, Danny opts for a pair of black socks here to match his shoes (a choice which shocked me when I discovered it, but I spend a lot of time thinking about these things).
On both occasions when this suit makes an appearance, the white shirt beneath it looks the same. It’s made from white cotton and has a tall semi-spread collar—always worn open—and a traditional placket that shows some puckering. The sleeves end with long mitered cuffs that fasten with two buttons. They’re cut just a bit wide, allowing them to slide down Clooney’s hands, and as a result, the character shows a bit more cuff than usual.
We get a quick look at the back of the shirt when Danny takes off his jacket to enjoy some “Cantonese-inspired Schezwan cuisine.” It has no pleats, but is darted to create a more contoured fit. Though Anto made shirts for every star in the film, including Clooney, this wasn’t one of them, and indeed this shirt is cut slimmer than those bespoke ones. Given all the details, it’s most likely also from Gucci.
As he’s inexplicably ditched his wedding band before the start of the film, the only jewelry that Danny wears in the film is his understated watch. Upon careful examination, it appears to be a Patek Philippe Calatrava, reference number 5196R-001. The Calatrava is truly the original, quintessential dress watch, and this modern iteration is a pretty faithful recreation of the brand’s archetypal Reference 96 from 1932, only scaled up from 30mm to 37mm. It’s a fitting choice as the Hamilton Linwood Viewmatic that Ocean wore in the previous 2 films was largely influenced by the Calatrava’s classic lines.
The watch has a silver opaline dial with polished, applied hour markers, classic dauphine hour and minute hands, and a small seconds display at 6 o’clock, housed in a solid 18-karat rose gold case. It’s worn upon a brown alligator leather strap that closes with a distinctive pointed tang buckle. The model launched in 2004 and was discontinued just last year, remaining unchanged for its 18-year run.
While George is now indelibly linked with Omega timepieces, he didn’t become an ambassador for the brand until March 2007, three months before this film premiered, but months after it was shot in the summer of 2006. Along with Michael Clayton that came out a few months later (in which he dons a Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Hometime), this would be one of the final times the actor was seen without an Omega on his wrist.
How to Get the Look
No one can wear a suit quite like George Clooney, and this one stands out from the crowd. Equal parts conservative and snazzy, classic and contemporary, the outfit perfectly conveys the sophisticated cool of both the character and film:
- Gray 75% wool / 25% mohair suit from Gucci:
- Single-breasted 2-button jacket with raised button stance, medium notch lapel, welted breast pocket, straight flapped hip pockets, 5-button cuffs, and single vent
- Flat-front trousers with belt loops, on-seam side pockets, and plain-hemmed bottoms
- White cotton dress shirt with tall semi-spread collar, traditional placket, darted back and two-button mitered cuffs
- Black leather belt with silver-toned square single-prong buckle
- Black leather cap-toe derby dress shoes with 4 eyelets and black rubber soles
- Black dress socks
- Patek Philippe Calatrava 5169 in 18-karat rose gold with silver dial on brown crocodile strap
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Cash out at the craps table while you’re up… and check out the movie.
We’ll send them a check… we’ll post-date it.