Will Arnett as George Oscar “GOB” Bluth II, magician (part-time)
Orange County, California, Fall 2003
Series: Arrested Development
– “Pilot” (Episode 1.01, dir. Anthony Russo & Joe Russo, aired 11/2/2003)
– “Altar Egos” (Episode 1.17, dir. Jay Chandrasekhar, aired 3/17/2004)
Creator: Mitchell Hurwitz
Costume Designer: Katie Sparks
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
TV audiences first met the Bluth family 20 years ago this week when Arrested Development premiered on November 2, 2003. As Ron Howard narrates over each episode’s opening credits, it’s the story of a wealthy family who lost everything and the one son who had no choice but to keep them all together… it’s arrested development.
The son in question is Michael (Jason Bateman), arguably the most responsible of the four Bluth siblings, though it could be argued his sensibility extends into self-righteousness as he seeks to maintain a sense of normalcy while raising his son, the anxious George Michael Bluth (Michael Cera)—named after his father and grandfather and not the singer-songwriter.
In addition to Michael, the avaricious George Sr. (Jeffrey Tambor) and Lucille (Jessica Walter) also raised the absurd GOB (Will Arnett), the spoiled Lindsay (Portia di Rossi), and the sheltered Buster (Tony Hale).
Like his fellow “eldest son” Connor Roy, GOB—pronounced “jobe”, though not everyone in-universe has received the message—harbors some resentment that his smarter and more ambitious little brother has been tapped to succeed their corrupt father’s footsteps in taking over the family’s real estate firm. Instead, GOB is left to defend his magic
tricks illusions against his family’s disapproval and mockery.
No paragraphs of mine could do this series justice, especially the landmark first three seasons that remain among my favorite comedies ever produced.
What’d He Wear?
GOB Bluth always dresses for his particular situation, whether it’s dramatic style for the stage, bright sweaters to appease his wife, or
$3,000 $4,000 $5,000 $6,300 business suits (come on!) when he briefly takes control of the Bluth Company. For most other situations, costume designer Katie Sparks dressed GOB in a rotation of unstructured sleazurewear that fits his personality as a brash, self-absorbed loafer.
The GOB Bluth aesthetic was established in the opening of the pilot episode while attending his father’s retirement party in a powder-blue cotton sports coat with a printed shirt and off-white pleated slacks. Detailed with white-stitched welted edges, the single-breasted jacket has notch lapels that taper to two cream-colored plastic buttons positioned at Will Arnett’s waist. These match the two buttons that fasten the short vents on the cuffs of each sleeve. The jacket is shaped with front darts and has a single vent.
The jacket’s sporty nature continues with the three patch pockets: two flapped pockets over the hips and another over GOB’s left breast, which he dresses for the seagoing soiree with a colorful pocket square—this pink silk kerchief has brown rolled edges and a brown-stenciled leafy print that echoes his shirt pattern.
Unlike the rest of the Bluth men (except Tobias!) in their solid-colored dress shirts and ties, the characteristically casual GOB differentiates his look with a brown-and-beige floral long-sleeved shirt. Though the large-scaled all-over floral print recalls aloha-wear, GOB’s shirt likely wasn’t produced in Hawaii and lacks some of the signature hallmarks of a true aloha shirt.
The shirt has a point collar, a plain front that GOB wears with the top two buttons undone, and squared single-button cuffs. I believe that Will Arnett wears the same shirt—re-colored to look black and white—in the show’s opening credits.
Off-white pleated trousers are an enduring staple of GOB Bluth’s style, though the slacks he wears in the pilot episode are beltless, lacking the loops for GOB to wear one of his belts with a “G”-monogrammed buckle that would become integral to his look as the series continued. These trousers have single reverse pleats, side pockets, and plain-hemmed bottoms.
GOB and Michael both wear black leather dress shoes, which may be a better fit for Michael’s trad navy jacket and striped tie though they look incongruous with GOB’s less formal and lighter-colored look.
Before GOB would adopt the stainless Tissot chronograph he wears through much of the original three seasons, he actually alternates between a chunky black digital watch (similar to a Casio G-Shock) while aboard the boat and then an all-yellow gold watch as the family watches the news report of George Sr.’s SEC arrest from the police station. The latter, more aligned with GOB’s style, resembles a Rolex “Presidential” Day-Date with its three-piece link bracelet. (Although Will Arnett owns and wears several in real life, I doubt that GOB’s gold watch is a Rolex.)
Based on how he later thanks Michael “for your time” in a later episode, you could explain away the likely continuity error by suggesting that GOB slipped it from a mark’s wrist at some point during George Sr.’s arrest.
When GOB next wears the powder-blue sport jacket in “Altar Egos” (Episode 1.17), it’s now more consistent with his series-established style.
His white short-sleeved shirt with its burgundy-and-blue teardrop paisley print had previously appeared in the episode “Visiting Ours” (Episode 1.05). The shirt has a large, ’70s-style point collar, a button-up front placket, and a breast pocket.
GOB’s cream-colored trousers have double reverse pleats, straight side pockets, plain-hemmed bottoms, and now belt loops, though his black leather belt closes through a regular silver-toned square single-prong buckle rather than one adorned with a “G” (for GOB, of course).
Consistent with his penchant for idling, GOB shows a preference for sandals, even with his suits and sport jackets. With this outfit, he wears open-toed mules with dark brown leather uppers.
What to Imbibe
GOB’s go-to drink appears to be Scotch on the rocks, but there are occasions that call for him following his mother’s preference for a Martini, as seen by the olive-garnished cocktails he and his future wife (Amy Pohler) drink at the start of their increasing dares that led to their impulsive marriage in “Altar Egos” (Episode 1.17).
The Bluth family seems to prefer their martinis made with vodka, shown to be either the barley-based Finnish vodka Finlandia or the fictional in-universe brand Cloudmir, which first appears when Lindsay is hired to promote them in “Public Relations” (Episode 1.11).
How to Get the Look
Your wife doesn’t mind if you’re not wearing that new pastel sweater she bought you? Worried about taking a whizz through your $5,000 suit? Don’t make a huge mistake—opt for GOB’s light seagoing layers, a printed shirt that screams “good time useless party guy”, and let your feet breathe in some open-toed mules.
- Powder-blue cotton single-breasted 2-button sport jacket with notch lapels, patch breast pocket, flapped patch hip pockets, 2-button cuffs, and single vent
- Brown-and-beige all-over floral-printed long-sleeved shirt with point collar and plain front
- Cream-colored pleated slacks with side pockets and plain-hemmed bottoms
- Black leather belt with silver-toned “G” buckle (even though he doesn’t wear it in the pilot)
- Brown leather open-toed mule sandals (more consistent with GOB’s vibe than his footwear in the pilot)
- Yellow-gold wristwatch with round gold dial on gold three-piece link bracelet
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Check out the series.
A trick is something a whore does for money. Or cocaine!