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10 Years of BAMF Style!

Hi, BAMF Style readers! Today is the 10th anniversary of my first-ever post, analyzing the iconic suit worn by Cary Grant in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1959 thriller North by Northwest. In the ten years since that post went live on September 26, 2012, I’ve been honored to connect with so many great people as I’ve felt welcomed into the online menswear community.

It’s been a lifelong journey for yours truly, from being a 7th grader hobbling together a rusty pinstriped suit with my grandfather’s flat cap in the hopes of emulating Robert Redford in The Sting to taking countless screenshots from my James Bond and Mad Men DVDs in my college dorm to try to crack the secrets of sartorial success to ultimately—and quite nervously—clicking “Publish” on that first post detailing my observations of Mr. Grant’s attire as the wrongly accused Roger Thornhill.

While I could never look quite as stylish as the erstwhile Archie Leach, this was certainly how my anxiety felt when I decided to begin a ridiculously titled blog about men’s style in my favorite movies.

To tell the truth, I almost never hit “Publish” on that first post… after all, we all know the internet can be a vicious forum that brings out the worst in people. I even considered just making this a private site, accessible only to me, where I could curate my growing knowledge about the style in movies that I admired without fear of criticism, either for my lack of knowledge or the topic itself. Slowly but surely, I realized that there was not only an audience for this type of blog but an actual community of people who cared about the same things! I would have never guessed that, within 10 years, I would have nearly 10 million views from people around the world reading my humble scribblings about the intersection of my interests. (And, if I had known, I surely would have put more thought into what I called it!)

The last decade has been filled with plenty of exploring, connecting, learning, and—most importantly—getting to know so many of you through your comments and emails, and I remain grateful each day for the empowering impact of those with whom I share this digital space. I was a green 23 years old when I started the blog and now, somewhat grayer at 33, I’m lucky that this little hobby has remained fun and fruitful to a rewarding degree. While I’m not 100% sure what the future may hold for BAMF Style, I hope to continue writing for as long as it stays fun… and we’ll see if my anxiety can continue stubbornly resisting the current trends in content sharing, be it TikTok, starting a podcast, or the next great thing.

With much gratitude, I thank you all!

— Nick


Should any of you be curious, I delved into my web insights and metrics to deliver a few morsels of BAMF Style trivia…

Total number of BAMF Style posts: 1,365
Total number of views: 9,486,372
Total number of visitors: 4,041,718

Top 10 most-visited posts:

  1. John Wick’s Suit
  2. John F. Kennedy’s Ivy League Style
  3. Daniel Craig in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  4. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: Brad Pitt’s Aloha Shirt and Champion Tee
  5. Bond Style — Bolivian Combat in Quantum of Solace
  6. Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday in Tombstone
  7. Collateral — Vincent’s Suit
  8. Aaron Cross’ Biker Jacket in The Bourne Legacy
  9. Dexter’s Kill Outfit
  10. Aaron Cross’ Winter Attire in The Bourne Legacy

A downside of this decade-long longevity? So many of these popular posts are many years old and, in my opinion, require substantial overhauls!

Top 5 decades most represented in BAMF Style posts:

  1. 1960s (282 posts)
  2. 1970s (192 posts)
  3. 1950s (163 posts)
  4. 2000s (145 posts)
  5. 1930s (120 posts)

Top 5 actors most represented in BAMF Style posts:

  1. Sean Connery (44 posts)
  2. Daniel Craig (41 posts)
  3. Jon Hamm (40 posts)
  4. Robert Redford (39 posts)
  5. Robert De Niro (35 posts)

Scott Fraser Collection’s Icon Series: The Goodfellas Shirts

Ray Liotta as Henry Hill in Goodfellas (1990), wearing a blue striped knit short-sleeved shirt that Scott Fraser Collection recently recreated as the “Salerno” Knit Shirt.

London-based brand Scott Fraser Collection has been on my radar for several years with its increasing lineup of beautiful clothes consistent with its maxim of “retrospective modernism”. With a collection tailored to men and women, Scott Fraser Collection offers knitwear, trousers, suits, and more that take inspiration from the golden age of leisure-wear across the mid-20th century.

In 2020, SFC introduced the first of its “Icon Series”, recreating two famous and distinctive shirts worn by Jude Law in The Talented Mr. Ripley. Less than two years later, SFC has expanded its Icon Series by turning its creative abilities toward what may be my favorite movie of all time: Goodfellas. Continue reading

The Office: Season 2’s Christmas Party – Ranking Holiday Looks

Christmas is awesome. First of all, you get to spend time with people you love. Secondly, you can get drunk and no one can say anything. Third, you give presents. What’s better than giving presents? And fourth, getting presents. So, four things. Not bad for one day. It’s really the greatest day of all time.

With some offices reinstating the traditional holiday parties this year, I also want to return to my own December tradition of reviewing how the off-the-peg office drones of Dunder Mifflin Scranton dress for their annual Christmas extravaganza.

The Office first approached the festive season with the simply titled “Christmas Party”, midway through the series’ masterful second season. This has always been one of my favorite episodes of The Office, and “Christmas Party” was actually the first-ever iTunes Store purchase I had made after Christmas 2005 found a video iPod in my stocking… appropriately enough, as fans of the episode would realize.

At this point, The Office was still a more restrained satire of American workplaces—rather than the zanier character-driven comedy it would become—and the first Christmas party reflects that mundanity, with cheap decorations, cheap vodka, and cheap grab bag gifts, and seemingly none of the staff happy to be part of this forced corporate fun, save for the oblivious manager Michael Scott (Steve Carell).

Rainn Wilson, Jenna Fischer, Steve Carell, B.J. Novak, and John Krasinski on The Office

The main cast of The Office—Rainn Wilson, Jenna Fischer, Steve Carell, B.J. Novak, and John Krasinski—in a promotional photo for the second season’s “Christmas Party”.

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Dressing for Summer Travel: Road Trips and Airplanes

Sidney Poitier in Lilies of the Field (1963)

Sidney Poitier’s tropical shirt in Lilies of the Field (1963) takes his style to the next level behind the wheel of his road-ready station wagon.

With this summer looking like more of a realistic travel season than last year for those looking to safely get away, I wanted to round up some of what I’ve learned in nearly a decade of paying attention to and writing about style and apply it realistically to how I dress for summer travel!

These guidelines may not work for everyone’s sense of taste, style, or comfort—and I’d always advocate for individuality over blindly adhering to what some non-expert on the internet (yours truly) has to say—but I thought it could be helpful to develop a guide based on what has worked for me, particularly in the wake of takes reporting that some are having trouble rediscovering the purpose of their clothing after spending much of the pandemic locked down in leisure-wear.

Of course, leisure-wear might be all you need to pack for summer vacations this year, but it still helps to have something a little practical for the journey, whether by air or on the road… Continue reading

An Interview with Costume Designer Janie Bryant

Janie Bryant, photographed by Inherent Clothier.

I recently had the pleasure to speak to Janie Bryant, the talented and prolific costume designer whose credits include Mad MenDeadwoodThe Last Tycoon, and most recently Why Women Kill… in other words, some of the most stylish and entertaining shows in recent decades. Ms. Bryant recently teamed with Taylor Draper of Inherent Clothier to launch her new menswear label, Bryant/Draper, a classically inspired line of luxurious yet versatile items from jackets to jodhpur boots that would deliver more than a touch of elegance to any modern gent’s wardrobe. Continue reading

The Office: Classy Christmas – Ranking Holiday Looks

If you’ve been following BAMF Style for a few years, you know I like to take a break from the enviable style of Grant, McQueen, Poitier, and their ilk to tackle a problem many of us have faced: how to dress for the office Christmas party. Given that corporate America’s closets tend to have more in common with Michael Scott than with Steve McQueen, the American version of The Office rose to the occasion to address the phenomenon of ill-fitting sweaters and ill-advised ties that seems to plague my fellow cubicle-dwellers as they don their gay apparel for the holiday season.

2020 being the year that it’s been, many staff parties have been relegated to holiday happy hours via Zoom or Teams where there will likely be a better chance of catching glimpse of a co-worker’s sweatpants than Christmas ties. For this year’s ranking of Dunder Mifflin duds, it thus feels more appropriate to settle in for Michael Scott’s vision of a more intimate holiday gathering… which also hosts its fair share of snowball scenes that would no doubt result in severe HR violations.

“Classy Christmas” aired ten years ago, the second of three episodes to be directed by Rainn Wilson. It also marked Michael Scott’s final Christmas celebration at Dunder Mifflin Scranton before Steve Carell left the series at the end of the seventh season.

Jenna Fischer, Ed Helms, John Krasinski, Leslie David Baker, and Steve Carell in "Classy Christmas", the seventh season holiday episode of The Office.

Jenna Fischer, Ed Helms, John Krasinski, Leslie David Baker, and Steve Carell in “Classy Christmas”, the seventh season holiday episode of The Office.

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Introducing… the Don Draper lookbook!

Jon Hamm as Don Draper in a promotional photo for season 6 of Mad Men

Jon Hamm as Don Draper in a promotional photo for season 6 of Mad Men

BAMF Style readers are well aware of my fandom for Mad Men and—in particular—the series’ magnificent 1960s style by costume designer Janie Bryant (who, if I’m not mistaken, is celebrating her birthday today!)

While I’ll still plan on covering individual outfits from the show’s central characters, I thought a helpful resource for readers and fans of the series could be a comprehensive portfolio detailing all the suits, sport jackets, and casual attire worn by Don Draper (Jon Hamm), the enigmatic ad man at the show’s center. (Yes, GQ already did something like this… however, I wanted to take my own approach!)

One goal of the project: to discern just how many different suits Mr. Draper cycled through during the series’ run. My current documentation suggests around 90 suits, but time—and the completion of this project—will tell!

To keep this project particularly useful, I’ve chosen to forego including Draper’s pajamas and I’m not considering adding a raincoat, removing a tie, or any other outfit modifications to be a separate look. If you’re curious about what else Don wore with the outfit, feel free to comment, reach out, or look for a separate BAMF Style post exploring the outfit in more detail!

So far, the page is complete through the end of the first season as I want to make sure the chosen format is agreeable to BAMF Style users. Depending on the feedback I receive, I may retool a bit (to the best of my rather limited abilities!) before continuing on, but the goal is to have all seven seasons of Don’s Mad menswear chronicled by the end of 2020.

Happy reading, and please let me know what you think—I’m open to any feedback!

Introducing… The Don Draper Lookbook

Goodfellas: 30 Significant Style Moments

Vitals

Film: Goodfellas
Release Date: September 19, 1990
Director: Martin Scorsese
Costume Designer: Richard Bruno

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Today marks the 30th anniversary since my favorite movie, Goodfellas, was released, ten days after it premiered to rave reviews at the 47th International Venice Film Festival. Based on the true story told in Nicholas Pileggi’s book Wiseguy, this Martin Scorsese-directed mob epic details a life in organized crime as recalled by Lucchese Mafia family associate-turned-informant Henry Hill (Ray Liotta), from his teenage years in the 1950s through adulthood until his arrest on May 11, 1980.

The ensemble cast includes Robert de Niro, Joe Pesci, Paul Sorvino, and Frank Sivero as Henry’s criminal colleagues and Lorraine Bracco as his wife and eventual accomplice.

Pesci, Liotta, and De Niro in Goodfellas.

Pesci, Liotta, and De Niro in Goodfellas.

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The Office: Secret Santa – Ranking Holiday Looks

As this week is arguably seeing a number of Christmas parties ramping up at offices around the world, let’s dust off last year’s concept of exploring the famous workplace celebrations at the Scranton branch of the fictional—and highly inept—paper company Dunder Mifflin on NBC’s The Office.

“The holidays have been kind to The Office,” wrote Nathan Rabin for The AV Club in his contemporary review of this episode—which he bestowed with an impressive A- grade—in December 2009. “Some of my favorite episodes take place on Halloween and Christmas, holidays that afford the show an opportunity to break up the visual monotony of business attire and workaday drudgery and indulge in killer sight gags involving Dwight dressed as a malevolent, mean-eyed elf, Michael as a half-assed God figure and geese running amok in unlikely places.”

One of The Office‘s better of its seven Christmas-themed episodes was “Secret Santa”, midway through the show’s sixth season. Perpetual prankster Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) has been promoted to co-regional manager alongside Michael Scott (Steve Carell) and also finds himself co-leading the party planning committee with Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson). Jim and Dwight seemingly put aside their differences to take on the Sisyphean task of motivating their uninspired office for the company’s time-honored holiday party tradition…

Jim: It is office camaraderie.
Dwight: It is warm feelings.

Ho ho ho and happy holidays!

Tidings are all but good when Michael's "Hurt, Petulant Jesus" goes too far roasting Phyllis in "Secret Santa" (Episode 6.13). Left to right: John Krasinski as Jim Halpert, Jenna Fischer as Pam Beesly, Phyllis Smith as Phyllis Lapin (as Santa), Creed Bratton, Mindy Kaling as Kelly Kapoor, Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute, B.J. Novak as Ryan Howard, and Kate Flannery as Meredith Palmer.

Tidings are all but good when Michael’s “hurt, petulant Jesus” goes too far roasting Phyllis in “Secret Santa” (Episode 6.13).
Left to right: John Krasinski as Jim Halpert, Jenna Fischer as Pam Beesly, Phyllis Smith as Phyllis Lapin (as Santa), Creed Bratton, Mindy Kaling as Kelly Kapoor, Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute, B.J. Novak as Ryan Howard, and Kate Flannery as Meredith Palmer.

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Why James Bond?

On the 00-7th of November with six months until the release of No Time to Die, I’m briefly diverting from my usual content and hope that you’ll forgive a brief, somewhat personal essay reflecting on the relevance of James Bond’s style

Roger Moore and Britt Ekland in his second film as James Bond, The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)

Roger Moore and Britt Ekland in his second film as James Bond, The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)

The first James Bond movie I had ever seen was The Man with the Golden Gun. I was at my friend Nate’s tenth birthday party, a month shy of turning 10 myself, and the entire group of about a half-dozen adolescents were transfixed for two hours by the increasingly grainy VHS from Blockbuster that took us to an escapist world of wit, style, thrills, and Britt Ekland in a bikini. I had certainly been familiar with Bond before that, as the agent had been part of pop culture for nearly four decades before I first saw Roger Moore’s sophomore adventure in late June of 1999.

The next three years, my budding interest in menswear would continue to develop I was exposed to Edith Head’s Depression-influenced designs in The Sting (1973), the lavish resort-wear in the John Braborne/Richard B. Goodwin-produced adaptations of Agatha Christie’s mystery novels, the roaring twenties brought to life by Theoni V. Aldredge and Ralph Lauren in The Great Gatsby (1974), and the mobbed-up fashions of Goodfellas (1990) and Casino (1995), but I like to think that Bond started it all.

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