Category: What to Wear to the Office

Steve McQueen’s Chalkstripe Suit as Thomas Crown

Steve McQueen as Thomas Crown in The Thomas Crown Affair (1968). Note that he dresses his wrist with his Cartier Tank Cintrée rather than the Patek Philippe pocket watch he wears for the actual scene.

Steve McQueen as Thomas Crown in The Thomas Crown Affair (1968). Note that he dresses his wrist with his Cartier Tank Cintrée rather than the Patek Philippe pocket watch he wears for the actual scene.

Vitals

Steve McQueen as Thomas Crown, millionaire criminal mastermind

Switzerland, June 1968

Film: The Thomas Crown Affair
Release Date: June 19, 1968
Director: Norman Jewison
Costume Designer: Alan Levine
Tailor: Douglas Hayward

Background

I recently had the pleasure to join Pete Brooker and Matt Spaiser (of Bond Suits) on their excellent podcast From Tailors with Love for an entertaining and informative discussion of Steve McQueen’s suits and style in The Thomas Crown Affair. If you’re not already a subscriber, you can follow the fun via iTunes, Spotify, or Stitcher, and check out highlights from yours truly’s appearance on the latest episode here. Continue reading

You Only Live Twice: Bond’s Gray Herringbone Suit in Aki’s Toyota

Sean Connery as James Bond in You Only Live Twice (1967)

Sean Connery as James Bond in You Only Live Twice (1967)

Vitals

Sean Connery as James Bond, British government agent presumed dead

Tokyo, Summer 1966

Film: You Only Live Twice
Release Date: June 13, 1967
Director: Lewis Gilbert
Wardrobe Master: Eileen Sullivan
Tailor: Anthony Sinclair

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Welcome to Japan, Mr. Bond.

Sean Connery’s fifth film as James Bond was the first of the franchise to considerably depart from Ian Fleming’s source novel, though it retains the title, the basic plot line and characters, and the Japanese setting. In fact, while most Bond films are continent-hopping travelogues, Japan hosts the majority of the action in You Only Live Twice aside from the pre-credits sequence, set in Hong Kong where Bond is ostensibly murdered.

Of course, it’s hardly a spoiler to reveal that the assassination is a ruse to fool Bond’s enemies into thinking he is out of the picture while the agent himself lives to die another day… in fact, you could say he lived twice! Presumed dead by his enemies after his burial at sea, Bond is free to be sent to Japan to investigate a mysterious spacecraft that has seemingly landed in the Sea of Japan. Bond soon makes contact with his lovely ally Aki (Akiko Wakabayashi), who drives him around Tokyo in a sporty Toyota 2000GT that had been customized by the production to accommodate Sean Connery’s height.

I had long wanted to cover this sequence as I love Bond’s tailoring, Aki’s Toyota, and the trio of drinks he imbibes with varying degrees of satisfaction, but it felt particularly appropriate to write about for a #CarWeek post this 00-7th of July given James Bond’s safe pro-masking message…

The face mask may just be a disguise, but extra points for covering both nose and mouth, Mr. Bond.

The face mask may just be a disguise, but extra points for covering both nose and mouth, Mr. Bond.

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Apollo 13: Gene Kranz’s Famous White Vest

Ed Harris as Gene Kranz in Apollo 13 (1995)

Ed Harris as Gene Kranz in Apollo 13 (1995)

Vitals

Ed Harris as Gene Kranz, determined, no-nonsense NASA flight director

Houston, Texas, April 1970

Film: Apollo 13
Release Date: June 30, 1995
Director: Ron Howard
Costume Designer: Rita Ryack

Background

Okay, Houston, we’ve had a problem here…

Apollo 13 astronaut Jack Swigert first transmitted this famous (and oft-misquoted) message 50 years ago today at 3:08 AM (GMT) on Tuesday, April 14, 1970, soon repeated by the mission commander Jim Lovell: “Uh, Houston, we’ve had a problem.” (At the Apollo Mission Control Center in Houston, it was still 10:08 PM on Monday, April 13.)

The craft had launched three days prior from Kennedy Space Center, manned by Swigert, Fred Haise, and mission commander Jim Lovell. The mission was intended to be the third of the American space program that would land on the Moon until the notorious “problem”—an explosion resulting from a failed oxygen tank in the service module—forced the three-man crew and their mission controllers in Houston to improvise solutions that ultimately resulted in the three astronauts safely returning to Earth, splashing down in the South Pacific on April 17 when they were swiftly met by a U.S. Navy recovery team.

While Apollo 13 was technically unsuccessful in its initial objective of a lunar landing, the mission and its outcome have been deemed “a successful failure” due to how different individuals, teams, and departments were able to work together in as tight timeframe to solve the almost-impossible task of bringing the three astronauts home safely, requiring not only the best efforts of Lovell, Haise, and Swigert, but also ingenuity and dedication from the Mission Control team centered in Houston under the “tough and competent” leadership of flight director Gene Kranz.

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Don Draper’s Light Gray Thin-Striped Suit

Jon Hamm as Don Draper in "5G", Episode 1.05 of Mad Men.

Jon Hamm as Don Draper in “5G”, Episode 1.05 of Mad Men.

Vitals

Jon Hamm as Don Draper, mysterious advertising creative director

New York City, Spring 1960 and 1962

Series: Mad Men
Episodes:
– “5G” (Episode 1.05), dir. Lesli Linka Glatter, aired 8/16/2007
– “Red in the Face” (Episode 1.07), dir. Tim Hunter, aired 8/30/2007
– “The New Girl” (Episode 2.05), dir. Jennifer Getzinger, aired 8/24/2008
Creator:
 Matthew Weiner
Costume Designer: Janie Bryant

Background

Happy birthday to Jon Hamm, born March 10, 1971, and arguably most famous for his Emmy-winning performance on AMC’s Mad Men as suave 1960s ad man Don Draper.

Donald Draper? What kinda name is that?

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Bond Style: Charcoal Suit for Air Travel in Goldfinger

Sean Connery as James Bond in Goldfinger (1964)

Sean Connery as James Bond in Goldfinger (1964)

Vitals

Sean Connery as James Bond, British government agent

en route Washington, D.C., Fall 1964

Film: Goldfinger
Release Date: September 18, 1964
Director: Guy Hamilton
Tailor: Anthony Sinclair
Wardrobe Supervisor: Elsa Fennell

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Following up on Saturday’s post about Frank Sinatra’s jet-setting style in the early ’60s, let’s see how a contemporary style icon dressed for a private flight of his own. As it’s the first 00-7th of the month in 2020, it seems only appropriate to check in with the first James Bond—Sean Connery! (Barry Nelson notwithstanding.)

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The Apartment: Jack Lemmon’s New Suit and Bowler

Jack Lemmon as C.C. Baxter in The Apartment (1960)

Jack Lemmon as C.C. Baxter in The Apartment (1960)

Vitals

Jack Lemmon as C.C. “Bud” Baxter, mild-mannered insurance accountant

New York City, Christmas Eve through New Year’s Eve 1959

Film: The Apartment
Release Date: June 30, 1960
Director: Billy Wilder
Men’s Wardrobe: Forrest T. Butler (uncredited)

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

The Apartment stars one of my favorite actors, Jack Lemmon, as bored, lonely office drone Calvin Clifford Baxter who, after nearly four years at the toxic Manhattan insurance company where he works (“one of the top five in the country!” he boasts), manages to climb the corporate ladder by lending out his West 67th Street apartment to his superiors for their extramarital affairs… though many of them don’t regard him any higher than “some schnook who works in the office.”

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Mad Men, 1969 Style – Don Draper’s Brown Suit

Jon Hamm as Don Draper on Mad Men (Episode 7.05: "The Runaways")

Jon Hamm as Don Draper on Mad Men (Episode 7.05: “The Runaways”)

Vitals

Jon Hamm as Don Draper, displaced ad man seeking to salvage his professional and personal lives

New York City, Spring 1969

Series: Mad Men
Episodes:
– “Time Zones” (Episode 7.01), dir. Scott Hornbacher, aired 4/13/2014
– “A Day’s Work” (Episode 7.02), dir. Michael Uppendahl, aired 4/20/2014
– “Field Trip” (Episode 7.03), dir. Christopher Manley, aired 4/27/2014
– “The Runaways” (Episode 7.05), dir. Christopher Manley, aired 5/11/2014
Creator: Matthew Weiner
Costume Designer: Janie Bryant

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

On #MadMenMonday, we turn again to Don Draper’s style for the office with a chocolate brown suit that clothed our ad man through many episodes of the show’s penultimate season, set in the early months of 1969 as he flounders in virtual unemployment after his unpredictable behavior made the one-time advertising hotshot a liability for Sterling Cooper & Partners.

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Walter Matthau’s Navy Striped Suit in Charade

Walter Matthau as Carson Dyle in Charade (1963)

Walter Matthau as Carson Dyle in Charade (1963)

Vitals

Walter Matthau as Carson Dyle, posing as CIA administrator Hamilton Bartholomew

Paris, April 1963

Film: Charade
Release Date: December 5, 1963
Director: Stanley Donen

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Today commemorates the 99th birthday of the great Walter Matthau, the New York-born actor and comedian. After playing heavies in movies like the Elvis vehicle King Creole (1958) and his self-directed Gangster Story (1960), Matthau got a chance to exercise his versatility and comedic chops with a delightfully duplicitous role in Stanley Donen’s romantic comedy thriller Charade (1963).

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Jimmy Stewart’s Brown Tweed Sports Coat in Vertigo

James Stewart and Kim Novak in Vertigo (1958)

James Stewart and Kim Novak in Vertigo (1958)

Vitals

James Stewart as John “Scottie” Ferguson, former San Francisco detective

San Juan Bautista, California, Fall 1957

Film: Vertigo
Release Date: May 9, 1958
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Costume Designer: Edith Head

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Let’s wrap up this week’s commemoration of Alfred Hitchcock’s 120th birthday with another exploration of the style in Vertigo, now considered one of the Master of Suspense’s masterpieces though it may have been overlooked during his lifetime and resulted in the end of his successful collaborations with James Stewart.

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First Man: Neil Armstrong’s Gun Club Check and Omega

Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong in First Man (2018)

Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong in First Man (2018)

Vitals

Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong, NASA astronaut and former U.S. Navy pilot

Houston, Texas, August 1962 through March 1966

Film: First Man
Release Date: October 12, 2018
Director: Damien Chazelle
Costume Designer: Mary Zophres

Background

In addition to being my 30th birthday, today is also the 50th anniversary of when Neil Armstrong became the first person to step onto the surface of the Moon at 02:56:15 UTC on July 21, 1969, six hours after he and Buzz Aldrin landed the Apollo Lunar Module Eagle as part of the Apollo 11 spaceflight, a mission also manned by command module pilot Michael Collins.

Last year, Damien Chazelle directed Ryan Gosling in First Man, a biopic focused on Neil Armstrong’s life and career through the 1960s from the tragic death of his young daughter Karen to his triumphant first steps on the Moon… “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Continue reading