Brad Pitt as Robert “Rusty” Ryan, hotel owner and international thief
Los Angeles and Rome, November 2004
Film: Ocean’s Twelve
Release Date: December 10, 2004
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Costume Designer: Milena Canonero
Pitt’s Costumer: Bruno de Santa
Today’s installment of “Hey, I actually kinda enjoyed that movie!” features the Euro-flavored meat in Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s trilogy sandwich, Ocean’s Twelve. This blockbuster brought the whole gang back together again, adding nemeses on both sides of the law in the form of Catherine Zeta-Jones and Vincent Cassel.
After the theft of more than $160 million from his Vegas casino years earlier, ruthless mogul Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) has spent plenty of time tracking down each team member of “Ocean’s Eleven”… a moniker that several of the team dispute. The last to be tracked down is Rusty Ryan, Danny Ocean’s smooth right hand whom we learn was actually considered the de facto leader by many of the group itself. Three and a half years after abandoning his girlfriend (CZJ) in Rome, Rusty is managing his own L.A. hotel and babysitting the washed-up Hollywood stars who bed down in it: “Jeez, Topher, you didn’t have to go all Frankie Muniz on me.”
Rusty is in the middle of the hedonistic Topher Grace situation when he gets that call from Benedict: “The last time we talked, you hung up on me.” Immediately realizing the significance of this greeting, Rusty gets into Neil McCauley mode as soon as he feels the heat. “You used nasty words,” Rusty responds, reverting to his cool persona and feeling comfort in the knowledge that Benedict isn’t able to see him desperately scrambling out of the building to his car(s). Of course, Rusty starts feeling the literal heat once Benedict triggers a bomb that detonates his favorite car, a ’63 Ford Falcon Futura convertible. Point taken.
What’d He Wear?
Ocean’s Twelve received plenty of criticism after its release, but there’s no denying that the music and suits are just cool, particularly the vestments sported by Brad Pitt’s Rusty Ryan. Milena Canonero was the costume designer on Ocean’s Twelve, and Bruno de Santa is credited as being Pitt’s specific costumer.
Canonero stated in an interview that “Rusty is more vain and more into his clothes. I used lots of satins and shiny material to give a shimmer and slickness to his look, just like lightning,” and explained that all of the characters would dress apropos their personalities three years after obtaining their millions in the first movie.
For his first scene on screen as well as several scenes later on when the gang is in Rome, Rusty wears a fashionable light gray two-piece suit that appears to be a lightweight silk and wool blend based on the way the suit shines in certain light.
The single-breasted suit jacket has edge-stitched notch lapels with a buttonhole through the left lapel. Both the two buttons on the front and the four buttons on each cuff are light gray plastic. The shoulders are straight with roped sleeveheads, and the long double vents rise to just above the hip pocket line.
Interestingly, the hip pockets are welted rather than jetted or flapped. The breast pocket is also welted. As Rusty makes his desperate exit from the Standard Hotel, we also get a look inside the jacket and see that there are three inside pockets on the left – an upper pocket, a pen pocket, and a lower pocket. There is one inner breast pocket on the right just above the black logo patch.
The low rise trousers have single reverse pleats, straight on-seam side pockets, jetted button-through back pockets, and plain-hemmed bottoms with a full break. Rusty wears a distinctive tan belt with dark brown accents and a gunmetal rectangular buckle.
We get a glimpse of Rusty’s workday attire when we first see him, wearing this suit with a silver silk shirt and tie. The dark silver shirt is one of the satin items that Canonero mentioned. It has a large point collar, breast pocket, and button cuffs.
Rusty’s tie is a much lighter shade of gray with thin diagonal tonal stripes running right-down-to-left. He wears it in a loose four-in-hand-knot that hangs down below the unfastened top button of the shirt.
Rusty dresses down the same suit several scenes later when the gang is in Rome, planning their Fabergé egg heist. Rather than a dress shirt and tie, he wears an ivory gray short-sleeve polo shirt constructed from soft, luxurious knit silk. This fashion-forward shirt has a shallow v-neck rather than buttons. There is a patch pocket on the left breast.
The light silver satin shirt that Rusty wears for “day of” in Rome is similar to the L.A. dress shirt with its satin silk finish, large point collar and front placket. He leaves both the top two white buttons and the buttons on the rounded cuffs undone, although he keeps the gauntlet buttons fastened so the sleeves don’t flop around when he has his jacket off. This shirt has no pocket.
With a suit like this, you wouldn’t expect Rusty to wear a regular old pair of brown oxfords, would you? Instead, he wears a pair of very distinctive tan alligator full strap penny loafers with a pointed square bicycle toe. The soles are dark brown hard leather.
Although the full break of the trouser bottoms often conceals them, Rusty’s dress socks are appropriately light gray to continue the leg line into his shoes.
Rusty isn’t one to shy away from accessories, one of the few non-mobsters on BAMF Style that can rock a necklace, ring (or multiple rings!), sunglasses, and watch. Of course, it helps that they’re all boutique items.
Brad Pitt is a well-known Oliver Peoples ambassador, but his eyewear of choice in Ocean’s Twelve has been identified as a pair of Diesel Cobretti sunglasses with “shiny light gold” (oM12) metal frames and brown gradient lenses (DD). The two-tone brown arms are tan in the front and brown for the back portion that rest behind his ears. Although discontinued, Diesel Cobretti sunglasses can still be found at some online retailer sites.
Rusty’s watch is clearly a silver-colored Rolex on a President link bracelet, and some discussion at the Rolex forums evidently deduced that his exact model was a platinum Rolex Day-Date 118366 with a “glacier” ice blue dial, 36mm case, and 24 baguette diamonds on the bezel. If you want your own, you can find one online for about, oh, $58,000.
On Rusty’s right pinky, he wears a silver ring with a flush square diamond.
Although their union wasn’t long for this world at the time of Ocean’s Twelve‘s release, Brad Pitt wears a thin silver necklace with a down-scaled replica of his wedding ring from his marriage to Jennifer Aniston. The necklace perfectly follows the shallow V-neck line of the polo shirt that he wears in Rome.
How to Get the Look
Although some of the rest of Ocean’s crew are flamboyant dressers, especially after obtaining their newfound wealth from the first movie, only Rusty manages to consistently balance flashiness with a fashion sense.
- Light gray silk two-piece suit, consisting of:
- Single-breasted 2-button jacket with notch lapels, welted breast pocket, welted hip pockets, 4-button cuffs, double vents
- Single reverse-pleated trousers with belt loops, straight on-seam side pockets, jetted back pockets, and plain-hemmed bottoms
- Silver satin silk dress shirt with large collar, front placket, and rounded button cuffs
- Light silver diagonal tonal-striped silk necktie
- Tan alligator bicycle toe full strap penny loafers
- Light gray dress socks
- Diesel Cobretti sunglasses with gold metal frames, brown gradient lenses, and two-tone brown arms
- Silver thin-chain necklace with wedding ring replica pendant
- Rolex Day-Date 118366 platinum wristwatch with 36mm case, ice blue dial, diamond-studded bezel, and President link bracelet
- White gold or platinum Rolex Day-Date wristwatch on link bracelet
- Silver pinky ring with flush square diamond
For more of a cool, casual take, lose the tie or even swap out the whole shirt for a casual ivory short-sleeve polo.
Do Yourself a Favor and…
I thought I’d be dead before I heard the sound that killed me.
Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, cold and calculating Mafia boss
Havana, December 1958
Film: The Godfather Part II
Release Date: December 12, 1974
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Costume Designer: Theadora Van Runkle
Get into a smooth, summer relaxation mood for this Mafia Monday post that takes a look at Michael Corleone’s style for Hyman Roth’s birthday party in Havana… an appropriately timed post as my dad just returned from a trip to Cuba. (Yes, he brought back some Cohibas!)
What’d He Wear?
For all of his power and prestige, Michael Corleone has a very minimalist wardrobe, designed by the legendary Theadora Van Runkle (Bonnie and Clyde, Bullitt, and The Thomas Crown Affair are all among her repertoire.)
Michael makes good use of his four unique suits in The Godfather Part II, sometimes wearing a three-piece suit without a vest or, as we see in this case, adopting a more luxuriously casual look by swapping out the shirt and tie for a soft polo and a day cravat.
Although it appears a flat tan at the outset, this fully cut two-piece suit consists of a fine tan and cream plain weave glen check with teal blue on the outer check to create a teal windowpane effect throughout.
The single-breasted jacket has a 2-button front that he typically wears open, even when opting for a more formal look with a tie as he does when initially visiting Roth in Miami. The fully-cut suit coat’s padded shoulders with roped sleeveheads and ventless back is typical of the 1950s.
Michael’s suit jacket has a welted breast pocket, straight flapped hip pockets, and purely decorative 3-button cuffs. The notch lapels have no buttonholes.
The flat front trousers have a fashionably high rise and, like the coat, are fully cut down to the cuffed bottoms. Although Michael wears a slim brown leather belt through the trousers’ outer belt loops, the auction photos also reveal that it was fitted with white buttons sewn around the inside waistband to be used for potential suspenders. The trousers close with a concealed hook at the top of a straight zip fly.
He may not be the most cosmopolitan fashion plate, but Michael Corleone knows to match his shoes to his belt. He always wears a pair of brown leather cap-toe loafers and warm light brown ribbed socks with this suit.
Both in Havana and Lake Tahoe, Michael makes extensive use of a day cravat worn under a polo shirt’s open collar. As sported by James Bond, Cary Grant, Sidney Reilly, and countless other men on holiday, the day cravat sends a clear signal that the wearer is a fashionable, confident man who is able to afford luxurious leisure. The look was also popular with nattier gangsters like “Bugsy” Siegel.
In Havana, Michael wears a vibrantly printed silk day cravat in abstractly patterned earth tones like gold, bronze, and brown.
Michael wears a white knit cotton short-sleeve polo shirt with a patch pocket over the left breast. The top of the three buttons is worn open to display the day cravat underneath.
Outside of his plain gold wedding ring, Michael’s only visible accessory is the gold wristwatch on his left wrist.
Here’s something cool! Apparently, this suit has been auctioned at least twice in the last two decades. It was first included as Lot 173 in Christie’s “A Century of Hollywood” auction on May 24, 2000 and described in that auction as “A two-piece checkered suit worn by Al Pacino in the film, Godfather Part II. The suit was worn prominently in the movie. Inside the pants is a Western Costume Company tag with Al Pacino’s name typed on it.”
Two years ago, it popped up again during the Premiere Props Hollywood auction extravaganza on September 27, 2014 and was expected to fetch $12,000-$14,000:
This is Al Pacino’s actual hero screen worn suit from this amazing Miami sequence. It includes both his jacket and matching pants. Both the pants and the jacket have numerous official “WCC” (Western Costume Company) stamps inside (including the period marking of “1950” on both the coat and pants), as well as the original sewn-in Western Costume Co. Hollywood wardrobe label which has the production number #2703-1, Name: Al Pacino and Waist and Inseam measurements (Waist 32/ Inseam 29) type printed on them. The iconic outfit is in excellent condition. The official labels are sewn into the inside belt seam of the pants, and inside the wallet pocket of the jacket. They were original purchased from Christie’s Auction House, and include both the original Christie tags, plus a Certificate of Authenticity signed by Breanna S. Livie, Vice President of Eastern Costume Company, as well as a Letter of Provenience handwritten by the consigner.
How to Get the Look
- Tan & cream glen check – with teal windowpane grid effect – two-piece suit, consisting of:
- Single-breasted 2-button jacket with notch lapels, welted breast pocket, straight flapped hip pockets, 3-button cuffs, ventless back
- Flat front high-rise trousers with belt loops, straight fly, side pockets, and turn-ups/cuffs
- White knit cotton short-sleeve polo shirt with 3-button collar and left chest patch pocket
- Earth-tone printed silk day cravat
- Slim dark brown leather belt with silver-toned rounded single-claw buckle
- Brown leather cap-toe loafers
- Light brown ribbed socks
- Gold wristwatch with round light-colored dial on gold expanding bracelet, left wrist
- Gold wedding band, left ring finger
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Buy the series.
Callum Keith Rennie as Lew Ashby, maverick record producer and rock legend
Los Angeles, Spring 2008
Episodes: “La Ronde” (Episode 2.09)
Air Date: November 23, 2008
Director: Adam Bernstein
Costume Designer: Peggy A. Schnitzer
Californication‘s early seasons are often considered to be its best, and the show’s ability to avoid a sophomore slump should give major credit to Callum Keith Rennie’s appearance as Lew Ashby, the enigmatic, charismatic, and hedonistic record producer that shelters Hank for most of the season.
As a show that reveres both rock and literature, Californication wisely spun its second season around a Gatsby-esque plot with writer Hank Moody reasonably placed in the central Nick Carraway role as the cleverly-named Ashby became his Gatsby. Ashby built his rock empire to impress Janie Jones, who now lives with a brutish husband in a Hollywood McMansion and still reminisces – albeit, more bitterly – about her days with Lew when he was just a poor aspiring rocker with a broken-down Mustang.
In a deviation from Fitzgerald’s masterpiece plot, Ashby briefly falls for Hank’s flame – Karen – and steals her away for an impromptu
kidnapping date to the Hollywood Bowl. Karen is charmed, for sure, but she’s too reasonable to fall for someone that is even more debauched than Hank.
What’d He Wear?
Suits don’t get much love in the Californication world. The show’s t-shirt-loving protagonist, Hank Moody, refers to his “one and only suit” that is worn only for weddings, funerals, and court appearances. However, Lew Ashby knows when the right duds are needed to impress a lady.
For his Hollywood Bowl date with Karen, Lew spruces himself up in a light gray suit constructed from a lightweight semi-solid wool in a pick weave.
The single-breasted jacket has a two-button front and 4-button cuffs. The breast pocket is welted and the flapped hip pockets sit straight back on Lew’s waist. The wide peak lapels flare out to the roped sleeveheads. The shoulders are unpadded.
The back of Lew’s jacket has long double rear vents. His matching trousers are likely flat front with a low rise below his natural waist. They probably have side pockets, although the jetted rear pockets – which close with a button – are best seen.
Lew wears a black leather belt through the trousers’ belt loops. Apropos the outfit’s steely tones, his belt has a silver-toned buckle. The bottoms of the trousers are plain-hemmed with a full break that covers his black leather boots. Assuming they are the same boots he wears through most of the show, they have a strap across the vamp that closes with a small steel buckle.
Perhaps knowing that Karen digs guys who wear black shirts, Lew opts for a black long-sleeve dress shirt with black buttons down the plain, placket-less front. It has a large collar, which he leaves open with the first few buttons undone.
Unlike many of the BAMFs featured on this blog, Lew Ashby isn’t afraid to bedazzle himself with plentiful accessories on a daily basis. Hank wears one silver ring, but Lew ups the ante with two – one on the third finger of each hand.
Like Hank, he also wears a simple black corded leather bracelet that appears to never be removed. Unlike Hank, he wears it on his right wrist.
Since this is the most that Lew ever covers up his sleeves, it’s difficult to determine if he’s wearing his other accessories… but it’s likely that he is. He doubles down on his left wrist, sporting both a bracelet of silver spherical studs and a stainless watch on a black rubber strap. On a corded necklace his neck, he wears a steel pendant with what appears to be an owl’s face etched into it.
Go Big or Go Home
The Hollywood Bowl is an impressive enough date spot alone, but Ashby’s musical connections allow him to rent the place out for a private concert for just he and Karen to see Lili Haydn.
I admittedly had never heard of Lili Haydn before the show, but Karen is duly impressed, as was I after I learned more about her. She began playing the violin at the age of eight, shortly after launching her acting career as the young daughter of Columbo. Not long after her appearance on Californication, she sustained neurological damage after being exposed to a pesticide which left her unable to write lyrics. She still, however, manages to write music and continues to compose film scores and the music for her latest EP, Lilliland, which was released last September.
I’m proud to say I’ve been to the Hollywood Bowl myself, but I’m ashamed to say that I was only eight years old; as the guest of a large family outing to the Bowl, I was unable to truly enjoyed it and spent most of the time being upset that I was split away from my parents. Spoiled brat, I was.
How to Get the Look
Lew shows Hank that date attire doesn’t always have to be a black shirt and jeans.
- Light gray semi-solid pick lightweight wool suit, consisting of:
- Single-breasted jacket with wide peak lapels, 2-button front, welted breast pocket, straight flapped hip pockets, 4-button cuffs, and long double rear vents
- Flat front low rise trousers with belt loops, side pockets, jetted button-through rear pockets, and plain-hemmed bottoms
- Black long-sleeve dress shirt with large collar, plain front, and button cuffs
- Black leather belt with squared steel single-claw buckle
- Black leather buckle-strap boots
- Tarnished steel ring, worn on right ring finger
- Spiral steel ring, worn on left ring finger
- Black corded leather bracelet, worn on right wrist
- Steel spherical studded bracelet, worn on left wrist
- Stainless wristwatch with white dial on black rubber strap, worn on left wrist
- Steel “owl face” pendant on corded necklace
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Check out the second season.
Life is just too fucking boring not to try.
For any of you who may have remembered from last year, today is my birthday – I’m now 26. Woo hoo!
Cary Grant as John Robie, retired cat burglar and jewel thief
Cannes, French Riviera, Summer 1954
Film: To Catch a Thief
Release Date: August 5, 1955
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Costume Designer: Edith Head
Summer is officially here!* Anyone looking for a way to stand out in your summer duds should take a cue from Cary Grant, which is never a bad idea when it comes to style.
Grant himself never understood why he was regarded as such a fashion icon, as he explained to GQ during his now-classic editorial from 1958:
I’m often asked for advice or an opinion about clothes, and I always try to answer the best I can, but I’m not inclined to regard myself as an authority on the subject. Many times during my years in films, some well-meaning group has selected me as best-dressed man of the year, but I’ve never understood why. The odd distinction surprises me: first, because I don’t consider myself especially well dressed, and, secondly, I’ve never, as far as I can compare the efforts of others with my own, gone to any special trouble to acquire clothes that could be regarded as noticeably fashionable or up-to-date.
Perhaps it’s just his modesty talking, but it’s damn near impossible to watch any Cary Grant film without wanting to add a few more well-tailored suits and sport coats to your wardrobe. One of my favorite films that shows off Grant’s impeccable style is To Catch a Thief, one of Hitchcock’s most charming flicks due to its relatively low stakes and the pairing of two of his favorite leads – the debonair Cary Grant and the elegant Grace Kelly. Both Grant and Kelly get a chance to show off their comedic and romantic chops against the stunning backdrop of a summer in the French Riviera.
Grant brings his style A-game to some of his outfits in the film, including a fine gray business suit and a sterling example of black tie for an evening of gambling and romancing. One of his most unique and remembered ensembles is the gray blazer, day cravat, and slacks worn for his day out with Grace Kelly.
* At least it’s summer for us folks up in the Northern Hemisphere…
What’d He Wear?
Do I have any special do’s and don’t’s about clothes? I can’t think of any rules about clothes, since there really aren’t any…
… and thus spake Cary Grant himself, again from the 1958 GQ editorial. If any man deserves to be a snob about clothing, it’s Cary Grant, and here he is saying just the opposite as he follows the Outback Steakhouse maxim of “no rules, just right”.
Still, just because he’s no snob doesn’t mean he’s a slob. John Robie dresses for his excursion to the beach – and subsequent scenic picnic – in a gray flannel blazer, white cotton shirt over a dotted day cravat, tan slacks, and tassel loafers. This distinctive look is both masculine and timeless, following Grant’s own sartorial maxim of dressing like a man for all ages.
Robie’s gray blazer is constructed from a lightweight flannel. Summer-weight flannel can be difficult to find on modern clothing, so a comfortable hopsack woven blazer would also work nicely.
The blazer is single-breasted with sharp notch lapels – with a buttonhole in the left lapel – and three gold buttons on the front.
Grant causes some controversy among sartorial purists by the way he buttons his blazer in this sequence. The decided “rule” for 3-button jackets is “sometimes, always, never” from top to bottom. Grant spends the first few scenes in the Carlton Hotel with all three buttons fastened. This becomes especially noticeable and awkward when Robie wears his hands in his trouser pockets in the Stevens’ hotel room and bunches all three buttons together.
One might be tempted to criticize this gesture, but one should also keep in mind that:
a) Grant did say “there really aren’t any” rules about clothing, and
b) Cary Grant will forever be a classic example of the charismatic and romantic leading man that makes every woman’s heart flutter. Neither you nor I have any room to talk.
As I mention in my North by Northwest post (which, as my first post, could use some serious revision!), Cary Grant had a habit of placing his hands in his pockets and thus preferred double vents on his suits. This blazer isn’t helped by its short single rear vent when Grant keeps his hands in his pockets in the hotel room – as seen in the above screenshots.
The blazer sleeves have roped sleeveheads and two gold buttons at the end of each cuff. The natural shoulders have a slight concave like the “pagoda” shoulder structure.
In keeping with its informal context, the blazer’s three external pockets are all large patch pockets with rounded bottoms – one on the left breast and one on each hip.
Grant wears a plain white cotton shirt underneath his blazer with a front placket and rear side darts. The cuffs are very large and close with a single centered button with no button on the open gauntlet. Although he advocated wearing subtly elegant links on French cuff shirts, Grant was also a believer in the simpler button cuff, saying in his GQ editorial:
Button-cuffed shirts are simplest to manage…
The shirt’s large collar is structured with a moderate spread and elongated points, though not to the extent seen on shirts earlier in the decade. Some sources believe Grant wore a button-down collar shirt in this sequence due to how well the collar stays contained under his jacket, but it is clearly a standard collar that keeps in place without the help of buttons or tabs. The length of the points and a little bit of TLC is all that the shirt collar needed.
Under his shirt collar, Grant radiates a sense of countryside cool with a dark navy blue day cravat. The day cravat adds subtle elegance – the key to Grant’s timeless style – while practically serving to catch any sweat. Essentially a loosely-tied scarf worn under the shirt, the day cravat is the most comfortable and casual form of neckwear that adds a gentlemanly devil-may-care touch to any outfit.
John Robie’s day cravat is dark navy with small white pin-dots. Primarily only the dots are seen under the collar, but occasionally the cravat slips up on his neck and the white diagonal stripes (left-down-to-right) are seen peeking out under the dots.
The lower half of Robie’s resortwear retains the simple sophistication of the top. The stone-colored trousers rise fashionably high on Grant’s torso and appear to be a comfortable and soft summer-weight material like a linen twill blend. Grant himself advocated cotton poplin suits and trousers, as specified in the 1958 editorial:
During summer, I’ve taken to wearing light beige, washable poplin suits. They’re inexpensive and, if kept crisp and clean, acceptable almost anywhere at any time, even in the evening… Learn to dispense with accessories that don’t perform a necessary function. I use belts, for example, only with blue jeans, which I wear when riding, and content myself with side loops, that can be tightened at the waistband, on business suits.
These double forward-pleated trousers may be the very style that Grant had in mind with the belt-less waistband that fastens on the sides with button tabs. The extended waistband in the front also closes on the right with a double-button closure.
The trousers also have four outer pockets: a deep, slightly slanted hand pocket on each side and two jetted rear pockets that close through a button.
Grant’s trousers have a luxurious roomy fit throughout the hips and legs with slightly flared bottoms that add a gentle swagger to his walk. The bottoms are cuffed despite Grant’s personal belief against their practicality:
A tip about trousers. Trouser cuffs seem to me unnecessary, and are apt to catch lint and dust. However, whether you prefer cuffs or not, ask the tailor to sew a strip of cloth of the same material, or a tape of similar color, on the inside at the bottom of the trouser leg where it rubs the heel of the shoe. It will keep your trouser-bottoms from fraying.
Robie wears brown loafers, specifically a pair of apron toe tassel loafers in saddle tan calfskin leather with interwoven leather lace on the sides. Grant was known to be an advocate of softer-heeled driving moccasins, but these are standard loafers with hard leather soles. He wears them with a pair of tan ribbed cotton dress socks that nicely carry the leg line between the trousers and the shoes.
Robie’s single accessory is a thin gold chain around his neck with a round gold pendant. Due to the day cravat, we only see it when he’s swimming.
And while he is swimming, Robie sports a pair of beige cotton bathing trunks with an elastic waistband. The shorts are longer than the skimpier mens’ swimming trunks of the era, and they still rise high to Grant’s belly button. Although cotton swimming trunks aren’t very common these days, you can still find vintage pairs like these similar Jantzens.
Evidently, both Cary Grant’s and Grace Kelly’s outfits from this scene were auctioned by Debbie Reynolds for Profiles in History in 2011, described as “key costumes by Edith Head, from the romantic scenic drive in a convertible overlooking Cannes,” although I haven’t been able to find the results or any additional auction details.
A few parting words from Grant himself:
Don’t be a snob about the way you dress. Snobbery is only a point in time. Be tolerant and helpful to the other fellow – he is yourself yesterday… If a man wears the kind of clothes that please him, then – providing they’re clean and don’t shock society, morals, and little children – what is the difference as long as that man is happy?
Go Big or Go Home
If To Catch a Thief were remade sixty years later, the contemporary title would probably be #FirstWorldProblems. An infamous ex-cat burglar who now lives tending vineyards in France is forced to go on the run… to the French Riviera, of course, where he stays at the exclusive Carlton Hotel in Cannes. The Carlton Hotel is still thriving with rates ranging anywhere from $1,500 to $7,600 for a single night.
While at the hotel, the burglar meets a glamorous American socialite, Frances Stevens, and her wealthy mother. After an impromptu kiss (which makes Robie declare he was “awed by its efficiency”), Francie takes Robie down to the beach where she memorably trades barbs with his jealous teenage French accomplice, Danielle:
Robie: Say somthing nice to her, Danielle.
Danielle: She looks a lot older up close.
Francie decides that this fella ain’t so bad, even if he is a cat burglar (as she quickly deduces) and takes him out in her blue Sunbeam Alpine roadster for a car chase and subsequent picnic.
After she deftly dodges a pursuing car, Francie stops at a beautiful spot overlooking Alpes-Maritimes where she confronts her date with the knowledge that he is, in fact, John Robie the jewel thief and that she, in fact, doesn’t care. (Despite having the most jewels of anyone in the Riviera!)
Putting any serious discussions aside, Francie pulls out some beer and fried chicken to have a decidedly American picnic. Despite being unmasked as a career criminal, Robie can’t help but to dig in.
My knowledge of 1950s beer bottle labels isn’t what it should be… does anyone know what brew Cary and Grace are sipping here?
How to Get the Look
Especially in later films like To Catch a Thief, Cary Grant always showed off his sense of style with timeless clothing. With the help of legendary costume designer Edith Head, Grant shows off an ideal resortwear outfit for his daytime outing with Francie.
- Gray flannel single-breasted blazer with 3 gold front buttons, patch breast pocket, patch hip pockets, 2 gold cuff buttons, and short single rear vent
- Stone-colored double forward-pleated summer-weight high rise trousers with front waistband double-button tab, button-tab side adjusters, slanted side pockets, button-closing jetted rear pockets, and turn-ups/cuffed bottoms
- White cotton shirt with large point collar, front placket, rear side darts, and rounded button cuffs
- Dark navy blue pin-dot day cravat
- Saddle tan brown calfskin leather apron-toe tassel loafers
- Tan ribbed cotton dress socks
- Small gold pendant on thin gold chain
Cotton swimming trunks are pretty rare these days but a light color – like the beige pair worn by Grant at the beach – is a nice way to show off a strong tan.
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Buy the movie.
Don’t let the robbery spoil your day. It’s only money, and not even yours at that!
Al Pacino as Tony Montana, hotheaded Cuban-American cocaine dealer
Miami, August 1981
Release Date: December 9, 1983
Director: Brian De Palma
Costume Designer: Patricia Norris
BAMF Style is continuing Car Week with the second grand American convertible from the automotive golden era – the 1963 Cadillac Series 62 owned by Tony Montana in 1983’s Scarface. Ironically, we first see this Caddy while Tony is actually shopping for a different luxury car, the silver 1979 Porsche 928 4.5L that he adds to his growing collection.
The ’63 Caddy convertible is clearly Tony’s favorite, though, driving it to show off his status even though Elvira pointedly tells him:
It looks like somebody’s nightmare.
What’d He Wear?
Tony Montana wears this lightweight tan suit twice in the film, once when car shopping with Manny and Elvira and later during his arrest. It’s very much an ’80s-styled suit with its low-gorge notch lapels, low 2-button front, and padded shoulders with roped sleeveheads. All buttons are tan plastic to match the suit itself.
The jacket also has 3-button cuffs, long double rear vents, straight flapped hip pockets, and a welted breast pocket for Tony’s display handkerchiefs. When he goes car shopping, he wears a cream-colored silk handkerchief in the pocket. The red handkerchief he wears during his arrest perfectly matches his red silk shirt worn for the occasion.
The ’80s-ness of it all extends to his large-fitting low rise suit trousers which have a flat front and plenty of room throughout the hips. The side pockets are slanted, and there is a jetted pocket on the right rear. The slightly flared bottoms are plain-hemmed with a full break.
Tony wears a thin brown leather belt with a small gold squared claw-style buckle through the trousers’ slim belt loops.
With both outfits, Tony wears a pair of tan sueded leather summer shoes with raised heels and pointed cap toes. His socks also appear to be tan or cream, although they’re rarely seen under the full break of the trouser legs.
The first shirt worn with this suit – in the car shopping scene – is a baggy soft brown shirt with a large collar, breast pocket, and button cuffs. Tony ignores the top few dark brown plastic buttons down the plain front, as per his usual style.
He’s even less modest with his second shirt, an even baggier red silk shirt that also has a plain button-down front and button cuffs. It may be the same shirt he wears with his white double-breasted suit in Colombia. Either way, he chooses to accentuate it with a matching red silk handkerchief in his jacket breast pocket. This flashier shirt makes the first look seem very understated by comparison.
Two-Gun Tony is also carrying when he’s busted. He keeps a snubnose .38-caliber Smith & Wesson Model 36 “Chief’s Special” revolver in a brown leather shoulder holster under his left arm. He sticks his primary sidearm, a .32-caliber Beretta Cheetah 81, in the back of his waistband. Evidently, Tony is allowed to keep his firearms after he is arrested (!) since he later has them both on in his lawyer’s office – more properly carrying the Beretta in an IWB for that scene.
Tony wears one of his many Omega La Magique gold wristwatches with this suit. A flashy, appearance-driven criminal like Tony would be sure to pick up the latest fashionable watch, and the La Magique was first introduced in 1981, positioned as one of the thinnest watches of the era. This particular watch has a gold rectangular case and a very small black round dial that would require 20/20 vision to read properly.
On his right wrist, he wears his usual silver chain link bracelet. His right hand is also decked out with both of his big gold rings; the 3rd finger ring has a diamond and the pinky ring has a square-cut ruby. Both of Tony’s necklaces – the larger Cuban-style chain and the slimmer, lower-hanging rope necklace – are yellow gold.
Tony keeps his reputation as a sporty ’80s guy with a pair of black acetate teardrop-framed sport aviators with amber gradient lenses. zeroUV offers a similar pair for only $9.99.
How to Get the Look
Buying a new car anytime soon? Show the salesman you mean business by wearing your finest Miami drug kingpin suit, and don’t be afraid to dress it up with extensive and expensive jewelry.
- Tan lightweight suit, consisting of:
- Single-breasted suit jacket with notch lapels, low 2-button stance, welted breast pocket, flapped straight hip pockets, 3-button cuffs, and double rear vents
- Low rise flat front suit trousers with thin belt loops, slanted side pockets, jetted right rear pocket, and plain-hemmed flared bottoms
- Brown soft shirt with large collar, breast pocket, plain front, and button cuffs
- Tan sueded leather cap-toed summer shoes
- Brown slim leather belt with small gold squared claw-shaped buckle
- Omega La Magique wristwatch on left wrist with gold expanding bracelet, gold rectangular case, and round red dial
- Stainless link bracelet, worn on right wrist
- Gold ring with diamond, worn on right ring finger
- Gold ring with square-cut ruby, worn on right pinky
- Black acetate teardrop-framed sport aviators with amber gradient lenses
- Two yellow gold necklaces
Don’t forget the cream silk display handkerchief!
… I mean, it’s got a few years, but it’s a cream puff.
Tony obviously has a soft spot for his butter yellow 1963 Cadillac Series 62 convertible. GM had been using the “Series 62” appellation since 1940 when it was the lowest level offered by Cadillac. The torpedo-styled cars – with a Body by Fisher – quickly gained attention, and the Series 62 remained a sleek and popular model for nearly 25 years.
After a series of updates and facelifts through the ’40s and ’50s, Cadillac rolled out its final generation of the C-platform Series 62 with a design from GM’s chief designer Bill Mitchell in 1961. Each year saw slight changes both internally and externally; the 1963 model – as driven in Scarface – featured lower profile tailfins (by era standards) to create a longer, bolder look. Cadillac emphasized an even more luxurious ride for its 1963 model, insulating the floor and firewall to keep noise from the revamped and lighter weight 390 cubic inch V8 out of the inner compartment.
1964 was the final year of the Cadillac Series 62 before the model was renamed the Calais. The engine was expanded to 429 cubic inches, boosting horsepower to 340. No convertibles were offered in ’64, and sales bottomed out at 35,079… an 18-year low and a huge dip from the car’s apex of popularity in 1956.
1963 Cadillac Series 62
Body Style: 2-door convertible
Layout: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive (RWD)
Engine: 390 cubic inch (6.4 L) Cadillac OHV V8 with Rochester 4-barrel carburetor
Power: 325 hp (242 kW; 329 PS) @ XX rpm
Torque: 430 lb·ft (580 N·m) @ XX rpm
Transmission: 4-speed GM Hydra-Matic automatic
Wheelbase: 129.5 inches (3289 mm)
Length: 223 inches (5664 mm)
Width: 79.7 inches (2024 mm)
Height: 56.6 inches (1438 mm)
Despite its powerful Cadillac V8 under the hood, it would take a lot more than 325 horsepower to push the 4,544-pound car into high speeds. Acceleration was low, taking more than 10 seconds to hit 60 mph with a dismal 17.6 second quarter mile drag time. But a car like this isn’t driven for performance… it’s driven for showing off. Sounds about right for Tony Montana, doesn’t it?
And show off he does. Not only does the outside of the car attract attention with its bright yellow paint job, but the custom interior’s tiger-print upholstery is truly… unique.
If you want your own and size isn’t important to you, a 1:24 die-cast model replica is available for sale (and it even includes a little Tony Montana!) If die-cast metal isn’t your thing and you want something “cuter”, there’s always a toy like this.
Do Yourself a Favor and…
You wanna play that way with me, I play with you.
Brad Pitt as Robert “Rusty” Ryan, casino heister and hotel manager
Las Vegas, June 2007
Film: Ocean’s Thirteen
Release Date: June 8, 2007
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Costume Designer: Louise Frogley
Happy Memorial Day! I hope all you gents out in BAMF Land will be celebrating the holiday with an outdoor cookout… or possibly planning a multi-million dollar casino heist with your buddies.
In either case, it’s safe to wear white again.
What’d He Wear?
Rusty meets with his con artist cohorts Danny Ocean and Roman Nagel while wearing the loudest outfit of the trio. While Danny and Roman prefer all black, perhaps in accordance with the shady nature of their planning session, Rusty aims more for climate and style than criminal purpose. Rusty’s suit is white-on-white tonal pinstripe in lightweight silk. As usual, Rusty wears his suit without a tie.
The perfect fit of the suit confirms my belief that the mid-2000s was a sartorial high point in recent years, bridging the extra-baggy ’90s and overly slim suits seen today. Then again, it would be a challenge for any costumer to make Brad Pitt look bad.
The suit jacket is single-breasted with notch lapels (and a buttonhole through the left lapel). The shoulders are padded with roped sleeveheads.
Rusty’s suit coat closes in the front with a single brown horn button, although he leaves it open for the whole of the sequence. The sleeves have fully-functional 4-button “surgeon’s cuffs”, although he only leaves three fastened, following the rakish pattern set by Daniel Craig’s James Bond to mark a bespoke suit. It’s a flashy gesture that fits a flashy dresser like Rusty.
In addition to the welted breast pocket, Rusty’s suit coat has flapped hip pockets that slant rearward like a hacking jacket. Unlike a hacking jacket, it has double vents.
The flat front suit trousers rise low on his waist. They have two frogmouth front pockets and jetted rear pockets. The waistband closes with an extended squared hook closure tab in the front, although the trousers are meant to be worn with a belt.
Although Rusty wears white chino trousers with a few other outfits in Ocean’s Thirteen (including with his mustard sportcoat at the airport), these are clearly a different pair that matches the suit as evident by the tonal pinstripe and the frogmouth front pockets that differ from the on-seam side pockets on the other chinos.
A stylish guy like Rusty isn’t going to ignore the matching belt and shoes rule, although we don’t get much of a look at the latter. His distressed leather belt is caramel brown with dark brown gradient edges and a thin squared gold buckle. The brief glimpse we get of his shoes offers what may be light brown leather with cream dress socks.
Some men might opt for a more subtle shirt to offset such a loud suit… not Rusty, though. Rusty wears a gold textured shirt with a distinctive metallic sheen. It has a large collar that he wears open with the top two buttons undone, buttoning the rest down the plain front. He also wears the rounded cuffs unbuttoned, typically rolling up his sleeves when the jacket is off.
Rusty is no slave to sartorial conventions by any means, but when he sports a white suit, brown supplements, and a gold shirt, it makes sense that he’d keep his jewelry all gold for a consistent palette. He wears his usual thin gold necklace with a gold pendant, mostly concealed by his shirt here.
His watch is a gold Rolex GMT Master II with a black bezel and black dial, secured to his right wrist on a gold link bracelet.
The watch is on his right wrist here, but it rotates with the rest of his accessories and shows up on his left wrist for the closing scene of the movie. His multiple rings also rotate from hand to hand and finger to finger. In this scene, he wears a gold ring with a flat amber stone on his right ring finger (although this production photo shows it on a different hand.)
The production photo also ignores the gold pinky ring that Rusty wears on his left hand.
Go Big or Go Home
The scene could also double as a beer ad as two of the coolest men in Hollywood wear sharp suits and plan a slick casino heist all while enjoying bottles of Stella Artois.
How to Get the Look
Once again, Brad Pitt’s Rusty Ryan offers a flashy, distinctive outfit that many can attempt, but few will actually pull off.
- White-on-white tonal pinstripe lightweight silk tailored suit, consisting of:
- Single-breasted 1-button jacket with notch lapels, welted breast pocket, rear-slanted flapped hip pockets, 4-button “surgeon’s cuffs”, and double vents
- Flat front low rise trousers with belt loops, frogmouth front pockets, jetted back pockets, and plain-hemmed bottoms
- Gold textured sheen dress shirt with large collar, plain front, and unbuttoned rounded cuffs
- Caramel brown leather laced dress shoes
- Cream dress socks
- Caramel brown leather belt with dark brown gradient edges and squared gold buckle
- Rolex GMT Master II wristwatch with a gold case, black bezel and dial, and gold link bracelet, worn on right wrist
- Gold ring with brown stone, worn on right ring finger
- Gold pinky ring, worn on left pinky
- Thin gold necklace with a round gold pendant
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Ray Liotta as Henry Hill, New York mob associate and club owner
Queens, NY, June 11, 1970
Release Date: September 19, 1990
Director: Martin Scorsese
Costume Designer: Richard Bruno
As Morrie Kessler’s favorite “half mick, half guinea”, it’s nice to see Henry Hill channeling his Irish side with a green suit while out at a bar. In particular, his bar – The Suite Lounge in Queens. (In reality, the scene was filmed at the Lido Cabaret at 7320 Grand Avenue in Maspeth.) Unfortunately for us, it wasn’t St. Patrick’s Day, and unfortunately for Billy Batts, an angry Joe Pesci was around.
This scene, one of the most iconic of the film, marks the shift in tone between the “glamour” of the wiseguy era in the ’60s and the harsh and violent reality of the ’70s as it all comes crashing down. The first portion of the film may explain why Henry’s biggest ambition was to be a gangster as we see an endless parade of sharp suits, champagne on the house, and big-haired and bosomy mistresses.
After Billy Batts, the suits are replaced by prison uniforms (or worse, polyester disco shirts), the champagne becomes drugs, and the mistresses become strung-out coke whores who stab you in the back. The scene and its repercussions teach us an important lesson: don’t kill, kids.
What’d He Wear?
For Billy Batts’ release party (and subsequent murder) in his bar, Henry Hill wears a green suit with a distinctive shine that implies either silk or possibly a mohair/silk blend. The suit is a two-piece with moderate features appropriate for 1970, a sartorial transition period between the ultra-slim ’60s and excessively wide ’70s.
The suit jacket is single-breasted with notch lapels that roll down to the low 2-button stance. Both the buttons on the front and the two buttons on each cuff are constructed of dark plastic, likely black. The shoulders are slightly padded with roped sleeveheads.
Henry’s suit coat has a welted breast pocket and two flapped hip pockets that slant slightly back. The double rear vents rise to Henry’s natural waist.
The flat front suit trousers rise high on Henry’s waist with a straight fly and sharp creases down each slightly tapered leg to the plain-hemmed, full break bottoms. The slanted side pockets are visible, but Henry only removes the jacket when digging Batts’ grave so it’s hard to determine the rear pocket situation. He wears a slim black leather belt through the trousers’ belt loops.
Henry wears a black shirt, a popular choice for a casual suit on a night out. He leaves the top two white plastic buttons undone; the rest are buttoned down the front placket. Broken white edge stitching is visible on the shirt’s wide placket in close-up shots.
The shirt’s long sleeves close with a single button, and the straight hem is revealed when Henry untucks the shirt to dig Batts’ grave. The material is hard to determine, but it appears to be polyester.
His leather shoes are also black, and – although they don’t receive much screen time – they appear to have a cap toe and a lace-up throat. He also appears to be wearing black socks, which I think is a good choice as the green suit isn’t neutral enough to warrant green socks.
The gold watch on his right wrist is supposedly a Rolex Day-Date, although I can’t tell for sure from the angles we are given. It is certainly a gold case with a round white dial on a flat gold bracelet; I have typically seen Day-Dates worn on thicker link bracelets, but it’s possible that this was swapped out for Henry.
Henry sticks with gold jewelry, also wearing his usual pinky ring on his right hand and his plain gold wedding band on the third finger of his left hand.
Underneath, he is likely wearing one of his usual white ribbed cotton sleeveless A-shirts.
Go Big or Go Home
Since Henry doesn’t actually do any killing in this scene (glossing over his enabling, clean-up, and other general accessory duties), it’s fine to have a Henry Hill-style night out. We’ve already got the outfit down, so now all you need is the right cigarettes, the right car, and the right music.
Henry’s smokes of choice are soft packs of Winston Full-Flavor filtered cigarettes with a gold lighter. At the time, Winston was the most popular cigarette brand in the United States, holding its position from 1966 until 1972 when it was eclipsed by Marlboro, who has remained the market leader to this day. It’s also somewhat telling that Henry’s cigarette brand was in its prime whenever he was… and it lost its popularity once things got bad (prison, drugs, killings, witness protection, etc.).
I know it’s not Car Week, but I have to show my appreciation for Henry’s fine choice in American machinery. For the bulk of the film, Henry drives a dark brown 1968 Pontiac Grand Prix with a white hardtop.
’68 was a special year for the Grand Prix, a transition between the first two generations of body styles and the final year for the B-body platform full-sized Grand Prix. Since the convertible model had just been discontinued, the only option was the 2-door hardtop coupe, which Henry drives here. Engine options were the standard 400 cubic inch V8 with 350 horsepower, but an optional 428 was available with base 375 horsepower or a High Output (HO) 390 horsepower version. In reality, Hill drove a new 1970 Buick Electra, but all that you really need to take away from the scene is that the trunk was pretty much ruined after hauling Batts’ rotting corpse back and forth.
And finally, the music. Goodfellas has one of the greatest soundtracks of any movie, and this scene features two classic songs that nicely indicate the scene’s tone-changing effect on the rest of the film. The party is seen in high gear to the upbeat 1963 track “He’s Sure the Boy I Love” by the Phil Spector-produced group The Crystals.
Hours later, when Tommy returns to kill Batts and set the crew on its fatal course, the darker and deeper “Atlantis” by Donovan is used to punctuate the brutal murder.
Bonus points to anyone who can quickly – and correctly – pronounce Barabajagal, the name of Donovan’s 1969 album that contained the song.
What to Imbibe
Billy Batts: Give us a drink. And give some to those Irish hoodlums down there.
Jimmy Conway: Only one Irishman here, Billy.
Billy Batts: On the house. Salud.
Jimmy Conway: Top of the mornin’.
Whiskey is the order of the night for Jimmy and his crew, although he, Henry, and Tommy are more often seen drinking Crown Royal (Canadian), Cutty Sark (Scotch), or J&B (Scotch again) than anything Irish. Since Jameson will likely be flowing at your local bar on March 17th, feel free to down a shot or two with your local Irish hoodlums.
Now go home and get your fuckin’ shinebox.
How to Get the Look
Henry keeps his night out look flashy but simple using only three colors: green, black, and gold.
- Green silk suit, consisting of:
- Single-breasted jacket with notch lapels, 2-button front, welted breast pocket, flapped slanted hip pockets, 2-button cuffs, and double rear vents
- Flat front high rise trousers with belt loops, slanted side pockets, and plain-hemmed tapered bottoms
- Black polyester shirt with white buttons, white edge-stitched front placket, and button cuffs
- Black cap toe leather laced shoes
- Black dress socks
- Black slim leather belt with small silver square clasp
- White ribbed cotton sleeveless undershirt
- Rolex Day-Date with a gold case, white round dial, and flat gold bracelet
- Pinky ring, worn on right pinky
- Plain gold wedding band, worn on left ring finger
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Buy the movie.
As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster. To me that was better than being president of the United States. To be a gangster was to own the world.
Curious about what really happened to Billy Batts? It’s not that different from what Goodfellas shows us, although the film wisely condenses the action to one night rather than over the course of a couple weeks. As found on Tommy DeSimone’s Wikipedia page…
In the book Wiseguy, Henry Hill said they threw a “welcome home” party at Robert’s Lounge, which was owned by Jimmy Burke, for William “Billy Batts” Bentvena (confused as William Devino), a made man in Carmine Fatico’s crew (the same crew John Gotti was a part of) in the Gambino crime family.
Bentvena had just been released from prison after serving a six year term for drug possession. Hill states in Wiseguy that Bentvena saw DeSimone and asked him if he still shined shoes and DeSimone took this as an insult. Hill also said that Bentvena provoked DeSimone because he wanted to impress some mobsters from another crime family. A couple of minutes later when that issue was going to be forgotten, DeSimone leaned over to Henry Hill and Jimmy Burke and said “I’m gonna kill that fuck.” Hill saw that he was serious about it. A couple of weeks later, on June 11, 1970, Bentvena went over to “The Suite” owned by Hill in Jamaica, Queens to go drinking with DeSimone’s crew, including Hill, DeSimone, and Jimmy. Later that night DeSimone took his girlfriend home and Burke started making Bentvena feel comfortable. Twenty minutes later, DeSimone arrived with a .38 revolver and a plastic mattress cover. DeSimone walked over to him at the corner of the bar and attacked Bentvena. Before Bentvena was attacked, Jimmy Burke tightened his arms around Bentvena and he was pistol whipped with the .38 revolver. He was so inebriated that he couldn’t defend himself.
In the book Wiseguy, Hill said that before DeSimone started to beat Bentvena, DeSimone yelled, “Shine these fucking shoes!” DeSimone killed Bentvena not only because he had insulted him, but also because Burke had taken over Bentvena’s loanshark business while Bentvena was in prison. According to Hill, Bentvena had been complaining to Joseph N. Gallo about getting back this racket. Not wanting to return the business to Bentvena, Burke knew sooner or later Bentvena would have to be killed. After the beating, the three men put Bentvena into the trunk of Hill’s 1970 Buick Electra and later while the three men were driving on The Van Wyck Expressway, they discovered that Bentvena was not dead. Later, they visited DeSimone’s mother’s house to get a knife, lime, and a shovel. Later in the drive, closer to their destination, Hill said it had been an hour of DeSimone driving and he kept getting mad about the noises in the trunk and finally slammed the brakes and leaned over for the shovel and that Burke and DeSimone “didn’t actually shoot him, they just stabbed him, thirty or forty fucking times, fucking horrible.”
Hill does not mention a knife, but claims Burke and DeSimone finished Bentvena off by beating him with a tire iron and the shovel, respectively and the men later buried him under a dog kennel. At the time of the murder in 1970, Bentvena was 49 years old and was a respected and a feared made man in the Gambino crime family, as well as a personal friend of future Gambino boss John Gotti. Murdering a made man without the official consent of his family’s leadership was an unforgivable offense in the Mafia code of omerta, especially by a rival family and a mere associate such as DeSimone, and it was this murder (after the Gotti crew definitively tied DeSimone to the killing) that led to DeSimone’s own murder as retaliation.