Me, evidently a fan of amusement parks
Pittsburgh, Summer 1987
Release Date: April 3, 2009
Director: Greg Mottola
Costume Designer: Melissa Toth
As today is my 32nd birthday (a day I share with Ernest Hemingway, Robin Williams, and Cat Stevens, to name a few) I’m going to exercise my blogger’s right to shift direction a bit and focus on… me!
In case my blog about style in the movies didn’t give it away, I’ve always been a fan of movies. While I never harbored dreams of stardom, there had always been a part of me that got a kick out of seeing myself on screen—which my fiancée attributes to my Leo ascendant—and I spent many a weekend in high school cajoling my patient friends into starring in some amateur production of mine, typically a half-baked story driven by gangsters, guns, and Goodwill-purchased suits.
It wasn’t until I entered college that I considered actually being part of an actual production, tossing my proverbial hat into the ring by registering as an extra with a local casting agency that has worked on several major productions filmed in Pittsburgh including The Dark Knight Rises, Jack Reacher, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Just two months into my freshman year at Pitt, the agency announced that extras of all ages would be needed for a day spent filming at Kennywood, the amusement park that had been the setting of many fond memories since early childhood. The park was being transformed back in time two decades for the 1980s-set comedy Adventureland, which would star Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart as college students spending their summer working at an amusement park. Continue reading
Although this summer has been markedly different from years past, I still found myself relying on the familiar comforts of retail therapy, specifically building my unnecessarily vast wardrobe of short-sleeve printed shirts and discovering the wares of great warm-weather outfitters like Aloha FunWear, Busbee McQuade, Dandy Del Mar, and Scott Fraser Collection.
I’m always on the lookout for budget-friendly alternatives to favorite items I’ve spotted in movies and TV, and this was a particularly fruitful year for finding three fine alternatives to shirts I’d long wanted from the tropical worlds of James Bond and Thomas Magnum. While I’ve already explored two of these looks in depth on BAMF Style, I wanted to break from my usual format on what I believe to be my 1,000th post to express my excitement for these finds.
I had plenty of fun putting together this brief guide to share some of this season’s finds that I’ve been picking up, comparing budget versions against some of the higher investment pieces and—for the sake of transparency—being sure to mention whether or not I personally owned the shirts in question.
Please feel free to add your own observations or summer favorites in the comments! Continue reading
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
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.
Today is July 21, which means…
While today is, indeed, my 30th birthday, I’m greeting the day with considerably more enthusiasm than The Great Gatsby‘s despondent narrator Nick Carraway, who rings in “the portentous menacing road of a new decade” during a contentious confrontation between romantic millionaire Jay Gatsby and brutish Tom Buchanan over the affections of Daisy, Tom’s wife and Gatsby’s former flame. (For a more in-depth look at the style of my favorite book and its multiple cinematic adaptations, check out this post from last month!)
Fellow July 21 birthday celebrators include:
- Sam Bass (born 1851), an outlaw who died on his 27th birthday following a gunfight with police in Texas
- Sara Carter (1898-1979), lead singer of the Carter Family
- Hart Crane (1899-1932), American writer and poet who died by suicide
- Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), American writer and adventurer who also died by suicide
- Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980), the media theorist I know best from his famous cameo in Annie Hall
- Kay Starr (1922-2016), described by Billie Holiday as “the only white woman who could sing the blues”
- Norman Jewison (born 1926), director of stylish flicks including The Cincinnati Kid (1965), In the Heat of the Night (1967), and The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), among many others
- Sonny Clark (1931-1963), jazz pianist who recorded prolifically for Blue Note in the late 1950s
- Janet Reno (1938-2016), first woman to serve as United States Attorney General
- Edward Herrmann (1943-2014), actor who famously portrayed FDR (and also appeared in 1974’s The Great Gatsby)
- Robin Williams (1951-2014), Academy Award-winning actor and comedian considered among the funniest people of all time
- Jon Lovitz (born 1957), comedian and former Saturday Night Live cast member
- Brandi Chastain (born 1968), American soccer champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist
- Godfrey (born 1969), comedian, actor, and 7 Up spokesperson
- Josh Hartnett (born 1979), actor who starred in Pearl Harbor, Sin City, and 30 Days of Night
- Paloma Faith (born 1981), eccentric singer-songwriter
9 Days to Halloween!
Do you wear a costume on Halloween? If so, do you go for something scary, witty, or low-key (I’m thinking three-hole-punch Jim…), or do you prefer something recognizable from pop culture?
I tend to aim for the latter, if for no other reason than I can usually dig into my own closet to find something comfortable. Usually one or two additional pieces need to be thrifted or bought online, but channeling my favorite movie or TV characters has always made Halloween costume hunting a relatively stress-free process.
With Halloween parties kicking into high gear this upcoming weekend, I want to provide a helpful guide for BAMF Style readers in search of costumes based on some of my own experience. For example, I’ve learned to avoid the esoteric (like my 7th grade Halloween costume when I was Robert Redford in The Sting) and embrace costumes with character-defining props, be it Don Draper’s pack of Lucky Strikes or Thomas Magnum’s Detroit Tigers cap.
My goal was to set you up with the elements you need for an easy, comfortable, and – most importantly – stress-free Halloween costume! (Plus… many elements from these costumes can be worn independently and thus expand your wardrobe! Win win.)
Today is Black Friday, the annual phenomenon in the American retail world that finds many waking from their heavy tryptophan-induced slumber to save 10% on a TV. In recent years, this “holiday” has been exploited by said retailers capitalizing on in-store deals by expanding them to the world wide web on Cyber Monday for an additional day of merry marketing goodness.
Cynicism aside, with one month to Christmas Eve, today feels like a perfect opportunity to present some picks for BAMF Style’s somewhat-annual Holiday Gift Guide… whether you’re seeking to treat a loved one, a friend, or yourself!
For the 2017 gift-giver, I created three different gift guide categories:
- Eight relevant essentials of classic style icons and where you can find the best options based on your budget
- Two BAMF-approved gift packages based on products that I regularly wear, use, and appreciate
- A roundup of (mostly) new books for BAMFs and others to enjoy
For my birthday today (July 21, same as Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams), I hope you’ll excuse an indulgent post as I explore the suits that grabbed my attention from a young age and stirred my early interest in men’s style. Though, given the dapper white jacket that Sean Connery wore on the cover of GQ the month I was born, I should have known what direction my life would eventually take!
While not necessarily the greatest suits to every appear in the movies, these five each contributed to my interest in menswear that led to the eventual creation of BAMF Style a decade later. Interestingly, all of the featured outfits are from period films, highlighting fashion of an earlier era (the 1930s, in more cases than not) and accentuated by a musical soundtrack designed to emphasize the character and the moment.
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One week left! Is there more Christmas shopping to be done, or are you looking to treat yourself? (Or are you just looking to treat yourself anyway?) Either way, back for 2016 is BAMF Style’s unsolicited list of gift ideas for you and yours.
BAMF Style Recommends…
I’m honored to have been contributed to an article posted today at Iconic Alternatives, featuring my top five favorite outfits from the James Bond 007 series. Iconic Alternatives did all the hard work of tracking down fashionable and affordable options of suits, formalwear, and casual wear worn by Sean Connery, Roger Moore, and Daniel Craig in From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, The Man with the Golden Gun, Casino Royale, and Skyfall.
Check it out here if you want to find out my five favorite outfits from the Bond series and affordable alternatives as researched by the pros at Iconic Alternatives. The entire site is a great resource for tracking down individual items to help you dress like the world’s sharpest secret agent.
Did I include any of your favorite James Bond outfits? Feel free to share your favorites or clothing that you’ve found on your own that reflects 007!