Tagged: Tracksuit

Donnie Brasco: Pacino’s Red Christmas Tracksuit

Al Pacino as Benjamin "Lefty" Ruggiero in Donnie Brasco (1997)

Al Pacino as Benjamin “Lefty” Ruggiero in Donnie Brasco (1997)


Al Pacino as Benjamin “Lefty” Ruggiero, washed-up Mafia soldier

New York City, Christmas 1978

Film: Donnie Brasco
Release Date: February 28, 1997
Director: Mike Newell
Costume Designer: Aude Bronson-Howard & David C. Robinson


Like The Godfather and GoodfellasDonnie Brasco follows the tradition of great Mafia movies by featuring some Cosa Nostra Christmas celebrations. The frequency with which the holidays appear in mob cinema is no coincidence, as Catholic traditions are very important to we Italian-Americans.

Donnie Brasco features a casual Christmas on Mulberry Street, perhaps more reflective than the Phil Spector-scored Goodfellas party of how many yuletide observances will look in 2020. Continue reading

The Sopranos: Paulie’s Black Velvet Tracksuit

Tony Sirico as "Paulie Walnuts" Gualtieri in "The Strong, Silent Type", the tenth episode of the fourth season of The Sopranos.

Tony Sirico as “Paulie Walnuts” Gualtieri in “The Strong, Silent Type”, the tenth episode of the fourth season of The Sopranos.


Tony Sirico as “Paulie Walnuts” Gualtieri, mob captain and Army veteran

New Jersey, Spring 2002 and Fall 2006

Series: The Sopranos
– “The Strong, Silent Type” (Episode 4.10, dir. Alan Taylor, aired 11/17/2002)
– “Moe n’ Joe” (Episode 6.10, dir. Steve Shill, aired 5/14/2006)
Creator: David Chase
Costume Designer: Juliet Polcsa


November 21 was proclaimed World Television Day by the United Nations in 1996, so this Saturday evening feels like a fine opportunity to pop down in your favorite plastic-covered chair to read about one of the greatest TV shows of all time. And, as I discovered far too late in life, there are few outfits more comfortable for such indulgence than a velvet tracksuit.

I feel that I’ve demonstrated several times my appreciation for the once-in-a-lifetime character of Paulie Walnuts on The Sopranos, a perfect character for the world of the acclaimed series as well as a role that could have only been played by Tony Sirico, the Brooklyn-born actor and one-time “half a wiseguy” who lent his quirks, mannerisms, style, and even biographical details to the character.

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Goodfellas: Henry’s Adidas Tracksuit in Prison

Ray Liotta as Henry Hill in Goodfellas (1990)

Ray Liotta as Henry Hill in Goodfellas (1990)


Ray Liotta as Henry Hill, imprisoned New York mob associate

United States Penitentiary, Lewisburg, Fall 1975

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


As an Italian-American with no known organized crime affiliations, I was always drawn to Goodfellas for how much I could resonate with the prominence of food—particularly Italian food—throughout my life, such as large family dinners with heaping portions of delicious pasta, sauce, and meats, usually with Dean Martin or Tony Bennett crooning from the hi-fi in the corner. In the spirit of that most relatable element from my favorite movie, I wish you all a Happy National Pasta Day! (And for those outside the United States, let’s all come together to celebrate World Pasta Day a week from now on October 25.)

Last month, as I was rounding up my 30 favorite style moments for Goodfellas‘ 30th anniversary, I realized it had been almost four years since I last explored any of Ray Liotta’s mobbed-up threads as famous turncoat Henry Hill. When I saw back-to-back celebrations of the Italian culinary tradition in October, I knew it was time to explore one of the most famous scenes from Martin Scorsese’s magnum opus.

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Christopher Moltisanti’s Black and Red Genelli Tracksuit

Michael Imperioli as Christopher Molitsanti on The Sopranos (Episode 4.05: "Pie-O-My")

Michael Imperioli as Christopher Molitsanti on The Sopranos (Episode 4.05: “Pie-O-My”)


Michael Imperioli as Christopher Moltisanti, drug-addled mob soldier

New Jersey, Fall 2002

Series: The Sopranos
Episode: “Pie-O-My” (Episode 4.05)
Air Date: October 13, 2002
Director: Henry J. Bronchtein
Creator: David Chase
Costume Designer: Juliet Polcsa


There are two types of silk suits that mobsters seem to prefer: one can be worn with a tie, and the other is usually worn with sneakers. The latter, also known as a “Bensonhurst tuxedo”, will be featured in today’s Mafia Monday post using an example from—what else?—The Sopranos. Continue reading