Tagged: What to Wear to the Office

Notorious – Cary Grant’s Dark Pinstripe Suit

Cary Grant as T.R. Devlin in Notorious (1946)

Cary Grant as T.R. Devlin in Notorious (1946)

Vitals

Cary Grant as T.R. Devlin, American government agent

Miami and Rio de Janeiro, Spring 1946

Film: Notorious
Release Date: September 6, 1946
Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Background

It’s impossible to over-celebrate the elegant yet understated sartorialism of Cary Grant, born this day in 1904. One of my favorite of Grant’s movies is Notorious, the 1946 espionage adventure that paired him with Ingrid Bergman as a pair of American spies tasked with exposing Alexander Sebastian, a former Nazi played with charmingly evil affability by Claude Rains.

Notorious was the second collaboration between Grant and director Alfred Hitchcock, and it marked the start of a string of wildly successful and ultimately timeless movies that Hitch would direct over the next two decades. Continue reading

Chinatown – J.J. Gittes’ Gray Striped Suit

Jack Nicholson as J.J. Gittes in Chinatown (1974)

Jack Nicholson as J.J. Gittes in Chinatown (1974)

Vitals

Jack Nicholson as J.J. Gittes, private investigator and ex-policeman

Los Angeles, September 1937

Film: Chinatown
Release Date: June 20, 1974
Director: Roman Polanski
Costume Designer: Anthea Sylbert

Background

J.J. Gittes begins his final day investigating the Mulwray case in Chinatown with his usual cheekiness, even when surprised by walking into a murder scene. He trades barbs with increasingly suspicious detectives, including the pugnacious Detective Loach (Richard Bakalyan) who inquires about Gittes’ sliced-up nose; Edward Norton’s character in Rounders would pay homage to Gittes’ response of “Your wife got excited. She crossed her legs a little too quick.”

But Gittes’ good humor wears off by the end, following a series of misadventures – mostly at gunpoint – involving sisters, daughters, and a shot-out eyeball. As his assistant Walsh (Joe Mantell) sagely – and now famously – advises him:

Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.

Continue reading

Cary Grant’s Charcoal Flannel Suit in Charade

Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn in Charade (1963)

Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn in Charade (1963)

Vitals

Cary Grant as Brian Cruikshank (aka Peter Joshua, Alexander Dyle, or Adam Canfield), U.S. Treasury agent

Paris, April 1963

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

Background

Heading back to business for the first day in the new year, nothing is more appropriate for a winter’s day in the office than a charcoal flannel suit similar to the one that Cary Grant’s multi-named hero wore to the office for the finale of Charade. Continue reading

Cottonmouth Stokes’ Navy Suit on Luke Cage

Mahershala Ali as Cornell "Cottonmouth" Stokes on Luke Cage (Episode 1.06: "Suckas Need Bodyguards")

Mahershala Ali as Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes on Luke Cage (Episode 1.06: “Suckas Need Bodyguards”)

Vitals

Mahershala Ali as Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes, mob boss and nightclub owner

Harlem, November 2015

Series: Luke Cage
Episodes:  “Suckas Need Bodyguards” (Episode 1.06) & “Manifest” (Episode 1.07)
Streaming Date: September 30, 2016
Directors: Sam Miller (Episode 1.06) & Andy Goddard (Episode 1.07)
Costume Designer: Stephanie Maslansky
Key Tailor: Cherie Cunningham

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

The chilly weather here in the Northern Hemisphere as we look toward the official start of winter this week is a fine time to explore options for layering against the cold.  Continue reading

Michael Douglas’s Taupe Cerruti Suit in Basic Instinct

Michael Douglas as Nick Curran in Basic Instinct (1992).

Michael Douglas as Nick Curran in Basic Instinct (1992).

Vitals

Michael Douglas as Nick Curran, homicide detective with a troubled past

San Francisco, April 1991

Film: Basic Instinct
Release Date: March 20, 1992
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Costume Designer: Ellen Mirojnick

Background

There have been a few persistent requests to analyze Michael Douglas’ tailored Cerruti suits and sport jackets in the controversial thriller Basic Instinct, best known for what Sharon Stone wasn’t wearing on screen as opposed to what Michael Douglas was wearing.

Described in his book The Devil’s Guide to Hollywood as an exercise to create the lowest common denominator screenplay possible, writer Joe Eszterhas completed his script within two weeks all while reportedly listening to The Rolling Stones non-stop. Eszterhas sold the script three days later for the astronomical sum of $3 million, cynically reattaining his mantle as the highest paid screenwriter in Hollywood.

Continue reading

Frank Underwood’s Blue Suit at the DNC

Kevin Spacey as President Frank Underwood in "Chapter 48" of House of Cards (2016).

Kevin Spacey as President Frank Underwood in “Chapter 48” of House of Cards (2016).

Vitals

Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood, ruthless and calculating U.S. President

Atlanta, July 2016

Series: House of Cards
Episode: “Chapter 48” (Episode 4.09)
Streaming Date: March 4, 2016
Director: Robin Wright
Costume Designer: Johanna Argan

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Tomorrow is Election Day here in the U.S. and hopefully the end of one of the ugliest campaign seasons in modern American politics.

In the political world of House of Cards, voters tomorrow would be choosing between Democratic incumbent Frank Underwood and Republican candidate Will Conway (Joel Kinnaman). In Chapter 48 of the series, Underwood notes about his opponent:

You’re a New York Republican. That’s an attractive fiction, isn’t it?

Chapter 48 spans the first three days of the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta from Monday, July 25 through Wednesday, July 27. (The actual 2016 DNC was held in Philadelphia, in case you’d forgotten, and was quite dramatic in itself… which I’m sure you hadn’t forgotten.) President Underwood’s team seemingly makes a play for Secretary of State Catherine Durant (Jayne Atkinson) to be chosen as his running mate while secretly working behind the scenes to secure the spot for the First Lady, Claire Underwood (Robin Wright, who also directed this installment.)

One of the episode’s more outstanding scenes finds the unlikely situation of both candidates meeting alone, sifting through the heavy haze of dirty politics permeating the air while channeling their opposition into a discussion of video games. Continue reading

Spectre – Blue Check Suit for Day of the Dead

Daniel Craig as James Bond in Spectre (2015).

Daniel Craig as James Bond in Spectre (2015).

Vitals

Daniel Craig as James Bond, British government agent

Mexico City, November 2015

Film: Spectre
Release Date: October 25, 2015
Director: Sam Mendes
Costume Designer: Jany Temime

Background

Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a Mexican public holiday to remember and support the spiritual journey of deceased friends and family. This year, as it did last year when Bond “attended”, the multi-day celebration begins on November 1 and ends tomorrow, November 2.

I’ve received several requests to cover the outfit that James Bond wears during the Día de Muertos celebration in Mexico City, and I would like to also direct readers to the excellent analysis of this suit featured at Matt Spaiser’s site The Suits of James Bond, where Matt also developed an excellent digital reconstruction of the suiting that can’t be missed. Continue reading