Menswear style icons from movies
The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Thursday, July 18, 2024

Menswear style icons from movies

Movie world is exciting, captivating and perfect. The outfits are thought through, the main character always looks dashing and usually has appropriate clothing for any event. And not just that, he (main character) very often has a charming personality, always knows what to say and very rarely makes mistakes. No wonder that after watching a movie we want to steal some of that movie magic and implement it into our daily lives.

Since most of us are not secret agents or don’t live by a script (to always know what to say), the easiest way to have at least a little bit of a movie experience in real life is to dress inspired by your favorite movie character. It doesn’t have to be conspicuous, you can add an element here and there and not copy the look head to toe.

If you are a classic movie fan, you have the chance to develop a classic, timeless look. If you love a good sci-fi you can add some futuristic elements to your outfit. Fan of cowboy movies? Start wearing cowboy boots or other cowboy inspired shoes, cowboy hat or a plaid or denim shirt. You don’t have to wear all the elements at once if you want a more subtle look. The possibilities are endless!

To help you out, we have selected a few movie characters that have some timeless and worth-copying looks. Interestingly, not all of them are main characters. It only shows that it is worthwhile to pay attention not only to the main character, but also look for inspiration outside the main circle.

Dickie Greenleaf in ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’

This movie is set in the late 50s with the modern era just knocking on the door. One of the main characters is Dickie Greenleaf, a fashionable continental playboy. Tom Ripley, young underachiever, travels to Venice in an attempt to convince Dickie to return back to the US.

Tom making an effort to dress like Dickie is a major plot in the movie. Ripley looks awkward in formal suits, while Dickie opts for separate pieces and unstructured casual looks, that are appropriate for a summer in Italy.

In one of the scenes, Dickie is wearing a navy polo shirt with a navy blazer. He appears with a cream blazer in the movie as well. In another scene he is wearing a light blue shirt with white collar and a tie paired with light stone colored pants.

The tie really picks up both the stone and the blue color. A blue shirt with a white collar may appear as a banker look, but in the movie, everything is so breezy and light that you won’t think of it as too usual.

How to dress like Dickie
To resemble Dickie’s look, you can think about warm and light colors like cream and pink, loosely knotted striped ties, plenty of short sleeves, and men’s dress shirts that are slim-fit.

Tip! Great place to find the perfect fit dress shirt for your style is

You will find that a couple of shirts he wears in the movie has a design of vertical stripes. That was a very popular style during the 1950s. For bottoms, you will see a lot of rolled-up chinos, printed swim shorts, pastel or printed shorts, and finally for footwear, the boat shoes.

The accessories that Dickie uses are mesmerizing as well. That includes gold rings, Wayfarer-style sunglasses, and a metal wristwatch along with a mesh bracelet. Dickie had no problem with mixing and matching his accessories and wearing gold and silver pieces together. And why not, he’s not bothered to match the metals perfectly!

Another great aspect of Dickie’s look lies in his swirly curls. It is very likely that the makeup artist used a sea salt spray and blow dried them to get a beachy-messy appearance before adding scented ointment to give the hair extra shine and hold.
Dickie, in the movie, parts his hair to the left. The left side has been associated with power, masculinity, and social popularity. Ripley, on the other hand, parts to his right, which appears vague on men. This styling goes with their personalities.

Frank Bullitt in “Bullitt”

An example of masculinity and one of the favorite style icons is Steve McQueen. It is very hard to pick just one of his characters, but Bullitt is one of the best-known examples for a style inspiration. One of the main style pieces in Bullit’s wardrobe is a herringbone tweed jacket. It’s designed loose and long, has soft shoulders and a three-roll-two button jacket. This particular style is for taller men and displays a clear sign of premium quality.

The three-roll-two button jacket has three buttons with three buttonholes but only the middle button is intended to use. This kind of jacket is designed to roll straight to the middle button. You won’t see the upper buttonhole and it remains practically invisible to the eye.

Interesting fact, in the movie Frank Bullit very rarely, almost never buttons his jacket, so it is also acceptable to wear it open and not buttoned up at all.

The jacket Frank Bullit wears in the movie is dark brown but to resemble his look you can choose a gray one if that is a color that suits you better. To make the jacket look stylish, wear it with a roll-neck dark colored sweater underneath. It can be dark blue, green, gray or even black. Make sure the sweater is well fitted but not too chunky and too tight.

Charcoal colored slim fit corduroy pants along with suede lace-up boots completes the outfit. The styling is more about texture and tailored but casual look and less about colorful prints and unusual styles.

Women like men who look effortless but also put together and that sums up Frank Bullit’s look. Men however are drawn to Frank Bullit’s masculine and minimalistic style that seems easy enough to replicate. And it is true! Choose a tweed jacket with a turtleneck sweater underneath, dark pants and suede shoes - all items that are fairly easy to purchase today. For a more ravishing look, put on a camel overcoat, a silver watch, brown Persol sunglasses, and lots of confidence.

John Shaft in “Shaft” 2019

John Shaft in “Shaft” continues the style guides of Frank Bullit by keeping the dark turtleneck sweater but switching the jacket material from tweed to leather. The leather jacket soon became John’s signature look and it is hard to find a scene in this movie where he isn’t wearing one.

Interesting fact, different leather jackets (styles, colors) have been used to depict John’s moods and give audience a hint what is expected:

• For the “no-nonsense” Shaft, a leather blazer is used.

• For the ‘classic’ Shaft, a three by fourth length jacket with a woolen collar and raw-cut edges is used.

• For the ‘rebel’ Shaft, a double-breasted overcoat is used.

And, for the ‘approachable’ Shaft, a suede full-length jacket is used.
In general, wearing a lot of black is not favored by African-American men. That’s because dark hair and dark skin make a low contrast complexion. But, Samuel L. Jackson simply proves that there can be a dynamic exception to each and every established rule.

How to dress like John Shaft
Choose a leather coat with a cashmere turtleneck sweater. Both the leather and turtleneck sweater can be in any color, but be sure to choose darker tones to have a more serious and tough look.

In this movie, Shaft is seen wearing both leather pants, leather gloves and leather jacket. If that is too much leather for you to wear in real life, opt for good looking slim-fit black jeans and/or gloves made of different fabric. You can also try other kinds of dark-colored pants.

The main character John Shaft quite often wears a watch cap, a knitted hat that is usually worn with a single fold that exposes part of the ears while covering the rest.
In the movie Shaft also wears a lot of sunglasses. The black lenses perfectly suit his leather and dark colored outfits.

The interesting part is that both Shafts (John Shaft senior and John Shaft, the nephew) have one thing in common, and it is the Balbo beard. All these features - leather jackets, sleek turtlenecks, watch caps, black sunglasses - make Shaft’s outfits dominant and masculine.

Meyer Wolfsheim in ‘The Great Gatsby’

The cameo role of Meyer Wolfsheim was played by Amitabh Bachchan’s. His amazing acting and mesmerizing dapper look definitely made an impact on Gatsby fans all over the World. The wide necktie paired with wide-shouldered jacket and fedora makes him look powerful and impressive.

The fedora, which is off-white in color, suits perfectly with his white beard. That brings a lot of coherence to his appearance. The pocket square, hatband, and dark red tie are great examples of accessories that stand out nicely with the outfit.

The color adds more warmth and contrast to the light-toned gray suit. The red color looks amazing on him. He is wearing a white collar dress pinned shirt, which is neat, stylish, and can be worn with a gorgeous tie. It appears that the collar pin is of a dumbbell style.

What’s more interesting is to find out that he wears a design that resembles a human molar as tie pin and cufflinks. The tie pin was used as a substitute to tie bars. However, if you use a tie pin, be warned that it may damage your tie.

There is no need to wear teeth-design, you can choose any other form of tie pin and cufflinks. Why did Meyer Wolfsheim choose molar form accessories? Some speculate that he is sending a powerful message and it may be interpreted as, “You have to pay me back, or else…!” because he often lends people money, and those teeth may even belong to someone who failed to pay him back.

He has long hair which is swept backward with a wave-style. He wears a trimmed goatee (extended) with a thick wide mustache with ends curving upwards and sideburns. This is indeed a powerful and flamboyant look that will catch your eye.

The main element of this look is confidence. To wear this look you have to be self-assured and feel good in what you are wearing. On the flip side, if you do possess a shy character, this one might not be for you.

Tony Stark in Spider-Man: Homecoming’

Tony is counted among those few men who love easy, practical and classic clothing trends. He favors dark charcoal gray or dark suits with crisp white men’s dress shirts. You may have seen him wearing flashy shirts in Iron Man movies, but his character in this movie is more matured. He has become a more restrained dresser customising the look with a few character elements.

Tony prefers a pinstriped suit, the vertical stripes add to his height and gives an elevated look. This type of dressing makes complete sense for someone who wants to look a bit taller.

For a guy with a strong personality, he has a deep liking for pocket squares and bold patterned ties. He often wears them in his signature red color. He wears wide collars, wide lapels, and wide ties, as well. Tony’s style is classy but still a little bit old school. His style helps to set him apart from his apprentice the young Peter Parker.

How to dress like Tony Stark
For having a complete Tony Stark look, you need to pay attention to the accessories like cufflinks, tie bar, and not to forget, a large sports watch with the whistles and techie bells.

Hair should fall on the longer side, messy and pushed backwards with hair wax instead of pomade or hair gel. And finally, if you want to get into the character, you need to have a Balbo beard.

Danny Ocean in ‘Ocean’s 11’

Everybody can learn something about being a fashion icon from George Clooney’s character Danny Ocean. He makes his grand entrance through the elevator in a brown single-breasted houndstooth check sports coat that has a hint of red windowpane slightly over the checks.

The red lines laying over the small checks make a pattern of big squares. The jacket has classic notch lapels, 3-button cuffs, 2-button front, jetted hip pockets, ventless back, and a patch breast pocket. Danny looks stunning in brown.

He wears the jacket with dark brown flat front trousers accompanied by plain-hemmed bottoms and belt loops, and a black leather belt with a buckle of squared steel. He wears a brown shirt combined with button mitered cuffs. Mitered cuffs look like their corners were rounded or cut off.

To have the perfect look, add a fantastic watch that has a leather strap on it, and sunglasses with dark lenses and silver squared rims. Remember to match all accessories with a fine brown belt.

Also, you need to notice his roguish facial hair. Depending on the thickness and color of the facial hair, you have to shave keeping a gap of two to three days in between. That will give you the desired look that Danny possesses in the movie.

John Wick in ‘John Wick: Chapter 2’

In the original movie ‘John Wick’ you will get to see breathtaking action scenes and a whole lot of expertly-cut suits. The second movie is quite similar to the first one. Mostly in the movie, you will see John wearing a black classic two-piece suit.
On top of that, John’s killers frequently sport a classic two-piece suit with a white shirt combo. However, John jumbles his palette on several occasions. In some scenes, you will find him in very dark-colored custom looking shirts accompanied by a light-toned suit.

In general, this combination may appear unusual, but he made them work by setting the tones near each other. He wears a tie of the same color as his shirt. His choice of a charcoal suit and a black roll neck is really appreciable. The looks are all casual but appear extremely smart.

When it comes to gentlemanly behavior and a fashion statement, movies are really inspiring. There are plenty of movies where characters were able to change the styling sense of people in the real world. Those movies went on to become classics because they have inspired lots of men in etiquette and style.

So here you go! Watch movies not just for the exciting plot but also to see what outfit ideas you can get. Experiment with styles and looks and find the one that suits you the best. Let us know in the comments what is your favorite movie character style and why!

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