Tagged: T-shirt

Californication vs. Kalifornia – Hank Moody and Brian Kessler

David Duchovny as Hank Moody on Californication (left) and a slightly more '90s version of a similar character, Brian Kessler in Kalifornia (right). (The Californication screenshot is from Episode 2.01, "Slip of the Tongue".)

David Duchovny as Hank Moody on Californication (left) and a slightly more ’90s version of a similar character, Brian Kessler in Kalifornia (right).
(The Californication screenshot is from Episode 2.01, “Slip of the Tongue”.)

Californication returned to Showtime last week, beginning its seventh and final season. Around the same time, David Duchovny finally joined Twitter, immediately racking up thousands of followers.

Vitals

David Duchovny as Hank Moody, womanizing and borderline alcoholic novelist
Venice Beach, Spring 2008

and

David Duchovny as Brian Kessler, aspiring crime writer and grad student
Pittsburgh to California, Summer 1993

Background

Ask someone about what to watch if you want to see David Duchovny playing a carefree writer who journeys out to California in search of paradise and finds the result to be the total opposite. Chances are, you’ll be told to either:

a) watch Californication, or
b) check IMDB, you lazy bastard

Despite the role of Hank Moody on Californication cementing Duchovny’s post-X-Files stardom, many forget about a similar role he had played the same year that The X-Files debuted. In 1993′s Kalifornia, Duchovny played Brian Kessler, an ultra-liberal psychology grad student hell-bent on writing the ultimate serial killer book. Without the drinking and womanizing that would be Moody staples, Brian could be considered an early version of Hank with his devotion to an artistic girlfriend and the attire – mostly black shirts, jeans, and a leather jacket. Additional parallels are in the timing; Hank supposedly went out to California in the mid-1990s, just around the same time as Brian’s road trip.

Of course, the content of both are wildly different. Californication is a dramedy about Hank’s struggle with his addictions and his writing, while Kalifornia is a brilliantly warped thriller about Brian and his girlfriend unwittingly taking a cross-country road trip with a redneck serial killer Early Grayce (Brad Pitt, before he was someone) and his childlike girlfriend Adele (Juliette Lewis).

As a Californication fan, it was fun to revisit Kalifornia and see some of the subtle Hank-isms present. For this post, I’ll break down a standard Hank Moody look – black T-shirt and jeans – from season 2 of Californication and compare it to Brian Kessler in Kalifornia.

What’d He Wear?

Hank Moody

Throughout season 2 of Californication, Hank adds a few new pieces to his wardrobe, but on the whole it stays the same. In episodes 1, 4, 5, 8, and 10, Hank wears his standard black cotton short-sleeve t-shirt and dark blue zip-fly jeans.

Hank understandably takes it easy after his vasectomy.

Hank understandably takes it easy after his vasectomy.

In season 1, he had often paired his brown smoking jacket with this look, but he keeps it pretty minimal in season 2, only whipping out the smoking jacket with button-down shirts.

His accessories remain the same with the silver ring on his right index finger and the black leather studded bracelet and accompanying thinner black braided leather bracelet on his left wrist. Both are available from Urban Wrist in both black and brown leather.

Hank's ring and studded cuff bracelet.

Hank’s ring and studded cuff bracelet.

Hank also wears his same sunglasses as usual, a pair of brown-tinted Izod 725 shades that fold easily into a jacket or jeans pocket.

hank2blk-shades

Hank’s shoes are the returning pair of brown sueded leather Timberland “Mt. Washington” Chelsea boots, but he also wears a pair of black Puma Whirlwinds with white piping while interviewing Janie Jones by her pool in “Going Down and Out in Beverly Hills” (Episode 2.08).

Hank's footwear is best seen in these screenshots, each featuring very different-looking co-stars.

Hank’s footwear is best seen in these screenshots, each featuring very different-looking co-stars.

His socks and underwear are also black, just as they were when the show started.

You just had to be there to get it.

You just had to be there to get it.

We’ve already seen how Californication portrayed Hank in 1994, preferring a grungier look than we’re used to seeing on our hero.

Brian Kessler

In 1993′s Kalifornia, Duchovny’s Brian Kessler dresses more like the contemporary Hank, with the exception of baggier clothes and black jeans as the fashions of the mid-1990s would dictate.

The staple of Brian’s wardrobe is a well-worn black leather motorcycle jacket with epaulettes, a zip front, flapped hip pockets, and ribbed waistband and cuffs.

Brian, like Hank, wears his leather jacket with either a button-down shirt and/or a t-shirt.

Brian, like Hank, wears his leather jacket with either a button-down shirt and/or a t-shirt.

Brian’s jeans are traditional Levi’s denim jeans in a light blue wash, although he also concedes to the ’90s trends with a pair of black jeans. Unlike Hank, Brian prefers a belt, wearing a black leather belt with a square silver clasp in the front.

Although denim is generally timeless, this overall look is very indicative of ’90s style (without the dangerous foray into Saved by the Bell territory.)

His shoes are a pair of plain gray sneakers with white laces and soles.

Brian has a rolling collection of plain crew neck t-shirts in various shades of gray, blue, and – of course – black. He wears all of his t-shirts tucked into his jeans.

Brian occasionally layers over his gray t-shirt with a solid black long-sleeve button-down shirt with two flapped chest pockets. In the pilot episode of Californication, Hank wore a similar shirt, except with a black t-shirt underneath it.

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For the finale, Brian sports a proto-Moody look with a baggy black v-neck t-shirt with short sleeves down to his elbows, paired with the blue jeans.

kbrian-blackT

The shirt’s fit and style are remarkably different than anything we ever see Hank Moody wearing on Californication, but it is interesting to compare the difference in what sounds like a simple look – a black T-shirt and jeans – over the course of just 15 years.

Brian has a pair of dark tinted sunglasses with metal rims. Much like Hank, he wears them both when it’s sunny out and when he is too hungover to deal with life.

This is what depression looks like.

This is what depression looks like.

Brian doesn’t have the standard Moody-issue brown smoking jacket, but he does wear a boxy black sport coat at a party when he is first seen, with padded shoulders, long notch lapels that roll down to the 2-button front, and 3-button cuffs. He looks more like Chandler Bing than Hank Moody.

One of the major differences of the two characters: Brian is fine mixing up some margaritas, but Hank would just go for some straight Scotch.

One of the major differences of the two characters: Brian is fine mixing up some margaritas, but Hank would just go for some straight Scotch.

Perhaps the most Moody-like of all – and definitely the accessory that urged me to make this comparison – is a black leather cuff bracelet with dulled metal snaps. Worn on his right wrist, the bracelet is very similar to the flashier studded bracelet that Duchovny would wear throughout Californication as Hank.

Brian's cuff bracelet, a dulled-down version of the usual Moody cuff.

Brian’s cuff bracelet, a dulled-down version of the usual Moody cuff.

 

Brian wears the bracelet on his right wrist since a plain white-faced analog watch is on the left.

Brian consoles Carrie after her weird proto-porn photos weren't accepted into an exhibit.

Brian consoles Carrie after her weird proto-porn photos weren’t accepted into an exhibit. Her choice of Absolut marks her as more of a yuppie than the artiste she aspires to be.

Go Big or Go Home

Comparing the similarities between Hank Moody and Brian Kessler reveals just how much of Duchovny is in each character. Both are charming, practical, and quick-witted with a tendency toward strong, passionate romances. As Brian is younger, he is more optimistic, but his plight in the Mojave Desert against a serial-killing redneck Brad Pitt reveals a potential for the cynicism that Moody is known for.

Both writers also drive classic black convertibles; Hank has his Porsche and Brian drives a beautiful 1963 Lincoln Continental four-door convertible with a big 430 cubic inch V8 engine and three-speed Turbo Drive automatic transmission.

kbrian-car

 

Interestingly, although both men skew liberal on the political spectrum, they show a guilty interest in their reckless new acquaintances’ firearms. Rock producer Lew Ashby allows Hank to fire a round from his Ithaca 37 shotgun to end a catfight at his party, and Early lets Brian pop off a few .45 rounds from his Colt Mk IV Series 70 pistol.

Hank's blind warning shot takes out a vintage chandelier, but Brian just manages to pop a few holes into an old barn... for now.

Hank’s blind warning shot takes out a vintage chandelier, but Brian just manages to pop a few holes into an old barn… for now.

 

Early even goes so far as to offer Brian his gun while Hank just helps himself to the soon-departed Lew’s t-shirts.

On the contrast side, Brian abstains from exhibiting Hank’s major vices. He displays little penchant for drug use, he actually tries to curb his girlfriend’s smoking habits, and the only time he really drinks to excess is when Early takes him out for Lucky Lagers. Hank, in his infinite wisdom and liver abuse, would probably drink Early under the table… although Early would probably kill him for it.

Technology-wise, Brian uses a Realistic brand tape recorder throughout his adventure with Carrie, Early, and Adele. Hank has updated since; this being 2008, Hank’s Motorola RAZR cell phone and Apple MacBook laptop with a 13″ screen follow the trends of the day. He isn’t as cutting-edge as possible, but he doesn’t want to be either. As Surfer Girl told him, he’s an analog guy in a digital world.

Hank learns to embrace both modern technology and the women who use it.

Hank learns to embrace both modern technology and the women who use it.

Naturally, though, Hank only uses technology if it comes in black.

But while the cutting-edge technology changes, both writers prefer to commit to their hobby using old-fashioned methods like a pen and pencil in the field and a typewriter in the home office.

Although Hank's "field work" is infinitely more inviting than Brian's morbid tours of murder sites.

Although Hank’s “field work” is infinitely more inviting than Brian’s morbid tours of murder sites.

How to Get the Look

The Hank Moody/Brian Kessler look sounds similar, but the details of each era and each character set them apart.

Hank and Karen, post-vasectomy.

Hank and Karen, post-vasectomy.

  • Black short-sleeve cotton T-shirts
    • Hank Moody wore slim-fitting crew neck t-shirts, but Brian Kessler preferred baggier v-neck shirts
  • Blue denim jeans
    • Hank preferred dark wash jeans, but Brian wore the standard light blue Levi’s jeans
  • Dark sneakers
    • Hank wore black Puma Whirlwind sneakers (when he wasn’t wearing his brown Timberland suede Chelsea boots), but Brian wore a lighter pair of gray sneakers
  • Black socks
  • Black boxer briefs
  • Izod 725 sunglasses with brown lenses
  • Silver ring with two ridged bands, worn on the right index finger
  • Black leather bracelet with silver hexagonal and round studs, worn on the left wrist (or the right wrist, if you’re channeling Brian)
  • Thin black braided leather bracelet, also worn on the left wrist

Do Yourself a Favor and…

Buy the second season of Californication and the film Kalifornia for two different takes of Duchovny as a troubled black-shirted writer reluctantly headed to California.

The Quote

Brian’s thoughts about California reflect what Hank was probably thinking before he and Karen made their move:

What the hell did I know about California? For some people it was still a place of hopes and dreams, a chance to start over. The idea was if you could get there everything would be okay, and if it wasn’t okay there, well, it probably wasn’t going to be okay anywhere.

Say cheese!

Say cheese!

Daniel Craig in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Daniel Craig as Mikhail Blomkvist in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011).

Daniel Craig as Mikael Blomkvist in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011).

Sorry this one took me long, fellas. I had planned to have it up by Tuesday (timed for the “polar vortex” ooooh…) but it’s a long-ass movie with a lot of clothes. However, this should still be pretty well-timed for anyone in North America dealing with record low temperatures this winter.

Vitals

Daniel Craig as Mikael Blomkvist, disgraced Swedish investigative journalist

Hedestad, Sweden, Winter 2006

Background

This isn’t one of those movies you pop in just for a laugh on a summer day or to fall asleep to. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a very dark (both thematically and literally) film that’ll stick with you for days after watching. It’s long – closer to 3 hours than 2 – but the fast-paced, heart-racing sequences and the stellar acting, particularly from leads Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, make the time fly.

Craig plays Mikael Blomkvist, a journalist in some hot water after his investigation into a corrupt businessman resulted in a libel case. He is mysteriously called to the home of Henrik Vanger (the always excellent and debonair Christopher Plummer) and thrown into a dark investigation of a forty-year-old murder.

Craig does a nice job not reminding the audiences that he is James Bond. Although not a slob, his Mikael is much less appearance-driven than Bond and certainly much less of an action hero. He isn’t an anti-hero, as he is always driven by his desire to do the right thing although he often takes it too far and gets himself in trouble.

As I said, it was a very dark movie, thus most – if not all – of the images I captured had to be brightened to use here. Of course, this was David Fincher so I wouldn’t expect anything less.

What’d He Wear?

He wears a few dark suits in the beginning, which I’ll cover at some point, but Mikael spends most of the film in various layered sweaters and vests, almost always worn with an outer coat, a pair of jeans, and dark leather boots.

Since the film takes place over the course of a year (although I guess most of the action is relegated to the first few months of 2006), Mikael is seen often wearing the same clothing, but paired differently. Unlike most movies, this is a very realistic depiction of a person’s wardrobe. James Bond probably goes away for the week-long mission with six business suits, two dinner suits, and eighteen shirts, all meant to be worn once. With Mikael’s outfits, we see plenty of repetition, but it is always in different combinations depending on the weather, situation, and – likely – his laundry cycle.

A lot of help came from commenters like Brandon L., Craig Richards, Roman, and JM88. Brandon directed me to this Ask Ugeta link to answer a lot of questions about clothing brands in the film.

Thus, I think the most practical way to present the attire is to list it all out, presented in the order of its appearance, then to describe each combo by the situation.

The List

Mikael wears two winter coats while in Hedestad, one for more formal occasions and the other a more casual winter coat:

  • A dark charcoal single-breasted 3-button wool overcoat with notch lapels, a welted breast pocket, flapped hip pockets, 3-button cuffs, and a large rear single vent.
  • A gray wool down jacket with a zip front with a 5-snap placket, a 2-snap standing collar, a snap-flapped breast pocket, zip slash side pockets, tightly elasticized cuffs to keep out snow and weather, and a snap under the rear collar. This jacket is the Moncler “Cezanne” model, which is unfortunately out of production. Brandon sent me this photo of the jacket, which shows a brand logo on the breast pocket which was evidently removed for the film.

Underneath his winter coats, Mikael typically wears either a cardigan sweater or a sport coat. His sport coats consist of:

  • A gray single-breasted sport coat with small-notched lapels, 2-button front, welted breast pocket, jetted hip pockets, and 4-button cuffs. The natural shoulders have roped sleeveheads.
  • A black unstructured single-breasted blazer with cran necker-style lapels, a 2-button front, a breast pocket, flapped hip pockets, and unfastened surgeon’s cuffs.

GDTc-crop1The sweaters are:

  • A chunky dark charcoal ribbed cardigan sweater with a low button stance and large shawl lapels. It just looks like a charcoal gray in the film, but some production photos (including the one at the top of this post) give the sweater a blue-ish tint. Not as blue as the scarf, but a shade darker than his jeans. It likely is a dark charcoal blue, but it appears grayer in the film, so you can be your own judge there. It was made by Maison Martin Margiela.
  • A very dark gray cashmere v-neck long-sleeve pullover sweater with horizontally-pleated shoulders and pleats down each arm to elasticized cuffs.
  • A gray cashmere cardigan sweater with shawl lapels and ribbed/elasticized cuffs. It has a knit pattern that slightly resembles that of a fisherman’s sweater.
  • A charcoal merino wool cardigan sweater with shawl lapels and a high 5-button stance. This isn’t seen until later in the film, but it is noticably thinner than the chunky sweater and has a higher button stance. The Ask Ugeta article mentions a Tom Ford cardigan being worn; as this resembles the black Tom Ford cardigan in Quantum of Solace, it is likely this one.

Mikael also shows a fondness for vests. Since Daniel Craig is British, though, he would probably call them waistcoats. Whatever you call them, they are:

  • A gray pick-and-pick (or “sharkskin”) vest with a 6-button front, two welted lower pockets, and a notched bottom. The buttons are black, and Mikael usually leaves the bottom button unfastened.
  • A dark charcoal flannel vest with a 5-button front and a notched bottom. The buttons here are also black, and Mikael indeed leaves the bottom button unfastened.
  • A light gray vest with 7 black buttons down the front to a notched bottom. There are four welted pockets – two chest and two lower – and Mikael continues to leave his bottom button undone.

Most of Mikael’s shirts are very Columbo-esque wrinkled button-down shirts, including:

  • A light gray button-down casual shirt with a narrow double-buttoned collar, button-flapped breast pocket, thin front placket with white buttons, and buttoned barrel cuffs.
  • A black soft button-down shirt with black buttons. This appears to be a different fabric and style than the wrinkled utility-style shirts.
  • A black button-down shirt with white buttons on the front placket.
  • A light blue button-down casual shirt with a narrow double-buttoned collar, button-flapped breast pocket, thin front placket with white buttons, and buttoned barrel cuffs.
  • A dark blue (with a green plaid check) long-sleeve button-down shirt with white buttons. The cuffs and gauntlets both have buttons, but Mikael only fastens the gauntlet buttons.

A few commenters have pointed out that most of Craig’s shirts in the film are lightweight cotton poplin work shirts made by the American company Save Khaki United. Although the shirts offered during the filming are no longer available, the site still has very similar and very cool shirts that Mikael would wear. Thanks to Craig Richards and JM88 for pointing this out! The shirts are featured in a Youtube video by David Zarinsky of The Z Lifestyle.

The company also offers t-shirts and cardigan sweaters very similar to the one worn by Dan in the flick.

This is a good sweater movie if you're, you know, a sweater guy.

This is a good sweater movie if you’re, you know, a sweater guy.

Mikael wears both t-shirts and henleys as undershirts:

  • A blue henley with four shiny black buttons.
  • A medium-gray short-sleeve t-shirt.
  • A plain white short-sleeve t-shirt.
  • A gray long-sleeve henley with four white buttons.
  • A dark blue long-sleeve thermal henley with three dark blue buttons.

Mikael has a preference for jeans, although he sports a pair of casual trousers from time to time. The belt situation varies, but when he wears one it is a dark brown leather belt with a dulled silver rectangular clasp. His pants include:

  • Dark blue wash straight-cut denim jeans, made by Scotch & Soda in their “Ralston” slim cut. (According to this link and a briefly-seen logo during the climax.) The bottoms are usually cuffed a little bit.
  • Dark gray flat front casual trousers with plain-hemmed bottoms and jeans-style 5-pocket layout.

Mikael wears laced leather boots, a wise choice for stomping around in the snowy winters of Sweden. He has at least two pairs in black and brown. According to the Ask Ugeta link above:

[Mikael] also had a great pair of carmel color boots he wore a lot that I also loved; they were like an ankle oxford. These were by Crockett & Jones which you can get at Barneys, or if you’re in  NYC or London they have their own stores. He also wore a black leather round toe lace up ankle boot by Fiorentini & Baker and a grey suede lace up boot by Costume National.

Things might look pretty repetitive here, so if you’re looking for a scene in particular, scroll ’til you find it. I wanted to be thorough here, but that can also mean boring. Hopefully the screenshots will liven things up a bit. Here we go!

The Breakdown

When he first meets with Henrik in Hedestad, around Christmas 2005, he wears the charcoal overcoat over the gray sport coat, light gray button-down shirt, gray pick-and-pick vest, dark wash jeans with a belt, and black leather boots. He accessorizes (and keeps himself warm) with a thick charcoal blue and gray striped wool scarf, worn in most of his outdoor scenes in Hedestad. He wears his Omega watch and his Mykita acetate glasses, both of which I will discuss at the bottom of this section.

GDTc-no1

After meeting with Henrik, Mikael goes back to the Millennium magazine office and sees Erika. Not much is seen below the waist here, but he definitely wears the chunky charcoal cardigan and the first blue henley.

GDTc-no2

Mikael returns to Hedestad, this time to stay for the investigation. He alights from the train wearing his gray wool down jacket, the striped wool scarf, his dark jeans, black leather boots, and – naturally for Dan – his Omega watch. We don’t see anything under the coat since the next scene is him in his pajamas, but we do see an additional outerwear accessory: a dark gray tobbogan (“beanie”) hat. Interestingly, it is this cold with him wearing a hat, scarf, and insulated winter coat, but he wears no gloves? Is this just a Swedish thing or what?

GDTc-no3

The next day, Mikael meets with Henrik. It is just as cold as the previous day, but he wears his more formal charcoal overcoat with the charcoal blue and gray striped scarf.

GDTc-no4

Mikael returns to his computer to get some invetsigating done. He wears the chunky charcoal cardigan, a gray t-shirt, and the charcoal flannel vest. He is also sporting his Mykita acetate glasses.

When Mikael meets with retired detective Morrell, he wears the charcoal overcoat, his light gray button-down shirt, and his dark jeans. He again wears his Omega watch and the Mykita glasses. There is a newly seen item here, a dark gray cashmere v-neck sweater. He only wears it in this scene and towards the end when talking to Erika.

GDTc-no6

For dinner with Martin Vanger and his wife, Mikael wears his dark overcoat and scarf when outside. His dinner attire is a black unstructured blazer, the light gray button-down shirt, dark wash jeans, and dark brown laced boots.

GDTc-no7

Soon after, Mikael is talking to another Vanger when Cecilia stops by his shack. For this visit, he wears the dark charcoal cardigan, a black long-sleeve button-down shirt, a gray t-shirt, dark wash jeans, and his Mykita glasses.

GDTc-no8

Evidently in a mood to keep talking to the Vanger kids, Mikael heads off to see Anita via plane. For the plane ride, he wears a soft gray cashmere cardigan sweater, a light gray button-down, and a light gray t-shirt, all paired with the gray pick-and-pick vest, dark wash jeans, and black leather boots. His trusty Omega is on his left wrist, and he also whips out his Mykita glasses from time to time. When he steps off the plane and goes to see Anita, he is wearing his charcoal overcoat and the striped scarf.

Another thanklessly long day for Mikael Blomkvist.

Another thanklessly long day for Mikael Blomkvist.

When he gets back to Hedestad, Erika visits him. He is wearing his Moncler gray down jacket, the dark gray toboggan, the charcoal blue and gray striped scarf, and the same gray cashmere sweater and light gray t-shirt from his trip to see Anita. He is wearing a black button-down shirt, this one with white buttons, and a dark gray pair of flat front trousers, perhaps feeling more formal with his main squeeze in town.

GDTc-no10

Mikael the photographer treks into the city to document some of the locations where Harriet had spent her last known day. The photo at the top of this post is a production still from this scene. Mikael is wearing his chunky dark charcoal cardigan, the charcoal blue and gray striped scarf,  the charcoal flannel vest, dark blue denim jeans, and black leather boots. His shirt is a light blue version of the light gray button-down casual shrit he’s worn so much of in the film. Naturally, he also wears his Mykita glasses.

Is that a Dell he's using? Hewlett-Packard? Hm. Either way, it's subtle.

Is that a Dell he’s using? Hewlett-Packard? Hm. Either way, it’s subtle.

Mikael’s daughter comes to visit him after his adventure in the city. After she leaves, Mikael knocks back some Cragganmore with Dirch Frode. During this whole sequence, he wears the chunky dark charcoal cardigan, a light gray t-shirt, dark wash jeans, and black leather boots. He wears a light gray vest under the cardigan, but it is lighter than his pick-and-pick vest and has 7 black buttons as opposed to 6. He also wears his Mykita glasses and Omega watch. When outside, his outerwear is the gray wool Moncler down jacket, his dark gray toboggan, and the charcoal blue and gray striped scarf.

Mikael Blomkvist: Disgruntled dad.

Mikael Blomkvist: Disgruntled dad.

After Mikael discovers that Lisbeth Salander has been investigating him, he goes into Dragan “Serbian Guy from ER” Armansky’s office wearing the dark charcoal cardigan, the charcoal flannel vest, dark jeans, and the light blue casual button-down shirt.

GDTc-no13

When he finally goes to meet Lisbeth Salander for a memorable scene in her apartment, he wears the black unstructured blazer from his dinner with Martin, paired with a gray scarf, the light gray 7-button vest, dark jeans worn with a dark brown leather belt, and a black long-sleeve button-down shirt with white buttons.

Dan gets much cheekier when he takes off his scarf.

Dan gets much cheekier when he takes off his scarf.

Mikael heads back alone to the Vangers’ island, wearing his dark charcoal overcoat, light blue wrinkled button-down shirt, a white t-shirt, the light gray 7-button vest, and dark jeans, again with the dark brown leather belt. Black leather boots appear to be his footwear of choice here.

Something is amiss...

Something is amiss…

In mid-April 2006, Henrik is hospitalized and Salander finally arrives to help Mikael with the investigation. He heads to the hospital to visit the family in his gray cashmere cardigan, a medium gray t-shirt, his dark charcoal overcoat, and the charcoal blue and gray striped scarf.

GDTc-no16

Mikael runs some mostly photo-related errands wearing his dark charcoal cardigan, gray pick-and-pick vest, and dark wash jeans. The new item here is a gray long-sleeve henley. The standard items here are the Mykita eyeglasses and his black and stainless Omega watch.

After a few tries, Mikael finally nails the whole how-to-wear-glasses thing.

After a few tries, Mikael finally nails the whole how-to-wear-glasses thing.

The action really starts picking up when Mikael is shot at! For this, he wears a newly-seen thin charcoal cardigan (not the chunky one!) with the light gray t-shirt, dark jeans, and black leather boots.

At last, some sort of close-up of Mikael's footwear!

At last, some sort of close-up of Mikael’s footwear!

The next day, Mikael goes to meet Martin and Frode at the Vanger office. His outerwear is the charcoal overcoat, dark gray tobbogan, and the charcoal blue and gray scarf. Inside the office, he sheds his layers and wears the gray cashmere sweater, black casual button-down with white buttons, medium gray t-shirt, dark blue jeans, and black laced leather boots.

GDTc-no19

After this, we get to the climatic day as Mikael faces off against the film’s big villain! If you want a spoiler, highlight this: Martin Vanger. If you didn’t want a spoiler, I hope you didn’t highlight that…

At least Mikael would've gone to his maker with a glass of good whisky..?

At least Mikael would’ve gone to his maker with a glass of good whisky..?

In this sequence, Mikael wears his dark charcoal overcoat. Since it’s getting slightly warmer, probably around late April or early May around this time, he isn’t wearing a sweater or a vest. Instead, he layers a dark blue long-sleeve button-down shirt with a green plaid check over a dark blue thermal henley. He wears his dark blue Scotch & Soda jeans without a belt as well as his brown boots and Mykita acetate glasses.

The details! Note the Scotch & Soda logo on the jeans' branding patch.

The details! Note the Scotch & Soda logo on the jeans’ branding patch.

Chances are, it’s gonna be tough for me to avoid spoilers here, so read with caution if you haven’t seen the film. Mikael (he lives, yay!) takes a return flight to Anita wearing a gray-ish unstructured overcoat with peak lapels and surgeon’s cuffs. I can’t tell much about this coat, as it’s only seen in one shot, so fuck that coat. He also wears a black long-sleeve casual button-down shirt with black buttons.

Do we know anything about this coat?

Do we know anything about this coat?

When he goes to confront Anita with the truth, he shows up on her doorstep at night wearing a newly-seen scarf. The scarf looks like it is gray cashmere with a dark gray and blue check. The jacket is his dark charcoal overcoat, paired with dark wash jeans and he is wearing a a pair of brown leather laced calfskin split-toe medallion bluchers. The confusion doesn’t end for me when he is seen talking to Anita in the park. Here, it looks like he wearing a black windbreaker with upturned collars.

Mikael goes to see Anita, wearing different jackets for night and day.

Mikael goes to see Anita, wearing different jackets for night and day.

However, some production photos exist of him wearing the brown shoes with a black peacoat and gray scarf. Can anyone shed light on this? By this point, I’d been screencapping the film for about four hours, so I may not have been thinking straight as I took notes.

WTF mates?

WTF mates?

For Henrik’s reuniting with Anita/Harriet, things finally get back to normal for me sartorially as Mikael wears his thin charcoal cardigan, light blue wrinkled shirt, long-sleeve gray henley, gray casual trousers, and Omega watch.

GDTc-no23

Later, possibly around June 2006, Mikael is talking to Erika. He wears the light blue wrinkled shirt under the dark pleated-shoulder sweater worn for the Morrell interview. He appears to also have a thin dark-colored cardigan over this whole affair. Mikael’s accessories here are his loyal Mykita glasses and Omega watch. A production photo shows that he is also wearing his dark jeans.

The actual scene (left) and an obviously-posed production photo (right) plus glasses and Omega.

The actual scene (left) and an obviously-posed production photo (right) plus glasses and Omega.

Finally, around Christmas 2006, Mikael is watching the news with the Millennium staff. He is wearing his gray cashmere cardigan, the light gray 7-button vest, the black button-down shirt with white buttons, dark gray casual trousers, black laced boots, and his Mykita glasses, which dangle from his face.

"Dan, again with the glasses? We've been over this..."

“Dan, again with the glasses? We’ve been over this…”

Well, that was an adventure.

The Accessories

Mikael has three accessories that he wears nearly all the time. One, which he is never seen without, is a silver pendant on a thin silver chain throughout the film. I don’t know the significance of this, and I have yet to actually read the books (I know, I know!) so I don’t know if it were mentioned there.’

See, it's gotta be significant somehow?!

See, it’s gotta be significant somehow!

Since Dan Craig is an Omega man, his watch in the film is an Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Chronometer 231.13.39.21.06.001. It has a 38.5 mm round stainless steel case, a teak-gray dial with a domed scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and a black leather strap. If you’re interested, check out Omega’s site and see what you can get.

This actually does make me want an Omega. Advantage, Product Placement.

This actually does make me want an Omega. Advantage, Product Placement.

Mikael also wears a very cool set of eyeglasses, a pair of Mykita Collection No. 2 “Helmut” acetate eyeglasses with brown tortoiseshell (“Peridot”) frames.

Pretty nice specs, too.

Pretty nice specs, too.

The Pajamas

Just for shits and giggles, and since he spends a good bit of time in them, let’s quickly talk about Mikael’s pajamas. He wears a set of dark red and blue flannel pajamas with a button-down top and elastic-waisted bottoms. Since it’s cold as heck, he wears light gray wool socks and almost always has an undershirt, whether it’s a dark blue henley or a gray t-shirt. He often wears his dark charcoal cardigan over the pajamas, even sleeping in it. For pajama investigations, he puts on the Mykita glasses, and when he has to step outside, he wears a pair of black leather boots with orange lining.

GDTc-pjs

Go Big or Go Home

For a badass movie that takes no prisoners, Mikael is a pretty mild-tempered character. He is more like Daniel Craig’s pragmatic gun-hating drug dealer from Layer Cake than James Bond and is very dedicated to his work and doing a good job. While this may land him in hot water when he goes too far, it also endears him to women and friends.

Speaking of badass, the title sequence immediately sets the stage for the disturbing film, with a rendition of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails and vocals from Karen O. of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

The Product Placement Gods have also made it very easy to replicate Mikael’s style. In addition to the clothes above, you can nab a 2nd generation Apple MacBook Pro and hook it up to a Lacie d2 Quadra external hard drive and an Epson Stylus Office BX320FW printer and – voila! – you’ll be able to solve forty-year-old murders!

Although I doubt your iPhoto roll would be so vintage.

Although I doubt your iPhoto roll would be so vintage.

He also smokes Marlboro Reds, but the Philip Morris folks frown on product placement and probably aren’t too crazy about his habit of buying a pack just to smoke one cigarette and toss the rest away.

Was anyone else surprised by all the Apple product placement in a Sony movie? Sure, they gave Mikael (and Lisbeth) a Sony Ericsson Cybershot phone and a black flat screen Sony TV, but using an Apple computer was a pretty big surprise. If you’re gonna fill your cabinet like Mikael, have some nutella and Felix Rårörda Lingon jam on hand. Now when it comes to booze…

What to Imbibe

Mikael himself keeps Cragganmore 12-Year-Old single malt Scotch whisky in his home on the Vanger grounds, drinking it neat when Dirch Frode visits.

GDTc-cragganmore1

When he heads to Martin’s household, first for a social visit, he drinks a glass of Château Clinet red wine from Pomerol with Martin and his wife.

GDTc-wine1

When he returns a few months later, for a decidedly more sinister visit, he is offered a glass of Mackmyra Brukswhisky, a very appropriately-placed Swedish single malt whisky. Due to the bottle, many people mistake this for Bruichladdich (which is also awesome), but it is indeed Mackmyra.

Based on the label color, this is evidently a different expression but Mackmyra nonetheless.

Based on the label color, this is evidently a different expression but Mackmyra nonetheless.

Mikael also chugs vodka when he needs it, pouring two mini-bottles for a double vodka on the plane and drinking straight from the bottle after he is shot at.

Vodka is Mikael's comfort in times of comfort and in times of stress.

Vodka is Mikael’s comfort in times of comfort and in times of stress.

Thanks to blog commenter Roman, who has identified the “bathtub” vodka as the Swedish brand Vanlig, which I was unfamiliar with before this post. The mini-bottles on the plane are likely Absolut, another Swedish brand to keep things regionally accurate.

How to Get the Look

This is pretty much what I did up there. Go up and read it again if you wanna look like Mikael so badly.

Do Yourself A Favor And…

Buy the film.

The Quote

The last time I reported on something without being absolutely sure I lost my life savings.

Clooney’s Train Station “Double Coat” in The American

George Clooney as Jack in The American (2010), showing us what men should look like when traveling.

George Clooney as Jack in The American (2010), showing us what men should look like when traveling.

Vitals

George Clooney as Jack (aka “Edward”), weary paid assassin/hitman and gunsmith

Rome, April 2010

Background

George Clooney is the titular hitman in The American, a 2010 film directed by Anton Corbijn based on Martin Booth’s novel A Very Private Gentleman. Though he’d played gun-wielding badasses before, The American was the first role placing Clooney in the now mythic film profession of paid assassin. (Syriana doesn’t count since that was more of a CIA gig…)

Humorously enough given the actor’s politics, Clooney’s character is also a knowledgeable gunsmith who is able to sneak around an old garage and find enough parts to modify a Ruger Mini-14 rifle (not an “M14″ as the film calls it) for an assassination.

However, I’m getting ahead of myself. The film opens with Clooney holed up – not unexpectedly – with a good-looking broad in Sweden. There is some gunplay, and I won’t give anything away, but he ends up heading for Italy, hopping on a train to Rome.

What’d He Wear?

Clooney steps off the train at Rome’s Termini Train Station looking very cool and comfortable, which is ideal for traveling, isn’t it? The look is mostly brown, with just enough gray peppered in to keep things from getting too monochromatic. Additional gray comes from Clooney’s hair, which is more silver than ever.

Given that he’s coming from a chilly-ass place like Sweden in April, Clooney’s character Jack (or Edward or whatever his name really is) wears several practical and easily removable layers for his journey. The top layer is a dark brown overcoat that extends down to his mid-thigh. At first, it looks like the coat is worn with a sportcoat underneath, but the extra set of lapels are actually from the coat’s gray lining. This is known as a “double coat”, and it means exactly what it sounds like.

...

George Clooney does a double-take after realizing that George Clooney is following him at the train station.

The heavyweight coat has natural shoulders and notch lapels that roll down to a 2-button front. The front darts extend down each side to the flapped hip pockets. There is also a ticket pocket on the right side of the coat.

Underneath, Clooney wears a dark brown herringbone half-neck zipped cardigan sweater. Unlike “half-zip” or “quarter-zip” sweaters, like the rusty orange one worn by Matt Damon in The Bourne Identity, this zips all the way down and can be worn open like a jacket. The sweater cuffs are elasticized to fit snugly but comfortably around each wrist. He also wears this in plenty of later scenes, so I don’t want to ruin any fun by talking about it too m much now.

...

Sometimes I just pull into parking lots and hold those pose, waiting for hordes of women to come and take my picture.

Underneath the sweater, Jack/Edward/George Clooney wears a short-sleeve heathered gray t-shirt. Since Zegna provided a lot of the wardrobe, it probably costs about $250, so just go find yourself a nice one at Nordstrom for $7, and you’ll be fine.

The trousers are only seen in long shots, but they’re definitely dark brown with flat fronts and plain-hemmed bottoms. If later scenes are any indication, they’re likely worn with a brown belt. Based on the rest of this outfit, I don’t think that’s too much of a gamble to say.

...

Clooney’s character actually carries a pretty realistic amount of luggage given his clothing and the duration of his visit.

Jack also wears a pair of well-traveled brown leather hiking boots. They have four eyelets for the laces and two additional hooks, which Jack seems to ignore in some scenes, tying the boots lower on his feet.

Jack’s watch is a very beautiful Omega Speedmaster Professional. It has a stainless round case worn on a black crocodile strap. The black face has three sub-dials at 3:00, 6:00, and 9:00. We get a view of it while Clooney is driving from Rome to Castel del Monte, but it is best seen later while he is gunsmithing and test-shooting. Clooney is a fan of Omegas in real life, having recently worn a De Ville Hour Vision to the premiere of Gravity.

...

Someone once stupidly said that your watch band has to match your belt and shoes. Come on now.

Another brand often associated with Clooney is Persol, and he doesn’t let them down here either. For his arrival in Rome and drive to Castel del Monte, he wears a pair of Persol PO2883-S sunglasses with tortoiseshell “havana” frames and chrystal gray green lenses, color code 24/31 if you’re interested. Like I said earlier, Ermenegildo Zegna provided a ton of costumes for him in this, so he later switches from the Persols to a pair of Zegna’s SZ3174 sunglasses.

...

George and the invisible man.

Go Big or Go Home

When traveling abroad, especially in Europe – and especially in Italy, the last thing you want to do is look like a tourist. (Well, second to last… the last thing you probably want to do is get thrown in prison.)

Clooney’s Jack manages to avoid a touristy look, even though he is clearly an outsider in the small Italian village. His dress is simple but fashionable – no bulky hoodies, no fishing hats, and no goddamn fanny packs. He quickly assimilates into the culture, drinking Montepulciano d’Abruzzo – a favorite red DOC of mine. It is also very regionally correct, since Jack is in Abruzzo and “when in Rome Abruzzo…”

He also appropriately drinks a Caffè Americano, which is just hot water added to espresso. The Clooney-espresso caused me to chuckle after I remembered this commercial from one of my advertising classes in college where Clooney overhears two women discussing the intense, rich coffee they are drinking and mistakes the subject of their conversation to be him. Anyone else remember these ads?

How to Get the Look

Clooney makes the most of layering with a functional brown and gray motif. I bet you could do the same if you tried hard enough.

  • Dark brown thigh-length single-breasted “double coat” with gray lining, notch lapels, 2-button front, flapped hip pockets, and ticket pocket
  • Dark brown zip-up cardigan sweater with elasticized cuffs
  • Heathered gray short-sleeve t-shirt
  • Dark brown casual flat front trousers with plain-hemmed bottoms
  • Dark brown laced hiking boots
  • Persol PO2883-S sunglasses with “havana” tortoiseshell frames and chrystal gray green lenses (color code 24/31)
  • Omega Speedmaster Professional wristwatch on a black crocodile strap

Do Yourself a Favor and…

Buy the movie.

Lethal Weapon: Riggs’ Gray Jacket and Jeans

Mel Gibson as Det. Martin Riggs in Lethal Weapon.

Mel Gibson as Det. Martin Riggs in Lethal Weapon.


Vitals

Mel Gibson as Martin Riggs, suicidal LAPD detective

Los Angeles, Christmas 1987

Background

In a way, Lethal Weapon is too entertaining for its own good. It’s a bit corny, it’s a bit ’80s, and it’s a bit over-the-top, but it set the standard for the “buddy cop comedy” with its bizarre but efficient mix of neo-noir (a sax soundtrack in L.A.) and The Three Stooges. Over the years, it has been constantly compared to Die Hard, often unfavorably. While they both involve “loose cannon” left-handed cops in L.A. at Christmas, both armed with Beretta 92F pistols, the two films are radically different.

Lethal Weapon‘s main character (partnership be damned) is Martin Riggs, an LAPD narc who is very good at his job, mostly because he doesn’t care if he lives or dies. The film follows Riggs as he is partnered with the older and wiser Sgt. Roger Murtaugh. They both learn from each other and manage to solve the case by throwing smoke grenades in the desert, getting electroshocked, and beating the shit out of Gary Busey. Now if that doesn’t sound entertaining, what does?

* Before proceeding forward, realize that BAMF Style is endorsing the attire as a comfortable and utilitarian look, especially if you’re going for a “rugged urban cowboy cop” style. The attire is OK; the hair is not. A mullet like Mel’s is never a good idea.

What’d He Wear?

For the first half of the film, including his first day as Murtaugh’s partner, Riggs wears a gray casual jacket and jeans with a button-down shirt and undershirt.

The clothing makes the man: I'm sure it wouldn't be hard to guess by looking at this photo which of these is the older family man on the verge of retirement and which is the younger, suicidal one with nothing to lose.

The clothing makes the man; I’m sure it wouldn’t be hard to guess by looking at this photo which of these is the older family man on the verge of retirement and which is the younger, suicidal one with nothing to lose.

The jacket is a gray cotton unstructured blazer that is a smart choice for an L.A. winter. While not warm enough to combat snow and heavy wind, an unstructured blazer like Riggs’ is a nice extra layer for a boost of warmth, style, and – good for a plainclothes cop – concealability. Riggs’ has plenty of seams throughout, over the shoulders, down the arms, and across the back.

Riggs’ jacket is single-breasted and the lapels have large notches, as well as an extended buttonhole on the left. There are two large black buttons located centrally in the front, but Riggs wears his coat open at all times, likely to make his draw easier. There is a slanted pocket on each hip, covered by a narrow flap. The plain cuffs have no buttons or zips, keeping the jacket lighter and less cumbersome when Riggs is forced into action.

Riggs in action.

Riggs in action.

The other staple of Riggs’ wardrobe is a pair of light blue denim jeans with straight legs that fit snugly over his boots.

Riggs wears his jeans with a brown leather Western belt that closes in the front with a smaller brass-tipped sub-strap that fastens through a brass buckle. This very distinctive belt is indeed known as a “ranger belt” and you have absolutely seen it in Westerns and cowboy movies. (Thanks to Omar for the ranger belt ID!)

With Mel Gibson, every day is casual Friday!

With Mel Gibson, every day is casual Friday!

Furthermore, Riggs is definitely a “cowboy cop”, so his choice of wearing boots is very characteristic. Both sets of boots seen are cowboy-style leather boots with raised heels. The first boots, worn with a striped shirt, are dark brown leather, and the second boots, worn with his red shirt, are a light brown leather. Although I couldn’t get a definite make, many have suggested Tony Lama as the manufacturer. A pair of these might do the trick if you’re looking for a close match.

Riggs shows us that you don't need to be a cowboy to wear boots. You do, however, have to be a cowboy cop.

Riggs shows us that you don’t need to be a cowboy to wear boots. You do, however, have to be a cowboy cop.

Underneath his boots, Riggs wears a pair of thick white calf socks, which clearly have the yellow-tinted toes identifying them as GoldToe®, which are a very inexpensive brand of durable, reliable socks. This might be the first brand identification of a pair of socks on BAMF Style, so… yes, I need to get out more.

Riggs wears two different shirt combinations with his gray jacket and jeans.

The first shirt combination is a white long-sleeve button-down with gray stripes. Each stripe is, upon closer examination, one single dark blue-gray stripe flanked by a white stripe and a thin blue-gray stripe on each side.

See what I mean?

See what I mean?

The striped shirt is a heavy cotton and has a front placket and an open patch pocket on each side of the chest. Riggs often wears this shirt with the barrel cuff sleeves rolled up, pairing it with a dark gray short-sleeve t-shirt. The t-shirt is a standard crew-neck cotton t-shirt.

Mel faces off against a sniper. His gray jacket is discarded on the ground behind him in the second picture.

Mel faces off against a sniper. His gray jacket is discarded on the ground behind him in the second picture.

The next day, Riggs shows up at the office for his meeting with his new partner. Here, he wears a large-fitting red utility shirt, worn untucked and half-unbuttoned, with an off-white henley underneath. He would later sport this exact same look in Lethal Weapon 3, albeit with a different jacket.

Mel goes in for the kiss.

Mel goes in for the kiss.

The red shirt has seven brown horn buttons down a front placket, of which Riggs only fastens the bottom three. Like the other shirt, it has two open patch pockets – one on each side of the chest – and is made of heavy cotton. This time, Riggs wears his cuffs buttoned at the wrists.

lwmel1-red1

Underneath, Riggs wears an off-white short-sleeve henley. This has three large buttons, with only the bottom button fastened. It is definitely short-sleeve, extending to just above the elbow, as we see when Riggs and Murtaugh climb out of a suspect’s swimming pool. He also wears it the next day with a khaki jacket and a blue shirt.

Riggs wears a few accessories for his various investigations, including a black wristwatch on his right wrist and a wedding band on his left ring finger. The watch is all black, with a black dial, black case, and black bracelet in a silver clasp. For Lethal Weapon 2 and Lethal Weapon 3, Riggs wore a TAG Heuer, but I’m not sure of the make of this watch.

Any idea what Mel's using to tell time here?

Any idea what Mel’s using to tell time here?

Riggs’ wedding band, worn symbolically to honor his deceased wife, is gold with two ridges.

The most curious of Riggs’ additional accessories is a very dark blue baseball cap he wears when meeting Murtaugh for the first time. There is a patch on the front of the hat’s crown, which appears to have been blacked out, either by the character or by the filmmakers to hide a logo. It seems that the hat’s primary purpose is to make Riggs look like a dirty gunman for the ensuing confrontation with Murtaugh. Only wear this hat if you want to be mistaken for a dirty gunman in a police station.

Merry Christmas from Mel Gibson.

Merry Christmas from Mel Gibson.


Go Big or Go Home

Riggs doesn’t show off many traits to be desired in the first few scenes of the movie. While his courage is admirable, it is a false courage that is just a result of not caring at all about his health and safety. He bravely goes up against well-armed snipers and drug dealers but only because he is the one guy on the force who doesn’t care if he lives or dies. He even tries to help a suicidal businessman, but encourages him by actually jumping with him. The suicide scene is pretty similar to the “jumper” scene from Dirty Harry, where Harry uses unorthodox methods to save a potential man on a ledge. Although their methods are different, both Riggs and Harry manage to get the jumpers down while also managing to get the jumpers to hate them.

Riggs is also one of the last major movie characters to be shown as an unapologetic smoker, chain-smoking Winston Reds from a packet in his shirt pocket. Winstons, the most popular cigarette brand in the late 1960s, were also the cigarette-of-choice of Henry Hill of Goodfellas fame.

What to Imbibe

The first thing Riggs does after jumping out of bed is to grab a cold Coors Banquet from his fridge. This is not Coors Light, mind you. Coors Light is glorified water. Coors Banquet, on the other hand, is one of the great American “skid row” beers, right up there with Budweiser and Miller High Life. It is a good choice for Riggs because, like his Winstons, the popularity of Coors Banquet was declining as light beers and microbrews began dominating the landscape. Coors was very popular in the mid-1970s, especially after Smokey and the Bandit, as people enjoyed its lack of stabilizers and preservatives, with even Gerald Ford hiding it in his luggage after a trip to Colorado when he was vice president.

lwmel1-beer1

Coors Light was introduced in 1978, during the Coors boom of the mid-70s and a year after the Bandit and Snowman brought it from Texas to Georgia in 28 hours. Coors Light is now one of the most common beers to find in the U.S., which is a real bummer for guys like Riggs (and me) who don’t drink the light stuff. At 4.2% ABV, Coors Light is 0.8% lighter than the Banquet, but the lack of ABV also seems to indicate a lack in taste and quality. Luckily, a few neighborhood bars – and my girlfriend’s father – always keep some of the original Coors Banquet around.

How to Get the Look

Riggs, as a policeman prone to action rather than desk work, has to dress to be both comfortable and ready for action. You can get a few tips from his wardrobe if you’re a similar line of work, or if you just like to feel like you are.

  • Gray unstructured single-breasted blazer with notch lapels, 2-button front, plain cuffs, slanted flapped hip pockets, and a ventless rear
  • Button-down long-sleeve shirt, either:
    • White with gray stripes, with a front placket, unbuttoned barrel cuffs, and two chest patch pockets
    • Red utility shirt with a front placket, buttoned barrel cuffs, and two chest patch pockets
  • Short-sleeve shirt, either:
    • Gray crew neck t-shirt
    • White henley
  • Light blue denim straight leg jeans
  • Brown leather Western ranger belt with a brass buckle and trim
  • Cowboy boots with raised heels
    • Riggs wears both dark brown and light brown boots, possibly made by Tony Lama
  • White GoldToe® calf socks
  • Black analog wristwatch
  • Gold double-ridged wedding ring
  • Dark blue baseball cap with a blackened patch

The Gun

Now one of the most commonly seen handguns in films (and in real life), the Beretta 92F was very fresh to American audiences in 1987, unless they had seen John Woo’s A Better Tomorrow films. In Lethal Weapon, Riggs carries a Beretta 92F as his main sidearm, described by Murtaugh as:

Nine millimeter Beretta, takes fifteen in the mag, one up the pipe, wide ejection port, no feed jams.

Well done, Murtaugh, that’s exactly what it is. Riggs carries his Beretta with a full magazine of 9×19 mm Parabellum full metal jacketed (FMJ) bullets. He tells Murtaugh that he keeps a special hollow point round for his eventual suicide, but a close-up of the round (a Remington-Peters round, BTW) reveals that is also an FMJ.

Riggs' distinctive Beretta.

Riggs’ distinctive Beretta.

Riggs is very proficient with his Beretta, shooting a smiley face onto a target while on the police range. His model has a gold finish on the Beretta logos on the grips, something not typically seen on most pistols of this model. Riggs eventually got an early issue; the LAPD didn’t formally issue the Beretta 92F to its officers until 1988. Issuance of this pistol to the LAPD was phased out in 2010 in favor of the polymer-framed Smith & Wesson M&P9.

As an “old timer”, Murtaugh carries a .357 Magnum Smith & Wesson Model 19, very emblematic of Murtaugh’s age and status as a detective. If this movie were filmed today, it’s very likely that the older cop would carry the “older” Beretta and the young nut would have a polymer-framed pistol or something else more befitting of the common trends.

Now that's a real badge, I'm a real cop, and this is a real fucking gun!

“Now that’s a real badge, I’m a real cop, and this is a real fucking gun!”


Do Yourself A Favor And…

Buy the series… and make sure you get the Director’s Cut.

The Quote

Let’s just cut the shit. Now, we both know why I was transferred. Everybody thinks I’m suicidal, in which case, I’m fucked and nobody wants to work with me. Or they think I’m faking to draw a psycho pension, in which case, I’m fucked and nobody wants to work with me. Basically, I’m fucked.

Californication – Hank Moody on a Plane (Season 1)

David Duchovny as Hank Moody at LAX in "Filthy Lucre", the ninth episode of Californication.

David Duchovny as Hank Moody at LAX in “Filthy Lucre”, the ninth episode of Californication.

Vitals

David Duchovny as Hank Moody, womanizing novelist with substance abuse issues

Venice Beach, Fall 2007

Background

It’s been almost three months since BAMF Style has checked in with Hank Moody, the hero of Californication. In “California Son”, Hank had just come to terms with the death of his father with the help of a roll in the sack with ex-girlfriend Karen. He departs LAX for a brief exodus home to JFK, returning a few weeks later. Upon his return in the next episode, Hank is pleasantly surprised to find Karen waiting outside LAX but soon discovers that she is there to meet boring dial tone Bill – her fiance – rather than Hank. Hank makes the best of this uncomfortable situation.

If you’re heading home for the Thanksgiving holiday, take a few style nods from Hank Moody to travel comfortably and fashionably.

What’d He Wear?

Hank’s flying attire (in season 1, at least) consists of his staples: his brown smoking jacket, a black shirt, and dark jeans, all paired with Hank’s usual slip-on boots. With modern security regulations calling for the removal of jackets and shoes, Hank’s attire is smart and reasonable. He can toss all of his belongings into his jacket, move it through security, and slip his shoes on and off. In the meantime, the octogenarian in the other line is pulling his keys and coins out of various pants pockets and holding up the line trying to untie his ancient white tennis shoes.

Hank’s smoking jacket is his tried-and-true chocolate brown sueded thin wale corduroy sport coat from Yves St. Laurent with a single-breasted 2-button front and notch lapels. There is a breast pocket, but the inside pockets and flapped hip pockets would be best for Hank to store his accessories – including cigarettes, a lighter, sunglasses, and keys – to avoid setting off the metal detectors and to make security check-in a breeze. The jacket also has a single rear vent and 3-button cuffs.

Hank looks none too enthused about the prospect of flying.

Hank looks none too enthused about the prospect of flying.

His denim jeans are very dark blue with a boot cut to allow a comfortable fit on the plane and to be worn with boots. Hank never wears a belt with his jeans, making these a practical choice for walking through security.

Hank’s shirts are both black – a plain t-shirt for the trip to New York and a rumpled button-down for the return to L.A. The button-down shirt has long sleeves with squared cuffs – that are worn unbuttoned – and a placket-less front.

If you want to look a little dressier as you emerge from your flight, opt for a button-down rather than a t-shirt.

If you want to look a little dressier as you emerge from your flight, opt for a button-down rather than a t-shirt.

On his feet, Hank wisely wears his loyal pair of brown Timberland “Mt. Washington” sueded leather Chelsea boots. As a pair of comfortable but sturdy slip-on boots, the Timberlands are ideal for air travel, both casual enough to work with dressed-down travel attire and dressy enough to be worn with a sport coat or suit if traveling to a more formal occasion. A pair of all-purpose shoes like these are wise to give you more space when packing for a trip, since footwear is a very heavy and space-consuming item to include in your baggage. Hank wears black socks with his boots.

Hank’s other accessories are his sunglasses, his ring, and his studded wrist strap. The sunglasses are Izod 725, a compact and fashionable pair that folds down to fit into a pocket without creating a bulge or breaking easily.

His ring is a silver spinner, worn on his right index finger and a good choice for the borderline-ADD Hank who needs something to play with. Since cell phones and electronics have to be off during takeoff, at least he would have his ring to distract him.

You may really want to show off that spinner ring, but make sure you're off the plane and out of the airport before lighting up a smoke.

You may really want to show off that spinner ring, but make sure you’re off the plane and out of the airport before lighting up a smoke.

He also wears his black leather bracelet with silver hexagonal studs, strapped to his left wrist and paired with his usual black braided leather bracelet.

Go Big or Go Home

Hank travels lightly, with just one nondescript black duffel bag that he’s able to check onto a plane. Personally, I prefer to just carry one medium-sized bag as well, fitting it either under the seat or into the overhead bin; the cost and worry of checking luggage is hardly worth it, especially for shorter trips that don’t require excessive clothing changes. Of course, even for a longer trip you can pack lightly by keeping everything to one major color motif.

Before you leave, make sure you take care of a few things around the house. Dump any cups that aren’t full, especially glasses of Scotch used for depositing cigarette ashes. If you’re prone to a Cezanne-like setting with fruit on your table, toss any exposed fruit to prevent mold. These seem like obvious tips, but they weren’t too obvious for Hank.

Nobody wants to come home to this.

Nobody wants to come home to this.

Once on the plane, you don’t want your entertainment to be at the mercy of the flight crew. Sure, you might be able to fit three seasons of Breaking Bad on your iPhone not to mention hours of music, but a) You could run out of battery, and 2) Flights are pretty tough on people with electronics, making you wait until after takeoff and turning it off before you land. The best tip – and one Hank would agree with – is to take a book or two and read. Or, of course, you could sleep. Either way, Hank would say to do it with a cocktail in hand. Although unseen in the finished episode, the script for “Filthy Lucre” called for Hank to step off the plane and down a mini bottle of Jack Daniel’s.

How to Get the Look

Hank’s look is a fine option for comfortable and easy air travel. Take hints and make it your own.cali1air-crop1

  • Dark brown sueded corduroy single-breasted smoking jacket with notch lapels, 2-button front, 3-button cuffs, welted breast pocket, flapped hip pockets, and a single rear vent
  • Black long-sleeve button-down shirt with a placket-less front and rolled-up sleeves
  • Black short-sleeve t-shirt
  • Dark blue bootcut denim jeans
  • Brown suede Chelsea boots – Hank wears Timberland “Mt. Washington” boots
  • Izod 725 sunglasses with brown lenses
  • Silver ring with two ridged bands, worn on the right index finger
  • Black leather bracelet with silver hexagonal and round studs, worn on the left wrist
  • Thin black braided leather bracelet, also worn on the left wrist

Do Yourself A Favor And…

Buy the first season.

The Quote

Hank: And this is where I think we should part company. I think I see a cab with my name on it.
Bill: Don’t be ridiculous.
Hank: No, uh, Bill, it’s just a figure of speech. There’s not really a cab with my name on it.

Footnotes

As usual, you can find Hank’s bracelets at Urban Wrist.

Brad Pitt in Killing Them Softly

Brad Pitt as Jackie Cogan in Killing Them Softly.

Brad Pitt as Jackie Cogan in Killing Them Softly.

My girlfriend is a big fan of Brad Pitt, and her birthday is today so – as one of my gifts to her – I’m breaking down one of his more recent BAMF looks.

Vitals

Brad Pitt as Jackie Cogan, freelance mob hitman

Boston*, November 2008

* The movie – like the source novel – was indeed set in the Boston area but was filmed in New Orleans.

Background

Although it met with mixed reviews, fans of George V. Higgins appreciate the recent film version of his 1974 book Cogan’s Trade, released as Killing Them Softly based on a line from the novel’s titular protagonist, Jackie Cogan:

They cry. They plead. They beg. They piss themselves. They call for their mothers. It gets embarrassing. I like to kill ‘em softly, from a distance. Not close enough for feelings. Don’t like feelings. Don’t want to think about them.

Cogan, a mob hitman by trade, is portrayed by Pitt who manages to make Cogan both ruthless and likable. The film, although some cars and clothes are nods to the original 1974 publication, was updated to parallel the current state of the U.S. economy, set against the backdrop of the 2008 presidential elections. This parallel drew many of the complaints leveled at the film, but it is still a stylistic and darkly comedic interpretation of Higgins’ novel.

For anyone unfamiliar with George V. Higgins, he was an ex-prosecutor who began writing crime fiction in 1970 with one of his most famous works, The Friends of Eddie Coyle. Higgins relied on his law profession to write with a realism unlike any of its genre predecessors. The dialogue particularly stands out in his books, including the great line from Jackie Cogan himself in Cogan’s Trade:

He’s as soft as a sneaker fulla shit.

The film subtly takes on an Archer-like ambiguity with its setting. Although clearly taking place in November 2008, Cogan looks like he could’ve walked straight out of 1974 with his black leather jacket, his black Toronado, and his non-PC badassery.

Killing Them Softly was also one of the seven films that James Gandolfini acted in during the last two years of his life, and he turns in a terrific performance as a washed-up alcoholic hitman, Mickey.

What’d He Wear?

The most obvious thing about Cogan’s style is the abundance of black. From his jacket to his boots to his car, everything is black. This was not unintentional, as you could imagine. In November 2012, GQ magazine spoke with the film’s costumer designer, Patricia Norris, who explained:

I always thought of his character as a shadow. He’s not terribly noticeable, which is a hard thing to say about Brad Pitt. He’s a guy who walks into a bar without drawing attention to himself, because that’s not what hitmen do. So I kept him in that color… With the black-on-black, he can hide in an alleyway or disappear into a crowd, and no one will be thinking, “Gee, who’s that good-looking guy over there?”

Pitt sported his own black leather jacket in Killing Them Softly.

Cogan, though affable and talkative, is an enigma. Thus, he wants to get in and out quickly and unnoticed. What better way to remain in the shadows than to wear black-on-black? Not much description is given of Cogan’s attire in the book, only making mention of a pilled suede car coat and a pair of unlined leather gloves.

Interestingly, Pitt wore much of his own wardrobe, which leads me to wonder if he doesn’t take on some contracts in his spare time. Think about how bittersweet it would be to find out you were marked for assassination, and then it turns out Brad Pitt was hired to kill you. Would you ask for an autograph first?

The most notable item of Pitt’s that was borrowed for his role of Jackie Cogan is his black leather jacket. The jacket was so unique that Norris tried to find replicas of it in New Orleans but to no success. According to her:

There were no other jackets that looked great and said a lot. They just seemed precious next to whatever was going on and wouldn’t leave him alone… We simply talked for two minutes on the phone before I saw him, just about the shadow idea and the black-on-black. We didn’t know it at the time – because I had other jackets picked out – but he had already been wearing the one we’d use all along.

So what about the jacket made it so worthy of inclusion in the film? Norris certainly has a point when she calls leather jackets “precious”. Pitt’s well-worn example still looks good and, being his own, he is comfortable in it, almost unaware of just how cool it looks. Supposedly, he had picked it up around 2004 or 2005, so it had gone through seven years of solid wear before he brought it to the production of Killing Them Softly. Internet rumors claim the jacket was designed by Martin Mangela, but I can’t confirm this as factual.

Pitt also wore his jacket off-screen.

Pitt also wore his jacket off-screen.

It certainly is a unique jacket. It’s not the usual zip-front, nor is it a standard blazer. It buttons down the front with four black buttons, extending just past the waist. There are camp collars and plenty of detailed stitching, with seams down the rear, Western-style shoulder yokes, and double-pointed rear shoulder yokes. There are plain cuffs, with neither snap not button tabs, keeping the jacket simple and sleek-looking. There is a large patch pocket on the right side and a vertical side pocket on the left.

You can buy a supposed replica of the coat for $150 at Leathers Club, but I haven’t ordered it so I can’t comment on its authenticity. It certainly looks more like the jacket than anything I’ve been able to find though.

The jacket as it appears in the film.

Brad Pitt spent much of this film grimacing.

Under the jacket, Pitt’s standard shirt is a black v-neck short-sleeve t-shirt, purchased by Norris while filming on location in New Orleans to keep the look simple but familiar to Pitt. This was intentional, according to Norris:

When you’re working with someone as good as Brad in this type of role, the clothes that the actor’s most comfortable in work best; that way, the character won’t look self-conscious.

The soft cotton shirt has a very moderate v-neck, unlike the “deep v” preferred by that asshole guy drinking vodka and red bull at the club. You know who I mean.

The sort of douchebags who prefer deep v-necks wouldn't go near the great dive bars frequented by Jackie Cogan.

The sort of douchebags who prefer deep v-necks wouldn’t go near the great dive bars frequented by Jackie Cogan.

The trousers, a pair of heavy black flat front slacks with seams down the sides, belt loops, and plain-hemmed bottoms with a full break, were also purchased in New Orleans by Norris. They are worn with a thick black alligator leather belt, fastened in the front with a squared brass 1-eyelet clasp.

Where some may choose jeans to break the monotony, Cogan keeps all of his attire black.

Where some may choose jeans to break the monotony, Cogan keeps all of his attire black. Before you criticize this, think how easy laundry day must be for him.

When dressing up for a night at the bar, Cogan ditches the t-shirt and goes for a button-down. Both of Cogan’s button-down shirts, including the dark charcoal one he wears when meeting Mickey and the dark blue one when meeting his driver, are long-sleeve with large spread collars and a plain, placket-less front. They are a lightweight material that is very prone to wrinkling. The shirts fasten at the cuffs with a single button, but Cogan prefers to wear the sleeves rolled up to his elbow, even under his jacket.

ktsBP-clth-b-d1

Cogan meets his driver (played by a very dryly fun Richard Jenkins here) in the last scene wearing a black-on-black tonal striped 6-button vest. The vest – or waistcoat, you Brits – has a notched base, but the bottom button is worn unfastened anyway. There are two welted lower pockets.

For another good view of the vest, check out the photo used up at the top.

For another good view of the vest, check out the photo used up at the top of the page.

Supposedly, the large black leather boots worn in the film are also Pitt’s personal footwear. They are plain with no laces and slightly raised heels. The top of the boots rise up the calf.

Good ass-kicking boots.

Good ass-kicking boots.

Cogan wears plenty of accessories, all gold. The first time we see him, we also see his sunglasses, a pair of gold-framed rimless aviators with squared amber-gradient lenses and straight frames. I’m not sure who the manufacturer or designer is, but Pitt has a tendency to wear Oliver Peoples, so this may be their doing.

ktsBP-acc-sunglasses1

His watch is all-gold, with a lightweight band and a squared case and face.

ktsBP-acc-watch1

Cogan doesn’t skimp on jewelry, with a diamond gold pinky ring on his right hand and two thin gold necklaces worn under his shirts.

The hair is also worth mentioning too. Since Pitt is on a different playing field than the rest of us mortals, he is able to comb his long hair back without looking like an ’80s prepster, as well as pairing it with a goatee. Costume designer Norris explains it perfectly:

That’s how Brad wanted to be. He was very happy with that. He had that look already and we tweaked it a bit, but that’s what he felt comfortable with. I thought it was nicely sleazy.

Before moving ahead with the Jackie Cogan hair, trim your beard (if you plan on shaving it), into a goatee. Ask your girlfriend if she thinks you look like Brad Pitt. Her answer will tell you if it’s worth attempting a goatee.

Go Big or Go Home

Cogan is more complex than the usual mob hitman, even by Higgins’ standards. He is cool, assertive, and professional without being uptight. As a fellow “Man in Black”, Johnny Cash was an obvious choice for Cogan’s introduction song. Appropriately, given his character’s profession, “The Man Comes Around” was chosen to introduce the audience to Jackie Cogan.

Norris comments on this:

I think it’s a correlation of convenience. Andrew Dominik and I always talked about the music that would be used, but I never thought about the character from the music.

Dominik – the director in case you didn’t know – retains Cogan’s preferences from the book, keeping him a beer drinker, a cigarette smoker, and an Olds Toronado driver. There are, however, a few differences in the translation from page to screen.

Even Cogan’s car is black, and – of course – it is a badass one. Cogan drives a 1967 Oldsmobile Toronado coupe, almost definitely a reference to the silver Toronado (with a black vinyl roof and “Hydramatic” automatic transmission) from the book. The difference is that, in the book, this was the car that Cogan was chauffeured in by the mob driver Albert.

As a surprising (in this era) but refreshing choice, Dominik doesn’t change Cogan’s smoking habits from Higgins’ book. He does, however, change Cogan’s preference of cigarettes from Salem Menthols to Parliament Lights, lighting up with a gold Dunhill-style lighter. It’s possible that this change was a result of the filming location; when I was in New Orleans last April, everyone smoked Parliament Lights. I don’t know what the cigarette of choice is in Boston as the last time I was there I was four years old.

Cogan lights up often in the film, not something seen in this era of "political correctness". The behind-the-scenes photo at right shows Pitt with a box of Parliament Lights.

Cogan lights up often in the film, not something seen in this era of “political correctness”. The behind-the-scenes photo at right shows Pitt with a box of Parliament Lights.

Perhaps as a nod to its reputation for durability, a Nokia “candybar”-style cell phone finds its way into Cogan’s pockets. The Nokia 3310 has gained a modern cult following as an “indestructible” phone, even with an Internet meme celebrating it. This was likely not Dominik’s intent, but Cogan’s roughness and ability to survive in a film where nearly everyone else has died doesn’t differ from the Nokia legacy.

See?

See?

What to Imbibe

Cogan is a beer guy all the way, drinking standard American lagers. In the film, he drinks both Budweiser and Michelob Lager. Note that he drinks Michelob Lager and not Michelob Ultra, the latter of which is for underage sorority girls or slightly overweight mothers of two who think they’ve still got it.

ktsBP-GBGH-beer1

He also drinks Michelob Lager in the book, but the film replaces the literary Heineken with Budweiser. At the time Higgins wrote Cogan’s Trade, Heineken was the epitome of a classy gentleman’s beer, preferred by JFK and even mentioned by Jack Nicholson in The Last Detail:

Heineken? Why it’s the finest beer in the world! President Kennedy used to drink it!

Of course, the beer had a different reputation 13 years later when Dennis Hopper mentioned it in Blue Velvet:

Heineken? Fuck that shit! Pabst Blue Ribbon!

To stay safe, keep it American and make sure it ain’t light. 

Pitt behind the scenes in 2011. The newspaper to deflect the rain was part of his character.

Pitt behind the scenes in 2011. The newspaper to deflect the rain was part of his character.

How to Get the Look

Be a Man in Black. You’ll make Johnny Cash and Jackie Cogan proud.

  • Black leather jacket with camp collars, 4-button front, right patch pocket, left side pocket, Western-style yokes, and detailed stitching
  • Dark lightweight button-down long-sleeve shirt with large collars, a placket-less front, and rolled-up button cuffs
  • Black-on-black tonal striped vest with 6-button front, notched base, and 2 welted lower pockets
  • Black soft cotton v-neck short-sleeve t-shirt
  • Black flat front trousers with belt loops, open side pockets, and plain-hemmed bottoms on a full break
  • Black plain leather calf boots
  • Black alligator leather belt with a squared brass 1-eyelet clasp
  • Gold-framed aviator-style sunglasses with amber-gradient lenses
  • 2 thin gold necklaces, worn under the shirt
  • Gold lightweight analog wristwatch
  • Gold diamond ring, worn on the right pinky

The Gun

As a hitman, Cogan uses plenty of firearms to achieve his kills. He cycles through several throughout the film, including a Browning Hi-Power semi-automatic pistol, a Smith & Wesson .38 snubnose, and a Mossberg 500 Cruiser shotgun, with the latter receiving attention today.

ktsBP-gun1-mossy

The first hit we see Cogan carry out is on Markie Trattman, the troubled gambler. In the book, Cogan uses a “.30-06 Savage semi-automatic rifle” during a drive-by to achieve his kill. The film opts for a handgun, giving Cogan a Browning Hi-Power, a Belgian 9 mm semi-automatic designed in the 1920s and 1930s and still in use by many agencies today. I myself have a 1975 model, and it is one of the most reliable firearms I’ve ever had my hands on. The sequence is very stylistic, in slow motion with heavy focus on the pistol as it chambers and fires each round.

Cogan finishes off Markie with his Browning Hi-Power.

Cogan finishes off Markie with his Browning Hi-Power.

Cogan’s carry piece appears to be a blued Smith & Wesson Model 36 “Chief’s Special” snubnose .38 Special revolver with a 2″ barrel. He keeps this in his rear waistband, using it for his final kill of the film. This one is pretty much straight from the book, which described a “Smith & Wesson thirty-eight Police Special, two-inch barrel… revolver.” The Model 36 is ubiquitous in films, often in the hands of plainclothes detectives or mobsters, such as the guys from Goodfellas.

Finally, for Cogan’s hit on Johnny “The Squirrel” Amato, he packs a Mossberg 500 Cruiser. The Cruiser is an interesting variation of the standard 12-gauge Mossberg 500 pump-action shotgun, as it is a factory-made “sawed-off” shotgun with a pistol grip, carrying seven rounds of 3″-chambred 12-gauge shells in the under-barrel tubular magazine. The barrel length is typically 20″, just over the legal 18″ length for shotguns, with synthetic pistol grips and a blued finish. Some models have a heat shield over the barrel, but Cogan’s does not.

This is the same type of shotgun, Mossberg 500 Cruiser, but this one is modded out much differently with the fore-end light, the shell holder on the left side, and the lack of a foregrip.

This is the same type of shotgun, Mossberg 500 Cruiser, but this one is modded out slightly differently with the shell holder on the left side. Also, Cogan’s didn’t have the heat shield. This great image is from IMFDB.

Cogan also outfits his Mossberg with a Surefire 323 series foregrip and a LaserLyte ADP-TRIR-140 tri-rail adaptor fitted to the magazine tube. These show that Cogan is a professional who knows exactly what he wants for his firearms.

Cogan did indeed carry a shotgun for the Amato hit in the book, but it was a “five-shot Winchester semi-automatic shotgun”. The Mossberg wasn’t nearly as popular in 1974 as it is now, so the updated weapon is a very practical choice for the film’s setting.

Although this is the only image we have in the film itself of the actual shotgun...

Although this is the only image we have in the film itself of the actual shotgun…

For more information about the guns used in Killing Them Softly, check out its page on IMFDB. If you’re a fan of guns and movies, you’ll be quickly sucked in!

Do Yourself a Favor and…

Buy the movie. The book is also worth a read!

The Quotes

My friend, Thomas Jefferson is an American saint because he wrote the words “All men are created equal”, words he clearly didn’t believe since he allowed his own children to live in slavery. He’s a rich white snob who’s sick of paying taxes to the Brits. So, yeah, he writes some lovely words and aroused the rabble and they went and died for those words while he sat back and drank his wine and fucked his slave girl. This guy wants to tell me we’re living in a community? Don’t make me laugh. I’m living in America, and in America you’re on your own. America’s not a country. It’s just a business… Now fuckin’ pay me.

Footnotes

GQ’s article with Ms. Norris is a great read and provides insight into many of the film’s costumes, not just Pitt’s. It can be found here.

Aaron Cross’s Biker Jacket in The Bourne Legacy

Jeremy Renner looking intently at something as Aaron Cross in The Bourne Legacy.

Jeremy Renner looking intently at something as Aaron Cross in The Bourne Legacy (2012).

Vitals

Jeremy Renner as Kenneth J. Kitsom, aka Aaron Cross, U.S. Department of Defense agent who does not have amnesia

Maryland and the Philippines, February 2005

Background

People anticipated the release of The Bourne Legacy with nervous excitement. Most people I knew were very satisfied with the initial Bourne trilogy, ranking it among the better movie trilogies out there. People always ask for more until they actually get it. Case in point – Star Wars, Episode I.

However, Jeremy Renner surprised many by capably filling the gigantic shoes of taking on the role of Not Matt Damon. Like Damon was in 2002, Renner is a very likable and capable actor who is getting into the meatier parts of his career, from superhero movies (The Avengers) to crime drama (The Town). Furthermore, he doesn’t have a pre-Argo Ben Affleck dragging him down!*

Thus, The Bourne Legacy was a worthwhile follow-up in a good franchise, wisely not trying to Bond-ize the series. The story is cleverly continued by overlapping the new story of Aaron Cross with the familiar story of Jason Bourne. Also, we have the only appropriate title in the series since the first installment as we are truly seeing the effects of Bourne’s legacy. I don’t recall any sort of supremacy or ultimatum in the second or third movies, so points to this one for having a title that actually makes sense.

* I have to specify pre-Argo because Argo was pretty goddamn awesome.

What’d He Wear?

Like his predecessor, Jeremy Renner’s protagonist wears one main outfit during the film, with some variation depending on extreme climates (Bourne in India, Cross in Alaska) and differing tasks. Perhaps trying to tell the audience something about CIA agents, the filmmakers also choose for Aaron Cross a dark jacket, neutral t-shirt, and dark jeans, paired with boots.

The film’s costume designer, Shay Cunliffe, is quoted with saying that Cross’s attire needs to be multi-functional. He needs “to be able to put it on, live in it, and do everything [he] needs to do.” (Thanks to “The Superbite” for the quote and a great page about Cross’s jacket.)

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And when “everything you need to do” includes jumping, fighting, and getting into motorcycle chases, you’ll want comfortable multi-functional attire.

The staple item of Cross’s character, which he takes with him from Maryland to Manila, is a black jacket. At first, I thought this was a leather biker’s jacket, especially given the extended stunt on the motorcycle. Evidently, I wasn’t the only one, nor was I too foolish for my mistake. Rather than the cool-looking but stifling leather, Aaron Cross wears a wax cotton jacket, notably a Belstaff H Racer Cardigan Jacket, made by the British brand Belstaff. Belstaff is known for their all-weather motorcyclist’s jackets and this, a wax cotton biker’s jacket, is the perfect example. After all, wouldn’t leather be a bit restricting for all of the running, jumping, fighting, and additional badassery that is required of a Bourne movie hero?

The jacket was so popular after the film that Belstaff quickly reissued it, but other retailers that jumped on the boom after the movie came out are also still selling versions, including Accent Clothing in the UK.

Belstaff's distinctive logo is present, but not distracting, on the film jacket.

Belstaff’s distinctive logo is present, but not distracting, on the film jacket.

Cross’s Belstaff jacket acknowledges the new direction of the series. Whereas Bourne’s attire was slightly more traditional, albeit still cool, Cross’s jacket is a very modern-styled garment with its slim fit and short length while still not as tight as the oft-criticized (unfairly, IMO) costumes in Skyfall.

As mentioned, the black-on-black Belstaff jacket is lightweight – moreso than it looks – due its waterproof and “rubberized” wax cotton material, layered with an internal jersey lining on the collars, cuffs, and waistband. Unlike the smoother lines of Bourne’s jackets, there are seams aplenty here, down the arms, on the yokes, and down the center of his back.

Although atypical for a biker’s jacket, it does have the articulated sleeves to enhance riding posture with aerators under the pits to add breathability without sacrificing wind protection. The sleeves fasten at the cuffs with snaps, identical to the snap tabs that offer an adjustable fit at the waist.

Further up the sleeves – or at least just the left sleeve – the Belstaff logo stands out proudly. Some may argue product placement, but I say it’s realism; how many of you take the time to cover up any potential logos on your clothing before going out for a bit of world-saving?

Although never used by Cross as he never wears the jacket closed up to the neck, the jersey-lined collar offers additional wind protection, further enhanced with a buckle-fastened archival throat latch, which fastens through a 1-eyelet silver clasp.

bourneleg-coat1

The jacket, as a biker jacket should, also has plenty of pockets. There is a slant chest pocket on the left side that closes with a zip, meant to carry – according to Belstaff – “personal essentials”. The zip pockets on the hips are vertical to keep the modern slim silhouette streamlined.

According to the Belstaff site, the H Racer Cardigan Jacket currently retails for $695. Some may consider this a lot to spend on a jacket, but it is actually comparatively low in the men’s designer outerwear market. Additionally, if you’re going to have one good all-purpose jacket, it’s worth the minor investment for quality.

Like Bourne, Cross layers his shirts to be climate-appropriate. When running through the woods of Maryland in February, Cross wears a dark gray thermal long-sleeve t-shirt with a thermal grid pattern and rib knit cuffs for warmth.

Bourne's thermal T during moments of introspection and action.

Cross’s thermal T during moments of introspection and action.

After traveling to Manila, the capital of the Philippines, Cross is now in a much warmer climate. It may be February, but the daily mean temperature in Manila in February is still 81°F. The average low? Just over 69°F. This is when it’s a good time to not be wearing a leather jacket. Or a thermal long-sleeve t-shirt.

Cross quickly ditches the thermal and runs around the Philippines in a much more comfortable light gray short-sleeve cotton t-shirt. It’s definitely a t-shirt, as we see both in the film and on the DVD cover art, but one stunt reveals that Renner actually wears a sleeveless shirt in some scenes. Even though they were filming in January, the weather was so warm that they needed to switch out his t-shirt. Of course, it doesn’t help that they stuck poor Renner in a jacket, jeans, and heavy boots with a black backpack on.

Cross was just wearing a gray t-shirt (right), so how did it magically become a sleeveless shirt (left)? Why don't I just stop being a nitpicky ass and enjoy the flick?

Cross was just wearing a gray t-shirt (right), so how did it magically become a sleeveless shirt (left)? Why don’t I just stop being a nitpicky ass and enjoy the flick?

Cross also changes his pants from the Maryland scenes to the Philippines. In Maryland, after his quick change in the woods, Cross wears a pair of comfortable black cargo pants with large snap-fastened pocket flaps on the rear pockets and the box-pleated side cargo pockets. These trousers also have belt loops, but Cross wears them with no belt.

People say cargo pants are passé, but with both Aaron Cross and Dexter Morgan preferring them, I'm not so sure anymore...

People say cargo pants are passé, but with both Aaron Cross and Dexter Morgan preferring them, I’m not so sure anymore…

Once he gets to Manila, after changing out of his suit, Cross wears a pair of Paige Denim’s Normandie slim straight leg denim jeans in a very dark blue “Manchester” wash. The jeans have a distinctive white stitching and the usual 5-pocket setup with large rear patch pockets. The Manchester wash doesn’t appear to be available from Paige anymore, but there is still a variety of Normandie style slim jeans on their site in the $169 to $229 range. There are some very good-looking styles in practical blue denim, as well as more… unique styles ranging from mustard to camouflage to hot pink.

Cross's jeans are best identified in behind-the-scenes shots, as seen on the left.

Cross’s jeans are best identified in behind-the-scenes shots, as seen on the left.

For his international adventures, Cross sports a pair of blackened gore-tex Timberland Chocorua Trail hiking boots with rubber soles. They have four eyelets for laces and two adjustable hook and loop straps to keep them tightly fit on Cross’s feet. The boots are built with premium leather uppers and a contoured EVA footbed with an antimicrobial cover to stifle foot odors. These boots are still available on the Timberland website for $140, but only in brown. Older pairs in black – like Cross’s – can be picked up on other sites like Amazon for a few bucks less. Let’s go ahead and say he wears a pair of black socks with these. I don’t think we see his socks, but black makes sense, right? Okay, we’re going with that.

So they look black when he first puts them on, but they have turned brown by the time he hijacks a motorcycle in Manila? Or are they just dirty? Or did the filmmakers blacken a pair of brown boots? I am so confused.

So they look black when he first puts them on, but they have turned brown by the time he hijacks a motorcycle in Manila? Or are they just dirty? Or did the filmmakers blacken a pair of brown boots? I am so confused.

While we’re on the subject of undergarments (which socks kind of are), Cross flashes a pair of white boxer briefs with a black elastic waistband while rolling across the roofs of Manila. I can’t make out the logo on the waistband, but someone with eagle eyes (or a computer hooked up to a Blu-Ray player) might have more success.

2013-09-29 04.45.33 pm rollUW

Cross takes Dr. Marta to the airport for their flight to Manila wearing a new and decidedly un-Bourne-like layer, a simple but cool Steve McQueen-style khaki trench coat. The raincoat is single-breasted with large shirt-style collars, button-tab cuffs, and a horizontal seam across the upper back. We don’t see the trench coat before or after the airport scenes, but it adds a neat dimension to an already cool look.

Yes, Jeremy, Steve McQueen would like your coat.

Yes, Jeremy, Steve McQueen would approve of your coat.

Adding to the cool factor is a pair of Ray-Ban RB 2140 Wayfarers, worn by Cross during the final chase. These are the genuine Ray-Ban sunglasses made iconic in the ’80s and undergoing a revival now. Cross’s are a set of RB2140-02s with black plastic frames and G-15® XLT Polarized Polarized lenses. If you want a pair, and I know you do, you can head to the Ray-Ban site and pick up yours today for $200.

It's hard not to look cool in a pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarers. (But not impossible...)

It’s hard not to look cool in a pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarers. (But not impossible…)

Or, if you’re a lucky bastard like me, you’ll find a pair and not have to pay a dime for them. It was a particularly cold February day in 2010, a few days after the legendary “snowmageddon” that stranded many Pittsburghers in their homes for days on end. I was in my marketing classroom, having just heard a presentation about the new Consol Energy Center which was six months away from opening. The lecture ended and I was lingering, flirting with some sorority whats-her-name, when I noticed a pair of sunglasses on a neighboring desk. My first thought was, “Hey, cool, sunglasses!” My second thought was, “Holy shit, these are Ray-Bans.” I still have them three years later. The poor sucker who lost them never had a chance.

Finally, Cross wears the accessory that no modern spy movie is complete without – a wristwatch. Cross’s is a black IWC Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph Edition TOP GUN, #IW 379901, with a black ceramic 46 mm case and matte gray titanium crown, buttons, and rear cover. It’s a beautiful watch and you can spend 12,700 beautiful dollars to obtain it.

The watch shown here is especially useful on Monday the 25th. Double points if it's 10:08.

The watch shown here is especially useful on Monday the 25th. Double points if it’s 10:08.

Go Big or Go Home

Although he has cool accessories with his watch and sunglasses, the rest of Aaron’s inventory is pretty simple. His laptop is a standard black Toshiba, he uses a red Sharpie, and – in the most anti-Bond fashion – his camera is a disposable Kodak FunSaver Flash. This rings pretty true for the film’s supposed setting of 2005, when digital cameras were just emerging onto the marketplace and the quickest way for a guy on the lam to snap a photo was with a disposable camera. I myself went through probably twenty disposable cameras during the summer of 2005 alone. Cross also carries a silver Zippo, utilizing it to move the film into its second act.

Also, unlike Bourne who seemed to have bottomless pockets for his equipment much like a video game character, Cross carries a large backpack around Manila, ostensibly filled with his belongings. Hopefully for Jeremy Renner, it wasn’t actually full in real life.

How to Get the Look

Cross may have some expensive taste, but you can find some inexpensive (or just plain cheap) options since you don’t need the durability of a man who has to leap across roofs or get into life-or-death motorcycle chases. It might be fun to think that this is your life, but let’s be practical here.

Unless situations like these are common for you, I doubt you need to really go out for durability.

Unless situations like these are common for you, I doubt you need to really go out for durability.

  • Black lightweight wax cotton biker’s jacket with slash zip left chest pocket, vertical zip side pockets, jersey-lined collar with silver buckle-fastened throat latch, snap cuffs, and adjustable waist snaps – Cross’s jacket is a Belstaff H Racer Cardigan Jacket
  • Light khaki single-breasted trench coat with large shirt-style collars and button-tab cuffs
  • Dark gray thermal long-sleeve crew neck t-shirt
  • Light gray cotton short-sleeve crew neck t-shirt
  • Very dark blue denim jeans with white stitching – Cross’s jeans are Paige Denim’s Normandie in Manchester wash
  • Black cargo pants with belt loops and large flapped rear and cargo pockets
  • Black gore-tex hiking boots with leather uppers, rubber soles, 4 eyelets, and 2 hook straps – Cross wears Timberland Chocorua Trail boots
  • Black socks
  • White boxer briefs with a black elastic waistband
  • Ray-Ban RB 2140-02 Wayfarer sunglasses with black plastic frames and polarized lenses
  • IWC Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph Edition TOP GUN (#379901), with a black ceramic 46 mm case and matte gray titanium crown, buttons, and rear cover

The Gun

This is a badass Jason Bourne action movie, so there are gonna be plenty of guns. In this movie, Aaron Cross handles a Nemesis Arms Vanquish sniper rifle, a SIG-Sauer P229, a Glock 19, a Beretta 92FS, and a Smith & Wesson Model 10 revolver – the first notable revolver in the Bourne series. He may use all of these guns, but right now I’ll focus on one we haven’t seen before on this blog, the SIG-Sauer P229.

SIG-Sauer seems to be the CIA’s manufacturer of choice in the Bourne series; Jason kept a SIG Pro in his Swiss safety deposit box and carried a P225 throughout The Bourne Supremacy, The Professor used a SIG SG 550 rifle to take out his targets, and Paz armed himself with a SIG SG 552 and a P229 in the last installment of the original trilogy. In The Bourne Legacy, Cross packs the P229 when he heads into battle in Dr. Shearing’s Maryland country home. He eventually gets his hands on Dr. Dowd’s Glock 19 and carries both akimbo, but it is the P229 that is Cross’s weapon of choice.

The SIG-Sauer P229 is the one in Cross's left hand. In his right hand, he holds Dr. Dowd's Glock 19.

The SIG-Sauer P229 is the one in Cross’s left hand. In his right hand, he holds Dr. Dowd’s Glock 19. Notice the smooth section of the frame in front of the trigger guard, indicating that this is not a P229R, which has an accessory rail.

The SIG-Sauer P229, which you can still check out on SIG-Sauer’s online catalog, was introduced in 1991 as a compact version of the P226. Two years earlier, SIG-Sauer had developed the P228 for the same purpose, but the P228 was already nearly obsolete as it would chamber only 9×19 mm Parabellum. The P229, on the other hand, was made to handle the higher velocity .357 SIG and .40 S&W rounds also offered in the larger P226 due to the heavier CNC Machined steel slide unavailable on the P228. Once the P229 was also offered in 9×19 mm, the P228 sadly bowed out of production after a short but glamorous life as the “M11″ in U.S. government service.

The P229 marked a new generation for SIG-Sauer’s prominent place in U.S. law enforcement. While the P226 and P228 had been adopted by some agencies, the P229 was meant to be an American pistol and was the first SIG to be manufactured in Exeter, NH. The U.S. Secret Service now carries P229R DAK in .357 SIG, and both the Department of Homeland Security and the Coast Guard carry .40-caliber P229s. The P229R DAK (the R indicates an accessory rail in front of the trigger guard) uses SIG-Sauer’s Double Action Kellerman system, a DAO system with a smoother, lighter pull and two reset points.

The P229 carried by Bourne has a traditional DA/SA system, with a trigger pull of 10.0 lbs. in double action and 4.4 lbs. in single action. His is the non-rail P229, except for one brief shot when he is hiding in Marta’s closet and the pistol becomes a P229R due to a continuity error.

This SIG-Sauer has an accessory rail, making its appearance a continuity error. Man, even Jeremy Renner looks embarrassed by the mistake here.

This SIG-Sauer has an accessory rail, making its appearance a continuity error. Man, even Jeremy Renner looks embarrassed by the mistake here.

The P229 is 7.1 inches long, 5.4 inches high, and 1.5 inches wide. The barrel length of 3.9 inches makes it a fine weapon for both concealment and combat, especially with its relatively light 32 ounce weight when loaded with 13 rounds of 9×19 mm ammunition (or 12 rounds of .40 S&W/.357 SIG). SIG-Sauer offers the pistol for $993, a high price when there are similar pistols on the market, but SIG-Sauer has built a reputation for quality that can stand behind its price.

The SIG-Sauer P229, pistol of choice for CIA assassins (according to the movies). Image from IMFDB, a great resource for firearms enthusiasts, movie enthusiasts, and firearms-in-movies enthusiasts.

The SIG-Sauer P229, pistol of choice for CIA assassins (according to the movies). Image from IMFDB, a great resource for firearms enthusiasts, movie enthusiasts, and firearms-in-movies enthusiasts.

On film, the P229 first appeared on screen in the hands of Jonathan Pryce as the villain Elliot Carver in Tomorrow Never Dies. The P228 is still much more common in film, as it was developed earlier and is only chambered in 9×19 mm Parabellum, which is much more common in Hollywood blank ammunition arsenals.

Do Yourself A Favor And…

Buy the movie.

The Quotes

Now, I’ve got a plan, and it’s just not that complicated. What I’m going to do is wait for the next person to show up to kill you. Maybe they can help me.

Jason Bourne wasn't much of a sweet-talker either, but a woman never likes hearing something like this. Just ask Richard Speck.

Jason Bourne wasn’t much of a sweet-talker either, but a woman never likes hearing something like this. Just ask Richard Speck.

Vintage Hank Moody in NYC: The “In Utero” Flashback on Californication

David Duchovny and Natascha McElhone in New York City while filming "In Utero", the tenth episode of Californication's second season.

David Duchovny and Natascha McElhone in New York City while filming “In Utero”, the tenth episode of Californication‘s second season.

Vitals

David Duchovny as Hank Moody, aspiring novelist

New York City, April 1994

Background

“In Utero” (2.10), is often cited as a favorite episode among Californication fans. It serves as an origins episode for Hank and Karen, popular in this era of reboots including Batman Begins and Casino Royale. Here, we see Hank as a young, struggling writer, having just met – and subsequently knocked up – Karen. The two are anything but ready for an unexpected pregnancy, as they’re both middling in their respective careers and dating other people. Adding to the couple’s problems, news has just broken that Kurt Cobain committed suicide, thus dating the episode’s setting to April 8, 1994.

Of course, the baby in question turns out to be Becca, the center of Hank’s life as we know it. Given that this is the artistic center of New York City in 1994, Hank and Karen are both younger, grungier versions of themselves. Hank hasn’t established his black shirt and jeans uniform, and Karen is much less mainstream than her 2000s-era self.

What’d He Wear?

While not as grunge-defining as Cobain himself, Hank’s 1994 look makes sense in context.

As always, Hank’s staple is a pair of jeans, although these are a lighter wash and baggier than we’re used to seeing. Luckily, they avoid the acid-washed trend of the era, although they are very distressed with frayed edges, a rip or tear here and there, and a faded seat area. They fasten with a button fly. All buttons and studs are silver in color.

Hank's jeans

Hank’s jeans

For the first and last time in the show’s timeline, Hank wears a belt with his jeans. Naturally, it’s not a traditional leather belt, but is a black canvas belt with a red accent repeating around the belt. I can’t tell exactly what pattern the red shape is, but it looks like it could be a golfer, a horse, or a lobster, so some further look may be required. The belt is worn through a silver-colored loop in the front.

Any idea what's on his belt?

Any idea what’s on his belt?

Hank’s boxers are also more in line with the flannel trend of early ’90s grunge. They are a dark red steward plaid in what looks like a lightweight flannel.

Even Hank’s boots are different. While he would eventually develop a taste for Timberland slip-on Chelsea boots, he wears a more typical pair of hiking boots here with laces and heavy black rubber soles. They are also brown suede, but in a darker tone than the boots we’ve come to expect. We don’t see much of these boots in the episode, but the photo above proves that they are a different pair than the Timberland Chelseas.

Naturally, Hank sports an array of t-shirts. His standard in these New York scenes is a charcoal short-sleeve t-shirt in his apartment and a dark olive green short-sleeve shirt on the street.

Hank's charcoal shirt in his apartment isn't unlike some of the t-shirts he would sport in the more recent scenes on the show.

Hank’s charcoal shirt in his apartment isn’t unlike some of the t-shirts he would sport in the more recent scenes on the show.

Once things are good with Karen, he graduates to lighter t-shirts, like a light gray or light blue, sometimes topped with a very light blue chambray button-down with button-fastened patch pockets.

While not as fashionable as his later black t-shirts, Hank looks just as home in these rumpled shirts.

While not as fashionable as his later black t-shirts, Hank looks just as home in these rumpled shirts.

The biggest difference, as all the other stuff is negligible, is Hank’s accessories. No ring or leather wrist straps, just a hat. A black short-brimmed pork pie hat, to be specific, more “Popeye” Doyle than Heisenberg. Being part of the subculture, Hank would certainly utilize the hat that’d been associated with anti-authoritarians dating back to “rude boy” culture in 1960s Jamaica through De Niro’s early turn in Mean Streets. According to Wikipedia:

The porkpie is the mark of the determined hipster, the kind of cat you might see hanging around a jazz club or a pool hall, maybe wearing a button-front leather jacket and pointy shoes. It’s a Tom Waits, Johnny Thunderbird kind of hat. It has a narrower brim than a Fedora and a flat top with a circular indent. Usually the brim is worn up. It is often worn with a goatee, soul patch, and/or toothpick.

Hank channels The French Connection on the streets of New York.

Hank channels The French Connection on the streets of New York.

Indeed, Hank does have a faded goatee in these scenes and wears the brim up with a feather stuck in the left side of the band. The hat shows a major difference between 1994 Hank and 2007 Hank. Back then, he was trying to be somebody with a look that wasn’t true to him. Once he and Karen are together, he becomes happy and comfortable with who he is and ditches the hat, instead sporting a pair of black-lensed Oliver Peoples sunglasses that appear to be David Duchovny’s personal pair.

Hank and Karen in New York as Duchovny wears his personal pair of OPs. Note that there's now a braided leather bracelet on his wrist, very similar to the one he wears through the rest of the show. Does it signify some sort of unbreakable tie with Karen? Just a guess.

Hank and Karen in New York as Duchovny wears his personal pair of OPs.
Note that there’s now a braided leather bracelet on his wrist, very similar to the one he wears through the rest of the show. Does it signify some sort of unbreakable tie with Karen? Just a guess.

Unlike the button-front leather jacket stated in the quote above, Hank opts for a warmer canvas jacket. It’s April in New York, which can be anywhere from winter to summer climates. This is the only time we see Hank in such a heavy coat as he spends the rest of his time in southern California, where it’s obviously warmer.

Hank where he belongs.

Hank where he belongs.

Hank’s coat is a black canvas jacket that zips and/or buttons down the front with a silver zipper and five black buttons, respectively. Hank, however, wears it open. The jacket has many flaps and zips all over the place, with a button-down epaulette on each shoulder, held down by a thin stationery flap. There are also large flapped hip pockets and button-tab cuffs. Interestingly, the hat and the coat are the only parts of Hank’s major attire that are black.

Go Big or Go Home

This was the era of grunge bands like Nirvana, which the show doesn’t let you easily forget. In fact, the episode’s title is Nirvana’s third and final album (for those of you who didn’t already know), a great album which lent the song “Heart-Shaped Box” to this episode’s soundtrack.

Pearl Jam also makes an appearance, with “Nothingman” playing over the end of the episode as Hank and Karen grow together in New York.

One of the reasons people love this episode so much, despite its lack of both California and on-screen fornication, is seeing the origins of the genuine love between Hank and Karen. He’s a struggling writer and she’s a music groupie, both far from the eventual success they would find across the country. Hank even notes, “We get along really well for a couple of virtual strangers.”

And for anyone on brand alert, Hank’s studio is filled with booze: Absolut, Ketel One (kept by the bed), Bombay Sapphire (surprisingly nice for a struggling artist), and – of course – his whiskey, including Jameson, Chivas Regal, and a re-labelled bottle of what appears to have once been Johnnie Walker Red Label.

How to Get the Look

Since this is a flashback to the ’90s – a decade I wouldn’t put in the fashion hall of fame – take Heisenberg’s advice and “tread lightly.”hank210f-crop1

  • Dark green lightweight crew neck short-sleeve t-shirt
  • Light blue wash distressed denim jeans
  • Black canvas belt with a red repeating pattern, fastened through a silver loop
  • Black canvas zip-up jacket with a 5-button front, 1-button standing collar, button-down epaulettes, large flapped hip pockets, and 1-button tab cuffs
  • Dark brown suede laced boots with heavy black rubber soles
  • Black short-brimmed pork pie hat
  • Dark red Stewart plaid boxers

Do Yourself A Favor And…

Buy the second season.

The Quote

Hank pens a letter to Karen when he worries that she’ll be walking out of his life. She reads it on the sly and, when she sees he works up the courage to actually mail it, she decides he may be worth something.

Dear Karen,

If you’re reading this, it means I actually worked up the courage to mail it, so good for me. You don’t know me very well but if you get me started, I have a tendency to go on and on about how hard the writing is for me. This, this is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write. There’s no easy way to say this so I’ll just say it. I met someone. It was an accident, I wasn’t looking for it, I wasn’t on the make. It was a perfect storm. She said one thing, I said another. Next thing I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life in the middle of that conversation. Now there’s this feeling in my gut: she might be The One. She’s completely nuts in a way that makes me smile, highly neurotic, a great deal of maintenance required. She is you, Karen. That’s the good news. The bad is that I don’t know how to be with you right now. And it scares the shit out of me. Because if I’m not with you right now, I have this feeling we’ll get lost out there. It’s a big, bad world full of twists and turns and people have a way of blinking and missing the moment, the moment that could have changed everything. I don’t know what’s going on with us, and I can’t tell you why you should waste a leap of faith on the likes of me. But damn you smell good. Like home. And you make excellent coffee… that’s got to count for something, right? Call me.

Unfaithfully yours,

Hank Moody

Thomas Crown Goes Golfing

Steve McQueen as Thomas Crown, lining up the perfect shot on the links in The Thomas Crown Affair.

Steve McQueen as Thomas Crown, lining up the perfect shot on the links in 1968′s The Thomas Crown Affair.

The PGA Championship began yesterday at the Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, NY. If you plan on polishing off your clubs before summer ends, see how Steve McQueen did it with a casual style in Thomas Crown Affair.

Vitals

Steve McQueen as Thomas Crown, millionaire playboy and heist mastermind

Belmont, MA, Summer 1968

Background

When not planning multmillion dollar bank robberies, taking to the air in his private plane, or frolicking on the beach in his dune buggy, Thomas Crown heads to the links with his pals. More specifically, he heads to Belmont Country Club. This was 1968, the club’s fiftieth year and a year of change for the club which had just installed a golf course irrigation system that they still use today. Additional changes at the time included the relocation of five holes due to construction of Massachusetts Route 2. The next year, 1969, legendary English golf course architect Alfred H. Tull remodeled the course again.

The club rules state that proper dress is required of men at all times, specifically forbidding jeans, spiked golf shoes, and collarless shirts. I’m sure this has always been the rule of the club, even through Crown shows up and plays in his casual, collarless T-shirt.

The whole scene, attire included, is a fine example of Crown’s laissez-faire attitude towards convention. So the club requires collared shirts? Forget it, he has money, he can do whatever he wants. So he makes three stupid bets in a row and loses a couple thousand dollars? Oh well, he has money, what’s it matter?

What’d He Wear?

As a young and hip sportsman, Crown eschews the more traditional golf attire worn by his colleagues, such as cardigans and polos. Instead, Crown opts for a comfortable long-sleeve T-shirt and slacks.

His blue long-sleeve T-shirt is very appropriate for the late 60s with its chest pocket and raised neck band. Both the top of the pocket and the neck band feature a thin black stripe and a thin white stripe on the trim. I can’t identify the shirt’s fabric right now, but it appears to be a synthetic fiber.

shirt

Some courses – including Belmont Country Club – don’t allow collarless shirts, but I have a feeling that a country club wouldn’t say no to a guy with Crown’s money.

Crown’s trousers are light gray flat front slacks with a subtle blue plaid overcheck. They have frogmouth front pockets and flapped rear pockets with pointed flaps. Rather than a belt, Crown’s trousers have side adjusters to perfect the fit. They are long with a full break and sharp creases down the center of each leg.

pants

Ah, the days before John Daly’s loudmouth pants

The trousers break over Crown’s brown Norwegian golf kilties with straps fastened through a small brass side clasp. Sean Connery would also wear a darker pair of kilties during the famous golf scene in Goldfinger, which I’ll cover in a later post. Crown pairs his kilties with mustard-colored socks.

Although the rest of his dress is more unconventional, Crown's shoes - by necessity - match those of his annoying "sucker bet" colleague.

Although the rest of his dress is more unconventional, Crown’s shoes – by necessity – match those of his annoying “sucker bet” colleague.

And, of course, since he is golfing, Crown sports a white leather golf glove on his left hand. According to a few behind-the-scenes production shots, McQueen stuck the glove in his left trouser pocket when not needing it. In the film, he wears his glove the whole time.

Go Big or Go Home

Crown is no slouch when it comes to playing golf. However, he’s so expert either. If you plan on making some of the insane “sucker bets” that he does, try to back them up with enough skill to earn the smirk that McQueen so expertly wears.

And – again club rules permitting – try and stand out from your fellow golfers. Compared to him, McQueen’s pals look pretty milquetoast and bland – cookie cutter images of what golfers tend to look like. While avoiding John Daly’s example is key, there’s no harm in finding a cool, comfortable personal style without looking like your buddy’s dad.

Norman Jewison must have told the other guys to stand at least twenty feet back or else they'd just be totally emasculated by Steve's manliness.

Norman Jewison must have told the other guys to stand at least twenty feet back or else they’d just be totally emasculated by Steve’s manliness.

Then again, if you can make a hole from being buried in a sand trap even once, you’re definitely pretty good.

How to Get the Look

Check with your club rules before trying to pull off a T-shirt on the links. Of course, if you have Thomas Crown’s money, you probably own the club. In which case, I doubt you’re reading my humble blog.

  • Publicity Photograph of Steve McQueenBlue synthetic fiber long-sleeve T-shirt with a black & white striped trim on the raised neck band and chest pocket
  • Light gray subtlely plaid flat front trousers with frogmouth pockets, flapped rear pockets, side-adjusters, and plain-hemmed bottoms with a full break
  • Brown leather Norwegian kiltie loafers with a strap and brass clasp
  • Mustard-colored socks
  • White leather golf glove, worn on the left hand

Do Yourself A Favor And…

Buy the film.

The Quote

Crown doesn’t seem to care after losing a couple thousand dollars to his ill-conceived bets…

What else can we do on Sunday?

The Sopranos: Christopher’s Bloody Suit in “Full Leather Jacket”

Michael Imperioli as Christopher Moltisanti in "Full Leather Jacket", the eighth episode of The Sopranos' second season.

Michael Imperioli as Christopher Moltisanti in “Full Leather Jacket”, the eighth episode of The Sopranos‘ second season.

SPOILER ALERT! Do not continue reading if you haven’t yet watched The Sopranos. Although, granted, I’m pretty terrible about avoiding spoilers so… sorry in advance.

Vitals

Michael Imperioli as Christopher Moltisanti, up-and-coming Mafia associate

Kearny, NJ, Fall 2000

Background

Some big spoilers here. Don’t read ahead if you haven’t seen the show. Although, honestly, it’ll be pretty tough to avoid since I titled this “Christopher’s bloody suit”. Maybe people just think I’m embracing British culture?

This short scene towards the end of “Full Leather Jacket” was a shocking plot development for Sopranos fans. Christopher’s two moronic underlings, Matt Bevilaqua and Sean Gismonte, took it upon themselves to get noticed in the Jersey mob by shooting him. Of course, the two bungle it badly with Sean getting clipped by Chris on the spot (“Gizz!” shouts Matt) and Matt being tracked down and shot to pieces by Tony and Pussy. After a harrowing hospital experience, during which Chris believes he has died, Tony’s faithful nephew recovers from his dual wounds and is back on the streets, in line to get made.

Part of the brilliance of this development was the timing. The Sopranos was supreme storytelling and is arguably the reason why TV is so damn good today. Chris is shot towards the end of the episode, not at the end. Furthermore, there were still five remaining episodes left in the season. Showrunner David Chase avoided the cliched cliffhanger which would have turned great storytelling into storyteasing. Interested in narrative rather than numbers, Chase ends the episode with Chrissy alive but unconscious in the hospital as Tony bemoans at his bedside, “How could dis happen?”

What’d He Wear?

Despite the episode’s title, Chris does not wear a leather jacket for this scene, although he certainly had a penchant for them on the show. Instead, the “leather jacket” in question refers to a very ’70s-style brown leather jacket straight out of Donnie Brasco that the Napoleonic old-timer Richie Aprile gives to Tony. It’s actually a pretty cool and very retro belted jacket that the costumers had fitted specifically for James Gandolfini, despite his only wearing for a few seconds before handing it off to the family’s immigrant maid to give to her husband. The jacket is available to check out on The Golden Closet, as well as plenty of other costumes and props from the show.

I had some trouble determining what exact color Christopher’s suit is in this scene. I had always remembered it being tan but, upon revisiting the scene for this post, I found it to be more of a gray-green. After ruling out “light laurel green” as a color, I found the Benjamin Moore paint sample “revere pewter” that really seemed to describe the color, a “light gray with warm undertones”. Thus, let’s safely call Christopher’s suit a “warm light pewter gray”. This would be a whole lot easier if it was up for sale on The Golden Closet…

Edit: After doing some color testing, I’ve come up with various shades of gray for the shirt, including “lemongrass” and “bandicoot”, with the former showing up the most times. Thus, let’s update “warm light pewter gray” to “lemongrass gray” and call it a day.

Although I guess you could say that it's light gray with red embellishments...?

Although I guess you could say that it’s light gray with red embellishments…?

The suit is single-breasted with a roomy fit. This is likely for practical purposes, so the squibs wouldn’t be too obvious underneath, but it also helps the small (when compared to his castmates) Michael Imperioli look bulkier. The jacket has standard notch lapels and a tight 3-button front. The center button is worn fastened throughout the scene, both for a sleeker look and for the more functional need of hiding the blood squibs. We don’t see the rear of the jacket much, but it appears to be ventless.

There is a breast pocket and two straight flapped hip pockets. The hip pockets are jetted, as usual, to allow wear with the flaps tucked in or out. However, Christopher – like most men – wears his flaps exposed. The 3-button cuffs match the buttons on the front.

If you look closely, you can see the lump under Chris' right shoulder where the next shot will go off.

If you look closely, you can see the lump under Chris’ right shoulder where the next shot will go off.

The trousers are flat front with a sharp crease down each leg to the plain-hemmed bottoms. The jacket is closed, but the peeks we get inside reveal no belt, so the trousers are possibly fitted with side-adjusters.

Underneath, Christopher provides an example of dressing down a suit by wearing it with a T-shirt. While still dressier than the mobsters’ preferred track suits, a suit with a nice (key word: nice) T-shirt underneath can look cool and casual while still professional. The only drawback is that this might look silly without the jacket, but we don’t have that problem in the scene here. Christopher’s shirt is a dark stone gray ribbed short-sleeve T-shirt with a clinging fit.

Edit: Since I was having fun with the color code stuff, I also input Chris’s T-shirt. Evidently, the closest color is “ironside gray”. Welp, sounds good to me.

Chris chooses an unusual place for his mid-day nap.

Chris chooses an unusual place for his mid-day nap.

Since he keeps his piece in an ankle holster – his life-saving concealment of choice throughout the show – we see plenty of Christopher’s footwear in the scene. He wears a pair of black suede loafers with black rubber soles and small black elastic side gussets. His ribbed socks are also black, rising up his calves to allow room for his holster.

sop208c-full1

Although not as accessory-happy as the other guys, Christopher wears gold when he does accessorize. Around his neck is his standard thin gold necklace with a large Catholic pendant, possibly of St. Christopher, but I don’t know for sure. He also wears an attractive all-gold wristwatch, perhaps mimicking Tony’s gold Rolex.

He carries his Walther PPK in a black kydex ankle holster that resembles a Fobus PPK1A. These holsters are lightweight with suede lined Cordura pads for comfort and increased stability and an adjustable velcro strap to secure it onto any sized ankle. While the utility of an ankle holster is debatable to some, it saves Chris’s life on this occasion and provides a carry option when others would be intrusive or impractical. Chris carries his on the outside of his right leg.

A strong adjustable strap is very important with an ankle holster, especially one worn with regular shoes.

A strong adjustable strap is very important with an ankle holster, especially one worn with regular shoes.

Ankle holsters offer much flexibility for gun carriers, who can choose to wear it on the inside or outside of the strong or opposing leg. I personally wear an ankle holster on the inside of my left leg (I am right handed). For me, this prevents the bulk visible when worn on the outside and still allows an easy and accessible draw.

Go Big or Go Home

How to Survive a Mob Hit: The Christopher Moltisanti Edition.

While Christopher’s method of survival isn’t ideal and lost him an organ (“Got no spleen, Gene!” he proudly announces), the scene is pretty badass and it’s great watching the semi-protagonist triumphing over two armed idiots despite being gravely wounded and unable to move off of the ground. I’m not sure if this is what the Boy Scouts meant when they say to always be prepared, but – as Chris proves – it’s definitely good advice.

How to Get the Look

Interestingly, this production photo features Chris holding one of the Glocks used by his attempted killers. The photo also shows the suit looking more like a light gray than the warmer appearance it had on film.

Interestingly, this production photo features Chris holding one of the Glocks used by his attempted killers. The photo also shows the suit looking more like a light gray than the warmer appearance it had on film.

Try not to get yours as dirty as Chris did. Blood is tough to wash out.

  • Lemongrass gray two-piece suit, consisting of:
    • Single-breasted ventless jacket with a 3-button front, breast pocket, jetted flapped hip pockets, and 3-button cuffs
    • Flat front trousers with plain-hemmed bottoms
  • Dark ironside gray ribbed short-sleeve T-shirt
  • Black suede loafers with short elastic side gussets and black rubber soles
  • Black calf socks
  • Black RHD ankle holster worn on the right outside leg, possibly a Fobus
  • Thin gold necklace with a gold religious pendant
  • Gold wristwatch with a round face and link bracelet

The Gun

We’ve seen a variety of guns going through Chris’s hands and holsters. His stand-by handguns rotate between a Glock 19 and a Smith & Wesson 5946, but he’s carried everything from a Desert Eagle (in “46 Long”) to a Smith & Wesson .38 Bodyguard snubbie (in the previous episode, “D-Girl”). Here, Christopher finds himself sporting a Walther PPK, pistol of choice of both James Bond and Adolf Hitler. Unlike those two, Chris carries a stainless model chambered in .380 ACP.

The particular PPK carried by Chris is serial #A071001 and was manufactured, naturally, by Walther Arms in Germany. Smith & Wesson has been contracted by Walther to make PPKs for the American market, but Chris carries an honest-to-goodness Walther, imported by Interarms of Alexandria, VA, a company that went out of business prior to the series’ airing. Christopher’s blank-firing PPK is available on The Golden Closet to the tune of $6,500. A different PPK, used by Steven Van Zandt in the series’ penultimate episode, is also available for $5,000.

Photos of the actual pistol used by Imperioli while filming in Kearny. Thanks, Golden Closet!

Photos of the actual pistol used by Imperioli while filming in Kearny. Thanks, Golden Closet!

As I mentioned above, Christopher chooses to carry his in a black kydex RHD ankle holster, strapped to his right leg. This is his standard method with smaller handguns. When Chris carries a larger pistol, like the Glock, he usually just sticks it in the rear of his waistband.

Chris ably defends himself, even when shooting with his non-dominant hand.

Chris ably defends himself, even when shooting with his non-dominant hand.

Since the inception of the PP in 1929 and the subsequent PPK two years later, Walther primarily offered these compact pistols in .32 ACP (7.65 mm) or .380 ACP (9×17 mm), but also chambered some pieces for the smaller .22 LR or .25 ACP rounds. Eighty years later, the venerable PPK and PPK/S are still offered from Walther. Other lower-priced alternatives, such as the Bersa Thunder 380, exist and are fine quality, but the legendary PPK is tough to beat for a backup piece.

Do Yourself a Favor And…

Buy the second season and be careful when walking through the parking lot of the Skyways Diner in Kearny.

The Quote

Poor Chris doesn’t get a chance to say much does he? By default, his quote is:

What’s up, man?

Footnotes

You definitely don’t see this coming, but the shooting should have been predictable to guys who grew up watching old WWII movies. It was always the guy who just got engaged to his “sweetheart back home” that gets shot first in the battle. Since Chrissy finally got engaged to long time girlfriend Adriana at the beginning of “Full Leather Jacket”, he was essentially marked for death by fiction. Of course, he gets through it, but…