Lt. Aldo Raine Leads the Inglourious Basterds

Brad Pitt as Lt. Aldo Raine in Inglourious Basterds (2009).

Brad Pitt as Lt. Aldo Raine in Inglourious Basterds (2009).

Vitals

Brad Pitt as Lt. Aldo Raine, U.S. Army OSS officer and redneck leader of the “Inglourious Basterds”

Occupied France, Fall 1942

Film: Inglourious Basterds
Release Date: August 21, 2009
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Costume Designer: Anna B. Sheppard
Brad Pitt’s Personal Costumer: Isabell Logen (though I’m not sure what her contribution was to this particular outfit)

Background

Surprisingly to most, I was a late comer to Tarantino’s work. It wasn’t until my freshman year of college in the fall of 2007 when I first saw Reservoir Dogs and – entranced – I soon caught up by getting my hands on Pulp FictionJackie BrownTrue Romance, and Death Proof. (Somehow, neither Kill Bill film made the cut until years later.) Thus, Inglourious Basterds was the first QT flick I actually saw newly released in theaters.

I was one of many who were looking forward to Inglourious Basterds, mostly expecting what the trailers promised – a badass World War II action piece starring Brad Pitt as the leader of a band of badass Jewish-American soldiers. What I didn’t expect was a damn near epic piece of revisionist history that gave Hitler the violent death he deserved (SPOILER ALERT!) and relegated “Aldo the Apache”‘s band of rebels to bookend what became a deserving showcase for the multi-lingual and multi-talented Christoph Waltz.

Though I disagree with Aldo’s closing meta-statement to Ryan from The Office Utivich that this is QT’s masterpiece (a title I would bestow upon Pulp Fiction), it perfectly fits the Tarantino dictum of being a movie full of exactly what people want to see. The bad guys get what’s coming to them, the best of the good guys survives to tell about, and it’s a hell of a lot of fun getting there.

What’d He Wear?

After ditching his Army uniform, Aldo goes deep undercover into occupied France in a blue peacoat, brown slacks, sweater, and boots. Although comprised of many military-inspired elements, the Basterds’ clothing is mostly civilian attire to keep them inconspicuous… although the automatic weapons in their hands may give away the gambit.

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When we first come across the Basterds somewhere in France around the fall of 1942, they’re scalp-deep in the aftermath of an assault on a Nazi squad. Aldo the Apache oversees the proceedings in a warm peacoat constructed of heavy navy blue wool. The peacoat – or reefer to the Brits – certainly has military origins, but Lt. Raine’s example doesn’t appear to be a military version (at least not a U.S. military version).

Aldo’s belt conceals the middle of the coat, but it appears to only have two buttons; it was either constructed that way or the other buttons were meant to have fallen off. The large lapels have stitched edges, and the padded shoulders give the jacket increased bulk. The only exterior pockets are two slanted handwarmers.

"Now if you ever want to eat a sauerkraut sandwich again, you gotta show me on this map where they are, you gotta tell me how many there are, and you gotta tell me what kinda artillery they're carrying with 'em."

“Now if you ever want to eat a sauerkraut sandwich again, you gotta show me on this map where they are, you gotta tell me how many there are, and you gotta tell me what kinda artillery they’re carrying with ‘em.”

The peacoat’s sleeves are very distinctive with brown leather trim on the edges and a pointed half-tab that closes with a single button on each cuff. There are also two non-functioning buttons on the coat’s half-belted back.

During the Basterds’ first combat appearance, Aldo wears plenty of layers under his pea coat. The most prominent is a dark brown long-sleeve ribbed wool sweater. The sweater’s high open neck pops out over the jacket’s collar with brown leather knot buttons visible. Although not the same as the G.I. version, it’s likely based on the olive drab WWII “high neck” wool jumper as described here.

Aldo warns the Nazi sergeant about The Bear Jew.

Aldo warns the Nazi sergeant about The Bear Jew, showing the triple layers under his peacoat.

Aldo further combats the cold with a lightweight blue scarf loosely tied around his neck. It hangs low enough that his unexplained throat scar remains revealed. Beneath the sweater, Aldo double layers both gray and light brown long-sleeve henley shirts. The scarf covers up most of the shirts’ chest areas, but both shirts’ sleeves can be seen poking through under the pea coat cuffs.

His trousers are dark brown corduroys with a thin wale. Corduroy pants are a traditional choice for keeping warm (are you seeing a pattern here?) and are the least military-like of his attire.

Aldo wears a thick dark brown leather belt outside his peacoat. The leather is obviously well-worn, fitting his rugged woodsman-type persona, with a brown leather scabbard on the left side for his scalping knife. The belt closes in the front through a dulled metal clasp.

Aldo's thick belt is durable enough to carry both his pistol holster and knife scabbard.

Aldo’s thick belt is durable enough to carry both his pistol holster and knife scabbard.

A black leather flapped holster is on the right side of his belt. Aldo doesn’t use a pistol on screen until he is handed Hans Landa’s P38 at the end of the film, but it’s likely that he is carrying his own Walther P38 here as the “Basterds” have a tendency to carry the weapons of their enemies.

His footwear throughout the Basterds’ time in France is a pair of tall dark brown leather riding boots with adjustable straps at the top and four laces across the throat. Peeking over the top of the boots are a pair of brown wool knit leg warmers, similar to these. Taking into account his warm layers from head to toe, it’s obvious that Aldo Raine knows how to dress for the cold.

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Aldo tops it all off – literally – with a black & gray specked woolen newsboy cap.

About two years later, we catch up with the Basterds on the eve of the D-Day attacks. They’re still deep in the heart of occupied France, fighting their own battles and killing as many Nazis as possible. Given the warmer time of year, Aldo’s under layers are seen more than his coat and scarf, although he still wears both while his men are prepping for the Nadine tavern rendezvous. (This coat – a Belstaff – is different with fur collars; it is seen best in promotional material but barely shown in the finished film.)

Belstaff made a big deal about one of its custom-designed hero coats appearing in Inglourious Basterds, neglecting to mention that it only appears in one shot.

Belstaff made a big deal about one of its custom-designed hero coats appearing in Inglourious Basterds, neglecting to mention that it only appears in one shot.

After the gun smoke has cleared, Aldo and his remaining Basterds confer with Bridget von Hammersmark in a doctor’s operating room. Having ditched the pea coat, Aldo paces the room in a dark blue wool v-neck sweater vest with a ribbed waistband. This would’ve been a very popular choice in 1944, and it’s refreshing to see that Pitt wasn’t averse to the connotations of a sweater vest. Indeed, we haven’t seen a guy this badass wearing one since Dirty Harry.

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Aldo’s shirt for the Nadine scene is light gray cotton with thin blue and red stripes that, paired with the dark blue sweater vest, can make it appear solid blue in some light. It has a soft spread collar and button cuffs, although he wears his sleeves rolled up above the elbow. The off-white plastic buttons fasten down a front placket, although he keeps the top few open to reveal a light brown henley underneath.

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Aldo mulls over the adjustments to the plan.

He also wears a different pair of brown trousers in this scene. These are dark brown pinstripe high-rise trousers with reverse pleats that, like the corduroys, he tucks into his boot tops. They have a large, baggy fit and a straight front fly. The side pockets are slanted, and the right rear pocket is jetted with a button to close.

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After these scenes, Aldo’s next appearance is at a Paris film premiere in a white dinner jacket and black tie. We’ll get to that outfit later.

Go Big or Go Home

QT deliberately gives Aldo Raine an ambiguous history, somewhat at odds with Raine’s loquacious personality. What we do know is that he hails from Maynardville, Tennessee and declares himself to be a direct descendant of legendary mountain man Jim Bridger, although it could be that – like Bridger himself – Aldo is not immune to the occasional tall tale. Aldo recalls his history as a moonshiner in the hills of Tennessee. His progressive views clash with his hillbilly tendencies and background, and this probably explains the failed lynching that led to the ambiguous scar on his throat.

At some point, Aldo joined the U.S. Army and was commissioned as a first lieutenant in the 1st Special Service Force (“The Devil’s Brigade”), an elite commando unit organized in 1942 and comprised of both American and Canadian soldiers. It is further implied that the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the wartime predecessor of CIA, chose Lt. Raine to lead the “Basterds”‘ guerilla mission into occupied France.

Throughout the “Basterds”‘ violent mission across France, Aldo is frequently sen snuffing powdered tobacco from a small box with the Nazi eagle engraved on it. Though the box was almost certainly taken from a captured or killed enemy (as were many of the group’s weapons), this is likely an old habit of his from his Appalachian upbringing.

Aldo clears his mind during an interrogation.

Aldo clears his mind during an interrogation.

In QT’s version of history, Lt. Raine and PFC Smithson Utivich – the two known surviving “Basterds” – are directly credited for ending World War II in Europe by leading the mission that killed Hitler and compelling Hans Landa to surrender Germany to them. After the war, Raine likely resumed his moonshining activities with the likes of Robert Mitchum’s Thunder Road character. He certainly raised a family, as Brad Pitt’s character Floyd – the pothead on the couch in True Romance – is said to be Aldo’s great-grandson. (Another interesting callback to Pitt’s career is his aversion to “fightin’ in a basement”… an activity that secured his stardom in 1999.)

How to Get the Look

Even if you’re not a violent military commando, Aldo’s look is both fashionable and smart for battling the cold… and battling the Nazis.

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  • Navy blue wool peacoat with slanted handwarmer pockets, 2-button front, half-belted back, 1-button pointed-tab cuffs, and brown leather sleeve trim
  • Brown ribbed wool high-neck sweater with brown leather-knotted buttons
  • Light brown long-sleeve henley shirt
  • Dark brown corduroy trousers
  • Dark brown leather 4-eyelet high-rise riding boots
  • Brown wool knit legwarmers
  • Blue lightweight scarf
  • Gray & black specked woolen newsboy cap

The sweater can also be swapped out for a dark blue wool sweater vest and light gray striped button-down shirt. On an especially brisk day, Aldo chose to layer two henley shirts.

The Gun

Like his fellow “basterds” Wicki and Hirschberg, Lt. Aldo Raine arms himself with a Karabiner 98k bolt-action rifle, likely captured from a German soldier as they were the standard service rifle of the Wehrmacht during World War II. As the group’s leader, Lt. Raine also has proudly (and crudely) scratched “INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS” into the butt, thus giving the group and the film its popularly misspelled moniker.

Aldo spells it all out for us... even if spelling isn't necessarily his strong suit.

Aldo spells it all out for us… even if spelling isn’t necessarily his strong suit.

The Karabiner 98k is a grandchild of Mauser’s venerable Gewehr 98 rifle that had served the German military for nearly forty years. Shortly after Hitler took power, the Heereswaffenamt ordered a new military rifle. The Gewehr 98’s design was shortened, modified, and redeveloped as the Karabiner 98 Kurz (or “Carbine 98 Short”), chambered in the same 7.92×57 mm Mauser cartridge – loaded into an internal magazine with a 5-round stripper clip – as its predecessor. With nearly 15 million rifles produced, the Karabiner 98k gained a reputation as a reliable and accurate service rifle and was in great demand by capturing forces on both fronts, although it appeared far more often in Soviet hands.

The Knife

Much Internet speculation has focused on determining the exact variant of Aldo the Apache’s Bowie knife, and it is generally agreed that he carries a Smith & Wesson “Texas Hold ‘Em” model with the logo polished off. A guard and stag handle were added by the props department to give it a more generic look.

The Bear Jew and the Apache survey their most recent work.

The Bear Jew and the Apache survey their most recent work.

The standard Smith & Wesson Texas Hold ‘Em knife is still available on Amazon.

Do Yourself a Favor and…

Buy the movie.

The Quote

You probably heard we ain’t in the prisoner-takin’ business… we in the killin’ Nazi business. And cousin, business is a-boomin’!

Johnny Cash in All Black (Walk the Line)

Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash in Walk the Line (2005).

Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash in Walk the Line (2005).

Vitals

Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash, badass but troubled country rock musician

Los Angeles, January 1968

Film: Walk the Line
Release Date: November 18, 2005
Director: James Mangold
Costume Designer: Arianne Phillips
Tailor: Pam Lisenby

Background

Columbia Exec: Your fans are church folk, Johnny. Christians. They don’t wanna hear you singing to a bunch of murderers and rapists, tryin’ to cheer ‘em up.
Johnny Cash: Well, they’re not Christians, then.

The terrific 2005 biopic Walk the Line features a great scene of Cash rebooting his career as a prison performer (and reformer) when he confidently strides into Columbia Records and announces his plan to record an album live from Folsom Prison. He dudes himself up appropriately in all black and is the most self-assured as we’ve seen him throughout the film.

To honor Johnny Cash’s birthday (he would have been exactly 83 years old today), here’s a look at Joaquin Phoenix’s take on “the Man in Black”.

What’d He Wear?

Columbia Exec: And what’s with the black? He looks like he’s going to a funeral!
Johnny Cash: Maybe I am.

…although some may consider this look a bit too badass for a funeral.

Cash suits up for his meeting by donning his trademark attire, black from head to toe. His three-piece wool suit is black with very thin tonal stripe that shine under certain light.

The suit jacket is single-breasted with a fashionable late ’60s cut. The slim notch lapels glide down to the single button closure at his waist. There is a welted breast pocket and the flapped hip pockets, including the right side ticket pocket, slant backwards.

Cash oozes cool as he nonchalantly tells Columbia Records exactly what he plans to do.

Cash oozes cool as he nonchalantly tells Columbia Records exactly what he plans to do.

His suit jacket has roped sleeveheads, 1-button cuffs, and long double rear vents. The lining is only briefly seen when he is putting on his jacket, but it is a very bright red silk that contrasts heavily with the rest of the outfit.

The suit has a matching waistcoat, although not much is seen of it as the low-fastening garment is mostly covered when he wears the jacket buttoned. It has slim notch lapels like the jacket. The same bright red silk lining on the inside of the jacket also adorns the back of the vest.

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Cash’s flat front suit trousers have plain-hemmed bottoms with a very short break over his feet. His shoes are a very mod pair of black calf leather plain-toe loafers. They are very simple with no perforations, cap toes, side gussets, etc. Naturally, he wears a pair of black dress socks. This is no time for a “hint of color”.

cashblack-CL-feet

I’ve found an affordable pair of similar loafers from Cole Haan; the Copley 2 Gore Loafer in black leather is currently offered from Jos. A. Bank’s site for only $148 if you’re looking for a reasonable pair. They also come in brown leather, but what color do you think Johnny would pick?

While he wears a white shirt for the eventual Folsom Prison performance, he wears a black silk shirt here. Like the suit, it has a thin tonal stripe, although this stripe is spaced further apart than on the suit. The shirt has a large collar, which he wears open, and no front placket. The shirt’s French cuffs are fastened by silver square links. Naturally, each link has a large black raised square in the center.

Note the contrasting black striped suit and shirt as he buttons up for the day.

Note the contrasting black striped suit and shirt as he buttons up for the day.

To maintain his aloof appearance (and perhaps battle his withdrawal), Cash keeps his sunglasses on throughout nearly the entire scene. They are a pair of black acetate wayfarers with dark green lenses, likely a classic pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarers before they started placing the logo on the temples and lenses.

Johnny Cash is a man on a mission.

Johnny Cash is a man on a mission.

June Carter: You wear black ’cause you can’t find anything else to wear? You found your sound ’cause you can’t play no better? You just tried to kiss me because “it just happened?” You should try take credit for something every once in a while, John.

How to Get the Look

They didn’t call him the “Man in Black” for no reason.

  • Black wool tonal-striped three-piece suit, consisting of:
    • Single-breasted jacket with slim notch lapels, 1-button front, welted breast pocket, slanted flapped hip pockets, slanted right ticket pocket, 1-button cuffs, and long double rear vents
    • Low-fastening single-breasted waistcoat with slim notch lapels
    • Flat front trousers with plain-hemmed bottoms
  • Black silk tonal-striped shirt with large collar, no placket, and double/French cuffs
  • Silver square cuff links with raised black centers
  • Black calf leather plain-toe loafers
  • Black dress socks
  • Black acetate wayfarer-style sunglasses

Do Yourself a Favor and…

Buy the movie and, for cryin’ out loud, listen to Johnny Cash!

If you’re ever in the Pittsburgh area, friends of mine host Johnny Cash Day at the Elks Club on the North Side every September. More information is available on their Facebook page, but I can personally say that it’s an incredible event that celebrates his life, music, and style… plus there’s cheap beer and awesome bands. Even if you’re not in Pittsburgh, you should come to Johnny Cash Day.

The Quote

January 13. I’ll be at Folsom Prison with June and the boys. You listen to the tapes. You don’t like ‘em… you can toss ‘em.

Just Curious…

Even Johnny Cash celebrated with birthday cake!

Even Johnny Cash celebrated with birthday cake!

The French Connection – Popeye Doyle’s Light Brown Suit

Gene Hackman as "Popeye" Doyle in The French Connection (1971).

Gene Hackman as “Popeye” Doyle in The French Connection (1971).

Vitals

Gene Hackman as Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle, gruff NYPD narcotics detective

Brooklyn, December 1970

Film: The French Connection
Release Date: October 9, 1971
Director: William Friedkin
Costume Designer: Joseph Fretwell III

Background

To celebrate this weekend’s Academy Awards ceremony, BAMF Style is looking at The French Connection, which took home five Oscars in 1972 including Best Picture and – for Gene Hackman’s portrayal of unorthodox narc “Popeye” Doyle – Best Actor. It was the first R-rated movie to win the coveted Best Picture award, and its gritty realism set the tone for one of the greatest decades in American filmmaking.

(Unfortunately for this year’s Best Picture winner, I don’t see writing about Michael Keaton’s tighty-whities anytime in the near future.)

A few months ago, I wrote a post about Doyle’s off-duty attire during the film’s famous car chase. With only a few exceptions, Popeye spends most of the film wearing a wrinkled suit and his now signature porkpie hat, often layering up with enough outerwear to keep him warm during the cold Brooklyn winter.

What’d He Wear?

After we first meet Popeye while sporting his red Santa suit and beating up some local toughs, we next see him at the station dressed in more conventional cop attire – a suit and tie. This suit is a warm light caramel shade of brown and is more a throwback to the slim ’60s than the excessively wide ’70s, which was still not uncommon in 1971 (especially for an old-fashioned roughneck like Popeye Doyle).

The jacket is single-breasted with slim notch lapels and a low 3-button front. It has a welted breast pocket, flapped straight hip pockets, padded shoulders, 2-button cuffs, and a short rear vent.

FConLB-CL-jkt1

Popeye’s matching suit trousers are flat front with cuffed bottoms that break high over his shoes. They are held in place by a dark brown leather belt with a small brass clasp.

Popeye stares at a garbage can, truly fascinated by its majestic beauty.

Popeye stares at a garbage can, truly fascinated by its majestic beauty.

Popeye always wears a white dress shirt with his suits, although he rarely has it buttoned up to the slim, spread collar. His shirts have front plackets, breast pockets, and squared cuffs that close on a button. They tend to “rumple” out over the low rise of his trousers.

Popeye takes in the local bar scene.

Popeye takes in the local bar scene.

Three different ties are seen with this suit. The first is a slim silk dark brown tie with three diagonal stripes crossing from right-down-to-left in the center. The top stripe is gold while the two thinner stripes beneath it are cream.

Popeye at the station.

Popeye at the station.

Popeye’s second tie is busier (or “frantic”, as Roger Moore’s Bond would describe it) with a salmon, pink, and white pattern of intercrossing stripes. Finally, the third tie worn with the suit is plain dark red.

FConLB-CL-tie23

He wears two pairs of brown shoes with the suit. The first pair seen are the same light brown suede 2-eyelet chukka boots that he wears in the famous chase sequence with his pea coat. When he spiffs up for the bar room raid, he wears a pair of well-worn dark brown leather plain toe bluchers. He always wears high black cotton socks, ignoring the standard sartorial practice of matching socks to trousers… not that he’s the type who would care about that anyway.

Popeye's .38. Now you see it... now you don't!

Popeye’s .38. Now you see it… now you don’t!

He carries his 2″-barreled Colt Detective Special .38 on a dark brown leather ankle holster, strapped to the outside of his right ankle.

This suit is introduced in tandem with Popeye’s iconic porkpie hat. Forty years before the world had ever heard of Heisenberg (or at least that Heisenberg), Popeye Doyle was cleaning up the streets of New York City with a dark brown felt porkpie on his head. A brief flash of the white inner lining at the bar shows what is likely a manufacturer’s label and a size tag… perhaps reading 7 3/8?FConLB-CX-hat

 

Can any eagle-eyed readers figure out the maker of Popeye’s hat?

Popeye’s wristwatch is a gold Timex Marlin, identified by the guys at Watches in Movies. It has a white analog dial and is worn on a gold expanding bracelet. According to marketing of the era (and earlier), the Marlin was a basic watch designed for more rugged blue-collar types like mechanics or farmers. It’s certainly a good choice for a no-frills tough guy like Popeye Doyle.

Popeye tracks his prey.

Popeye tracks his prey.

As the story takes place around Christmas, Popeye’s many stakeouts are conducted in cold weather. He bundles up with a knee-length topcoat in dark brown wool with a 3-button, single-breasted front. The sleeves are half-cuffed with a single non-functioning button. Like the suit jacket he wears underneath, it has slim notch lapels.

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When it is especially cold, Popeye dons a pair of dark brown cotton gloves and a gray herringbone scarf with frayed edges.

Popeye in stakeout mode.

Popeye in stakeout mode.

How to Get the Look

Sean Connery may have slept in his suits to prepare for his role as James Bond, but Popeye Doyle’s suits actually look slept-in. If you’re going for that “I’m wearing a suit and I don’t give a good goddamn who knows it” look, Popeye is your guy to emulate. You just may want to consider cutting back on the racial epithets.

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  • Light caramel brown suit, consisting of:
    • Single-breasted jacket with slim notch lapels, 3-button front, welted breast pocket, flapped hip pockets, 2-button cuffs, and single rear vent
    • Flat front low rise trousers with belt loops and turn-ups/cuffed bottoms
  • White dress shirt with slim spread collar, front placket, breast pocket, and squared button cuffs
  • Slim silk necktie
    • Popeye wears a variety of ties with this suit including a salmon cross-striped tie, plain dark red tie, and a brown tie with center stripes
  • Dark brown leather belt with brass clasp
  • Brown laced shoes
    • Popeye wears both light brown suede 2-eyelet chukkas and a dressier pair of dark brown leather plain toe bluchers
  • Black cotton high rise socks
  • Dark brown felt porkpie hat with wide ribbon and white lining
  • Dark brown wool knee-length single-breasted topcoat with slim notch lapels, 3-button front, flapped hip pockets, half-cuffed 1-button sleeves, and single rear vent
  • Gray herringbone wool scarf with frayed edges
  • Dark brown cotton gloves
  • Timex analog wristwatch with white dial on expanding gold bracelet
  • Brown leather RHD ankle holster, for 2″-barreled .38 revolver

Do Yourself a Favor and…

Buy the movie. Also, if you’re a fan of Gene Hackman’s acting – have you ever read one of the books he’s authored? He’s actually a pretty good fiction writer! I read Pursuit at the beach last summer and certainly plan on reading more.

The Quote

All right! You put a shiv in my partner. You know what that means? Goddammit! All winter long I got to listen to him gripe about his bowling scores. Now I’m gonna bust your ass for those three bags and I’m gonna nail you for picking your feet in Poughkeepsie.

I thought Santa was supposed to be jolly.

I thought Santa was supposed to be jolly.

Lee Marvin’s Gray Flannel Suit in Point Blank

Lee Marvin as Walker in Point Blank (1967).

Lee Marvin as Walker in Point Blank (1967).

Vitals

Lee Marvin as Walker, revenge-driven armed robber

San Francisco to Los Angeles, Summer 1967

Film: Point Blank
Release Date: August 30, 1967
Director: John Boorman
Costume Designer: Margo Weintz

Background

Today in 1924, one of the ultimate classic movie tough guys, Lee Marvin, was born in New York City. After serving with the Marines in the Pacific Theater during World War II (and receiving a Purple Heart among other commendations), Marvin fell into acting and eventually became a household name as Chicago cop Frank Ballinger on M Squad, the show best lampooned by Leslie Nielsen and the ZAZ gang in 1982’s short-lived but brilliant Police Squad!

Having achieved fame through acting, Marvin took his distinctive voice and badass demeanor to starring roles on the silver screen, culminating in 1967 with back-to-back badass hits The Dirty Dozen and Point Blank. The latter film was the first cinematic adaptation of Donald E. Westlake’s crime thriller The Hunter (written under the nom de plume Richard Stark). The novel itself was a massive success, and Westlake catapulted his stand-alone book about the criminal Parker into an eventual 24-book series that lasted until Westlake’s own death in 2008. In that time, The Hunter had been adapted into two films: Point Blank in 1967 and Payback in 1999.

Although it was more or less overlooked at the time of its release, Point Blank has been more and more regarded with each passing decade, with film historian David Thomson referring to the “masterpiece” as both a “cool, violent pursuit film” and “a wistful dream”.

The beginning of Point Blank finds Marvin’s character, renamed Walker, abandoned on Alcatraz Island after a heist involving his wife and her lover (ugh, hate that word). Walker patches himself up, suits up, and goes after “The Organization”, a shadowy group that his wife’s lover (eek!) has bought his safety from using the ill-gotten gains from the heist. Receiving a boost in the right direction from a mysterious benefactor named Yost, Walker heads first to L.A. to track down his double-crossing ex-wife, Lynne.

What’d He Wear?

For a man on the run, there’s no denying that Walker is well-suited, wearing at least three different suits and two sharp sport coats during the duration of Point Blank. After his recovery, Walker sets off on his mission. He’s all business, and he shows it by dressing in gray – the traditional color of the American businessman. His suit is far from traditional, however, with its military-like cut and details like the symmetrical chest and hip pockets that evoke the 4-pocket front of the classic U.S. Army dress tunic.

Yost and Walker.

Yost and Walker.

The suit, constructed of light gray semi-solid flannel, has a single-breasted jacket that fits comfortably on Marvin’s athletic 6’2″ frame. It has notch lapels that roll easily down to the second button of the 3-button front. The two cuff buttons are light gray plastic to match those on the front of the jacket.

The most distinctive aspect of the jacket are the two patch pockets on each side of the chest; typical suit coats have only one breast pocket – on the left and usually welted. It also has flapped straight hip pockets and a short single rear vent.

Walker - at leisure and in action.

Walker – at leisure and in action.

The structure of the jacket perfectly flatters Walker for whatever situation he finds himself in. When he wants to look formidable, he stands with the button fastened and elicits a military-esque image. When he is tired and relaxed, he unbuttons the jacket and leans back against Lynne’s couch, looking more casual than sloppy and still every bit as fashionable.

His trousers have a clean, minimalist look with a fitted, low rise waistband devoid of belt loops and fastened by an extended square tab with a hook closure in the front. The side pockets are situated along each seam and the rear pockets are jetted with no visible buttons. They are flat front with plain-hemmed bottoms with no cuffs, buttons, flaps, or folds breaking the trouser line.

Although Walker doesn't do his trousers any favors by sleeping in them.

Although Walker doesn’t do his trousers any favors by sleeping in them.

Walker’s shoes, a pair of dark brown leather medallion wingtip bluchers, are briefly seen as he kicks his way into Lynne’s apartment. We get a better look at these shoes two suits later when Walker is conning his way into mob boss Carter’s office… but I’ll cover that suit later.

Lynne's rough day is just beginning.

Lynne’s rough day is just beginning.

Walker wears a pair of regular black socks. Since his trousers are gray and shoes are brown, I would have worn a pair of gray socks instead, but I wasn’t the film’s costumer (in fact, Margo Weintz was uncredited for her work on Point Blank so it would make sense if you didn’t know who the costumer was). This isn’t necessarily an error as it’s just the man’s choice, but there is a slight technical error with the film when we hear his shoes clicking around as he walks around Lynne’s hard tile floor… in only his socks.

Walker finds himself in an unenviable position.

Walker finds himself in an unenviable position.

Interestingly, he wears a pair of gray socks the next day… but with a blue mohair suit.

When we first see Walker on the ferry from Alcatraz, he wears a light gray shirt and slim black tie (as seen in some of the above screenshots). By the time he reaches L.A., Walker has changed into a pale blue cotton poplin shirt with a spread collar, front placket, rear darts, and squared 1-button cuffs.

This may not be the most comfortable resting position, but it sure as hell beats the floor of a cell at Alcatraz.

This may not be the most comfortable resting position, but it sure as hell beats the floor of a cell at Alcatraz.

He also wears a different slim necktie, this time in blue-gray silk.

Like any good houseguest, Walker puts down his .44 Magnum after he's finished using it.

Like any good houseguest, Walker puts down his .44 Magnum after he’s finished using it.

As one would expect, Walker is a man of few accessories. He removes his only piece of jewelry – his plain gold wedding band – to place it on Lynne’s hand after (SPOILER ALERT!) her overdose.

If only Jim Morrison had watched and learned from Point Blank...

If only Jim Morrison had watched and learned from Point Blank

Go Big or Go Home

…especially if you can get home from Alcatraz. In fact, this was the first major movie to film on Alcatraz Island after the prison was closed four years earlier in 1963. If you’ll note (as Steven Soderbergh does in the commentary), the shots of Walker swimming from the island are juxtaposed with the ferry loudspeaker explaining just how “impossible” it is to leave the island. By presenting its main character literally doing something just said to be physically impossible, the film manages to tell us plenty about Walker rather than needing some cheesy expository dialogue like, “Boy, that Walker guy sure is tough!”

The sequence continues to show his toughness, as he manages to elicit a full, teary confession from Lynne without saying a word… or even looking at her.

How to Get the Look

Walker shows us that just because a man is a badass doesn’t mean he can’t be fashionable. With unique touches like the suit jacket’s double breast pockets and fitted trousers, Walker obviously cares about his appearance without being that guy that spends an extra two hours in the bathroom each morning. (We all know that guy. And we don’t like him.)

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  • Light gray semi-solid flannel suit, consisting of:
    • Single-breasted jacket with notch lapels, 3-button front, patch breast pockets, flapped straight hip pockets, 2-button cuffs, and short single rear vent
    • Flat front low rise trousers with fitted waistband, on-seam side pockets, jetted rear pockets, and plain-hemmed bottoms
  • Pale blue cotton poplin shirt with slim spread collar, front placket, rear darts, and squared 1-button cuffs
  • Blue-gray silk necktie
  • Dark brown leather medallion wingtip balmorals
  • Black dress socks
  • Plain gold wedding band

The Gun

Walker’s “sword of revenge” throughout Point Blank is a Smith & Wesson Model 29, the classic .44 Magnum revolver that would go on to cinematic infamy as Dirty Harry’s “most powerful handgun in the world”. Unfortunately for Smith & Wesson, the film didn’t have quite the booming effect on sales that Dirty Harry would, and the firearms manufacturer was forced to suffer through four more years of the average Joe not caring about its most powerful production revolver.

Walker and his gun show Lynne who's boss.

Walker and his gun show Lynne who’s boss.

The Model 29 carried by Walker has a 4″ barrel, and – unlike the film Payback – we’re not made privy to exactly how Walker acquires it. It’s likely that it was given to him by Yost, who later reveals his own reasons for bankrolling Walker’s revenge. According to Lee Marvin, he faked the recoil when firing the .44 Magnum blanks at Lynne’s bed, but later discovered – while filming at Alcatraz – that he experienced no recoil at all when firing it with live ammunition. Marvin reportedly told Boorman that, “Fiction overtakes reality.”

With a muzzle flash like that, I'd probably assume the gun had a kick to it, too.

With a muzzle flash like that, I’d probably assume the gun had a kick to it, too.

As I have yet to read Westlake’s source novel The Hunter, can anyone tell me who has read it what firearm(s) Parker uses in the book? Just curious!

(Some debate exists on whether or not Walker carries the .44 Magnum Model 29 or the .357 Magnum Model 19. I tend to believe that it’s the Model 29, and statements from both director Boorman and Lee Marvin substantiate this. Either way, it would make sense that a powerful man would use such a powerful cartridge, wouldn’t it?)

What do you say, gang? .357 or .44?

What do you say, gang? .357 or .44?

Do Yourself a Favor and…

Buy the movie. I have a feeling I should read The Hunter as well.

The Sopranos: Christopher’s Red Sport Coat

Michael Imperioli as Christopher Moltisanti in "A Hit is a Hit", episode 1.10 of The Sopranos.

Michael Imperioli as Christopher Moltisanti in “A Hit is a Hit”, episode 1.10 of The Sopranos.

Vitals

Michael Imperioli as Christopher Moltisanti, Jersey mob associate and aspiring screenwriter

New York City, Spring 2000

Series: The Sopranos
Episodes: “A Hit is a Hit” (Episode 1.10) and “D-Girl” (Episode 2.07)
Air Dates: March 14, 1999 (1.10) and February 27, 2000 (2.07)
Directors: Matthew Penn (1.10) and Allen Coulter (2.07)
Costume Designer: Juliet Polcsa

Background

Although a bit late for this Valentine’s Day (and my self-proclaimed #MafiaMonday), this post explores a creative integration of red into a man’s outfit. While some – and, likely, most – will consider it over-the-top, the character in question isn’t exactly known for his good taste.

For date nights in New York City with Adriana, Chris likes to show off his gangster status by donning his two favorite wardrobe colors: red and black. The pairing of a red sport coat with black trousers and shirt evokes a look made famous by Robert De Niro in Casino. Given Christopher’s obsession with mob movies (and Martin Scorsese), it would make sense that he would choose to mimic an outfit from one of the best-known mob movies sported by the genre’s undisputed maestro.

What’d He Wear?

We first see Christopher’s red sport coat in “A Hit is a Hit” (Episode 1.10) after a particularly lucrative – and deadly – heist. After toasting glasses of champagne (which appear to be Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Heredad, a Spanish Cava) with Tony and Paulie, he leaves the two made men for his night on the town with Adriana La Cerva:

Rent. Fuckin’ broadway musicals. I mean, we’re all supposed to get all fuckin’ weepy eyed ’cause they turned off the heat in some guy’s loft?

The jacket itself is constructed of a soft, heavy material (possibly flannel or even cashmere) in deep red. It is single-breasted with peak lapels on a convex break line. The low 3-button stance consists of three dark red plastic buttons placed closely together, but Chris always wears the jacket open.

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Chris’ jacket also has padded shoulders, roped sleeveheads, and a ventless rear. It is styled very similarly to a suit jacket from the 1920s or 1930s, the dawn of the American gangster and a period that would be very alluring for the image-conscious Christopher.

The sport coat has a welted breast pocket and straight flapped hip pockets, although the flaps often tuck inside the pocket to show only the jetting. The lining of the jacket is an ornate gold paisley, and there are also inner pockets that close on a single button. In the brief shot of the lining and inside pocket, we are also given a glimpse of the manufacturer’s label. It’s too blurry for me to detect a name, but perhaps someone more eagle-eyed (or familiar) can make it out.

Any idea about the label?

Any idea about the label?

There is a small loop on the back of the jacket about an inch or so beneath the collar that resembles the “locker loop” seen on some original frat-tastic oxford button-down shirts. The purpose of this fabric ring on the shirts was to permit wearers to hang the shirt in a locker by the loop to prevent wrinkling.

Chris fails to charm the patrons of "Kansas Fried Chicken". Luckily, he's got Adriana on hand to win over the most prominent of them, a gangsta rapper named Massive Genius.

Chris fails to charm the patrons of “Kansas Fried Chicken”. Luckily, he’s got Adriana on hand to win over the most prominent of them, a gangsta rapper named Massive Genius.

I’m not sure what purpose this serves on this particular sport coat, as the wearer should know better than to hang it by the ring inside a locker. It’s especially interesting given their connotation as “fairy loops” (or worse) that such a masculinity-driven person like Christopher would have one on his jacket.

Christopher always pairs his red sport coat with a pair of black flat front trousers that have on-seam side pockets and plain-hemmed bottoms. They are worn with a standard black leather belt that closes in the front through a silver-toned rectangular clasp.

Yeah, Chris is really not good at making friends when in a multicultural setting.

Yeah, Chris is really not good at making friends when in a multicultural setting.

In both instances, Christopher carries the black leg line from the trouser to the shoes with a pair of black dress socks and heavy black leather split toe bluchers.

For the dinner and a show night in “A Hit is a Hit” (Episode 1.10), Christopher wears only a black shirt constructed of soft silk or microsuede. He wears it loose and open with the first few buttons of the plain (non-placket) front open to show off the various gold medallions entangled with his chest hair.

SopCMRed-CL-BlkShrt

The jacket’s next – and final – appearance, in “D-Girl” (Episode 2.07) finds Christopher and Adriana escorting Chrissy’s cousin Gregory and his fiancée – the titular “D-Girl” – out for drinks in Manhattan. Although it’s a less formal occasion than seeing Rent with Adriana, Chris dresses up a little more with a red shirt and tie.

Chris and Ade entertain their guests.

Chris and Ade entertain their guests.

This shirt is dark red silk with a slim spread collar, breast pocket, button cuffs, and – like the black shirt – a plain button-down front with no placket. His tie is more busy with a red silk ground and a white vertical motif of broken lines underlying a white diamond and a light blue diamond shape under it, slightly overlapped by the white diamond.

As usual, Christopher wears a white ribbed cotton sleeveless undershirt.

Chris' preference for the color red extends from his clothing to his choice of cigarettes; in the show's earlier seasons, he smokes Marlboro Reds.

Chris’ preference for the color red extends from his clothing to his choice of cigarettes; in the show’s earlier seasons, he smokes Marlboro Reds.

No pinkie rings for Christopher, although he certainly mobs up with gold accessories around both his neck and wrist. (Although he doesn’t wear a pinkie ring, he does briefly wear a gold diamond ring in “A Hit is a Hit” on the third finger of his left hand.)

His one constant piece of jewelry is a thin gold chain around his neck with a round saint pendant – St. Christopher, perhaps? In the first season, it is accompanied by a thicker gold chain with a large gold crucifix.

Luckily, Chris leaves the '70s look behind after the first season by ditching one of the chains and buttoning up.

Luckily, Chris leaves the ’70s look behind after the first season by ditching one of the chains and buttoning up.

Christopher also swaps out his gold wristwatches between seasons. In the first season, he wears a gold 18-carat Cartier Tank with a white square dial on a gold link bracelet. He replaces this in the second season with a gold Rolex DateJust on a mixed metal “Jubilee” bracelet. He would later switch back to Cartier in following seasons.

Go Big or Go Home

Or at least go home to this…

SopsChrisRed-LS-Ade

Gratuitous? Maybe, but who’s complaining?

How to Get the Look

A red sport coat isn’t for everyone, but Christopher Moltisanti wants the world to know he’s a gangster, and he’s not afraid to dress the part. In both episodes, it works to impress.

SopCMRed-crop

  • Red single-breasted sport coat with peak lapels, 3-button front, welted breast pocket, flapped straight hip pockets, 3-button cuffs, “locker loop”, and ventless rear
  • Dark red (or black) silk/microsuede shirt with spread collar, plain front, and button cuffs
  • Red silk necktie with white and blue diamond motif
  • Black flat front trousers with on-seam side pockets, belt loops, and plain-hemmed bottoms
  • Black leather belt with silver-toned rectangular clasp
  • Black leather split-toe bluchers
  • Black dress socks
  • Thick gold necklace with a large gold crucifix
  • Thin gold necklace with a round gold St. Christopher medallion
  • Gold wristwatch on a metal link bracelet
    • Chris wears a Cartier Tank in “A Hit is a Hit” and a Rolex DateJust in “D-Girl”

Do Yourself a Favor and…

Buy the entire series, because it’s brilliant. Christopher’s distinctive red sport coat only shows up in two early episodes, however: “A Hit is a Hit” (Episode 1.10) and “D-Girl” (Episode 2.07). Interestingly, both episodes prominently feature Chrissy’s attempts to break into the arts.

The Quote

The Sopranos doesn’t hesitate to fling mud at its celebrity cameos. After Adriana sings the praises of Swingers director Jon Favreau, one of “D-Girl”‘s many guest stars, Christopher responds with:

Swingers? He can suck my dick. That swings too.

Sonny Corleone’s Groomsman Tuxedo

BAMF Style looks forward to Valentine’s Day this weekend with an abbreviated Week of Weddings.

James Caan as Santino "Sonny" Corleone in The Godfather (1972).

James Caan as Santino “Sonny” Corleone in The Godfather (1972). This is a production photo; in the film itself, he pins a white carnation onto his left lapel.

Vitals

James Caan as Santino “Sonny” Corleone, hotheaded Mafia underboss

Long Island, NY, August 1945

Film: The Godfather
Release Date: March 15, 1972
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Costume Designer: Anna Hill Johnstone

Background

Sonny is a natural choice as a groomsman for his sister’s wedding. Not only did he introduce her to her new husband, but he’s the underboss of New York’s powerful Corleone crime family and not the sort of guy who would appreciate being left out.

Sonny is a busy guy on the wedding day. He has to be all over the place, from the parking lot to his father’s office while keeping tabs on his war hero brother, his wife, and his mistress. Of course, when the Don summons him, he’s never far away.

What’d He Wear?

The Corleone men – sans Michael – appear as a force to be reckoned with in their sharp black tuxedoes on the day of Connie’s wedding. While his father opts for a more old-fashioned look with his cran necker lapel jacket, Sonny and Fredo stay up to date by donning double-breasted dinner jackets that reached their pinnacle of popularity in the late 1930s and 1940s.

The Corleone men, all cleaned up.

The Corleone men, all cleaned up.

Sonny’s dinner jacket has a high-fastening 6×2 button front. He typically keeps the lower button fastened, although the strong structure of the jacket on James Caan’s athletic build keeps it from flopping over. The buttons are all black plastic, matching the three buttons on each cuff.

Sonny confronts a group of wedding crashers.

Sonny confronts a group of wedding crashers.

The dinner jacket has fashionably wide peak lapels with a black satin facing. To celebrate the occasion, a large white carnation is pinned to the left lapel. The heavily padded shoulders emphasize Caan’s imposing “bulk”. It also features a welted breast pocket, jetted hip pockets, and a ventless rear. Such a jacket would have been the epitome of style in 1945.

Sonny naturally wears a pair of black formal trousers with a black satin stripe down each leg. The on-seam side pockets break just behind the stripe; it is from this left side pocket that Sonny produces a wad of cash to condescending toss at a hapless photographer. The bottoms are plain-hemmed with no cuffs.

Sonny struts away after defusing the FBI situation in his own special way.

Sonny struts away after defusing the FBI situation in his own special way.

His shoes are black leather plain-toes, naturally worn with black dress socks.

Although a black satin cummerbund is correctly worn to cover his waist, Sonny relaxes a bit between meetings in his father’s office and pulls back his unbuttoned jacket, revealing the black leather ends of his suspenders holding up his trousers.

Though he's no slave to decorum, even Sonny knows the only time it's appropriate to let his sartorial guard down is in an informal setting.

Though he’s no slave to decorum, even Sonny knows the only time it’s appropriate to let his sartorial guard down is in an informal setting.

While less formal turndown collars and pleated fronts were coming into fashion for men’s formal shirts, Sonny sticks with the traditional stiff-front white shirt with a wing collar, single cuffs, and a plain front bib. When his jacket is buttoned, only one silver stud is available on the shirt front; three total can be seen above his waist when the jacket is unbuttoned. His cuff links are only briefly seen, but they are likely also silver to match his shirt studs.

Sonny ties a slim, adjustable black satin bow tie under his wing collar. The tie’s black adjuster can be seen briefly on the left side of his neck when he bends down to invite Lucy Mancini to an afternoon bathroom tryst.

Sonny makes an impromptu bathroom date with Lucy Mancini. What woman wouldn't be charmed by such a request?

Sonny makes an impromptu bathroom date with Lucy Mancini. What woman wouldn’t be charmed by such a request?

He accessorizes like any good mobster would, wearing a gold wristwatch and a silver pinky ring.

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Go Big or Go Home – Wedding Edition

The Venue

As discussed in the post about Vito Corleone’s wedding attire, the occasion is hosted at the Corleone family compound in Long Island, although the house was actually situated off Longfellow Road on Staten Island.

No family photo is complete without Diane Keaton.(Especially a family photo taken on a Goddamn compound.)

Of the men in this photo, only Michael and the three strapping young lads managed to survive up through The Godfather, Part III. Assuming that photographer kicked the bucket, of course.

Notable Guests

While everyone else is distracted by Frank Sinatra’s Johnny Fontaine’s surprise appearance (and performance), Sonny focuses on different surprise guests, notably the FBI guys taking down license plate numbers in the parking lot.

The women in Sonny’s wife also play a major role in the wedding. His sister is naturally the center of attention, and even his mother gets some time on center stage to serenade the group in Italian. His wife, perhaps a little tipsy, regales some of her female friends with some bragging about Sonny’s beef bayonet while he’s off putting it to good use with his mistress, Lucy Mancini. (According to the novel, this is the very occasion where he impregnates her with Andy Garcia his bastard son Vincent.)

Sonny's wife does some fine PR work on his behalf.

Sonny’s wife does some fine PR work on his behalf.

How to Get the Look

Although he is outspoken and flashy in his management style, Sonny chooses a slick yet traditional aesthetic for his formalwear.

GF1SCwed-crop

  • Black double-breasted dinner jacket with wide satin-faced peak lapels, 6×2 button front, welted breast pocket, jetted hip pockets, 3-button cuffs, and ventless rear
  • Black formal trousers with black satin side stripes, on-seam side pockets, and plain-hemmed bottoms
  • White plain front formal shirt with wing collar and single cuffs
  • Black satin adjustable bow tie
  • Silver shirt studs and cuff links
  • Black satin cummerbund
  • Black suspenders with black leather ends
  • Black leather plain-toe dress shoes
  • Black dress socks

Do Yourself a Favor and…

Buy the series.

The Quote

Goddamn FBI don’t respect nothin’.

Meeting Sidney Reilly – A Cream Suit in Baku

Sam Neill as SIdney Reilly in "An Affair with a Married Woman", the first episode of Reilly: Ace of Spies.

Sam Neill as Sidney Reilly in “An Affair with a Married Woman”, the first episode of Reilly: Ace of Spies.

Vitals

Sam Neill as Sigmund Rosenblum, later known as Sidney Reilly, Russian-born British Secret Service agent

Baku, Russian Empire (now Azerbaijan), Spring 1901

Series: Reilly: Ace of Spies
Episode: “An Affair with a Married Woman” (Episode 1)
Air Date: September 5, 1983
Director: Jim Goddard
Costume Designer: Elizabeth Waller

Background

Super Bowl XLIX viewers last Sunday surely didn’t miss the new trailer for Jurassic World, the newest entry in the franchise that began more than 20 years ago with Jurassic Park. Unfortunately, Sam Neill will not be reprising his role as Dr. Alan Grant in the newest film, so Neill fans itching to fill the void can revisit the brilliant 1983 mini-series Reilly: Ace of Spies.

Based on his own highly exaggerated recollections, the series begins with Reilly – ahem, Professor Rosenblum – riding a train through the outskirts of Baku, then a rapidly growing oil town in the Russian Empire. While the real Reilly’s confirmed activity in Baku at the time was dubious at best, the city was certainly essential to “The Great Game”‘s turn-of-the-century players. In fact, Baku’s oil boom led to a rapid population growth between 1856 and 1910 that bested London, Paris, and New York.

The series places its hero in Baku for one of his earliest missions, spying on oil fields for the British. After his train is delayed, he and his fellow passengers – an elderly cleric and his wife – are forced to stay at a nearby “hotel” while he and his possessions are investigated. “An Affair with a Married Woman” deftly weaves together some of the aspects of Reilly’s early life into one thrilling – albeit highly fictionalized – episode.

What’d He Wear?

The exact setting of the episode is hard to pin down. The opening titles tell us that this is “1901”, but the meeting in London – supposedly 17 weeks later – is in April 1901, thus placing the Baku scenes around December 1900. Baku enjoys a subtropical climate with cool winters, and the summer clothing worn by Reilly, Margaret, and the others would certainly be too chilly for temperatures around 45°F. It’s most likely that the date on the poster is an error; this scene is likely set closer to midsummer when temperatures in Baku average just shy of 80°F.

Reilly stands amongst the train's other passengers. Note that all appear to be dressed for July rather than December.

Reilly stands amongst the train’s other passengers. Note that all appear to be dressed for July rather than December.

Keeping this in mind, Reilly is nicely attired for a warm summer train ride. His traveling suit is a lightweight cream two-piece lounge suit with a slightly contrasting waistcoat.

Reilly’s single-breasted suit jacket has three widely-spaced light brown buttons down the front; he keeps only the top button fastened when he is not sitting. The 3-button cuffs match the buttons on the front. Reilly’s suit jacket has a single rear vent, natural shoulders, and roped sleeveheads. The edge-stitched notch lapels receive a further embellishment with a white daisy pinned through the buttonhole of his left lapel.

Reilly takes the cleric's younger wife into his confidence.

Reilly takes the cleric’s younger wife into his confidence.

The suit jacket’s welted breast pocket slants slightly toward the center, embellished with a taupe pocket square. The hip pockets have large flaps, as does the ticket pocket on the right side.

Reilly hides his incriminating documents in his hotel room's copy of the Quran.

Reilly hides his incriminating documents in his hotel room’s copy of the Quran.

The suit’s matching trousers are flat front with on-seam side pockets and plain-hemmed bottoms. We never see them without the waist covered, but they are likely worn with suspenders (or braces, Brits) rather than a belt.

Reilly wears a light brown vest (or waistcoat) with the suit. It is a simple garment with no lapels and six buttons down the front to the notched bottom. As usual, he wears his pocket watch in the vest’s lower left pocket with a chain across his waist.

Reilly1a-CL-vest

Reilly’s shirt is plain and white with a detachable club collar, fastened onto his neck by a gold collar button. Detachable collars like this were the norm during this era; in fact, shirts with attached collars would not become popular until several decades later. He wears a black silk necktie with a gold stickpin.

Reilly checks out his new digs.

Reilly checks out his new digs.

Reilly’s shoes are a pair of cream sueded leather 5-eyelet cap toe balmorals with cream socks nicely carrying the leg line from trouser to shoe.

Reilly1a-CL-feet

Appropriate for both the setting and context, Reilly completes his outfit with a straw Panama hat. The hat is constructed of light brown straw with a tall crown and wide dark brown ribbon. The brim curls up dramatically in the back.

Reilly establishes himself as a debonair force to be reckoned with.

Reilly establishes himself as a debonair force to be reckoned with.

These early scenes are the only appearance of Reilly’s cream suit. For the duration of his captivity in Baku, Reilly wears a striped light brown suit during the daytime and dresses for the evening in a sharp white tie ensemble that differs slightly from his evening wear ten years later in St. Petersburg.

How to Get the Look

Reilly travels in style, wearing comfortable layers despite the implied heat of the situation.

Reilly1a-crop

  • Cream 2-piece lounge suit, consisting of:
    • Single-breasted 3-button jacket with notch lapels, welted slanted breast pocket, flapped hip and ticket pockets, 3-button cuffs, and single rear vent
    • Flat front trousers with on-seam side pockets and plain-hemmed bottoms
  • Light brown single-breasted vest/waistcoat with 6-button front, welted pockets, and notched bottom
  • White dress shirt with French double cuffs and a detachable white club collar, secured with a gold collar stud
  • Black silk four-in-hand necktie
  • Gold stickpin
  • Cream-colored sueded leather 5-eyelet cap toe balmorals
  • Cream dress socks
  • Dulled silver pocketwatch, worn in vest pocket and attached to silver chain and silver shield-shaped fob
  • Taupe folded pocketsquare
  • Straw Panama hat with wide dark brown ribbon

A natty dresser like Reilly pins a daisy through his lapel buttonhole, nicely complementing the earth tones of his suit.

Do Yourself a Favor and…

Buy the series.

This suit is only seen in the first episode, “An Affair with a Married Woman”. At 79 minutes, this clocks in as the longest episode of the series but it’s worth watching and aptly serves as an introduction to both the shrewd Sidney Reilly and the changing nature of espionage in the early 20th century.