No one defines “loud” in professional wrestling quite like Jimmy “The Mouth Of The South” Hart. From his ever-present megaphone, to his enthusiastic promos, to his garish color combinations, Jimmy Hart made sure that you noticed him from a mile away.
Very few of the staff at With Spandex know this, but I am a fashion expert and designer with Haus O’Connells’ in Los Angeles, New York City, London, Paris, Sydney and the International Space Station. My first introduction into the world of professional wrestling was as the exclusive designer for Randy Orton’s pants, which are one-of-a-kind, custom-made and currently out of stock. I call them “The Emperor’s New Tights.”
With my bonafides firmly established and in celebration of The Mouth’s 75th birthday, let’s take a moment to bask in some of the glorious sartorial splendor JImmy Hart chose to swaddle himself while he did what he does best: talk. After all, Jimmy Hart just isn’t Jimmy Hart without a spectacularly gaudy suit coat.
Here are The Top 5 jackets of Jimmy “The Mouth Of The South” Hart, and the outfits that went along with them.
5. A Touch Of Couture
It is fitting that Jimmy is aligning himself with Frenchmen here, considering the elegance of his bespoke jacket.
The white jacket with pink hearts in descending size upon the lapels. The tails signifying his masterful performances. The oh-so-slightly-short cuffs revealing a debonair gentleman unencumbered by such stuffy necessities as cufflinks. It reveals a man of sophistication who is not tied down to tradition.
Notice how effortlessly it pairs with the matching piano-themed sunglasses and tie. The understated choice to keep the white cummerbund clean is a master stroke in restraint.
4. Enter The Mega-Maniacs
Ah, the beginning of an era. The proof that Jimmy was not merely a “Spring,” as demonstrated here by adorning the colors of an endless summer.
The red and yellow signifying the power of the Sun. The airbrushed sleeves and torso invoking the caricature artists of the boardwalk, but also a titled nod to the graffiti youth culture in always-fashion-conscious New York. Form and function work perfectly in harmony here, as the cut of the jacket is tame by Hart’s standards, but the design pops with a certain “Look at me and regard me in all my garish regalness.”
Notice no matter how much Hogan tries to dominate the frame, your eye continues to be drawn to that wonderful jacket. You may flex to block his face, but you would need a python the circumference of the moon to eclipse a splendiferous jacket such as this one.
Jimmy Hart had several other airbrushed pieces commissioned over the years, with varying degrees of success, but credit must be given to his constant exploration of his muse. At least he wasn’t a coward like some aging fashionistas (Karl Lagerfeld, Steve Jobs) who locked themselves into a veritable panic room of a signature “look” and stayed there; their art shackled to their skin like so many dull black and white stripes of the couture convict.
3. James Ray Hart, Renaissance Man
Were you unaware that Jimmy Hart was a triple threat? Oh, it’s true. It’s damned true.
Here Jimmy shows of his vocal range, as well as the range of his wardrobe. Even the washed-out potato local access production value levels of this video cannot do damage to such a wonderful coat.
In beautifully uniform black and white leopard print, Jimmy is able to be the bridge between the Jungle Room aesthetic of Elvis Presley’s mansion and the new pop enthusiasm of the Rock ‘N’ Wrestling Era. Another nod is apparent to the burgeoning hip hop scene by the inspired choice to pair this jacket not only with his signature boogie-woogie piano tie and glasses, but also the adidas track pants favored both by boys who are occasionally Beastie and Fives who tend to be Furious. This is only made more obvious by Jimmy’s impromptu breakdancing. A special accreditation must go to Mr. Hart’s tailor for constructing a jacket that is equally at home at an awards show as it would be on the cardboard-lined streets of The Bronx.
Rick Springfield’s career ended this very night, and he was never heard from again.
2. The Original Velveteen Dream
Personal style is not created in a vacuum. While fashion icons and trendsetters like Madonna and David Bowie attempted many personae over the years (with various degrees of success), it is important to remember that their first foray into our consciousness manifested a large part of their vision, and they were both a product of their times and an improvement upon them.
Here is where Jimmy Hart’s true creativity shines. Early in his career and without access to the legal tender or upper echelon designers like myself, Jimmy Hart started simply but adroitly on his fashion journey.
Seen in the clip provided, Jimmy Hart aims for a “I see your Loggins/Messina and I raise you ten thousand” look and knocks it out of the park. Notice the child-sized white scarf carelessly draped over the crushed maroon velvet jacket, but neatly tucked into the lapels. The Billy Joel-inspired (“to” not “from” thankyouverymuch) skinny black tie on black matte shirt.
Accessories make the outfit, and the genius choice to pair this ensemble with smoked sunglasses, simple chrome crutches and three Cubic Zirconia Ric Flairs nearly screams, “Please punch me in the mouth and make all right with the world once again.”
Even “The King” himself cannot help but enter the scene and attempt to oblige the get-up’s siren song. Indeed Lawler’s rage is rendered impotent until he can rid Hart of his plush creamy coat, before he sends him tumbling over the understated oak announce table. If you need to see the clay that would eventually become a face on the Mt. Rushmore of wrestling managers, look no further than this opaque origin story of The First Family.
Standing next to Jimmy Hart here, Lance Russell looks like a philistine who wears white to a funeral. Disgraceful. I hope they have Men’s Fashion Box in Heaven, Lance.
1. The Beginning Is The End Is The Beginning
Ah, the pieces all come together. The return to the chrome crutch accessory, but now paired with the singular white suit with tails adorned with pink musical notes and cummerbund to match the smoky glasses and muted black button down shirt. The whole of Hart’s brilliant early career is assembled here in one unassailable outfit.
Look at the magnanimity on display here, as a stylistic genius of Hart’s stature offers to tailor (for FREE) the wardrobe for the next stage in the career of a man who thought the height of erudition was pairing a T-shirt from a Myrtle Beach surf shop with a kilt.
Like all true artists ahead of their time, Jimmy “The Mouth Of The South” Hart’s generosity is repaid here with the violence of those brutish simpletons who attack what they do not understand. The devil may wear Prada, but she never had to worry about being bodyslammed for mixing patterns.
Happy Birthday, Jimmy Hart. Here at With Spandex, we know the proper way to show appreciation for those at the peak of the profession.