Style

The Costume Designer For ‘Knives Out’ Guides Us Through The Movie’s Iconic Style

I remember Rian said to me, “this guy for sure wears loafers.”
– Jenny Eagan, Costume Designer of “Knives Out”

Chris Evans throws up a killer performance as Ransom Drysdale in Rian Johnson’s new murder mystery Knives Out. Playing the smug, playboy grandson of the recently deceased family patriarch Harlan, he oozes that New England preppy vibe. Not just in his delivery, but also in his East-Coast-in-winter threads.

Award-winning costume designer, Jenny Eagan was the one entrusted by Johnson to outfit Evans in the proper attire. The official process was set to kick off with a one-on-one styling session between Eagan and the actor once they arrived in Boston, where the star-studded whodunnit was filmed, but according to Eagan, once she began walking around the location, she was already being pulled in a very specific direction.

“I was walking around the city and observing this very comfortable look,” says Eagan to Uproxx. She started adding to the wardrobe options she’d brought to town with her by poking into local retail shops and thrift stores, grabbing at anything that caught her eye. “I could see him wearing the things I was picking out. I was also lucky that Rian’s script had so much about these characters on the page.”

The look truly came together when Evans entered the room though, and Eagan notes that it is hard to find clothes that the movie star looks bad in. Still, there’s no doubt that the pieces that the stylist pulled were perfect for the character — because the Internet has gone into a frenzy over Ransom’s whole ensemble.

“I think an element of this process that could be mirrored in real life is the willingness to take a shot or to take a risk,” says Eagan, who has since received a nomination from the Costume Designers Guild Awards for the movie. “That is how we worked on this project. Sometimes you may not really know until you put it on, but when you do, it might all come together.”

We asked Eagen to help us break down Drysdale’s (Evans’) refined New Englander look below — just in case you’ve got some holiday money to play with.

THE SWEATER

Lionsgate

Get It: Heritage Sweater Irish Fishermans Crewneck (similar match)

EAGAN: I didn’t realize it was going to be a sweater game until we started putting them on him. I don’t remember the brands of them, because I was just grabbing so much from all over the place. The fact that it takes place on the East Coast really set a tone. I wanted him to feel very relaxed, as you can see he has a lot of attitude and is too cool for everyone.

He spends a lot of money on his clothes but he could care less about taking care of any of them. That is why I thought this cable-knit sweater looked great with the hole.

THE COAT

Lion

Get It: Vince Car Coat (similar match)

EAGAN: The coat can take you really far. The whole movie doesn’t take place over much time, and I wanted them to keep their same silhouette. We wanted you to know them. This is probably the only wardrobe item that we had more than one of, because the dogs jump on him when he first shows up and we were worried about it getting ruined or muddy. The coat in the movie is from Theory and it just worked so well, being so functional and looking great. He isn’t the kind of guy who does patterns or crazy colors with his bigger pieces.

THE SCARF

Lionsgate Movies

Get It: Metallic GG Wool Scarf (similar match)

EAGAN: I felt like for him the scarf pushed it over the edge, because everything else about him, even though it looks great, is so expected. I had spoken with Rian about having him wear a scarf. The first one that I brought by was a little simpler, and when I put it on Chris during the camera test he wasn’t feeling it. I picked up this one on passing when I saw it in the shop. There was something very rich and eccentric about it. I think it takes his entrance to a whole other level, because you are wondering, who is this guy?

THE LOAFERS

Get it: Gucci Jordan Leather Loafer

EAGAN: I remember Rian said to me early on that “this guy for sure wears loafers.” I don’t want to stereotype or anything like that, but for some reason that helped me out a lot, because I was able to picture this guy who wears really expensive loafer but treats them terribly. Sitting back, beating up the heels, of this $800 pair of shoes. You just know he throws them around too.

THE SUNGLASSES

Lionsgate Movies

Get It: Ray-Ban Round Metal Classic

EAGAN: Glasses of any kind can be difficult, as we all know even when purchasing for ourselves. But we tried several styles and those felt to be ‘Ransom’ very immediately when we landed on them.

BONUS: A PEEK INTO DETECTIVE BENOIT BLANC’S LOOK

Not everybody is a Ransom Drysdale, some of us are Benoit Blanc. The overcoat that the Southern detective wears while grilling the family members about their recently deceased elder is worth including.

THE COAT

Lionsgate

Get It: Brooks Brothers Golden Fleece Herringbone Topcoat

EAGAN: I didn’t know who was going to be playing that role, but I knew that he was going to be a Southern gentleman who was a bit off. Once I found out that it was Daniel, I had an idea of where I wanted to go. There is something timeless about Daniel, and the way that he was going to play the character, so we reached back into those old-era private eyes.

I had a fitting with Daniel in New York, and the jacket was on the rack with the others. It was one of those ones where he tried it on, and it just worked. It was from Brooks Brothers, and there was something so fitting about it. The majority of the look has this classic quality, but we threw in little elements like the colored ties and pocket squares to give him that essence of that Southern charm.

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