When navigating the world of men’s fashion, you’re sure to come across certain iconic looks. These style statements — often driven by pop culture — stand out as pure representations of their respective eras. While many of these looks seem like they’re set in a specific place in time and hold little utility for your life, there are ways you can adapt these eye-catching fashion statements for your day-to-day wardrobe.
We tried a few below:
Felt Fedora – Harrison Ford, Indiana Jones
Beyond its place as a fashion staple in the ’40s, the felt fedora is inextricably linked to one of cinema’s most beloved adventurers, Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford). But can a simple piece of shaped fabric help you live up to Indy’s look? Depends on swagger. If you simply want to pay tribute to the famed fictional archeologist with a nod to his rugged masculinity, go with a brown felt fedora and pair it with t-shirt and jeans. This works as formalwear too, matched with a three piece suit.
Yes, yes, we know that fedoras in general are a tough sell, but the felt fedora is a different beast. Alas, as with any fedora, the crux of the matter is always the same: “Can you pull it off confidently?”
T-Shirt And Jeans — James Dean, Rebel Without A Cause
No look speaks to clean, simple fashion more than the basic t-shirt and jeans combo, and no one embodied it better than the patron saint of teenagers, James Dean. While Dean’s personal style always struck a balance between classy and understated, his stark white shirt and Lee blue jeans in Rebel Without A Cause has been fused into the cultural zeitgeist as quintessential male attire.
The most appealing part of the look is that it’s versatile and easy to achieve, so long as you focus on quality. A well-made t-shirt and a quality pair of denim jeans will bring the outfit together, and make it stand out as a dressed-down fashion statement, instead of a thrown-together outfit that looks like something you’re wearing on laundry day.
Denim/ Chambray Shirt – Paul Newman, Hud
Hud Bannon (Paul Newman) might not have been the most likable character, but he had a considerable amount of charm to offset his self-centered cynicism (thanks largely to Newman’s own natural charisma). The man could also wear the hell out of a denim shirt. These shirts are known for their more tailored fit, one that makes them look both rugged and stylish.
With minimal effort, you can find pull off a unique fashion statement that won’t seem out of place in the saddle on the high plains or against a bustling metropolitan skyline. And with the shirt’s recent renaissance surging through the fashion world, there’s no better time to capitalize on this trend and find the perfect denim snap shirt to suit you.
The Starched Collar Dress Shirt – Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Few recent shows have had such a drastic influence on the fashion world than Mad Men, and no character embodied its signature look than Don Draper (Jon Hamm). While his crisp white dress shirt was at the center of his wardrobe for much of the show’s run — he even kept a drawer full of them in his desk — Don’s look slowly evolved, reflecting the changing times around him. While you can get a lot of mileage out of a crisp white shirt with a starchy collar, don’t be afraid to embrace light colors, stripes, or other subtle patterns to add a little nuance to your suit on a whole.
You don’t need a three martini lunch or a swanky high-rise office to help emulate Don’s look. A good dress shirt with a strong collar is a crucial element that will bring a formal outfit together.
Racing Jacket — Steve McQueen, Le Mans
Another actor who helped define what was cool for a generation, Steve McQueen was also an avid racing enthusiast, both from the sidelines and in the driver’s seat. He even tried taking his passion to the silver screen with 1971’s Le Mans. While the film itself is mostly remembered as a cult classic, one aspect that’s managed to endure itself is his iconic white Gulf jacket, which itself has become something of a staple in the fashion world.
This isn’t the kind of thing you’ll be sporting at a suit-and-tie affair, but rather a sturdy, weather-resistant jacket that’s designed serves a utilitarian purpose and makes a unique fashion statement unto itself. It’s a must-have for those that choose to wear their passion on their sleeves.
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Chuck Taylors – Michael J. Fox, Back To The Future
When Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) travels back in time 30 years to 1955, everything about him seems out of place. That is, of course, except for his black Chuck Taylor high-tops. First introduced by the Converse Rubber Shoe Company almost a century ago, the brand is still known for a clean, simple design that’s instantly recognizable.
Converse has branched out in the years since Back to the Future, creating a variety of styles and colors that can suit any taste or moment. And with the shoe’s ties to culture and, in particular, rock and punk, there’s a bit of inviting mischief attached to the notion of wearing them with a suit or to the kind of occasions where sneakers might make others blanch.
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Wool Overcoat – Idris Elba, Luther
A grizzled detective who spends his time chasing his own demons as often as he’s chasing down leads, DCI John Luther (Idris Elba) does it all while wearing his signature tweed overcoat. Both suave and enduring, Luther’s coat has become somewhat an extension of his character. It’s an essential piece for any respectable wardrobe, and when finding the right coat for yourself, it should manage to be both stylish and durable, capable of taking through the drearier seasons for years to come — even if you’re not hunting criminals on the streets of London.
When choosing the right wool coat, keep in mind that it should fit comfortably over a blazer, while covering the cuffs of your shirt. The fabric can reach all the way to your ankles, which is a more traditional look, but a midrange length down to about your knees is an acceptable alternative, particularly if you have a somewhat slimmer build. Finally, the popped collar is optional, but encouraged.
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You'll get more wear out of your suit by wearing the jacket and pants separately. Kola dresses down his suit by wearing the pants with a casual henley, and camel overcoat. Get more style tips on the Odrin journal *link in bio* Shop Kola's looks online & at our @44_stanleyavenue showroom #OdrinMan #DressforSuccess #ResponsiblyMade . Suit: Odrin MTM suit in Navy Pinstripe Shirt: 100% cotton Odrin Twill Semi Spread Slim Fit in Navy Top: @merzbschwanen Short Sleeve Henley in Deep Black Coat: Odrin Made-to-Measure Double Breasted Wool Cashmere Coat in Camel Watch: @danielwellington Classic Watch in Black
Tinted Sunglasses – Brad Pitt, Fight Club
While most will point to Tyler Durden’s (Brad Pitt) red jacket worn throughout the film, (vaguely reminiscent of James Deans’ signature look) it was his red-tinted Aviator-style sunglasses that brought his deceptively fashionable hodgepodge of looks together. While Wayfarers are constantly at odds with Aviators as the world’s most iconic sunglasses, there’s a certain elegance to the Aviator’s fine metal frames that you won’t find with Wayfarer’s bulkier design.
For Tyler, it’s the cherry-colored accent that tops off his unique, stylish ensembles, and is the perfect accessory to add just the right amount of flair to an already stylish outfit.
Taken separately or mixed together, these looks belong in the wardrobe of any guy who considers himself stylish and timeless. You probably can’t be a movie star or a fashion icon, but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t conjure an image of one when you walk down the street.