Inspiration, Sophistication, Style

“THE BEST MOVIES TO OBSERVE FOR STYLE, SOPHISTICATION AND DECORUM”

The Dandy Gent

The Dandy Gentleman

AS YOUNG MAN BACK IN THE LATE 1970’S AND EARLY 1980’S I WAS AN AIRMAN IN THE U.S. AIR FORCE WHO WAS RECRUITED TO  JOIN THE BASE’S GOSPEL CHOIR. I WAS INFORMED THAT WE WOULD HAVE TO WEAR A SUIT AND TIE TO TRAVEL TO OTHER CITIES WHERE WE WERE PERFORMING. WELL LIKE MOST OF THE GUYS MY AGE I HAD TRENDY CLOTHING BUT WAS A LITTLE LOST IN THE DECORUM OF ELEGANT DRESS. AS I WAS EVALUATING MY CLOSET I NOTICED ONLY ONE SUIT THAT WAS SEMI CONSERVATIVE SO A PUT IT ON AND WENT ABOUT MY BUSINESS. THERE WAS A FELLOW AIRMAN WHO WAS IN MY SQUADRON WHO HAD ON A TAILORED 3 PIECE SUIT, COLLAR BAR AND POCKET WATCH AND FOB. HIS NECKTIE WAS DIMPLED IN THE CENTER AND HIS BREAST POCKET WAS ADORNED WITH A POCKET SQUARE. HE MADE A SUIT LOOK HIP AND DARE I SAY; COOL. I THINK WE ALL HAVE TO ADMIT THAT IN OUR 20’S MOST OF US THINK OF A SUIT AS SQUARE AND TOO RESTRICTIVE.  I NEEDED VISUAL EXAMPLES OF HOW WELL A MAN COULD LOOK IN A SUIT. THIS IS WHERE MOVIES CAN BE OF GREAT ASSISTANCE AS WE REMEMBER MORE OF WHAT WE SEE THEN WE DO OF WHAT WE READ.

MY FAVORITE CARY GRANT MOVIE IS “TO CATCH A THIEF”.

To Catch A Thief

To Catch A Thief

IN THE FIRST SCENE JOHN ROBIE (CARY GRANT’S CHARACTER) HAS ON FOGGY GRAY FLANNEL TROUSERS, HORIZONTAL STRIPED CREW NECK SWEATER AND AN ASCOT OF FOULARD PATTERN AND BROWN SUEDE FOOTWEAR. BRAVO! BUT MY FAVORITE RIG WAS WHEN HE MET GRACE KELLY IN THE LOBBY OF THE  HOTEL AND HIS APPAREL  CHOICE WAS  A PEARL GREY SPORT COAT, SIMPLE WHITE DRESS SHIRT WITH POINTED COLLARS, CREAM GABERDINE TROUSERS, BLACK POLKA DOT ASCOT AND TEAK BROWN DRESS LOAFERS. ON; A WORD ABOUT THE BROWN SHOE. THE BROWN SHOE ESPECIALLY BROWN SUEDE IS THE FAVORITE OF ALL STYLE ICONS. WHY? BROWN COMPLIMENTS NAVY AND GRAY SUITS BETTER THAN DOES BLACK. THE RICH PATINA OF BROWN BRINGS OUT THE TEXTURES OF THE SUIT AND IMMEDIATELY FORCES THE ON-LOOKER TO AWARE OF THE WHOLE ENSEMBLE FROM HEAD TO TOE. I COULD WAX ON FOR DAYS ABOUT CARY GRANT BUT WE HAVE A LOT OF GROUND TO COVER. FRED ASTAIRE IS QUITE THE VISUAL STUDY FOR THE DANDY AS WE ALL KNOW.

"To Catch A Thief" movie still

Carry Grant “To Catch A Thief”

HERE WE WILL BE DISCUSSING THE FILM “EASTER PARADE” IN WHICH FRED ASTAIRE HAS USE OF MULTIPLE ENSEMBLES OF SUCH FLAIR IT ALMOST MAKES US FORGET ABOUT  HIS OTHER EPIC MOVIES LIKE “FUNNY FACE”, TOP HAT”, DADDY LONG-LEGS, ETC; ETC;.

Fred Astaire

“Easter Parade”

Fred Astaire

Fred Astaire

HE’S MORE RESPONSIBLE FOR US WEARING AND PAYING FOR ATTENTION TO OUR HOISERY THAN ANY OTHER SWELL. IN EASTER PARADE YOU SEE HIM WEARING THREE PIECE SUITS WITH DOUBLE-BREASTED WAISTCOATS, SPATS, BOUTONNAIRE’S, CHAPEAUS, POLKA DOT DRESSING GOWNS, CARRY A WALK STICK AND SHOPPING AS A WELL.

ROUNDING OUT THE LIST ARE;WALL STREET STARRING MICHAEL DOUGLAS

"Wall Street"

“Wall Street”

AS GORDON GECKO. THE ALL TIME POWER LOOK AND THE ULTIMATE POWER BROKER, INVESTMENT BANKER, CAPTAIN OF INDUSTRY ENSEMBLES EVERY ASSEMBLED IN ANY FILM. THE WARDROBE WAS MADE BY ALAN FLUSSER WHO IS THE AUTHORITY OF THE “POWER LOOK” AND THE MOST READ AUTHOR ON THE SUBJECT AS WELL AS A PERSONAL FRIEND AND COLLEAGUE.

alanflusser.com

“The Power Look”

“BUGSY” STARRING WARREN BEATTY IS DEFINITELY IN THE TOP FIVE FOR MALE ELEGANT ATTIRE EXAMPLES.

Warren Beatty

“Bugsy”

HOW COULD WE FORGET RALPH LAUREN’S MOVIE DEBUT “THE GREAT GATSBY” FILMED IN 1974 WHICH TO THIS DAY, WHICH WARDROBE STILL HOLDS UP NICELY.”

"The Great Gatsby" film still

1974 “The Great Gatsby”

GODFATHER PART III”  MADE THE LIST BECAUSE OF GEORGE  HAMILTON’S APPAREL.  A FILM MOST WOULD OVER LOOK IS “CHINATOWN” STARRING JACK NICHOLSON AS JAKE GITTES.

Jack Nicholson

“ChinaTown” film still

FOR A MORE MODERN ERA PICTURE CHECK OUT “THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR” WITH PIERCE BROSNAN. THE GREY GLEN PLAID HE WORE IS STILL BEING TALKED ABOUT IN THE CIRCLES OF GARMENTOS.

film still, Pierce Brosnan

“Thomas Crown Affair”

THE FILM “AMERICAN GIGOLO” STARRING  RICHARD GERE AS MUCH AS GEORGIO ARMANI WHO MADE HIS SPLASH TO AMERICAN SHORES IN A BIG WAY WITH THIS 1980 MOVIE.

Richard Gere

“American Gigolo” film still

THE MOST MEMORABLE SCENE WAS WATCHING JULIAN KAY GETTING DRESSED BEFORE MEETING ONE OF HIS CLIENTS. RARE IS IT THAT MEN GET THE CHANCE TO WATCH AND OBSERVE HOW TO ELEGANT ATTIRE ONESELF ON FILM.

"American Gigolo"

Richard Gere in Armani

HONORABLE MENTIONS GOES TO EDDIE MURPHY IN “BOOMERANG” WHICH IS A FILM THAT SHOWS THE VIEWER JUST HOW ELEGANT A GENT CAN LOOK WITHOUT WEARING A NECKTIE.

"Boomerang" film still

“Boomerang” film still

Eddie Murphy in "Boomerang"

Eddie Murphy in “Boomerang”

YOU CAN STUDY ANY HUMPHREY BOGART, EDWARD G. ROBINSON, MOST GARY COOPER, WILLIAM POWELL, DAVID NIVENS,  DOUGLAS FAIRBANKS  AND ADOLPH MENJOU FILM AND BE COMPLETED SATISFIED WITH HOW WELL TAILORED EACH ACTOR IS CLOTHED.

WHAT I WANT TO MAKE MENTION OF IS NONE OF THESE MEN WOULD BE CAUGHT DEAD IN  YOUR TYPICAL SOLID NAVY OR GRAY SUIT, PLAIN WHITE OR BLUE SHIRTS, RED OR BURGUNDY TIE. THAT’S SO PEDESTRAIN AND THE LOOK OF A SECOND-RATE POLITICIAN. VERY UN-IMAGINATIVE OUTFITS.

” SEEK TO HAVE A MORE THAN IMMODERATE INTEREST IN PERSONAL APPEARANCE AND MATERIAL ELEGANCE. FOR THE TRUE GENTLEMAN THESE THINGS ARE ONLY A SYMBOL OF THE ARISTOCRATIC SUPERIORITY OF HIS PERSONALITY. ABOVE ALL, HAVE A BURNING DESIRE TO ACQUIRE ORIGINALITY. IT IS A SORT OF CULT OF ONESELF. IT IS THE DELIGHT IN CAUSING ASTONISHMENT AND THE PROUD SATISFACTION OF NEVER BEING ASTONISHED.”

Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire

Images: movie stills from “To Catch A Thief”, “Easter Parade”, “Wall Street”, “Bugsy”, “The Great Gatsby”, “China Town”, “Thomas Crown Affair”, “American Gigolo”, “Boomerang” captured by me. Kindly link back to originator/copyright if you use any of these images.

Additional image credit(s) to gq.com, ew.com, alanflusser.com, vanityfair.com, cineplex.com, fanpop.com, wikimedia.org

Leonard R. Gresham

Leonard R. Gresham

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