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

  1. T. Stover says:

    Great site; truly you have a keen eye for the beauty of fine clothing and style!! It’s a privilege in not only knowing you but yet being able to learn from you!

  2. Kevin Davis says:

    Mr. Gresham, you have successfully highlighted the major cinema productions that serve as beacons for the sartorially savvy community. As always, your insightful perspective on men’s clothing, your prowess of the characteristics of a true gentleman and his social graces are always appreciated. Cudos to you for sharing with us as you do. As the dying breed of true gentleman dissipate, may your decision to share as you do bring life to inner “dandy” in many.

  3. Eric Montgomery says:

    Bravo! This list certainly represents a fine selection of movies that highlight the finest looks in menswear. There are a few others that deserve recognition as well, namely: Wall Street II, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Yellow Rolls Royce and The Women to name a few. Continue to spread the “sartorial gospel” my friend!

  4. Georgia Mangaroo says:

    A delightful, informative memory teaser of movies that speaks of sophistication, character and confidence. I have seen most, some i’ve watched repeatedly…
    However, my ultimate favorite was not mention; THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA(2006). The movie was set in the fashion world. Many designers and other fashion notables allowed their clothes and accessories to be used in the film, making it the most expensive costumed film in history.
    I know…..I Am suppose to just leave a comment; But I cannot go without making reference to my special excerpts in the script….
    Meryl Streep(Miranda Priestly):
    Miranda and some assistants are deciding between two similar belts for an outfit. Andy sniggers because she thinks they look exactly the same. Miranda looked at her… Something funny? Andy Sachs: No. No, no. Nothing’s… You know, it’s just that both those belts look exactly the same to me. You know, I’m still learning about all this stuff and…
    Miranda: This… stuff’? Oh. Okay. I see. You think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select… I don’t know… that lumpy blue sweater, for instance because you’re trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don’t know is that, that sweater is not just blue, it’s not turquoise. It’s not lapis. It’s actually cerulean. And you’re also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves Saint Laurent… wasn’t it who showed cerulean military jackets? I think we need a jacket here. And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. And then it, uh, filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic Casual Corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and it’s sort of comical how you think that you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you’re wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room from a pile of stuff.

    LEONARD; you’ve crafted yourself to be a polished dandy in every respect!

  5. Clifford Baxter Murray says:

    I would agree with so many of the aforementioned movies for depicting dress and style as well; however, there is one I would like to add to the list. In 1984,Tom Selleck plays a U.S. spy in a World War II espionage Germany setting in the movie “Lassiter”. Tom certainly rocks the hell out of a fedora and suede shoddings. The formal attire strikes the correct cord as well. Check out “Lassiter” and keep doing your thing Leonard.

  6. The blog is fantastic Leonard!!! There are several movies that have impacted me with varying components of style related to both men’s and women’s fashion. My list includes:
    1. James Bond – All Roger Moore & Sean Connery era Bond flicks
    2. James Bond – Daniel Craig in Quantum of Solace and Skyfall began his era of
    wearing Tom Ford. Exquisite fit. Beautiful suits.
    3. Devil Wears Prada – Can’t overlook it on the womenswear side. Miranda Priestly
    is a film character that is just hard to forget, and its just a fun fashion movie.
    4. The Great Gatsby and the 2013 Remake – Both very stylish. Remake was a bit
    over the top and i loved every exaggerated minute of it.
    5. Alfie – Jude Law’s Alfie!
    6. Harlem Nights – (Loved it!)
    7. Idlewild – One of the coolest movies for cinematography and fashion.
    8. ALL THINGS CARY GRANT & FRED ASTAIRE! THATS MY ERA! (20,s 30s &
    40s).

    DOCUMENTARIES:

    9. Valentino: The Last Emperor (One of the BEST of all times) to indulge in pure
    elegance for an hour and a half!!!!!!
    10. The September Issue – A real look into the world of Vogue Editor Anna Wintour,
    and the creation of their 2011 or 2012 September issue of Vogue Magazine.
    11. A Man’s Story – A look into the world of the super talented, Saville Row
    menswear designer, Ozwald Boateng.

    TELEVISION:

    12. Suits – Main character Harvey Specter played brilliantly by actor, Gabriel Macht,
    is without question, the coolest, best dressed character on TV. His suits are
    impeccable. And the lead female character, Jessica Pearson, played by the
    beautiful and talented Gina Torres (wife of Lawrence Fishburn), is clothed so
    beautifully, that she makes her Scandalous counterpart ‘Olivia Pope’ look like
    she’s been bargain shopping at Potomac Mall!!! Sleeper show that is as stylish
    and sexy as it gets on TV. Damn, this show makes me miss New York.

    13. Boardwalk Empire – Some of the most beautiful clothing ever, and made in my
    backyard of Brooklyn by the illustrious Martin Greenfield. Brooklyn represent!!!

    14. Sex and the City – Just can’t mention fashion on TV without mentioning one of
    the show’s major characters created by the incomparable Patricia Field. Can’t
    say that SJPs Carrie Bradshaw put Manolo Blahnik on the map, as he’s been
    making some of the worlds sexiest shoes for as long as she’s been on the
    planet, but she definitely brought the brand to the mainstream, and definitely
    brought an onslaught of beautiful single women to NY, to live the Carrie
    Bradshaw dream.

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