Whenever we choose to dress better, we inevitably look to other men as our fashion examples. Maybe it was family or friends, but often we’re influenced by characters in movies or television, famous Hollywood actors in magazine pictorials, or musicians from your favorite bands. Every magazine has articles on their favorite best-dressed men, past or present, but we plan to do one better. Let’s not just talk about the men who wore the clothes; let’s talk about some of the clothes they wore. Hopefully some of these suggestions tickle your fashion-bone, and you can look even better than your style heroes.
The Beatles changed styles frequently throughout their career, navigating between classic, contemporary and hippie psychedelic fashion. But their shoe choice started a trend that has legs to this day. In their early years (Ed Sullivan Show era), you’ll see their iconic mop-tops, velvet collar suits, ties and their shoes: Chelsea boots, a slip-on boot without laces. The best modern choice of these boots is still the Liverpool by Allen Edmonds ($445). It brings the classic Fab Four style and adds impeccable construction and modern aesthetics. If you want to add more Beatles points to your look, grab the Hermes Tricot de Soie 2 Temps tie ($140). It’s thin and black, as per The Beatles, and it’s woven for added texture.
Arguably Marlon Brando’s most iconic look is from The Wild One, where he wears a simple white t-shirt and black leather jacket while perched on his Triumph motorcycle. Finding a great white tee is surprisingly difficult, since most are undershirts. Rivay, however, has nailed it. Their 100% Cotton Slub Jersey Pocket T-shirt ($45) is perfect. With its textured slub, slim fit, and the much-needed pocket, it will never look like an undershirt and will always look rebellious and cool. As for the jacket, there are many asymmetrical leather jackets, but the One Star Perfecto Leather Motorcycle Jacket by Schott ($735) is the jacket Brando brandished for the film. It’s the jacket. It’s made in the USA with a thick, heavyweight steer hide that will last the long haul. Now, just go find the motorcycle.
We all have our favorite James Bond actor. But regardless of who fits the role, Bond has always been on the bleeding edge of high fashion. His well-known tuxedo is a Bond staple, but his fashion sense also extends to his choice of watches. Throughout the films, Bond has either worn Rolex or Omega—most recently, the trend has been Omega. For Daniel Craig’s iteration, the choice was the Omega Seamaster 300 Master Co- Axial ($5,800), which was inspired by the watch issued to Britain’s Royal Navy in the 60s. The watch is well-made, luxurious and is essential for any serious watch enthusiast.
If you look at pictures of Al Pacino, you’ll immediately notice a trend. Pacino loves the color black. Whether it’s a sweater, t-shirt, or black-on-black suit, black is his color. And if black is your color, Ministry of Supply has you covered with their Apollo 3 Dress Shirt ($115). The shirts are made of some sort of magical unicorn material that is stretchy, breathable, comfortable and wrinkly resistant. While some companies don’t get the color black quite black enough, the Apollo 3 is very dark and saturated, and is the perfect Pacino piece.
Legions of style-conscious men have long been Cary Grant fans. He was an obvious choice for this article, because his fashion sense is still revered by many. The man knew how to wear a suit, our first suggestion. Grant liked gray, pin-stripe suits with broad, peaked lapels. And Tom Ford suits are the best choice here, marrying classic and modern—specifically the Grey Stripe Shelton Suit ($3,990), Cary Grant personified. Grant also loved smelling good, and the perfume house of Creed created a scent for him called Green Irish Tweed ($425)— which smells fantastic. Green Irish Tweed is a bright, fresh, green scent with notes of iris, verbena, sandalwood, and ambergris, and is one of the best masculine fresh scents in existence.
It seems that few actors can pull off the preppy-chic look quite like Warren Beatty. While Beatty is somewhat of a chameleon of fashion, his East Coast, Ivy League, elite style is a beloved classic. For this look, go with the Harding Reverse French Terry Crewneck Sweatshirt by Rivay ($118). This sweatshirt isn’t like the frumpy sweats you’re used to. It’s buttery soft, comfortable, and is easy to dress up with a polo or oxford, and dress down with some joggers. The natural white color gives it that extra uppity quality. Match this with a pair of Chromexcel Natural Boat Shoes from Gustin ($180), the best modern, preppy shoe out there, which will age and change color as you break them in—marvelous. Take this look to your second Cape Cod vacation home.
Many old-school jazz musicians were great dressers, and they mostly wore suits while playing. Miles Davis did too, but he also liked to dress down a bit in more relaxed attire. And he still looked snazzy. For this look, go with the Hudson Japanese Cotton Chambray Popover by Rivay ($148). It’s a mixture of dressy and casual, and looks great both ways. And it’s light and breathable, which is great for those sweltering barroom gigs. Davis was fond of wearing scarves, so for the full look, go get the Hermes H Cretois scarf ($740), made from cotton and silk. It’s the perfect, high-quality accent note to your jazzy look.
Some folks just aren’t city people. They revel in the slow time of the open prairie or pasture and they love western-styled apparel. Robert Redford personifies that guy. Though he dresses up just as fine as any city-slicker, his best style has always been a little bit country. Rivay’s Irving Indigo Denim Western Shirt ($148) is the perfect shirt here, being western in influence, but modern in application. Even if you’re a yokel not into cowboy hats, you’ll still love this tough shirt. Of course, you can’t have a cowboy without the boots. That’s why you need The Wyatt boots by Tecovas ($355). They feature handmade, high-quality cowboy boots, many of them made of exotic leathers. These are made from ostrich. Whether you’re a tenderfoot or a wrangler, you’ll want a pair of these. Both choices are fantastic, ensuring that perfect cowboy style is two whoops and a holler.