November 16, 2015

THE DAPPER MAN | From the Screen

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By JEFFREY BREUER

Inspiration can be a powerful driving force, leading us to take risks we thought we couldn’t deliver on. When we walk down Ho Plaza on a brisk Monday morning or watch television shows and films, we see people who “pull off” outfits, haircuts or even attitudes that we ourselves wish we could replicate. However, we rarely have the opportunity to do anything about it. In the realm of men’s fashion, plenty of movies and television series have tremendous wardrobes for their characters, which we can dissect and look to for fresh ideas. Here are just a few examples of such productions:

Photo Courtesy of Bold Films

Photo Courtesy of FilmDistrict

Bold FilmsDrive (2011)

This film serves as a great place to start for a few reasons, but is particularly strong in its ability to demonstrate the importance of the essentials. Throughout the movie, Ryan Gosling’s character, part auto mechanic and part getaway car driver, is a walking advertisement for American work wear. As a very underappreciated subgenre in men’s fashion and a personal favorite of mine, work wear shines through in Drive from the consistent use of denim to many scenes that simply show how to wear the hell out of a plain white t-shirt. Beyond the basics, this film also shows the power of building an outfit around a specific item. Gosling’s iconic scorpion jacket, while bold and flashy, works great on screen in part due to a very simple and subdued cast of supporting articles of clothing. Look to Drive for a foray into the nuts and bolts of what makes even the simplest outfit look developed.

 

Photo Courtesy of Netflix

Photo Courtesy of Netflix

Master of None (2015)

Set in New York City, Aziz Ansari’s Netflix-driven series has been a breakout hit in 2015. In each episode of the series’ first season, characters are dressed perfectly to popular aesthetics, wearing exactly what you’d think twenty-somethings would be wearing in a major metropolitan city. Without a doubt, Ansari and supporting male cast members embody a style ripe with attitude while emphasizing the basics as well, whether it is classic beige chinos or a well-fitted oxford shirt. Nike’s Killshot 2 makes multiple appearances throughout this first season, always as a perfect compliment. The boys over at Reddit’s r/malefashionadvice would be proud. Look to Master of None for a schooling in the modern men’s fashion gold standard in casual wear.

Photo Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Photo Courtesy of Warner Bros.

 

Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011)

We return to Ryan Gosling for our third example in the romantic comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love. While essentially a film about the complexities of relationships, this movie also has a strong tilt toward men’s fashion in a dedicated storyline in which Steve Carrell’s character, an out-of-touch father, is brought back in touch with his masculinity by Gosling. The film includes many appeals to developing confidence socially as well as sartorially, which really ties the film together for our purposes. Unlike Drive and Master of None, this film focuses more on formal wear, so this example’s day-to-day application might be lacking, but really instills a sense of purpose with regard to what we wear and how we are perceived. Look to Crazy, Stupid, Love for a reason to make “looking good” a priority.

Have a favorite style icon? Take a look back at their outfits on screen and see what made each successful and how you can bring that energy into your own clothing decisions.

Jeffrey Breuer is a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences. When he isn’t worrying about what he’ll be wearing tomorrow, Jeffrey can be found cheering on the Big Red at Lynah Rink or digging through books about Cornell’s history for interesting facts to annoy his friends with. The Dapper Man appears on alternate Mondays this semester. Jeffrey can be reached at jmb753@cornell.edu.

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