Monday, April 19, 2010

The Thomas Crowne Affair, or Why You Should Emulate Pierce Brosnan When Wearing A Suit


I watched the 1999 remake of The Thomas Crowne Affair this past weekend. I know this isn't a film blog, but here's my review:

It was crap. True, you get to see Rene Russo's cans, but

A) They're not that spectacular, and

B) Her character sets feminism back oh, I don't know, about 100 years or so. She apparently can't be a serious businesswoman in the presence of a dashing, handsome rich man who happens to betray her trust over and over again. And the end scene where Pierce magically shows up on the plane to hand her a tissue as she begins crying because he hurt her yet again? That's so insanely farfetched it belongs in a romantic comedy. He might as well be god-damned Hugh Grant.

But I digress. The saving grace was Pierce's wardrobe. That son of a bitch can dress, and you can tell he took a couple of cues from Steve McQueen, pictured at the above right as the OG Thomas Crowne from the sixties' original. We're talking full-blown men's sartorial splendor, here. He's completely comfortable in his suits at all times, and while Messrs. McQueen and Brosnan probably achieved this by having bespoke suits made for them, you can closely approximate this by finding a good tailor who will do what you ask.

Pay attention to the details of the photos above, namely the following:

  • The collar of the jacket always allows for about 3/4" of shirt collar to show.
  • See the shirt cuff peeking out from the jacket sleeve? That's intentional, and it should be 1/4"-1/2" of cuff showing.
  • See the dent below the knot in the tie? It's called a dimple, and you should always have one. For a good instructional video, click here.
  • For a dash of elegance, throw on some French cuffs.
  • As far as pattern coordination goes, you can't miss with a muted suit, white shirt, and boldly patterned tie. Or, in the case of Steve McQueen, bold suit with muted shirt and tie.
  • Get yourself a decent-looking watch with a leather band.
  • If you're going sans tie, lose the t-shirt underneath.
  • Always, always, wear a pocket square with a suit jacket. It must never, under any circumstances, match your tie.
Guys, if you follow these tips, you will look better than 90% of the schlubs wearing suits. If you're bent on seeing Pierce's suits in action, it's worth it to rent the movie and pay particular attention to the first ten or fifteen minutes. Just keep it on mute and you'll be fine.

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