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The 5 Best Dressed Film Characters

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Be it lead singers of famous bands or men merely walking down the street, us gents take our fashion cues from all manner of subjects but perhaps the one man we admire more than any other is he who appears on the silver screen.

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As we sit there munching on the popcorn and sipping on either a coke or faux craft beer (depending on whether it’s a blockbuster or art house filming taking your fancy) there is quite often something beguiling, something mysterious, about the characters looming large above you.

Throughout the ages there have been numerous characters that have oozed styled which has leapt out from the big screen and on to the street; from the taciturn performance and that jacket worn by Ryan Gosling in Drive to any Bond character there ever was, we have all at one point or another taken a lead from some of films finest.

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If we did not grow up wanting to be sportsman or musicians, the only other option had to be film star. Let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to be chauffeur driven, drooled over by half the world’s female population or get paid millions to act alongside other famous people. Sounds like a hard life I know but then hey, someone’s gotta’ do it.

For all their fame, fortune and good looks, every great actor and every Oscar winning film they appear in, needs a great wardrobe. Could you imagine Indiana Jones without the fedora and brown leather jacket, or if the entire cast of Reservoir Dogs wore chinos and check shirts instead of those slim fitting black suits? It just wouldn’t have the same feel to it.

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Thanks to beady eye, cunning wardrobe designers and directors who take as much care and attention to the clothes as they do the script – Wes Anderson, Quentin Tarantino and Christopher Nolan to name but three – there’s a world of wonderfully dressed film characters who we could all learn a trick or two from. Here’s five you may or may not have heard of…

Dickie Greenleaf (Jude Law, The Talented Mr. Ripley):

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It didn’t matter if he was wearing an open linen shirt with those short 1950’s shorts, a black polo shirt with white chinos or a navy blue button up blazer and pinstripe shirt, Dickie Greenleaf personifies how to dress well. Nothing is overplayed and yet he demands your attention with the clothes he wears. From fine tailoring to beach slacks, all of us should adopt a bit of the Greenleaf swagger.

club monaco blazerridley linen shirtspima cotton shirts

ralph blend chinoswhite shorts chinosapproval loafers

Withnail (Richard E. Grant, Withnail & I):

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Part tramp, part bohemian, part actor, this may not be the look for everyone but there is something very much endearing and eloquent about poor old Withnail. From the long Mac reminiscent of a Burberry classic, the scarf thrown somewhat haphazardly over the shoulder, the cords and the brown brogue boots, the thespian in Withnail should be seen in us all.

gabardine coatslevis made crafteddonegal trousers

bailey missus leatherbrushed dark scarfsetro modal scarfs

Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas, Wall Street):

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This is power dressing at its best and a look so synonymous with the money ridden 80’s, the blue and white stripe shirt and braces immediately recall a time of wealth and greed.

However, while in these times of recession we might want to play down on this look a little, the elements with the clothes are still applicable in the way city gents dress today. Maybe go for a slimmer pair of braces, a more refined tie and definitely leave out the cigar.

checked blue shirtsdrakes bracesmini jacquard ties

tailored prince trouserlarsson watcheslayton leathers

Rusty James (Matt Dillon, Rumblefish):

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When it comes to the movie star rebel it would have been easy to pick James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause or Marlon Brando in On The Waterfront but the white vest, open black shirt, washed black jeans and beaten up trainers (reminiscent of the Adidas Stan Smiths or Common Projects Achilles low) sported by Matt Dillon in this tale of teenage angst are more rebellious than either of the aforementioned movie stars.

biker mcq jacketsneighbourhood porterdylan black jeans

stan adidasred bandanatone chain bracelet

Fantastic Mr. Fox (voiced by George Clooney, Fantastic Mr. Fox):

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Ok, ok, forget that he is a fox and forget that he is a stop-animation character; Mr. Fox is one of the most dapper ‘men’ living above or below ground level anywhere in the world. The high hem on the trousers is bang on trend, the short sleeve, crisp white shirt with the single breast pocket is both formal and casual while the corduroy blazer and mustard jumper are perfect for the cold winter weather. Yes, he’s a fox but this is a fox who can dress.

berluti jacketsbrown blend trouserscable brown jumpers

white grandad shirtscharvet wool tiesbrogues tan leather

A Final Word…

Let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to be leading star in the Hollywood lights? From Charlie Chaplin to Brad Pitt, the stars of the big screen have been revered by people of all ages and shall continue to be until the end of time.

No one goes to the cinema just to see the clothes but from Leo in Wolf of Wall Street to Brad Pitt in Snatch, whether they are suited and booted or wearing a vest and ripped jeans, the clothes they adorn say so much about who their character is. If actors make the film, it’s the clothes that make the man.

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Robbie Canale
Robbie Canale

Robbie Canale is a freelance writer and stylist with a passion for football and fashion, two genres he knows should never go together! He has contributed to publications including Harper's Bazaar Arabia, GQ Dubai and Pickles football magazine.

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