Introduction

Whether you’ve been a fan of him since his lovable alien days in 3rd Rock From The Sun, enjoyed his indie credentials in ‘Brick’ and ‘The Lookout’ or simply became one of the converted upon the release of ‘Inception’ or ‘(500) Days of Summer’, I think we can all agree on one thing. These days, Mr Joseph Leonard Gordon-Levitt has got style.

Not necessarily at the top of everyone’s list for Most Stylish Male, there’s a lot to be said for the simple understated style that Joseph tends to be a fan of. He’s not the largest, most athletic of guys, so the fact he understands how to dress his slender frame well is a huge achievement in itself. He has however been on plenty of GQ, Details and Esquire shoots and a couple of Band of Outsider campaigns – so he must be doing something right, right?

I would also like to point out that, unlike the other Style Icon articles, I’m going to cover the style of his two more famous roles – as Arthur from Inception and Tom in (500) Days of Summer – and try and break down how to get their style that had so many people talking.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt Style
Personal & Editorial

Joseph Gordon-Levitt Editorial Shoots

There’s something to be said for having a uniform and sticking to it. Not only does it make getting dressed that much easier but having a signature look means you can really start to develop your own personal style by introducing unique accessories and pieces.

When in a casual setting, Joseph tends to stick to a pair of fitted jeans, trainers and a t-shirt with some kind of pattern or pop of colour. This is the kind of outfit all of us can pull off and looks great on anyone so long as you nail the fit of the pieces and stick to classics like Levi’s 511s and Jack Purcells. The added bonus of dressing this way is that it’s easy to dress up; throw on a blazer, cardigan, over-shirt or a peacoat in the winter and you can’t go wrong.

As for formal events, he tends to stick with a suit, shirt and tie combo. For slightly more relaxed settings he loses the tie and/or swaps the jacket for a fitted jumper. And he always rolls the sleeves.

He keeps things simple and classic, often in cut and colour (navy, black, grey) but always adds an interesting spin to them – such as during the Inception premier at London where he wore a plaid suit, striped shirt and dotted tie. Pattern mixing or playing with textures is a great way to add individual and unique touches to your outfit.

He sure knows how to wear a suit and I think no one of a tall slender frame looks better than he does once tailored properly. Here are a few tips if you have the same body shape as Joseph and want to look just as stylish in a suit:

  • Avoid pinstripes but don’t be afraid of checks/plaids, they add girth. As does a double-breasted jacket.
  • Go with a wider lapel than normal and don’t be afraid of having some padding in your shoulders to add presence.
  • Use horizontal accents such as belts, folded pocket squares and tie bars.
  • Go for a three piece. (See section on Arthur.)
  • Straight shirt collars will suit your shape and break up vertical space.
  • Uniqlo Men Striped Short Sleeve T Shirt CUniqlo Men Striped Short Sleeve T Shirt C
  • Converse Jack Purcell Leather SneakersConverse Jack Purcell Leather Sneakers
  • Levis 511 Slim JeansLevis 511 Slim Jeans
  • Lyle & Scott Heritage Double Breasted Pea CoatLyle & Scott Heritage Double Breasted Pea Coat
  • Allsaints Ballast Charge JacketAllsaints Ballast Charge Jacket
  • Asos Slim Fit Check Suit Jacket In CharcoalAsos Slim Fit Check Suit Jacket In Charcoal
  • Topman Grey Bogart Three Piece Skinny SuitTopman Grey Bogart Three Piece Skinny Suit
  • Reiss Dynamic Double Breasted Blazer With Patch Pockets BlackReiss Dynamic Double Breasted Blazer With Patch Pockets Black
  • Farah Vintage The Brewer Oxford Cotton ShirtFarah Vintage The Brewer Oxford Cotton Shirt
  • J.crew Sterling Silver Tie ClipJ.crew Sterling Silver Tie Clip
  • John Smedley Lyndhurst Sea Island Cotton SweaterJohn Smedley Lyndhurst Sea Island Cotton Sweater
  • Reiss Manhatten Diamond Printed Tie NavyReiss Manhatten Diamond Printed Tie Navy
Tom – (500) Days of Summer

Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tom in (500) Days of Summer

I think the reason this character’s style became such an interest for people was because they could see themselves wearing his outfits. Rather than a Rom-com wear even the receptionist is wearing Prada, everyone appeared to be wearing clothes that their job/wage could afford.

The costume designer Hope Hanafin said she “wanted the clothes to be classic and have a life beyond this time” so think simple, classic and versatile. Oxford cloth shirts, chinos, rep ties and cardigans are all fair game and should be your go-to’s for this casual take on the American prep look.

Stick with neutral or earthy tones when picking colours to avoid too much clashing or contrast. A classic shoe, such as Sperry Topsiders or Chuck Taylors, will not look out of place and, of course, don’t forget your canvas messenger bag.

  • Beams Plus Cable-knit Linen And Cotton-blend Sleeveless SweaterBeams Plus Cable-knit Linen And Cotton-blend Sleeveless Sweater
  • Shore Leave White Oxford ShirtShore Leave White Oxford Shirt
  • J Lindeberg Oxford Cotton ShirtJ Lindeberg Oxford Cotton Shirt
  • Selected Cord BlazerSelected Cord Blazer
  • Lanvin Classic Merino Wool CardiganLanvin Classic Merino Wool Cardigan
  • Mens Converse As Hi TrainersMens Converse As Hi Trainers
  • John Lewis Canvas Pu Trim Messenger Bag KhakiJohn Lewis Canvas Pu Trim Messenger Bag Khaki
  • Dockers Stone Stretch Twill D0 Slim ChinosDockers Stone Stretch Twill D0 Slim Chinos
  • Striped Cotton And Linen-blend TieStriped Cotton And Linen-blend Tie
Arthur – Inception

Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Arthur in Inception

You know who looks good in a suit? Everyone. Learn from this lesson and see the proof in Joseph’s character Arthur. Admittedly, when Jeffery Kurland (Ocean’s 11/Collateral) is on board, you know each character is going to have clothes tailored to their personalities and developments but with Arthur… he just looked… so cool.

Now not all of your may have the money to buy a suit, but everyone should have the money to buy some trousers and a waistcoat. Make sure they are both in the same dark shade such as navy, black or charcoal grey and all you’ll have to do is make out like you meant to leave the jacket at home. Pair it with a dress shirt with a subtle stripe and a fine tie in silk and you can’t go wrong.

For those of you out there who can afford a suit, go the extra mile and invest in the matching waistcoat. Not only will look more put together, especially if you’re tall and slender, but it gives you another piece to play with when you begin to separate your suits.

  • Austin Reed Tan Leather Harrington JacketAustin Reed Tan Leather Harrington Jacket
  • Billy Reid Heirloom Chatawa Lightweight Plaid Cotton-blend ShirtBilly Reid Heirloom Chatawa Lightweight Plaid Cotton-blend Shirt
  • Allsaints Lorient TrouserAllsaints Lorient Trouser
  • Austin Reed Contemporary Blue Sharkskin WaistcoatAustin Reed Contemporary Blue Sharkskin Waistcoat
  • Topman Charcoal 5 Button WaistcoatTopman Charcoal 5 Button Waistcoat
  • Reiss Charlie W Classic WaistcoatReiss Charlie W Classic Waistcoat
  • Topman Navy Skinny Suit TrousersTopman Navy Skinny Suit Trousers
  • Asos Skinny Fit Grey Suit TrousersAsos Skinny Fit Grey Suit Trousers
  • Reiss Charlie Modern Two Button Notch Lapel SuitReiss Charlie Modern Two Button Notch Lapel Suit
Final Word

Both on and off screen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is turning into a style icon to be held in high regard. By keeping things classic and simple, with a few additional flourishes here and there, he creates a personal style that is both very him but very achievable for the everyday man too. Which is more than we can say for Mr. Depp, isn’t it?

Matt Allinson