Television has its obvious style icons. For a decade, men hyperventilated over pocket squares (and pretended to like whisky) in an effort to emulate Don Draper. And there’s a solid chance that Alessandro Michele binged on all eight seasons of The ’70s Show before taking the Gucci gig. But there’s a glut of shows that, though they appear less fashion minded, offer some lessons for any watcher’s wardrobe. And mean you can finally stop wearing corset-tight tailoring.
According to his hit man, John Jairo Velasquez, Pablo Escobar was responsible for the killings of around 3,000 people. Judging by Netflix series Narcos, he’s also on the hook for slaying endless ‘fits. A penchant for Cuban collar shirts means he could have been on Kim Jones’ SS16 Louis Vuitton moodboard, and he’s also got a knack for the kind of slim-fit polo you should have lived in all summer. Although maybe don’t bite the facial hair.
And it’s not just Pablo who brings the heat. Butter-fingered cops Javier Peña and Steve Murphy troll Mexico in a wardrobe of forest-toned safari and leather jackets that could have come straight from Milan’s finest tailors. Shame that they didn’t nail their man quite as well as effectively as their fits.
The sitcom that started it all. Without Seinfeld, it’s possible we’d have missed out on some of America’s greatest sitcoms. There’d be no Friends, no Frasier and certainly no How I Met Your Mother. And just as its jokes about the humdrum of everyday life live on (after all, what the hell is up with airline peanuts?) so does the protagonist’s kicks collection.
Jerry Seinfeld was a Nike obsessive (in addition to breakfast cereals and Superman), and often sported super-coveted sneaks. We’re talking super-coveted. Air Jordan VII Cardinals, Air Jordan VI Sport Blues and Quantum Force Lows to name but three, all of which would fetch new apartment money in today’s resale market.
Netflix phenomenon Stranger Things has been applauded for its pastiche of all things great about the 1980s – Spielberg movies, Stephen King novels and Dungeons & Dragons (well, sort of great). But that all pales compared to a costume department that nailed the sweet spot between Midwest trucker and Saved By The Bell.
If Jonathan Byers’ check shirt and stripe tee print clashes aren’t vibing SS16 McQueen, then there’s Barb (RIP) waltzing straight from the Gucci catwalk with oversized glasses and ruffled blousons. Not to mention the denim shearling jackets, trucker caps and multi-coloured rucksacks so achingly current we almost forgot when the show’s set (okay, so maybe Chief Hopper’s anorak is a bit of a giveaway).
It’d be easy to dismiss The Wire’s style as Omar’s do-rags and McNulty’s geography teacher-worthy civvies. But it also did the cool-not-cool streetwear thing a decade before Gosha; Bodie, the rise-through-the-ranks drug dealer, gave sports luxe masterclasses on the reg. One highlight is a baby blue oversized tracksuit with the jacket half-worn (i.e: Vetements before Vetements was even a thing).
Then there’s Bunk. The moral detective was rarely seen without a pinstriped suit or tailored overcoat. And, with a build on the larger side, is also proof that a gym membership isn’t a prerequisite for style. And who could forget Prop Joe? The pacifist narcotics peddler once famously wore a printed tie and collar chain combo with an Art Deco design not dissimilar to Prada’s AW12 show. Sign us up for Baltimore Fashion Week, please.
Sons of Anarchy
Redneck motorcycling outlaws have rarely made for style heroes. But unlike the Hells Angels (and their questionable leather waistcoats), the Sons of Anarchy dilute the grease monkey threads with some West Coast cool.
Jax Teller’s wardrobe is a melting pot of style influences: there’s the untamed, IDGAF locks of Kurt Cobain, the biker leathers of Saint Laurent and enough checked shirts to make a lumberjack jealous. What’s more, Teller provided a Margiela-level take on layering every episode: tees and shirts and gilets for days.
House of Cards
Power dressing has always been a power struggle. If we’re struggling to find a boardroom-appropriate shade, we worry that the TAG Heuer on our wrist is too juvenile. House of Cards, however, makes it look easier than outflanking your political rivals.
Frank Underwood, the murderous megalomaniac at the show’s centre, sports sharp Hugo Boss tailoring throughout. He also sports a choice selection of IWC timepieces, including the Portofino and Handwound Portugieser. Now, we’re not saying that slaughtering your rivals (either physically or emotionally) is the right way to conduct yourself at work, but there is a lot to be learnt from an impeccable fit. You watching, Donald?