For years, big screen antagonists have flexed threads far better than any Humphrey Bogart or Steve McQueen – they just don’t get the credit.
Maybe it’s because they’re doomed to a pyrotechnic-fuelled death, or they’re simply locked up in a novelty prison cell, but we’re not supposed to think fondly of them.
However, good style isn’t solely limited to the good-hearted. In order to balance the scales, we’ve shone a light into the dark with the best-dressed villains of all time.
Patrick Bateman, American Psycho
We’re sure Patrick Bateman didn’t land his Wall Street gig without a robust CV, high-level of attention to detail and intermediate proficiency with a chainsaw (okay, maybe not that last one). However, it’s the American Psycho’s certified expertise in power dressing that earns him a promotion to this list nearly two decades on. Granted, he may be lacking interpersonal skills, but the man knows his way around a wide lapel and pinstripes like no other.
The Entire Cast Of Kids
They may not be villains in the traditional sense of the word, but the cast of Kids is a right bunch of prepubescent nightmares (albeit well-dressed ones). The likes of Telly and Casper aced streetwear threads way before we reached peak Supreme. Better yet, they could school any senior on wearing a wide-leg trouser. They score an F on basic common decency, though.
Tony Montana, Scarface
Oh Tony, you just had to spoil it for yourself, didn’t you? You had Cuban collar shirts and pastel suits spilling out your wardrobe, a young Michelle Pfeiffer on your arm and enough sniff left to bankroll an early retirement. You just took it too far, but thanks for teaching us all how to dress on the right side of the 1980s.
Before the roadman, we had Juice’s Bishop – the original hoodlum. Not quite content with murdering his friends one-by-one, Tupac’s seminal character slayed in the wardrobe stakes with oversized denim jackets, block-colour hoodies and a sharp fade.
Tybalt, Romeo + Juliet
Sorry FKA Twigs, our boy Tybalt was rocking the babycurls way back in 1996. The Prince of Cats wore them alongside a religious-motif bulletproof vest, high-waisted trousers and a tailored black overcoat. None of which are remotely wearable, but we’ll take it over Mercutio’s see-through white shirt any day.
Joey Donner, 10 Things I Hate About You
Joey Donner was the archetypal jock: good looking, ready to steal your girlfriend, annoyingly well dressed. Plus, the moody sleaze-ball had an enviable preppy wardrobe and arms far too big to be realistically achievable for any 16-year-old. That’s why we can never really hate Joey – not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all (insert Julia Stiles’ tears here).
The Penguin, Batman
Yes, he looks like the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Child Ccatcher after a heavy weekend, and no he’s not the best-looking bloke, but The Penguin is definitive proof that rotund men can dress just as stylishly as their slim counterparts. Better yet, his mayor of Savile Row look trumps any business-friendly get-up. Looking at you, Bruce Wayne.
Calvin J. Candie, Django Unchained
It seems you can’t tar all racists with the same white-hood-wearing brush. Calvin J. Candie was sporting Texan splendor long before Gucci or Prada (timeline-wise, anyway). However, not even the sharpest of velvet-lined overcoats can excuse white supremacy, and Candie’s wardrobe soon went from best-dressed to blood-splattered.
Ilya Kuryakin, The Man From U.N.C.L.E
Ah, old-school espionage was such fun. Before the days of Julian Assange, Soviet spies dodged the CIA in very British getups. Much like Ilya Kuryakin, The Man From U.N.C.L.E’s nefarious KGB agent, who wore a baker boy hat far better than any cockney market trader.