As the story goes, having beaten off scissors and, rather miraculously, paper, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson decided that he would conquer the world of wrestling. After he smelt what was cooking and became one of the greatest entertainers to ever step inside the squared circle, he set his eye on Hollywood, where it could be argued the term ‘box office gold’ was coined for him. A mesmerising run of profit-making films followed, and before long Johnson became the most bankable star in Tinseltown, commanding an average $22 million for his services on film.
It goes without saying that to get to such a level, you have to have it all: the looks, the mega-watt personality, the muscles, the business nous and of course, the style. The latter is no mean feat, considering Johnson’s hulking frame (20-inch biceps, 31-inch thighs) is hardly tailor-made for clothes. But with the help of his stylist, Ilaria Urbinati, who has also worked with the likes of Rami Malek and Donald Glover, Johnson has been able to cultivate a sophisticated man about town look that is a fountain of inspiration for other ripped guys.
The California native’s suave style is rooted in tailoring. Eschewing on-trend slim fits for more classic cuts that work for his shape, Johnson manages to rock a timeless look that works for him and his build. Bespoke garms and heavy alterations are key, as additional room is likely needed under the arm and around the shoulders for more freedom of movement than you would usually get in a suit you can buy off the peg.
Colours are usually muted and neutral, nothing too bright or garish, with a large check often the only statement. As is to be expected, trousers are straight, with a slight taper to accommodate his thunderous thighs, while shoes are smart in the form of mocassins, Derbies or luxury sneakers.
Inspiration: Ilaria Urbinati, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Muhammad Ali
Go-To Brands: Todd Snyder, Gucci, Brioni
Follow Him: @therock
Two Tickets To The Gun Show Please
When he’s not schooling Hollywood jabronis on how to fill movie theatres, Johnson is giving the rest of us a masterclass in how a T-shirt should fit. Baggy, awkwardly long sleeves can make even impressive arms look like Twiglets. But by hitting the mid-bicep, they accentuate hard-won gains, while a body that doesn’t cling too tightly helps swerve the gym bunny look.
Pinstripes may have been the go-to uniform for maniacal bankers throughout the 1980s, but they’ve taken up a more subdued profile in recent years. Johnson is no stranger to up-down lines, follow his lead and sidestep boxy jackets and fuddy-duddy wide lapels for slim pins and modern cuts that help to elongate a Herculean frame.
Award Season Ready
It’s an oft-trotted out fact that, under artificial light, midnight blue appears darker than black, which usually takes on a more grey hue. This is particularly true of textured fabrics like the velvet blazer seen here. Aside from that, Johnson’s outfit is a welcome and fun change-up to a black tie dress code with all the traditional trimmings including an expertly tied bow tie.
Do You Smell What The Rock Is Cooking?
Not that we don’t think The Rock couldn’t still look badass in a regular biker jacket, but the asymmetrical zip closure and epaulette detailing might bring unwanted attention to the upper part of his body, throwing his bottom half off-kilter. That’s where the racer jacket comes in, with its physique-flattering cut and stripped-back design that pairs handsomely with tapered jeans and a pair of luxury sneakers.
Not all patterns have to scream like they’re at a pay-per-view event. In fact, what looks remarkably twee from afar can seem a lot saucier up close. And so we give you Johnson’s relaxed off-duty holiday shirt, laden with scantily clad ladies that would be creepy were it not for the dusky blue shade and relaxed fit and Riviera-style white trousers.
Double denim is a look that gets a unanimous thumbs up from the style cognoscenti, but for the everyday man it can feel like rocky territory, so swap the jeans out for chinos. While a big guy like Johnson has to be careful with bringing attention to one part particular part of his body, the white pop here is relatively contained by the overall look’s light shades.
The most used manoeuvre in the men-who-like-to-do-tailoring-differently playbook, switching out a shirt for a roll neck rarely fails to impress. Copy The Rock and keep the knit in a classic shade (think navy, black or grey) and in a thin gauge (ideally Merino wool or cashmere) that could comfortably fit under a jacket.
Johnson is already a certified ‘structure’ himself, so his suit jackets need little in the way of padding. Instead, the shoulders of his two-piece tend to slope over his upper body, complementing a slightly larger collar and tie knot that stops the size of his head becoming the main event.
Cool In Cashmere
A high-quality knit should be two things: breathable and flexible. Which for those familiar with the Ab Lab means a chance to show off all those dumbbell exercises without the risk of an unruly rip. Avoid a skin-tight fit so you don’t look like a trick or treating superhero, and remember that if you’re going to show off the guns, leave the quads at home.
Stretching Out The Suit
Johnson has proved time again how to use a suit to alter his body shape, but it’s an illusion that can also be achieved with footwear. By opting for a narrow profile shoe such as a monk strap, his look is streamlined. And look, he’s even figured out how to fasten his cufflinks.
Red Carpet Chill
Johnson likes a good shirt and tie, just as we enjoy a good fry up, but we couldn’t have one every day. A crew neck knit in a block colour is an easy alternative to a noose that allows him to straddle the tricky smart-casual divide without his tailoring hitting rock bottom.
Rocking Back To The 50s
Not many actors can team up with an albino gorilla to do battle with a mutated crocodile and a giant grey wolf and still come off looking this good. The secret here is the 1950s-inspired open neck polo shirt, which works like an arrow to draw the eye down adding width to his shoulders while narrowing everything else.
Sure, the photographer’s reflection in Johnson’s sunglasses resemble an out of whack planetarium, but at least the rest of his outfit is in control. Despite being the most electrifying man in sports entertainment, The Rock often favours textured suits which are a bit more casual than their shiny counterparts, with this sky blue example being a particularly breezy choice.
The Emperor’s New Shirt
This summer, the Hawaiian shirt was wrestled from the tong-wielding grip of barbecue-attending dads everywhere right across the high street and high-fashion spectrum. To avoid Ace Ventura territory, make like Johnson and opt for a monochrome version, and anchor with black jeans and simple, squeaky clean sneakers.
Check This Windowpane
With designs on making a run for the White House in 2020, Johnson has already got the presidential wave down. He can also trounce the current incumbent when it comes to pulling off a suit. This light grey version works exceptionally well, with the large windowpane check keeping his colossal frame in proportion.