As the credits roll, we can say that 2017 was a very strong year at the movies. We had blockbusters that were as smart as they were spectacular. We had sequels that, miraculously, lived up to and sometimes surpassed the originals. We had tiny indie dramas that came out of nowhere and left just as much impression as movies with 100 times their budget. We also saw some incredibly good costume design.
Some of it has involved classic suiting, some of it has been contemporary and casual, and some of it has been mad and sci-fi. These are our best-dressed movies of the year, and even if some of the looks are more suited to far away planets than your local boozer, every one of them has style tips to steal.
Edgar Wright’s latest was rather style over content, but what style. All its criminals turned up for bank jobs like they were dressed to go out for New Year’s Eve.
Jon Hamm proved you can absolutely wear a leather jacket well into your forties without looking like a dad having a crisis, as long as it’s cut for a sleek fit. Jamie Foxx stole the show in an outfit that mixed leather, tartan and leopard print, all in vivid blood red. He got away with it because he’s Jamie Foxx and it’s a movie. That would not translate well to the suburbs.
Steal instead from Baby (Ansel Elgort) and go completely classic with a varsity jacket over a white tee. It’s as easy as dressing gets and it still looks like you’ve thought about it. Oh, and before your next sunglasses purchase, rewatch this movie. It throws some serious shade.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
You expect sophisticated outfits from a movie that keeps banging on about the importance of good tailoring. The spies in Matthew Vaughn’s series have their base in a Savile Row tailor, so everything they wear is immaculate. And it’s a little bit eccentric, almost a pastiche of classic British dressing. Most of the suits are double-breasted and cut to give everyone that superhero V-shape.
The sequel also does a good line in classic Americana-tinged outerwear. Think big shearling coats, denim jackets and even the odd Stetson.
The best outfit on show, and possibly the best in film this year, is Eggsy’s (Taron Egerton) orange velvet dinner jacket. It sounds revolting, but because it’s so well cut, and because everything else is simple, it works. High-street stores are much bolder with their formalwear offerings these days, so you’ll find something similarly daring without the bespoke price tag. Or you could just shop the Kingsman collection itself, of course, exclusively at Mr Porter.
Blade Runner 2049
Futuristic clothing is a tricky thing to get right. Often, trying to predict what people will be wearing decades from now leads to silver jumpsuits and angular items that look great when the wearer is standing up, but would be impossible to lounge in. The belated Blade Runner sequel used costumes that were forward-looking but not alien.
Much of it you could wear now – why would people reinvent the T-shirt in 30 years when it’s been perfect for the last century? – with the addition of a few more outlandish items.
Jared Leto’s tailoring had a nice glam undertaker vibe to it, but we’re particularly taken with the coat worn by K (Ryan Gosling). It’s leather and sheepskin (or something close to it) that looks like it’s been through several wars. It’s the kind of item that bought in real life would cost a fortune, but it’s also the kind of thing that, were you to invest in it, you would wear until 2049, at least.
Call Me By Your Name
Luca Guadagnino’s romantic drama is all set in the sort of long, sweltering summer we all distinctly remember happening when we were young, but never seems to occur any more. The clothes reflect that. Lots of loose-fitting button-down shirts, linen, laid-back Wayfarers and very short shorts.
The soft pastel palette is perfect for summer and while those shorts are a much better look than baggy boardies, bear one thing in mind: always make sure there’s plenty of support, either built-in or from additional underwear. CG artists on this film reportedly had step in to cover up the occasional bid for freedom by Armie Hammer’s testicles. Note that Instagram doesn’t offer the same functionality.
John Wick: Chapter 2
Second verse, same as the first. The original John Wick was a slick action movie and a parade of expertly-cut suits. So it goes with the sequel.
Keanu Reeves’ killer frequently wears a classic black two-piece with white shirt combo, but he also mixes up his palette on occasion. Sometimes he pairs a very dark shirt with a lighter suit, which is traditionally a no-no, but he makes it work by keeping the tones close to each other and wearing a tie that’s the same colour as his tailoring. Nothing’s fighting each other.
We also really like his choice of a black roll neck with a charcoal suit. It’s almost casual but still smart as hell, for when you have a whole bunch of people to kill but don’t want to chafe while you’re doing it.
This extremely fun spy movie is set in Berlin at the tail-end of the 1980s and it really leans into that. There are some interesting pattern/fabric combinations from James McAvoy’s MI6 agent. He looks a bit like Fight Club’s Tyler Durden dressed for chilly weather, with granddad-ish sweaters and roomy sheepskin coats.
However, it’s actually Charlize Theron’s title character we’d recommend looking to for inspiration. Not because we’re suggesting you start wearing mini dresses and thigh-high boots – although, you do you and be your best self – but because the amount of white she wears in winter is a very strong look. A coat in a light colour says, “I have my shit together and am grown up enough that I don’t worry about spilling”.
The original Trainspotting had a big impact on British street style. That well-worn vintage T-shirt and skinny jeans aesthetic has still not entirely left us. In the sequel, everyone is 20 years older. You can’t dress like a twenty-something when you’re in your mid-forties, so this film found subtle ways to keep things stylish but not silly.
Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) is the only one to look to. He’s nailed off-duty, middle-aged dressing, mostly through use of some very good casual jackets. He’s got a khaki field jacket and a bomber in every colour, apparently, and they elevate his uniform of black jeans and a neutral T-shirt. As they will yours.
La La Land
You can always rely on Ryan Gosling for some strong suiting, and this Oscar-winner was no exception.
Gosling plays a man obsessed with jazz and like most proper jazz aficionados, he likes to dress up. We’re particularly taken with the rust-coloured two-piece he wears in the movie’s final scene, and his cream suit and white shoe combo, which he manages to make look clean and suave, rather than a rebranded Colonel Sanders. He also throws in a bold yellow tie, which really shouldn’t work, but does.
Take his cue and be a bit braver with your tailoring choices. You can find decent suits in unusual colours in most high-street stores these days (you may not be keen to splash hundreds of pounds on a vivid designer version you’ll only wear occasionally). Take it to a tailor for adjustment to make it look less ‘fresh off the peg’ and throw in a Gosling side-parting for a mini masterclass in relaxed tailoring.
Murder On The Orient Express
Everyone in Kenneth Branagh’s murder-mystery looked incredibly expensive. As well they should. Travelling on the Orient Express costs an absolute fortune, and these 13 somehow managed to afford to hire out the entire train on their own.
The men in this film offered a catalogue of ways to wear 1930s tailoring. From the sharp, gangster lines of Johnny Depp’s Samuel Ratchett, to the relaxed shape of Leslie Odom Jr’s Dr. Arbuthnot, to the almost sporty design of Willem Dafoe’s Hardman, to the eccentricity of Branagh’s Poirot himself, each suit looked period-appropriate but were all very different. We’d take every piece of Poirot’s impeccable wardrobe, but he can keep the moustache.
This film proves that putting on a suit doesn’t mean putting on a uniform. You can still look completely individual.
Ben Wheatley is one of the most subtly stylish directors working today. High Rise had a great seventies vibe going on, and Wheatley stays in that decade for Free Fire. It’s essentially one long shoot-out between two sides in a bungled arms deal. Everyone involved showed up looking sharp and stayed that way even after the bullets started flying.
It’s all of its time, with some truly extraordinary lapels and shirts unbuttoned almost to the waist, but these are looks. Everybody is distinctive. Seventies fashion is very much back in menswear, but you’d look like you were on your way to a fancy dress party if you lifted anything wholesale from the movie. However, there are a couple of rules that almost all these outfits follow. The first one: play with texture. Move away from cotton by having at least one item that’s leather, silk or coarse wool.
Then, keep the bulk of your outfit simple and subtle, with jackets and trousers in neutral shades, but use the lower layers to play with patterns. Try a more daring shirt under a suit. Just don’t copy the collars wide enough to hit your shoulders.