Cary Grant’s Gray Suit in To Catch a Thief

BAMF Style

Cary Grant as John Robie in To Catch a Thief (1955). Cary Grant as John Robie in To Catch a Thief (1955).

Vitals

Cary Grant as John Robie, retired cat burglar and jewel thief

French Riviera, Summer 1954

Background

To Catch a Thief is a classic Hitchcock production featuring two of his favorite stars – Cary Grant and Grace Kelly – in a romantic crime comedy-thriller set against the exotic backdrop of the French Riviera. It was one of Grace’s last films in her too-brief five-year acting career before becoming Princess of Monaco.

Grant and Kelly’s undeniable chemistry is still remarkable sixty years later. While legendary Hollywood costumer Edith Head dressed Princess Grace for the film, it’s believed that Grant provided most of his own attire as he was, after all, Cary fucking Grant.

After looking very sharp in a midnight blue dinner suit, Grant continued to impress by donning a debonair gray suit for both an office visit and a funeral. While it’s a

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They Don’t Make Them Like That Anymore

Benjamin Wild

This article was originally posted with Parisian Gentleman.

 

The Style & Symbolism of Fred Astaire, Gary Cooper & Cary Grant

Man’s stock appears to be falling. He is suffering a public relations crisis.

Three years ago, Hanna Rosin cogently contemplated ‘The End of Man’, as his physical size and strength are of little consequence in our post-industrial society.[i] Four months ago, Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen baulked at the ‘new sex appeal’ promoted by James Bond’s twenty-third cinematic outing, which preferences Man’s pectorals and glutes over his personality and gumption.[ii] The debate about Man’s societal role and public presentation gives a new twist to age-old discussions about ‘great men’ and icons, particularly from the golden years of Hollywood. Cohen suggests that Man’s present focus on physical perfection has emasculated him. To make the point, he compares Daniel Craig’s Bond with Cary Grant’s Roger O. Thornhill in Hitchcock’s…

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The Literary James Bond

Fantastic post by man BAMF…Actually one of the best rundowns on Bond out there. I’m a fan of the literary Bond and really don’t care for the movie version. But I can stomach the Sean Connery Bond. Very good stuff.

BAMF Style

Sean Connery as James Bond in Goldfinger (1964), wearing the closest cinematic approximation of the suit imagined by Ian Fleming for his character. Inset is a drawing created by Fleming and commissioned for the Daily Express comic strip. Sean Connery as James Bond in Goldfinger (1964), wearing the closest cinematic approximation of the suit imagined by Ian Fleming for his character. Inset is a drawing created by Fleming and commissioned for the Daily Express comic strip.

Vitals

James Bond, British government agent

1950s-1960s

Background

106 years ago, on May 28, 1908, Ian Lancaster Fleming was born in Mayfair to an eventual member of parliament and his wife. Throughout his life, Fleming would be a journalist, a Naval Intelligence officer, and – the role in which he is most remembered – the author who introduced the world to James Bond.

After World War II, Fleming was demobilized from his position at British Naval Intelligence and began working as a newspaper manager, a job allowing him three months vacation. Fleming, whose ambition had long been to write a spy novel, used those winter months to retreat to Jamaica.

Uneasy about…

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It’s quite simple really….

Never confuse style and fashion.  Learn to distinguish between the two.

The most graceful principle of dress is neatness, the most vulgar is preciseness.

Never sacrifice comfort for style.

There is never a time when a necktie doesn’t matter.

A well-tied tie is the first serious step in life.

Do not wear a tie clip.  A well cut and made tie, and above all a properly knotted tie really lies flat without the aid of a clip.  Not to mention the fact that it is rather prissy.

Dress as an adult.  If you do not know one personally, which is quite possible today, think of your grandfather or watch a few Grant or Powell films.  You can gain an almost complete sartorial education from close study of Grant, Powell and Astaire.

Casual wear is meant to be comfortable, not sloppy.

The most expensive piece of clothing you will ever own is the one you don’t wear.

The bottom of a man’s jacket should line up with the knuckle of the thumb when the arm rests by his side.

One half-inch of a shirt collar should appear above the jacket collar.

A properly fitted waistcoat should be long enough for its fifth button to cover the trouser waistband.

The trouser bottom should cover two-thirds of the wearer’s shoe and be long enough to remain in contact with the shoe when walking.

A sock should match the trouser rather than the shoe.

A necktie should be pulled up into a collar so that it is tight enough to arch out slightly from the neck.

Bow ties that extend beyond the width of the wearer’s face or collar make him appear to be gift-wrapped.

A cummerbund’s folds always face up to hold the evening’s theater tickets.

1/2″ of your shirt’s cuff extends beyond the jacket when your arms are hanging freely.

The waistline of your trousers should be about 1″ below your navel.

Avoid logos. Always.

Contrary to, what seems to be popular belief, monograms are not meant to be visible, and they should  certainly not be on your cuff.  The placement of a monogram on a shirt should be in the lower left ribcage area, a few inches above your waistline.

A pocket square or handkerchief should not match the tie.  If the tie is silk, the pocket square should be fine linen.  Socks may be matched with the tie to liven things up a bit.

Invest in pairs of fine quality bench made shoes.  Properly cared for, Goodyear welted leather shoes will last a lifetime.

Educate oneself on the nuts and bolts of men’s clothing.  Learn about color, fabric, fit, drape, manufacture and care.  Flusser and Amies are as good a place to start as any.  Word for word, Amies’ books are the best ever written on traditional style.

Know your budget and buy the best quality available within your budget.  Bespoke is very expensive and beyond the reach of mere mortals.  There is quality clothing available at all price levels.  Educate yourself so you can choose wisely.

Know your measurements.  Have them taken by a professional.

Keep yourself in relatively good shape and maintain your weight.  Well cared for quality clothing will last a good long while, and clothing looks better on one who is fit as opposed to one who is not.  A good diet and exercise at least three times a week is usually sufficient and is time well spent.