For this week’s installment of The Weekly Outfit we take up where we left off and once again travel even further back in time. This time to the 1950s, taking sartorial inspiration from one of the decade’s greatest movie icons: Johnny Strabler, the charismatic motorcycle gang leader immortalized by Marlon Brando in the cult classic “The Wild One”. Though considered not his best performance, Brando did not only revolutionize acting – he was among the first to employ the means of method acting, a technique used to create lifelike portrayals of the characters thoughts and feelings – but also hugely contributed to the establishment of modern youth culture and corresponding fashions, paving the way for the jeans and t-shirt combo into mainstream fashion. Based on Johnny Strabler’s distinctive style, we compiled a number pieces, that blend classic silhouettes with a contemporary fit and feel. Check it out after the jump.
Brixton – The Fiddler Cap
The distinctive biker cap Johnny wears might be a notch too odd for today’s fashion standards. However, If you want to keep your outfit as authentic as possible check out Baron Hats. They offer a version that very much comes close to the one worn in the movie. They even supplied the headwear for actor Shia LeBeouf to wear in the final installment of the Indiana Jones franchise. However, I’d recommend something slightly less antique, such as the above Fiddler cap by Brixton. Pick it up at their webshop.
Ray Ban – Aviator
As many motorcycle gangs – the most prominent example might be The infamous Hells Angels – were initially made up of WWII pilots, members accordingly sported, besides their riding gear, army surplus – including the famous Aviator sunglasses. Developed by Bausch & Lomb and branded by Ray Ban in 1936, the shades directly aimed at Pilots looking for a proper means for protecting their eyes while flying. Originally equipped with mirrored lenses, this classic silhouette has seen a myriad of renditions, as well as a rise in mainstream popularity – and not just since Top Gun. The above ones feature light brown tinted lenses – a great alternative to the mirrored ones, which at times seem a bit anti-social or worse, tacky. Get them at Need Supply.
Carven – Perfecto Style Leather Jacket
Whereas the last decade was more or less dominated by leather bombers and blousons, the leather rider jacket has definitely gained ground in the fashion game over the past years and can now be considered an essential staple in every decent man’s wardrobe. If you want to keep it authentc again, try picking up the original Perfecto Jacket by Schott, or one of the many – in my opinion – even better renditions by Aero, crafted from premium horse hide. I will promise you, that jacket is going to outlive you by many years. The only downside: as they are intended as protective clothing, they are accordingly heavy and despite their slim cut, still kind of boxy fitting. Therefore you might want to drop the utilitarian aspect in favour of a more flexible and comfortable fit, and opt for the above Perfecto style jacket by Carven, which is crafted from a softer grade premium leather, that features a rich dark navy colour. You can cop one over at Trés Bien.
Our Legacy – Zip Tee
Initially conceived as underwear for US Navy sailor in the 19th century and later used as an easy to clean and cheap workwear staple, the t-shirt is by now frequently worn as the only piece covering the upper body. However, back in the 1950s wearing underwear in public – what Johnny aka Brando basically did – was a pretty badass move and therefore greatly frowned upon. Just imagine: the contempoary version would be a bunch of dudes on motor bikes spreading terror in a small town, wearing nothing but briefs and socks – which is actually more hilarious than badass. Yet nothing says “I don’t give a fuck” more than riding your bike clad in only a t-shirt. Get the one above by Our Legacy at Endclothing.
Jean Shop – Rocker Raw Selvedge Denim Straight-Leg Jeans
The pants might not be the outfit’s flashiest piece but it is largely based upon it. In order to bridge the gap between the classic Brando and a more contemporary style, I strongly suggest you stay authentic and go for a pair of American made unwashed dark indigo selvedge denims like the ones above by Jean Shop. Wear them for several months without washing, resulting in a natural fading and an individual look. Get them at Mr. Porter.
Ann Demeulemeester – Purple Brushed Suede Fading Boots
Ann Demeulemeester seems like an odd choice to you? Of course Johnny would have definitely favoured a pair of rugged Red Wing Engineer Boots or Pecos over the above rather “fruity” ones. However, as Spring time is approaching these boots might be great way to re-introduce some colour to your wardrobe. The brushed suede upper has undergone a special dye treatment, which will fade over time leading to a unique quasi dry denim look. Get them at Ssense.