Michael Pitt on Grunge Style and Three-Piece Suits
Any time a man’s pulling off a bootlegger suit on a weekly basis, we figure there’s a lot we can learn. We caught up with Michael Pitt at Wednesday night’s Tonight We Tanqueray event in Brooklyn, where he weighed in on his history with grunge, 20s haircuts and the curative effects of the three-piece suit.
A lot of the characters you’ve played have had very distinctive wardrobes. Which one is closest to your personal style? Are you more Boardwalk Empire or Last Days?
Well, Last Days was very grunge, which meant a lot to me at the time. I was really into that kind of style when I was a kid. Just, you know, not having so many clothes and never really throwing something away. Eventually you have stories that go with each pair of pants because they’ve been in your life for so long.
Do you still think about clothes that way?
Kind of. Even as I get older, I’m still kind of like that. When I was a kid, it was right in the middle of the grunge thing. But part of it was also that my father was an auto mechanic, and I’d just take his clothes.
Your Boardwalk Empire haircut is pretty distinctive. Is there a story behind it?
I picked it out from a book of mug shots. I was looking at these wise guys and thugs, and they all had that distinct cut, shaved really high on the sides and long on top. It looked really modern to me. It almost looked industrial. And they all had that same haircut.
The buzzed-on-the-side cut does seem like it’s having a moment right now. Other than the hair, what’s your favorite thing about that era’s style?
The three-piece suit. It’s amazing. Have you ever tried one on? The way they had the suits made, it’s just awesome. The waistcoat changes the way you hold yourself. Your back straightens up without you even thinking about it.
Do you think there’s anywhere guys are slipping up? Something men in general can improve on?
[Laughs] I think you’re asking the wrong guy.
- — Russell Brandom