If yesterday’s icon gave you a yen for classic Clark Gable style, we’ve got good news.
This weekend, Gable’s riding jacket from Gone with the Windgoes up for auction, and for a specimen of 80-year-old style (masquerading as a specimen of 150-year-old style), it’s remarkably on point. The herringbone hasn’t aged a day, and the long tails aren’t that different from the style Monitaly’s been mining in recent collections.
Naturally, it looks best while you’re riding a horse...but a Vespa should do in a pinch.
John Wayne gets all the credit, but the man behind the camera was every bit as much of a cowboy. Shooting three films a year, never more than two takes per shot, he cut his own path through Hollywood at breakneck speed.
Along the way, he left his mark on some of the most iconic figures in Americana—the cowboy, the soldier, the migrant, the pioneer, and so on. Throw in a dash of Old Hollywood glamour, and you’re left with a pretty potent mix of styles.
So we thought we’d take a moment to honor the man who gave us the cowboy, Mr. John Martin Feeney Ford…
Celebrities in the pre-tabloid era didn’t leave much of a trace. They made movies, maybe made a TV appearance when the Oscars rolled around, and the rest of the time they just sat around basking in their mystique without the slightest inkling of paparazzo intrusions.
Luckily, they occasionally found time to pick up a camera.
Humphrey Bogart’s son recently dug through his family archive and posted a set of gloriously grainy home movies, including family beachgoing with Lauren Bacall and a yacht trip with Frank Sinatra. It’s style bait for anyone jonesing for 50s-era swimwear, but it’s also one of the more intimate peeks you’re likely to get at a lost era of movie star. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself reaching for that Maltese Falcon DVD when the footage runs out.
In honor of this Vanity Fair piece on Preston Sturges, we thought we’d dig up this picture of the director in defiantly broad-shouldered style.
Much like the fast-talking screwball comedy, the broad-shouldered suit isn’t something you’re likely to see much these days, but pull it off right and you’ll be in rare company. It’s not a trendy look, but it’s as Old Hollywood as it gets. And given the way these things cycle, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Brad Pitt rocking a similar getup circa 2025—especially if he puts on a few pounds.
As for the pencil-thin mustache…let’s not go crazy.
Continuing with our Old Hollywood obsession, we ran across this picture of Walt Disney.
The Bixby beltline is in full effect—this was the 30s, after all—but what caught our eye was the loose button-loops on the placket of his polo. It’s a look you might be more used to seeing on Errol Flynn (or Robin Hood).
But we wouldn’t be surprised if that’s where Walt picked it up.
This Bentley Tweed cap harkens back to a time when London was still a fashion capital, and the occasional non-fur-lined earflap was still acceptable. It may seem like an unlikely style revival, but when Robert Downey Jr.’s take on Sherlock Holmes comes out in November, it may seem a whole lot likelier.
Old Hollywood is a glamorous enough style, we’re surprised no labels have tried to revive it. (Chaplin, anyone?) This picture of Buster Keaton, his director Edward Sedgwick, and simian companion Josephine holds almost a dozen style lessons, including the proper form for the newsboy cap, the nonchalant smoking break, and the hardest look of all: the shoulder-mounted monkey.
One of the startling things about Old Hollywood photographs is how comfortable all the stars are with elegance. Gary Cooper made his living playing tough guys, but when he put on a suit, he didn’t forget details like the pocket square, and he didn’t fall into knee-jerk simplicity. He wasn’t afraid to dress up.
Kempt bids a fond farewell to Sydney Pollack today, a filmmaker who made his name on restraint, subtle humanism and consummate professionalism. In short, a man in full. As his recent co-star George Clooney put it, “Sydney made the world a little better, movies a little better and even dinner a little better. A tip of the hat to a class act. He will be missed.”