StyleForum is mostly about photographs, and our discussions about those photographs. Sometimes they're product shots; other times they're "fit pics." Either way, we're talking about pictures.
On the MC side of the board, we can often get too obsessed with certain details of a fit, such as whether there's a crease along one side of the leg, and miss the bigger picture, such as whether a man looks elegant in his suit. Perhaps this is because we only view things as two dimensional, flat representations, and we don't get a chance to see how a man looks as he moves around in his clothes.
So I thought I'd start a thread dedicated to just videos. Please post clips of well dressed, classically styled men.
I'm a fan of Akira Kurosawa's films and the roles Toshiro Mifune played in them. And while the Mifune-Kurosawa team is best known for their samurai films, their movies exploring post-war Japan are equally great and gets Mifune out of his robes and into a suit. One of my favorite Mifune performances is "High and Low", where Mifune plays a successful, self-made businessman. While one of the most pivotal scenes in the movie actually features him in a bathrobe, his styles throughout the film range from casual to dressed in a suit with French cuffs. Throughout the film, however, he retains a powerful presence that is commanding yet polished.
Another favorite Kurosawa film of mine is "Ikiru". While not a film staring Mifune, it takes place in the setting of the Japanese government bureaucracy, showing a great many pencil-pushing cogs in their daily suit and tie. (I'm vastly underselling the movie here, and encourage you to read Ebert's review.) This particularly humorous scene shows a great many styles as some citizens attempt to navigate the bureaucracy:
I wish there were more clips to share, but it seems like some copyright holders are really determined to take down a lot of these clips.
I'm a fan of the 1946 Christmas classic "It's a Wonderful Life". Every year I still seem to get something new from it, noticing a detail in a scene or start to pay attention to background actors and characters a bit more. But in regards to style of decades past, it's a treasure trove of men's clothing you don't see very often. Perhaps easily noticeable is Old Man Potter's wing collar shirt, but in this scene you'll notice a detail on George Bailey's suit that you might not have picked up -- especially if you're a purist and insist upon watching the movie as it was filmed in black and white -- a black armband on his left bicep.
For those who might not know, black armbands were worn as a symbol of mourning. This particular scene takes places after George's father has died, hence the armband. For those more curious on mourning wear for men as I was, here's what Emily Post says about the topic:
The necessity of business and affairs which has made withdrawal into seclusion impossible, has also made it customary for the majority of men to go into mourning by the simple expedient of putting a black band on their hat or on the left sleeve of their usual clothes and wearing only white instead of colored linen.
A man never under any circumstances wears crepe. The band on his hat is of very fine cloth and varies in width according to the degree of mourning from two and a half inches to within half an inch of the top of a high hat. On other hats the width is fixed at about two and a half or three inches. The sleeve band, from three and a half to four and a half inches in width, is of dull broadcloth on overcoats or winter clothing, and of serge on summer clothes. The sleeve band of mourning is sensible for many reasons, the first being that of economy. Men’s clothes do not come successfully from the encounter with dye vats, nor lend themselves to “alterations,” and an entire new wardrobe is an unwarranted burden to most.
Except for the one black suit bought for the funeral and kept for Sunday church, or other special occasion, only wealthy men or widowers go to the very considerable expense of getting a new wardrobe. Widowers—especially if they are elderly—always go into black (which includes very dark gray mixtures) with a deep black band on the hat, and of course, black ties and socks and shoes and gloves.
When it comes to fashion trends spawned from popular film, "Raiders of the Lost Ark" is best known for a renewed interest in the fedora thanks to Harrison Ford's treasure-hunting character. And it's not surprising that lots of young boys (and men) wanted that iconic hat, associating it with adventure and looking cool.
But Indiana Jones has dual lives as we come to find out at the beginning of the film when we see him in a tweed suit teaching archeology as a professor. It's obvious the filmmakers are using costume as a way to show these opposing sides: no hat, glasses, a necktie, a three-piece suit, clean shaven. Indiana Jones isn't just a guy who hits Nazis and dodges poison darts, but he's a huge nerd, too! Well, the kind of nerd the ladies still swoon after anyhow. (Sorry for the Italian sound, but it's the cleanist video on YouTube that hasn't been yanked down.)
And while we're on the topic of love, here's a bonus clip from the "Young Indiana Jones" miniseries where a young Indy has dinner with Adler, Freud and Jung -- who are all wearing dinner suits -- as he asks them about the topic of -- what else? -- love:
Here's Fred Astaire dancing in his 6x1 double breasted suit. Note the interesting choice to pair his black loafers with a rain coat, and match his light blue socks, tie, and socks together. The jacket is also conspicuously short, but seems to work well here.