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Miller's Crossing Style

grimslade

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Was just watching Miller's Crossing (1990) on TV. For those who haven't seen it, it's a Coen brothers gangster film set in 1930s Chicago. There are some great clothes worn in that movie (as well as some faux pas--Albert Finney goes around with his DB suit unbuttoned...). Unfortunately, I couldn't find any pictures of it, but toward the end Gabriel Byrne wears a nice SB peak-lapel tweed suit with a high button stance. His tie, alas, only comes down about three-quarters of the way to his pants...
 

Kent Wang

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Great movie. I like the way his hat is a recurring visual motif.
 

EL72

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Excellent movie. The Byrne character wears AE shoes. In one scene where he puts his feet up on a desk, you can see the sole with the characteristic V on the heel.
 

Vintage Gent

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Originally Posted by grimslade
His tie, alas, only comes down about three-quarters of the way to his pants...

It was a common thing back in the day. Ties from that era were typically no more than 51" long, perhaps because enough men wore a DB or a three-piece.
 

Nick M

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Originally Posted by grimslade
Unfortunately, I couldn't find any pictures of it, but toward the end Gabriel Byrne wears a nice SB peak-lapel tweed suit with a high button stance. His tie, alas, only comes down about three-quarters of the way to his pants...
This one?

 

grimslade

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Originally Posted by Nick M
This one?




That's exactly the outfit I was talking about. Thanks!

Just before that, there's a scene where a bad guy puts a bright red shoe on someone else. Nice looking shoe.
 

Associate

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haven't seen it in a long time, but I remember the John Turturro character wearing what looked like a cool pair of dress boots.
 

Tomasso

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Originally Posted by grimslade
as well as some faux pas--Albert Finney goes around with his DB suit unbuttoned.

I've noticed in old films and photos that DB suits, when worn with a vest, are often worn unbuttoned. I believe AF wore vested suits throughout Miller's Crossing.
 

Film Noir Buff

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People were smaller too. I would imagine there werent may 18 inch necks back then. And pants were worn very high, higher than whats considered high today. And of course, you rarely took your jacket off.

The clothes they wore was very period accurate. Remember all of them were from the slums, so I doubt if that was clothing style anyone would want to copy. And no one had central heating, which is why everything theyre wearing is 20 ounces and the overcoats are 40 ounces! I read somewhere that with the shoulder pads, clothes used to make men physically tired by the end of the day from pressing down on their shoulders.
 

Vintage Gent

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Originally Posted by Film_Noir_Buff
People were smaller too. I would imagine there werent may 18 inch necks back then. And pants were worn very high, higher than whats considered high today.

That has little, if anything, to do with tie length. In the early 1950s, a sudden shift takes place in men's neckwear. Instead of the 48" to 51" ties that had been prevalent throughout the 30s and 40s, we start seeing ties that are close in length to today's models, around 55" inches or so. That corresponds very neatly to the rapid shift away from the double-breasted suit. Those few years simply weren't long enough to account for changes in size in the average male.
 

Film Noir Buff

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Originally Posted by Vintage Gent
That has little, if anything, to do with tie length. In the early 1950s, a sudden shift takes place in men's neckwear. Instead of the 48" to 51" ties that had been prevalent throughout the 30s and 40s, we start seeing ties that are close in length to today's models, around 55" inches or so. That corresponds very neatly to the rapid shift away from the double-breasted suit. Those few years simply weren't long enough to account for changes in size in the average male.


You are drawing a conclusion I did not present. Relative body size does have something to do with tie lengths being acceptably shorter. The ties wouldve been shorter for them anyway but that 48-51 inch length was adequate for people back then. We could never go back to that length now because we are bigger.

As an aside about lengths of time it takes to change the size of a population, take a look at baseball games from 10 years ago and observe how much thinner Americans were.
 

Vintage Gent

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Originally Posted by Film_Noir_Buff
Relative body size does have something to do with tie lengths being acceptably shorter. The ties wouldve been shorter for them anyway but that 48-51 inch length was adequate for people back then.

That's a conclusion that isn't supported by the evidence. Take a look of vintage photographs from the 30s and 40s. If the tie is completely visible, with few exceptions it ends at least a few inches above the belt. Because vests and double-breasted suits were more commonplace, that didn't matter. Within the stylistic confines of the era, tie length was adequate.

In the early 1950s, as vests and DB suits fell out of favor, what happened? Your argument would presume that, because folks were roughly the same size they would have been a few years earlier, they'd keep their short ties. But they did nothing of the sort. They adapted a longer tie, one that extended down to the waist band. The change was dictated by style, not by size.

And there simply hasn't been the kind of great increase in the size that your argument supposes. American men born in 1950 are only 4cm (slightly more than 2 in.) taller than their counterparts born a century earlier.

http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/taller.htm
 

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