High-Flying Style Lessons From Top Gun

May 2016Words by Mr Stuart Husband

Ms Kelly McGillis Charlotte “Charlie” Blackwoodas and Mr Tom Cruise as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in Top Gun, 1986. Photograph by Allstar Picture Library

“I feel the need… the need for speed.” Can it really be 30 years since those immortal words were uttered in Top Gun, the high-octane, testosterone-crazed action-adventure, which gave Mr Tom Cruise one of his most deathless roles as hot-dog fighter pilot Lieutenant Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (and yes, the clue to his swaggering, man-spreading, loner-and-rebel predilections is most definitely in the name)? The movie has endured – and been preserved by the Library of Congress as “culturally significant”, if you please – because of its killer cast, follow-your-dreams plotline, slick, MTV-influenced style, brilliant soundtrack (including Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” and Mr Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone”) and, crucially, its beyond-parody dialogue. (Example gems: “Take me to bed or lose me forever”; “Son, your ego is writing checks your body can’t cash!”)

But there’s another reason that Top Gun still soars like an F-14A Tomcat: the clothes. While it’s true that military-inspired looks are hardy perennials, Top Gun took it to officer-class level. Here, MR PORTER singles out three style takeaways that will have you “jumpin’ off the deck. And shovin’ into overdrive” (thank you, Mr Loggins). With original producer Mr Jerry Bruckheimer still trying to get Top Gun 2 off the ground, the following tips will make sure you’re ahead of the curve style-wise, as well as being – as the movie’s original tagline had it – “Up there with the best of the best.”

AVIATORS ALWAYS FLY HIGHER