From American Gigolo To Withnail And I: The Best Big Coats In Film

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From American Gigolo To Withnail And I: The Best Big Coats In Film

Words by Mr Ashley Clarke and Mr Jim Merrett

9 December 2020

Hollywood loves a good coat almost as much as we do here at MR PORTER. And if you happen to be in need of some coat-shopping inspiration now that winter has started to teethe, the silver screen isn’t a terrible place to begin. From Margot Tenenbaum’s distinctive mink coat in The Royal Tenenbaums, to Zhora’s transparent vinyl mac in Blade Runner, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s the women who get to have all the fun when it comes to movie characters and their outerwear. However, there are a fair few gents who have rocked some iconic (and often overlooked) jackets on screen over the past few decades, and we’ve compiled them below to give you some winter wardrobe inspiration.

Withnail And I (1987)

01. Messrs Paul McGann and Richard E Grant

Swapping their squalid Camden flat for a break in the countryside, two actors with a taste for wine and melancholy embark on a mishap-riddled adventure to Cumbria. The black comedy, set in the late 1960s, is now itself well into its thirties, but we think each of Messrs Paul McGann and Richard E Grant’s coats would look quite sartorially relevant today. Both resting just above the ankles, their billowy shapes are bang on trend right now. Bonus styling points for the thick checked scarf the po-faced Mr Grant has thrown over his shoulder, too.

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Quadrophenia (1979)

02. Mr Phil Daniels

Based on The Who’s rock opera of the same name, Quadrophenia didn’t just reference the mod style of the 1960s, but chimed with the mod revival that was taking place in the late 1970s when the movie came out – think tailored suits, skinny ties and checked shirts worn with bravado. The star of the show, though, is Mr Phil Daniels’ waxed scooter-boy parka coat, worn oversized over a white polo shirt and suede desert boots.

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Shaft (1971)

03. Mr Richard Roundtree

“Who is the man that would risk his neck for his brother, man?” Mr Isaac Hayes asks in his theme song to the 1971 blaxploitation film that set the bar. Thankfully, PI John Shaft’s own nape was safely ensconced in a turtleneck, not to mention the ample lapel of his signature leather coat, turned up just so. A statement piece even then, Mr Richard Roundtree’s lengthy brown trench joins the harmonious medley of autumnal tones across a wardrobe that really sings. We can dig it.

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American Gigolo (1980)

04. Mr Richard Gere

Oft-referenced but nevertheless worth including in our cohort, Mr Richard Gere’s camel cashmere trench coat in American Gigolo is the most recognisable thing from the movie after Mr Gere himself. Ostentatiously large notch lapels wrapped together with a lengthy belt, the coat in the movie (as well as the rest of Mr Gere’s stylish onscreen wardrobe) was designed by Mr Giorgio Armani, and its quintessentially Italian stylishness launched the fashion brand as a venerable supplier for a number of other Hollywood productions.

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Spectre (2015)

05. Mr Daniel Craig

Even by Bond’s standards, Mr Daniel Craig’s fourth outing as the MI6 field operative racks up the air miles, taking in Mexico City, Rome, Altaussee in Austria and Tangier, before, inevitably, winding up in London. Travelling to that many locations calls for versatile clothing, and the double-breasted TOM FORD overcoat the secret agent is contractually obliged to wear more than holds its own. What should be a sombre, muted piece, worn in this case to a funeral, is typically elevated above the standard-issue jacket.

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Three Days Of The Condor (1975)

06. Mr Robert Redford

In Three Days Of The Condor, Mr Robert Redford plays Joseph Turner, a bookworm-turned-amateur spy who ends up on the run after his colleagues at the CIA are murdered. If that all sounds a little theatrical, the double-breasted navy wool peacoat Mr Redford wears in the film is anything but; utilitarian and traditional, the collar is perennially popped to weather the winter.

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Carnal Knowledge (1971)

07. Messrs Jack Nicholson and Art Garfunkel

Messrs Jack Nicholson and Art Garfunkel’s characters in Carnal Knowledge show two antithetical sides of heterosexual masculinity: the latter idolises women, and the former objectifies them. Unsurprisingly, neither can sustain a relationship, but both men do manage to pull off a rather nice duffle coat; we’re particularly fond of the contrasting togs on Mr Nicholson’s navy number.

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The men featured in this story are not associated with and do not endorse MR PORTER or the products shown