Top 5 stylish films that influenced men’s fashion
Although a good plot always comes first when choosing a film to watch, it’s not always the thing that stays with us the longest. When a film or a TV show offers stylish menswear – either by introducing a trend or reviving one, it can be hard to forget.
We’re delving into our favourite fashion in film moments and highlighting the brands that define each film’s looks so that you can admire and dress like your film icons.
Read on to discover more about our top 5 film looks at Loofe’s.
Table of Contents:
1 Quadrophenia (1979)
An iconic look back at the days of Mod, Quadrophenia was released in the late 1970s but told the tale of the riots between Mods and Rockers in the 1960s, culminating in the famous May Bank Holiday brawl of 1964 between the two groups on Brighton beach.
Our main character Jimmy, played by British acting icon Phil Daniels, is disillusioned by his run-of-the-mill job working in a mailroom. Jimmy lives for his Mod lifestyle: partying, taking recreational drugs, dressing to impress and riding his Lambretta scooter.
This classic film represents youth culture and a sense of belonging and helped revive Mod dressing when it was released in the late 1970s.
Jimmy is the real fashion icon of the film. Still, with a young cast of up-and-coming British actors and musicians such as Leslie Ash, Ray Winstone, Sting and Toyah Wilcox, to name a few, the film was widely embraced by Mods and those wanting to try out Mod style for themselves.
How to dress Quadrophenia style:
The film is filled with Mod-style references such as skinny tailored suits, fishtail parkas, desert boots and Penny Loafers. The Mods of the 1960s were heavily invested in their look, shunning brash logos and spending their earnings on tailoring, embracing Italian cut suits.
To fully embrace the Quadrophenia look today, invest in Fred Perry polo shirts, skinny jeans or chinos and Clarks Desert boots, then finish the look with a lightweight, fishtail parka jacket, or visit our blog on How To Dress Like A Mod, for even more Mod style tips.
2 The Talented Mr Ripley (1999)
Set in the 1950s, Tom Ripley, played by Matt Damon, is a young man struggling to make ends meet in New York City. Whilst working as a restroom attendant in Manhattan, he meets a Princeton graduate who convinces him to play the piano at an alumni party, posing as a Princeton alumni member.
At the party, Ripley meets Herbert Greenleaf, a wealthy shipbuilder. Greenleaf believes that Ripley attended Princeton with his estranged son Dickie and offers to pay him $1,000 to go to Italy and persuade him to return to the USA. Although having never met Dickie, Ripley accepts.
A man whose talents are in impersonation, lying and forgery, on arrival in Italy, Tom Ripley befriends Dickie, convincing him too that they were, in fact, at Princeton together. The events that follow see Ripley assume Dickie’s identity, and a whole tangle of lies and murder unfold against the backdrop of the Italian Riviera.
The Princeton Ivy League fashion against this 1950s backdrop makes this film one of the most stylish films of all time. Preppy and glamorous, Jude Law personifies Ivy League wealth and luxury in his role as Dickie, offering an enviable style to emulate.
How to dress in The Talented Mr Ripley style:
Colourful shirts, slim, dark suits and Ivy League preppy cool sum up the style of The Talented Mr Ripley.
In the 1950s, brands such as GANT were at the forefront of Ivy League fashion, so stocking up on GANT shirts is a good way to add some preppy style to your wardrobe. Pair yours with some Ted Baker chino shorts to add a European flair to your look.
3 Rebel Without A Cause (1956)
Roguishly cool, James Dean plays troubled 17-year-old Jim Stark in this coming-of-age tale of love, loss and troubled families, lifting the lid on the idea of the perfect American post-war middle-class family and the American Dream.
After being caught up in troubles throughout his life, Jim Stark’s family move him to Los Angeles, where he enrols in Dawson High School for a chance of a fresh start. However, entangled in troubles again, the film begins with Jim being picked up from the police station by his parents for being drunk and disorderly.
There, Jim meets a young boy named Plato, and they bond over the absence of love in their lives. Jim’s home life is difficult; he has an overbearing mother and weak father who can’t stand up to her, leaving him without much parental support. Conversely, Plato has divorced parents who are regularly out of town, leaving him in the care of the housekeeper.
Plato idolises Jim as a father figure, craving the love that’s missing at home.
For Jim, his relationship with Judy, played by Natalie Wood, allows him to find love elsewhere. Coming from a similarly troubled household, Judy’s father is dismissive of her channelling all of his affection into her younger brother. Judy craves love and attention, which is why she is attracted to Jim.
They meet at school; however, Judy is the ‘property’ of Buzz, a school bully, and tragedy ensues when events spiral into a game of ‘chicken’ (driving cars towards a cliff’s edge).
A teenager’s struggle between boyhood and adulthood, Rebel Without A Cause provided action, emotion, drama and controversy when it was released in the 1950s.
How to dress like Jim Stark (James Dean) in Rebel Without A Cause:
There’s no denying that James Dean’s effortlessly cool look in Rebel Without A Cause was one of the main pulls of the film when it was released. Teen Pop fashion was growing in the 1950s, and teenagers were aspiring to dress like their on-screen heroes.
In this film, Dean showed how a simple look could be so effortlessly cool. Pair a plain white t-shirt with some classic rolled straight cut jeans like this pair from Bugatti, and finish off with a Harrington jacket.
4 Peaky Blinders (2013-2022)
Although not an example of a stylish film, there’s no denying that Peaky Blinders has had a huge impact on menswear in recent years. With three-piece suits rising in popularity and the tweed suit making an impressive comeback to weddings, races and proms, it seemed a perfect fit for this list.
Set in Birmingham in 1919, shortly after the end of the First World War, Peaky Blinders focuses on war veteran Tommy Shelby and his crime family. Known as the Peaky Blinders because of the blades hidden in the peaks of their hats that they used to blind people, Tommy is their cunning crime boss, who leads them through all sorts of schemes against a backdrop of post-war fallout depression and prohibition.
Shelby takes control of the city of Birmingham, but his ambitions extend further than that as he works to build his business empire. Fiercely ambitious and intelligent and supported by his brothers, it’s a tale of cunning, violence, brutality and criminality in Birmingham’s 1920s underworld.
How to dress like a Peaky Blinder:
To capture Tommy Shelby’s 1920s criminal chic, you’ll need to get suited and booted.
Shelby’s style was a historically accurate representation of the real-life gang on which the show was based (although the razor blade cap peaks are said to be just a rumour).
Men of the time were known for their formal three-piece suits and peaked caps. They wore their trousers level with the ankles, as the streets didn’t have sewage systems, so they wanted to protect them from dirt and damage.
5 Trainspotting (1996) (and T2 2017)
Trainspotting is not the most obvious choice for a stylish fashion film, but it is a cult classic. First released in 1996, Trainspotting brought an iconic soundtrack and a glimpse into the darkest suburbs of Edinburgh’s lowlife.
The story follows Mark Renton, a 26-year-old heroin addict who lives with his parents in Edinburgh. He shares his addiction with friends SickBoy, Spud and their dealer Swanney – with the four of them often taking drugs at Swanney’s flat.
Renton attempts to wean himself off drugs by locking himself in a low-rent hotel room, but once out, he realises that his heroin addiction has been replaced with an increase in libido. Meeting Diane Coulston in a nightclub, he goes back to her apartment to spend the night with her, only realising the next day that she is an underage schoolgirl living with her parents.
After many attempts to come clean, including some tragedies, the friends keep relapsing into drug use, as does their friend Tommy, a footballer who recently started using drugs after a break-up with his girlfriend.
A severe heroin overdose and a spell in the hospital see Renton, with the help of Diane and his parents, temporarily come clean, but with friends like his (and his clean yet violent friend Frank Begbie), there’s always something that pulls him back in.
A real glimpse into working-class poverty and squalor, Trainspotting explores many themes, including friendship, comedy and tragedy. The film’s fashion (and its sequel T2) represents the time, exploring influences such as baggy fashion, casual style, grunge and Britpop (also reflected in the soundtrack).
How to Trainspotting style:
The original Trainspotting film was heavily influenced by the grunge fashion of the time, but Britpop influences were present too.
Frank Begbie, played by Robert Carlysle, offers the most dapper look. Often dressed like an 80s casual, see him sporting jeans, loafers and the occasional branded jumper, opting for Fred Perry and Pringle as some of his style choices.
The heroin-induced grunge look of Renton was occasionally teamed up with sporty brands such as ADIDAS in his three-stripes tracksuit tops, and Samba trainers and his jeans were paired with a white pair of Converse.
Although more grown up in T2, Britpop and Mod influences can still be seen in each of the gang’s style choices, and they never let go of their love for ADIDAS and other casual, cool brands.
Dress like a film icon at Loofe’s
Whatever your favourite iconic film look is from the films listed, it’s never been easier to update your wardrobe with pieces to emulate each style than by shopping at Loofe’s. Simply shop our style picks via the links above for enviable movie star style.