BY YUWA VOSPER
One of the best summer movies filled with style inspiration is The Talented Mr. Ripley. Matt Damon, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, and the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman composed the stellar cast, who set off to Italy. They drink−they sail− they party− they commit murder; however, we are going to overlook the negative and focus on the positive. That positive is Dickie Greenleaf, the character played by Jude Law. Dickie had the best laissez-faire sense of style. He is the classic Waspy prep that had nothing to lose with a stack of money allowing any extravagance. Dickie’s style is still channeled today, especially seen in men’s fashion and merchandise.
The movie takes place in the late 1950s but hit theatres in 1999. The late 1950s was a time when men’s clothing was more body-conscious. Set in Italy, clothing reflected the simplistic but extravagant detail of Italian menswear. Even more, pants had a slightly lower rise, shorts were shorter resembling Chubbies, and tailored shirts were slightly unbuttoned. Dickie’s style epitomized rich and preppy. However, the good news is that you don’t have to break the bank to achieve this style. With stores like Brooks Brothers, you can find tailored suits that have the soft-shoulder appeal of an Italian jacket similar to the style Dickie wore during his tragically bloody vacation.
How to Get the Look:
To recreate this look, it is best to begin with the color palette. The Talented Mr. Ripley had tropical colors such as tans, greens, and ocean blues. In the sailboat scene, Dickie, Tom Ripley, and Freddie Miles– both played by Damon and Hoffman respectively−wore unbuttoned Oxford shirts, and Clubmaster sunglasses, which are sold at any Sunglass Hut. Ray-Ban has a pair called the Clubmaster classic style. Dickie loved button-down short-sleeve shirts and loose shorts. He was also confident enough to brave pink. Aristocracy Apparel located in downtown Baton Rouge has a great selection of trunks and shorts. My favorite shorts for this look found at Aristocracy are the Ben Sherman Cuffed Chino Shorts and the Penguin Print Trunks. Pair the Ben Sherman Cuffed Chino Shorts with the Penguin short-sleeve plaid shirt to achieve the perfect preppy vibe.
When Dickie wasn’t wearing his shirt nonchalantly, he was wearing his pants with a slightly shorter hem or rolled at the ankle. The printed pants and cuffed Chinos found at Aristocracy provide the foundation for this classic look. To get a more modern spin to the classic look, try the Skillsaw Pant found at The Garage Men’s Custom Shop.
Several movie scenes showed Dickie stepping on the back of his gentlemen’s loafers. The Zurriick Chucca also at Aristocracy give an updated approach to the men’s brogue. Even at the jazz club, Dickie wore his khaki suit with collar undone along with a short brim fedora. He was relaxed without a care and it showed in his clothing style. To achieve this relaxed look, Aristocracy also has a brown and vintage hat that can easily be turned up at the brim.
Yes, we all remember Ripley, the murderer who attempts to assume Dickie’s identity. However, he can’t. Why? He cannot adopt Dickie’s confidence and nonchalance. Ripley begins to wear Dickie’s clothing, and he only looks uptight and awkward. This harkens back to one of my main mottos: if you wear it, wear it with confidence. You may admire someone. but if it doesn’t fit your style mantra, it won’t look good. It’s all about how you wear it, and Dickie in The Talented Mr. Ripley wore it so well, it’s still inspiring men’s fashion.