Look the Film: The Artist – Oscar Hopeful

The Artist, Oscar favourite, is about to be swept away in the language of glamour, winning and heartwarmingness.

The Artist, Oscar Nominee

The Artist, Oscar anyone?

But let’s take a moment to reflect on how cool its mute protagonist looked even when he was down on his luck.

As George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) slid from silent movie star into forgotten hero he managed to pull off a look of suave dejectedness.

Smooth depression.

Refined poopypants.

And you, pleb, at home or on the bus, wherever you are reading this, can achieve it too.

Destined for an Oscar this year?

No, you’re not, so get ready to be glimpsed in your practised, dark broody face by getting your hands on a tailored cotton two-button suit blazer (£129, Banana Republic). It’s the defining feature of this look, largely unstructured, casual. For the full effect only do up the top button, dump your hands in the pockets and stalk around looking serious. Actually, for the full effect spend about a week sleeping in it and expose it to burning celluloid fumes.

You suave bastard, you might also want to pick up a Autograph Pure Cotton Slim Fit Stripe Shirt (£29.50, M&S) in blue mix (remember, only the film is in black and white, not the whole world). Keep a couple of buttons undone to show your innate manliness hasn’t deserted you in desperate times. Keep the whole thing casual with some Bottega Veneta Straight-Leg Corduroy Trousers (£385, Mr Porter) and Ask the Missus Nagoya2 brown leather shoes (£69.99, Office).

And chin up, things may still improve. The future of The Artist, Oscar nominee, is certainly looking pretty bright.


Tailored cotton two-button suit blazer – £129
Autograph Pure Cotton Slim Fit Stripe Shirt – £29.50
Bottega Veneta Straight-Leg Corduroy Trousers – £385
Ask the Missus Nagoya2 brown leather shoes – £69.99

Total: £613.49

Look the Film: Ghostbusters


Five Minutes. I gave it five minutes before I buckled.

“A beige boiler suit?” I asked myself. “How am I going to work a beige boiler suit into a blog dedicated to the already flimsy notion of finding high street clothes to evoke my favourite on-screen characters?”

So here it is, the Ghostbusters getup compromised to an Olive Green Military Style (£17.99, Surplus & Outdoors) coverall which is much more day-at-the-races than the plain beige from the film. My first reaction is to be amazed at what the boiler suit does… it makes an entire outfit, IN ONE GO! The hands are even in the pockets, meaning I don’t have to go sourcing and placing those. This could save me hours of research, I’m already envisaging the fat proto-Italian mechanic from Speed Racer, the garage scene from Grease, Dean Jones as Jim Douglas in the original The Love Bug.

This last one stops the self-indulgent rant; that Jim Douglas was a pretty cool guy. Watch this space.

My second reaction is that this is going to need some serious accessories. But first, to keep things stark, we are sticking in a pair of Black Doc Marten 1460 Boots (£90, Doc Martens). Hard wearing and iconic, they look close to what Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray et al. were wearing, and they are what I would want to be in if there was a danger of getting slimed.

Onward with the frivolities, I can let a boiler suit pass but up with skater’s elbow pads I will not put. It would be accurate, sure. But at the expense of making you look like you are in costume (which is definitely not what we are about here) or like you are on your way home from laying floor boards – obviously there is nothing wrong with the noble floor board laying profession, but this is your clothes money we are playing with here… if you want to look like that go and train up.

So the compromise is to round the corner where Ghostbusting Peter Venkman meets Parapsychology Professor Peter Venkman and sew on some Dritz Suede Elbow Patches in Beige (£4.12, Create For Less). And while you are in the creative mindset, you will also need to apply some belt loops to facilitate the wearing of an ASOS Suede Chino Belt (£15, ASOS).

Rather than gluing some egg cartons together and strapping them to your back, you can evoke the proton pack with a Shore Leave Black Canvas Backpack (£55, Urban Outfitters).

The notion gets flimsier.

Look the Film: The Big Lebowski

The Big Lebowski

The Big Lebowski

Is there a chance that just because Look the Film prescribes wearing jimjam bottoms when getting about, so you can get a costume like The Dude from The Big Lebowski, you will do it? Yes there’s a chance. A slim chance.

It’s not that mooching through the Sunday morning coffee circuit in your pyjama bottoms because of a Cohen Brothers film is ridiculous. God no. It’s that it’s already coming. It has already been decided that it is coming.

Read that back. The people who make these decisions think that WE WILL BE WEARING PYJAMAS IN THE STREET. Unironically too, as witnessed in the Topman Design spring/summer 2012 catwalks, matching all-over pattern PJs with blazers and sockless loafers. By the time winter recedes next year you will never have to get changed again. That’s enough of the mock outrage. Clearly I can’t wait.

The relatively cheap nature of these Autograph Pure Cotton Stripe Woven Pyjama Bottoms (£19.50, M&S) with their vertical stripes set the tone for Jeff Bridge’s defining character. Rumour has it The Dude’s outfit was largely provided by Bridge’s own wardrobe, but you can bet his signature cardigan didn’t come in at the price you would need to shell out for the Polo Ralph Lauren Beacon Plaid Overshirt (£220.00, ASOS). At least you can drop the brand name next time you are in the executive boxes at the rugby. In your pyjama bottoms.

A basic Tri-Blend Short Sleeve Deep V-Neck in purple Tri-Cranberry (£22.00, American Apparel) will complete the look up top, and it will come as no surprise to subscribers to Look the Film that The Dude’s shoes already have billions of pixels worth of blog posts dedicated to them. Strangely, considering The Dude’s lazy/zen type character, they are Otomix Taekwondo Shoes (£11.77, Otomix). Discontinued, at the time of writing this pair come from the States, and are only available in a men’s size 4… so good luck with that. These Adidas Martial Arts Shoes (£36.92, MartialArtsMart) will pass as substitutes, but they also come from the States (where I can only imagine the market for shoes dedicated to beating people up is a little bigger than it is here) so whatever postage I have put below here is not accurate, but rather a poorly researched guess.

Otomix Taekwondo Shoes – £11.77
Autograph Pure Cotton Stripe Woven Pyjama Bottoms – £19.50
Tri-Blend Short Sleeve Deep V-Neck in Tri-Cranberry – £22.00
Polo Ralph Lauren Beacon Plaid Overshirt – £220.00

Total: £273.27

Total including postage (UK): £292.17

Look the Film: Amelie

The Audrey Tatou Outfit


With the tenth anniversary of Amelie upon us, for a sense of occasion (and for a sense of how a sense of occasion might be used to drive people to read this blog) Look the Film makes its first foray into womenswear. Oh man, the going is tougher in that particular dressing room. For one, disparaging remarks about a woman’s preoccupation with shoes ring quite hollow when compared to dude-love for the particulars of a cult film wardrobe.

Long story short: no one has done my work for me.

After a period of thrashing around uselessly on the Clarks website, my girlfriend glimpsed the screen and pointed out that Audrey Tatou was gliding impishly around Montmartre in a pair of Docs. True enough, the Dr Martens Brook Shoe (£90, Dr Martens) seems a close fit, offsetting the delicacies of the skirt, cardigan and jacket combo along with some nice chunky socks. For these, a two pair pack of Women Heattech Socks (£8.90, UNIQLO) will do you, but remember to roll down for extra chunk.

Leaving the unthreatening world of Doc Martens behind, I’m suddenly in new territory. I am trying to pick a skirt. This one’s the same length, but the wrong colour. This one’s the right colour but the wrong texture. This one’s a good length and colour but Angie from finance has the same one so there is no way I can wear it to the Christmas party. In the end, the Whistles Carrie Pleat Midi Skirt (£125, ASOS) gives length and colour, but introduces pleats where pleats should not be.

The costume design duo of Madeline Fontaine and Emma Lebail would probably be furious with my choice of Paige Peplum Cardigan (£40, Monsoon) in place of the delicate lacy number worn by Amelie Poulain. But that’s nothing compared to my rage when I discovered that the cardigan I spent about two hours looking for would be almost completely covered by the Patch Pocket Blazer (£49.99, ZARA).

This cobbling together is an homage to a single Audrey Tatou outfit from Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s classic. There are countless ensembles in there which add perfectly to the delicacy and stubbornness of Amelie, while reflecting a slightly rose-tinted view of Paris. So there’s plenty more scope there for this cack-handed approach to outfit recreation – but after this experience I might just leave it until the film’s 20th anniversary.

Dr Martens Brook Shoe – £90
Women Heattech Socks (two pairs) – £8.90
Whistles Carrie Pleat Midi Skirt – £125
Paige Peplum Cardigan – £40
Patch Pocket Blazer – £49.99

Total: £313.89

Total including postage (UK): £317.84

Look the Film: Blade Runner

The Blade Runner Outfit

Blade Runner

The shoes maketh the replicant hunter, and very little delving in the world of Blade Runner reveals another thriving subset of movieshoe love. Frame grabs from the film can be used to discover Rick Deckard’s make of shoe. Thankfully, some fanatic has done the job for me, and it turns out the costume duo of Michael Kaplan and  Charles Knode used some modified Stan Smith’s, like the old basketball referees used to wear. It is still possible to get your hands on the Adidas Originals Stan Smith II (£57.00, JD Sports), but you might want to run around in the rain at night to make them feel like they are really from Ridley Scott’s vision of the future.

Fresh from Look the Film: Mon Oncle, the No Wale Corduroy Slim Fit Jeans (£29.90, Uniqlo) make an appearance here, although this time in Dark Brown. At this stage of his career, Harrison Ford was impossibly handsome, which a lot of people attributed to a mixture of genetics and attitude. Looking closer however, it is clear to see that in Blade Runner he wears a rather thin belt, which I personally think did most of the work. It’s not cheap, but the A.P.C Slim Leather Belt (£140, Mr Porter) can give you the same aesthetic advantage over the rest of your gender.

Being such a dark film, it wasn’t until I started researching this piece that I realised if there had been one nice, clear sunny day in Los Angeles in 2019, Deckard would have lost the trench coat and found himself dressed remarkably like Steve Martin in The Jerk. The slight yokel look can be bought through the introduction of the Suit Twin Pocket Contrast Check Yoke Shirt (£70.00, ASOS) which clashes with/accentuates (delete where appropriate) the Black and Red Stripe Silk Tie (£35, KJ Beckett). I thought the square ended tie was a recent invention until I took a closer look here. It turns out people have been making themselves look like fools for decades – so in this version I provide you with a tie with a point.

Speaking of that extra layer needed for miserable future Los Angeles, the Wool Lined Trench Coat (£695, Burberry) provides folds, flaps and a big enough collar to make you believe you too have the right to judge the humanity of others. It also costs enough to make that magic belt look like a steal.

Adidas Originals Stan Smith II – £57
No Wale Corduroy Slim Fit Jeans – £29.90
A.P.C Slim Leather Belt – £140
Suit Twin Pocket Contrast Check Yoke Shirt – £70
Black and Red Stripe Silk Tie – £35
Wool Lined Trench Coat – £695

Total: £1,026.90

Total including postage (UK): £1,042.85

Look the Film: White Men Can’t Jump

White Men Can't Jump

The purpose of a Look the Film dedicated to making you look like a chump is obscure even to me.

But here it is regardless.

It might be that 90s dorkism is about to make a roaring return. It might be an homage to the warmer months when you could (theoretically) get away with dressing like this. It might be because a friend requested it and I had no better ideas to hand. I digress, here we go, how to dress like Woody Harrelson’s chump from White Men Can’t Jump.

And on first look, surprise surprise, there has already been a direct basketball boot tie-in from Nike. The Nike Hyperlite was launched in 2009, with the simple white outer and flash of neon yellow across the sole’s heel. Alas, it seems no cynical movie/shoe combo is going to be easy for Look the Film, with these no longer available. Forgoing the defining yellow streak, the Nike Court Force Hi (£45, JD Sports), offers a subtly grey shoe, dorky enough to make even Woody Harrelson look like a herbert.

And so began a search for socks: so grey and 90s they look capable of producing a pong hitherto particular to adolescent boys. After an exhaustive(ish) search for this grey/red stripe combo I reached a compromise (or was defeated and settled for) Light Grey Striped socks (£12.00, TopMan). This way we can pay homage to the Nike’s missing yellow by selecting the yellow topped pair from the five pack.

A caveat: never buy shorts like those in this picture. Certainly never buy them to play basketball in. The Quiksilver Murf 22’s (£45, boardshorts.co.uk) mimic the trashiness of Billy Hoyle’s b-ball shark, but are otherwise inexcusable. Some classic 90s layering is needed up top, with a French Terry Drop-Shoulder Sweatshirt (£39, American Apparel) forming a base layer for the lack-of-sense-defining Parental Advisory T-shirt (£14.99, 8ball.co.uk) to play on top of.

A bigger caveat: I do not endorse the wearing of caps. I just give thanks that I live in a world where finding a cap as bad as the one in White Men Can’t Jump is this difficult. I spent hours trying to find a pig ugly, tie dyed multicolour hat, and I settled on this Lady’s Union Jack Pink Heart Design Diamante Baseball Cap (£5.36, Universal Textiles). A travesty.

Nike Court Force Hi – £45
Light Grey Striped socks (Five pairs) – £12.00
Quiksilver Murf 22’s – £45
French Terry Drop-Shoulder Sweatshirt – £39
Parental Advisory T-shirt – £14.99
Lady’s Union Jack Pink Heart Design Diamante Baseball Cap – £5.36

Total: £161.35

Total including postage (UK): 177.82

As an alternative you could slice open a basketball, stuff £177.82 into it and kick it into the ocean.

Look the Film: Mon Oncle

Mon Oncle

Right, well this isn’t going to be cheap. Let’s start with the shoes again, because:
a) they set the tone for any outfit, and
b) they are probably the most affordable key element of this get up.To achieve the reserved, down-to-earth tone of Jaques Tati’s ‘Mon Oncle’, these Manners shoes (£74.99, Base London) keep things both suave and understated. Above, the understatement continues with some grey No Wale Corduroy Slim Fit Jeans (£29.90, Uniqlo). If possible buy longer than you need and turn up for a suitably French look. Bridge the gap strikingly with some teal Stripe Socks (£6.50, Firetrap).

The signature piece will take a toll, with a Burberry London Gadsbury Wool Coat (£895, Mr Porter), almost perfectly mimicking the French charm of Tati’s original (and you can bet he didn’t spend THAT much on it). Underneath, a sharp white shirt with accentuated collar, like a French waiter’s moustache, is needed. The St. George by Duffer White plain sateen long sleeved shirt (£32.50, Debenhams) should do the trick. While it is expensive for a piece that remains hidden, if you have followed me this far I can’t really see that being a problem for you.One of the most beautiful touches in Mon Oncle is the splash of deep red provided by Mr Hulot’s impeccable bow tie. The Plain Burgundy Bow Tie (£14.99, Swagger & Swoon) will suffice.

The second signature of the outfit can be aped by a York wide brim hat (£195, Lock & co. Hatters). If you are happy to blow nearly a grand on a coat so you can look like a French film genius from the late 50’s, you won’t think twice about bending up the rear brim on £195 worth of head wear.

Top it off in a remortgaging fashion with the Swaine Adeney Brigg Collapsible Travel Umbrella (£235, Mr Porter). Crushingly expensive, but the details are all there right down to the black tip.

Don’t invest in a pipe. Smoking will kill you.

And while you are waiting for that to happen it will make you look like a tit.

Base London: Manners – £74.99
Stripe Socks – £6.50
No Wale Corduroy Slim Fit Jeans – £29.90
St. George by Duffer White plain sateen long sleeved shirt – £32.50
Burberry London Gadsbury Wool Coat- £895
Plain Burgundy Bow Tie – £14.99
York wide brim hat – £195
Swaine Adeney Brigg Collapsible Travel Umbrella – £235

Total Cost: £1,483.88
Total cost with postage (UK): £1,513.73 – but I suppose you could just send that chap who runs errands for you…

Look the Film: Back to the Future II

Back to the Future II

Another Look the Film, another shaky start in the shoe department. The complete Back to the Future II look is more achievable than the Steve Zissou, because the necessary shoes actually exist – albeit in an extremely limited fashion. The Nike Air Mag shoes recently went to auction and sold for what can only be described as ‘lots of money’. 1,500 pairs were available, with the money raised going to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

It’s great to see trainer-lust being used for a worthy cause at last, but it does mean the rest of us must compromise. The Air Mags were noteworthy due to self-lacing, glowing and requiring a battery pack. Their other defining feature was an understated cool grey profile, which we uncharitable folk (read: those of us with significantly told wealth) can replicate for this look via the Nike Air Force 1 Mid ’07 (£45, JD Sports).

For the first Back to the Future sequel Costume Designer Joanna Johnstone (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Forest Gump, The Sixth Sense) stripped back the quad-layering of Marty McFly’s first outing for the retro-future looks of 2015. While not self-drying, the Dassy Lugano Two Tone Work Jacket (£59.99, Brix Workwear) carries the same distinctive grey/red ratio as in the film.

To complete, throw in a pair of ASOS Light Wash Slim Fit Jeans (£25, ASOS) to achieve the broad shoulder down to tapered waist look (if you can). Again, the definitive shoes are hard to come by, but frankly we could all do without one more thing to plug in before bed.
Nike Air Force 1 Mid ’07 – £45
ASOS Light Wash Slim Fit Jeans – £25
Dassy Lugano Two Tone Work Jacket – £59.99

Total Cost: £129.99
Total Cost with postage (UK): £133.94

Look the Film: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

All good outfits start from the shoes up, even at sea. That gets creating a sartorial (and not merely fancy dress) take on the Zissou look off to a ropey start. The highly coveted Team Zissou Adidas trainers from the film attracted such trainer-lust that the market is flooded with opportunist knock-offs. Whether these are rebranded trainers or complete do-it-yourself jobs is a £50 risk I am unwilling to take to find out.

As a compromise I turn happily to the 21st century’s shoe crisis resolution: the Converse All Star. Converse.co.uk currently offer the opportunity build your own from a variety of designs, colours and prints. Sticking the colour ways from the film’s three-stripe onto a Chuck Taylor All Star Ox Canvas (£54, Converse) gives us a shoe which may not belong to Wes Anderson’s vision, but at least now it belongs to us.Following the nautical military theme set out in the film sees us plump for the Dockers Bright Twill Chinos in light blue (£75, House of Fraser) for a crisp ordered feel. Up top the sharp military lines of an Alexander McQueen Epaulette Regular Fit Single Cuff Shirt (£325, Selfridges & Co.), and darker blue trim are evocative of the film’s detailing. The lack of a central stripe can be countered through a Turnbull & Asser Ribbed Blue Silk Tie (£75, Mr Porter) to pull the ensemble together. Some slight alterations might be needed, as the shirt comes long sleeved, sacrificing the sporty look worn by the crew of the Belafonte. But the McQueen costs the best part of £400, so it’s your call.
To complete the look add the Red Tiny Beanie (£8, ASOS) – shabby and bobble free for the Bill Murray look, with variations for the rest of the crew.

Chuck Taylor All Star Ox Canvas – £54
Dockers Bright Twill Chinos in light blue – £75
Alexander McQueen Epaulette Regular Fit Single Cuff Shirt – £325
Turnbull & Asser Ribbed Blue Silk Tie – £75
Red Tiny Beanie – £8

Total Cost: £537
Total Cost with postage (UK): £550.90