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The Compass  /  Iconic StyleStyleStyle on Screen  /  How to Suit Up Like Gatsby

How to Suit Up Like Gatsby

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While you’re reading this post, we suggest you open up Spotify and listen to the newly-released soundtrack to The Great Gatsby (2013). If you’re not already, it will get you pumped about the film’s release on May 10th. We’re definitely excited. And not just because of the killer threads all of the Gatsby boys will be rocking. If the previews and director Baz Luhrmann’s previous work is any indication, the movie promises to be quite the visual feast. Plus, we get Leo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby. In case you’re still holding Titanic against him and haven’t seen The Departed or Inception, Mr. DiCaprio can put on a show.

In the novel the movie is based on, F. Scott Fitzgerald describes Jay Gatsby as a total clotheshorse. In one scene, Gatsby shows two other characters his collection of shirts, which he keeps “piled like bricks in stacks a dozen high.” He has “shirts of sheer linen and thick silk and fine flannel…shirts with stripes and scrolls and plaids in coral and apple-green and lavender and faint orange, and monograms of Indian blue.” And why shouldn’t he have a roomful of shirts? The man’s rich – Tony Stark rich. So how can you, the modern man with Gatsbian ambitions, get that swinging Gatsby look? It’s easy, and it doesn’t require a trust fund or bootlegging. We’ll explore four of the looks that Gatsby (as played by DiCaprio), Tom Buchanan (as played by Joel Edgerton) and Nick Carraway (as played by Spiderman, er…Tobey Maguire) will be sporting in the upcoming flick.

Look #1: Swanky Dinner Suit

Gatsby is the ultimate dandy. The guy’s closet is bigger than most New York City apartments. As such, costume designer Catherine Martin instilled Gatsby’s tuxedo with all kinds of non-traditional details that only a black tie connoisseur would notice. For starters, a classically styled tuxedo has peak lapels, a single button, piped pockets, and no vents. The vest, if one is worn, is cut low, with no more than four buttons, to expose as much shirt front as possible. Gatsby’s tux on the other hand, has three buttons, flapped pockets, side vents, and gauntlet cuffs. His vest is cut high, with five buttons. The gauntlet cuffs are a tasteful touch; they’re not traditional for a tuxedo, which makes them very conspicuous, just like Gatsby himself. Here’s how to recreate the look:

 

  1. Black Custom 3-Piece Tuxedo with Peak Lapel by Black Lapel
  2. White Pleated Front Broadcloth Custom Tuxedo Shirt by Black Lapel
  3. Solid White Pocket Square by Black Lapel
  4. Black & Onyx Mother of Pearl Studs & Silver Mother of Pearl Cufflinks by Kent Wang
  5. Black Bow Tie by Black Lapel
  6. Chatham Black Patent Leather Dress Shoes by Crockett & Jones

Look #2: Louche Long Island Linen

Here, Gatsby demonstrates that recovering from an all-night party is no excuse to dress down or slouch. This casual summer suit in ivory linen from Brooks Brothers’s Gatsby collection comes straight from the movie. A linen suit with peak lapels can be dressed up, for a summer wedding, or down, for a casual day in the park. Here, Gatsby wears it with an odd vest (that is, a vest in a non-matching fabric) and spectator (two tone) shoes, both of which add a casual touch. The yellow tie is a perfect summer accessory that really shines (pun sort of intended).

  1. The Great Gatsby Collection Ivory Linen Jacket & Pants by Brooks Brothers
  2. Light Blue Solid Broadcloth Custom Dress Shirt by Black Lapel
  3. Ludlow Vest in Wide Herringbone Italian Linen by J. Crew
  4. Concentric Hammer Cufflinks by Black Lapel
  5. Butter Pastel Linin Plaid Tie, Dark Chocolate Pocket Square, and Collar Bar by The Tie Bar.
  6. Broadstreet Spectators by Allen Edmonds.

Look #3: Prohibition Power Suit

Tom Buchanan is as close as the novel comes to having an antagonist. He’s everything Gatsby wants to be but isn’t. Tom’s a true Blue Blood, coming from an old money East Coast family. He attended Yale, where he was a member of the Skull & Bones Society. You might have heard of them. The Society’s membership roster reads like a who’s who of power players in American politics and business: Presidents William Howard Taft, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush, Secretary of State John Kerry, publishing tycoon Henry Luce, and Harold Stanley, co-founder of Morgan Stanley. The list goes on. The bottom line is that Tom Buchanan possess money and power in abundance and he dresses the part. Double-breasted three-piece suits in navy and gray and french-cuffed shirts with gold cufflinks. Getting into Yale is hard. Being asked to join the Skull and Bones Society is even harder. But dressing like Tom is easy. Here’s how to get the look:

 

  1. Midnight Blue Custom 3-Piece Suit by Black Lapel
  2. Light Blue Solid Broadcloth Custom Dress Shirt by Black Lapel
  3. Red Patterned Tie by Black Lapel
  4. Skull & Crossbones Pocket Square by The Tie Bar
  5. Knot Gold Cufflinks by Kent Wang
  6. Jasper sunglasses by Warby Parker
  7. Straw boater by Gentleman’s Emporium
  8. Black McAllister Wingtip Lace-ups by Allen Edmonds

Look #4: Weekend in West Egg

Nick Carraway, played by Tobey Maguire, is the story’s narrator. His personality, and thus his style, are the mirror opposite of Gatsby’s. Where Gatsby favors glitz and glamor, Nick goes for casual comfort. Nick favors oxford cloth button-downs and club collar shirts, cardigans, bow ties, tweed suits with patch pockets, and other hallmarks of what would become the Ivy League look. Unlike Gatsby, who takes great care in selecting his clothes, Nick tends to just dress and go. That’s not to say that Nick’s a slob. Far from it. He just knows the trick to being well-dressed without working too hard at it: build a wardrobe with simple, interchangeable pieces. Gatsby’s silver shirts may catch attention, but they’re tough to pull off and can’t be worn in most situations. On the other hand, Nick’s oxford cloth button-downs and cardigans can be worn anywhere, anytime. Here’s a modern take on his look:

  1. Tan Tweed 3-Piece Suit by Samson Wardrobes
  2. White Solid Broadcloth Custom Dress Shirt (with button-down collar) by Black Lapel
  3. Green Plaid Tie by Black Lapel
  4. Solid White Cotton Pocket Square (Olive Border) by The Tie Bar
  5. Culverton Hat by Goorin Bros.
  6. Clayton Saddle Shoes by Johnston & Murphy

UPDATE: The Elusive Sweater

Many of you have asked where to get the exact sweater Leonardo DiCaprio wore in the film. This sweater was not part of the Brooks Brothers tie-in and we haven’t found it for sale anywhere. Still, by popular demand, we thought we’d present this Aquascutum Pullover ($329) as a suitable alternative. This IS NOT the same sweater as the one in the movie, but it can help you achieve a similar visual effect. The big difference between this sweater and the one in the movie is that the knit makes vertical ribs, while the movie one features horizontal variations in the ribbing. Since most guys benefit from the slimming effect of the vertical ribs (see bullet 1 of the warning below), this isn’t the worst thing in the world.

WARNING: Do not think that if you run out and go buy one of these you will look like Leonardo DiCaprio did in the movie. If you want to look like Leo in this sweater you’ll have to do the following:

  1. Go to the gym..often.Seriously, dude is trim and the sweater fits him snug. There’s no hiding any love handles in there. Part of the reason it looks so good on Leo is that he’s got a strong V-shaped upper body that’s accentuated by this slim fit sweater. The only way to get that matinee idol body is to work out, eat smart and have some help from mother nature (or your actual mother and her genes).
  2. Be white, have a tan and have golden blonde hair.Don’t get us wrong, you can look good in this sweater no matter what your race, skin tone or hair color, but another part of the reason the sweater looks so good on Leo is because it is in harmony with his natural coloring. This is an important lesson for dressing in general, always consider your hair color, eye color and skin tone when deciding on colors. In this case the filmmakers bathed Leo in a golden light that mimicked candlelight, in a room full of harmonious creams, tans and golds and he looked like he a bronzed Adonis. If “bronzed Adonis” are unlikely to show up in any description of your looks, this sweater won’t make you look like Leonardo DiCaprio in Gatsby, but you can find one that does work for your coloring if you start with one rule of thumb, frame your face by wearing a color in the same family as your hair color in your shirt/jacket.
  3. Lose your shirt.The snug fit of this sweater works because there’s no shirt underneath it bunching up and creating weird wrinkles. The only wrinkles are from the sleeves being rolled up. Get this sweater in your true size and wear it like a shirt to achieve the true Gatsby effect.

If the clothes are anything to go by, the latest iteration of The Great Gatsby promises to be amazing. And while dressing like Gatsby and co. might seem a bit daunting at first, these tips will have you looking like the 1920’s Prohibition era dandy you’ve always wanted to be.

Trying to master your Gatsby look? Start with a flawlessly fitting suit the evokes the era and add throwback accessories and styling to nail the look. Get started here.

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51 thoughts on “How to Suit Up Like Gatsby”

  1. With havin so much written content do you ever run into any issues off plagiarism or copyright infringement?
    My site has a lot of unique content I’ve either written myself or outsourced but
    it seems a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my authorization. Do
    you know any ways to help prevent content from being ripped off?
    I’d really appreciate it.

    1. Yeah, we feel your pain Devenir. Luckily we get a ping when anyone links to our content, but sometimes that link ends up being our entire article, images included, republished without our consent. We always email the contact on that site and tell them that while we’re flattered they want to republish our content, it’s still not cool and politely ask them to take it down. If the email approach doesn’t work, you could try commenting on the plagiarized post and directing readers to your original content & site. This isn’t ideal and we respect that you want credit for your words, but the internet can be a mysterious place sometimes…

  2. masochismo says:

    male names discussing shoes.
    The end has come for us all.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Perhaps not the end, but definitely a turn of the century. This turn is one of the reasons we’re here—to serve the modern, stylish, and discerning gentleman. We appreciate the discussion and, in fact, encourage it. We say ‘keep it comin’, fellas!’

  3. http://www.hm.com/us/product/38815?article=38815-B#article=38815-B
    this kinda looks like the sweater not a perfect match but as close as i could find

  4. the cream sweater is on the brooks brothers website http://www.brooksbrothers.com.au/cotton-cashmere-crewneck-tonal-stripe-sweater-MS00518.html?dwvar_MS00518_Color=WHIT&contentpos=3

    “Cotton Cashmere Crewneck Tonal Stripe Sweater”

  5. Tyler Cornelison says:

    How long will this page be available? I want to be sure it’s up when I am shopping for my wedding suit (Louche Long Island Linen of course)

    1. No plans to delete this one, Tyler. It’s an oldie but goodie. But don’t wait too long, Tyler. Drop us a line at concierge@blacklapel.com and we can help you nail your wedding look. How? For one, we’ve added a lot of new linen suits since this story was published and more are coming soon so we can guide you through that choice. Second, you can take advantage of our free stylist service to help you get the entire look you want including accessories and shirts and we can even help you pick out things we don’t sell, like shoes. And last but not least, we offer wedding party deals on suits and tuxedos. So email us your wedding date and we can get the ball rolling.

  6. I couldn’t find the exact cream jumper, however I like to wear this one by D&G
    https://plus.google.com/u/0/114891001248796414135/posts

    1. Black Lapel says:

      That’s a fine alternative, Damien! Thanks for the update.

  7. Thank you for the great recommendations and for the extensive search for the sweater.

    Any tips on colors that complement someone with an olive skin tone but with a shaved head (black eyebrows in case it matters)?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      When it comes to choosing the colors that work well for you, we usually suggest matching the amount of contrast between your face and hair. If you shave your head, there is almost no contrast. That means subtle contrasts with your clothes. You can pretty much wear any color but avoid combinations that would create harsh, jarring contrasts, like black and white patterns. Instead choose complementary combinations like a light blue shirt and a navy jacket. Never let the intensity of your contrast below your neck overpower the intensity of the contrast above your neck.

  8. News on beige sweater ?? Pleaseeee

    1. We linked to a similar sweater above, Giuseppe. (By the way, if you haven’t seen the Elusive Sweater section we added to this story, its worth a look.)

      Unfortunately, that sweater is not currently available. In the meantime, we’re still keeping our eyes open for the a suitable alternative.

  9. Do by any chance ship to South Africa?

    1. We ship worldwide, Muhammed.

      Feel free to email us at concierge@blacklapel.com if you have any shipping (or shopping) questions.

  10. You can actually find the white trimmed black bow tie on this etsy page! Its not the same brooks brothers tie that was used but its as close as I could find on the web!

    https://www.etsy.com/listing/157891934/gatsby-inspired-tuxedo-bow-tie?

    1. Nice find, Jake. Gotta love Etsy for niche stuff like this.

  11. Do you have a break down of his pink suit near the end of the movie?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We didn’t break it down, but the good folks over at Brooks Brothers have got you covered. They’re offering the whole outfit online. Just note that the suit is linen and the look, combined with the spectator shoes, is definitely a warm weather getup. Hope this helps, Chase.

  12. That sweater is amazing. Still no luck? If so any good recommendations on good google searches to maybe find a similar? This for example ” Beige knitwear sweater” what do you think?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Searching “beige knitwear sweater” will result in a lot of women’s sweaters, so that’s not so helpful. It appears the sweater from the movie is just not for sale, but we have provided an alternative in the update to this story (see above). As we say above, this IS NOT the sweater from the movie, but we offer an alternative and some tips for getting a similar look that we hope will help.

  13. Any luck of finding the creame coloured sweater? 😉

    1. Black Lapel says:

      As you can see from the other comments, Adam, that sweater has caused quite a stir. We’ve searched high and low and haven’t seen it in stores or online. Most feature films, especially period pieces, have an assortment of custom clothes made for them. This sweater definitely looks like it was made for the movie.

      It seems like the simplest way to get your hands on this sweater is to befriend Leonardo DiCaprio in hopes that he snagged the sweater from the set, invite yourself over to his place to a couple of the episodes of Growing Pains on which he played Luke Brower, then during one of the unfunny parts (in other words, anytime), sneak off into his bedroom and dig through his dresser, grab the sweater and then fake an emergency and bolt for the door.

  14. A work mate recommended me to your site. Thank you for the details.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      You must work in a stylish place! Glad you found us.

  15. Gustavo Reis says:

    Awesome article. I need all those suits that Gatsby used. I love using the suits, but what a pity I didn’t llive in Europe and USA, they aren’t available in my country. :-( I wish they launch these suits to my country.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Where do you live, Gustavo? Maybe the other brands don’t ship to you, but chances are Black Lapel does. If you’d rather talk about this via email, send us a note at concierge@blacklapel.com.

  16. Need this sweater… must find…

    1. Black Lapel says:

      As you can see from the other comments, you’re not the only one, Sinison. You may just have to wait for the sequel, Gatsby With a Vengeance to see if they bring that sweater back for a cameo and someone starts selling it.

  17. Hmmm, I just saw the movie and immediately started searching for the sweater on the great wide internets, but no luck. I guess I am not the only one who fell for it? Wish I knew where it came from!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      You are definitely not the only one who fell for it (see the comments above). Unfortunately for you, Tim, it appears that, unless you know Costume Designer (and wife of Baz Luhrmann) Catherine Martin, you probably won’t be able to get your hands on that sweater. That’s ok, though. Unless you look like Leonardo DiCaprio it probably wouldn’t look quite as spectacular on you as it does on him (tough love, kiddo). Still, even if you don’t have Leo’s body you’ll have no problem looking great in any of the items that we highlighted above that ARE available to the purchasing public.

  18. David Owens says:

    Yes, the sweater is quite amazing if I say so myself. I just wish men and women from my area would dress this classy so that I wouldn’t have to wait for a special occasion to dress so. I am very attached to the look from the older era’s.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Agreed, there is something about that old world look that contemporary style will quite capture the same way! As for dressing up, we say dress the way you want and let the environment adapt to you! 😉

  19. Scott Slifer says:

    Yes!! I’m DYING to find that gorgeous sweater! It was the best part of the film! LOL

    PLEASE help me track it down!

  20. I was looking for this sweater for 2 hours on the internet but no result. i checked every homepage that could have a connection to this clothes. Have you got any clue or something yet?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Seems like you’re really set on that sweater. 😉 We haven’t had any luck on our side, but if we find out who it’s from, we’ll be sure to let you know!

  21. This blog was very useful for me but i did not find exactly what i wanted. I am looking for the brand of the sweater (knitwear) of Gatsby that was worn in the scene when daisy went to the castle of gatsby.
    here is the link to an image :http://clothesonfilm.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/The-Great-Gatsby_Carey-Mulligan-Leonardo-DiCaprio-sweater-side_Image-credit-Warner-Bros.jpg

    Please help me to find the brand

    Thansk a lot in advanced

    1. Black Lapel says:

      That’s quite the handsome sweater. We’ll get our team to do a little digging for and update you if we find out what brand it is!

  22. Catherine Martin didn’t quite nail it with the black tie. What they’re wearing would be seen readily today on the Hollywood red carpet, but not so much at an expensive party in 1922. Even on a middle class number jockey like Carraway or a nouveau riche cad like Gatsby (who, if anyone, might not know better due to their backgrounds) it’s still unlikely. Besides the turndown collars, which were not worn with black tie until at least the late ’20s, the fact that Buchanan is wearing a high fastening waistcoat is probably the most serious blunder. As old money, he would be more traditionally dressed at the waist in a low fastening number. Let us remember that in the 1920s, black tie was still slowly differentiating itself from white tie.

    Though… I have a sneaking suspicion the description of the dinner jacket’s details as non-traditional and the recommendation of Kent Wang accoutrements was inspired by a certain conversation with a certain person. 😉

    That said, I’m pretty sure Black Lapel could make a traditional three or four button low cut waistcoat if requested, as well as the silk gauntlet cuffs — a detail also seen on James Bond’s famous “Dr. No” dinner jacket.

    Readers, this isn’t mentioned but make sure you get brace buttons and/or side tabs with your dinner suit. Nothing spoils the waistline quite like a belt buckle bulging from underneath a cummerbund or waistcoat. It’s considered a much bigger faux pas than notch lapels or high fastening waistcoats by those who are knowledgeable. Additionally, your trousers must sit higher on your waist than jeans so that the visual flow is uninterrupted.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Jovan, thanks for always bringing your A-game with your comments! We always love the input and knowledge! :)

      1. Thanks. I could have probably just linked this, in hindsight. 😉

        http://www.blacktieguide.com/History/07-Jazz_Age.htm

  23. Dwayne Brown says:

    Once again, Black Lapel is 100% on task in capturing the style of this era and providing excellent recommendations. These are “must-haves” for the fashion-conscious modern gentleman. Absolutely great work, Black Lapel!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Thanks Dwayne! Glad you enjoyed it!

  24. Does this mean collar-pin collars are available as an option now?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      It sure does Jordan! Available by special request. :) Just email us at concierge@blacklapel.com when you place your shirt order.

  25. Robert Richard says:

    And please, let’s not forget DiCaprio’s great performance and devilish wardrobe in Django Unchained.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      How could we forget!

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