When GQ Magazine titles an article “How to … dress like George Clooney,” that’s a good indication that Clooney’s style warrants attention. Indeed, some credit Clooney with the resurgence in popularity of suits in Hollywood: an appealing and updated version of the “classic Hollywood” look associated with actors of another era.
Ever since his first Ocean’s Eleven film, Clooney has been sporting classy and “updated classic” styles, both at formal events and around town.
If any one man can make the suit popular in an era of denim, we have to doff our hats to him. (And we’ll make those hats newsboy caps, in his honor.)
Then vs. Now: Clooney’s Earlier Image & Evolution
Most of the world lost their hearts to Clooney when he was clad in hospital scrubs, portraying ER’s Dr. Ross. Clearly, Clooney’s is a look that makes his clothing choices somewhat superfluous.
That said, his innate appeal makes people pay attention to his clothing choices—and leads them to emulate him.
In his earlier years as an actor, Clooney favored jeans and casual wear, often with a boyish mop of unkempt hair. In recent years, however, he has assumed a more classic short haircut along with a tendency toward monochromatic suits, often worn with an unbuttoned dress shirt and without a tie.
Perhaps it’s the “comfort factor” that has led so many celebrity men to follow his lead; the idea of a suit seems more bearable when it is not accompanied by the restriction of a necktie. But it is just as likely that Clooney’s appeal itself has sparked the majority of the mimicry. Clooney just makes a suit look that good.
Clooney Onscreen: the Dapper, the Dowdy, and the Disrobed
Most fans agree that Clooney even managed to make hospital scrubs look good, but that has not been the worst of his wardrobes with regards to films. Probably the bottom of the barrel, when it comes to Clooney’s film wardrobes, would be the overalls and “Dapper Dan” pomade he sported in O Brother, Where Art Though. (Well, actually the prison stripes might come in a notch below the overalls.)
Among his more bizarre onscreen costumes, one has to list the “Batsuit,” strangely equipped not only with ripped abs, but also with nipples. His Roman gladiator outfit in the upcoming Hail, Caesar! Definitely holds more appeal. Well, almost anything does.
Having listed the oddities and outliers, however, it has to be said that many of Clooney’s roles have played on his innate good looks, and Ocean’s Eleven is a prime example of how beautifully Clooney can carry off a classic suit. Next to Brad Pitt’s overly flashy character, Clooney’s classy monochromatic suits make him easy to identify at a glance as the boss and the brains behind the crew. He pulls off the look with equal ease in comedic settings (like the Coen brothers’ Intolerable Cruelty), looking as distinguished in the role of a dupe as he does in the role of a con.
Ask his female fans about their favorite pick among Clooney’s costumes, and a fair number of them would likely vote for his lack of wardrobe during a steamy scene of The American. But Clooney’s body of work still speaks more volumes than his body, as his many award nominations can attest.
With nominations and awards not only for acting, but also for directing and for screenplays, Clooney is clearly the man who can do it all—and look great doing it!
Congratulations on getting married and good luck with Tomorrowland.