Fashion

Treat Every Christmas Party Like Die Hard-Era Bruce Willis

And yes, 'Die Hard' is a Christmas film.
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There are those who'll tell you that Die Hard is not a Christmas film. But they lie. Look beyond the film's festive setting, and the upwards battle (meant both figuratively and literally) is full of Yuletide tropes. There's a strained relationship for one. A cry against consumerism. Oh, and Bruce Willis, who, on and off-screen, always dressed like the maverick who put his own spin on the 'office do' dress code.

Photo by Getty Images.
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Back in the halcyon days when he was married to a young Demi Moore, the Die Hard star dove into a wardrobe considered sacrilege by tailoring purists: a tie, with denim, finished with suede. The unholy trinity of the late-Eighties is one that's not only atoned for its sins, but now receives a full blessing on every Instagram feed ever dedicated to archival Hollywood. Of which there are far too many. And all of which feature Willis yippee-ki-yaying his way through the red carpet rulebook.

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And this textural overload wasn't his sole transgression. On a trip to the theatre, to watch Hurlyburly, Bruce Willis went full Bruce Willis, in co-ords above clashing slip-ons and a matching cap. Which sounds very Peckham 2019. But back in 1988, when dressing up meant dressing up in a suit, this was madness. Robert Downey Jr. was never without his dad ties. Ben Affleck opted for big billowy bouncer suits. And lest we forget, Mickey Rourke: a paean to the big shouldered, low regulation tailoring of Wall Street.

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But Willis was different. Like John McClane who saw no issue with facing off against 13 radicalized German terrorists in a sweat-stained vest, he skirted the rules. That meant boiler suits, and sunglasses at night, and sweats with the sleeves sheared off, and, really, everything that Reagan's America wasn't really about.

Bruce Willis during Michael Dukakis’s presidential campaign, West Hollywood (1988)

Photo by Jim Smeal.
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Though we very much are. Willis reimagined what a good Christmas film could be (fewer snowmen, more bullets, please) and he did the same with his wardrobe. So yes, Die Hard is the best Christmas film, in the same way that well-ventilated workwear can be the best option for your Christmas shindig. Welcome to the party, pal.

This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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Murray Clark
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