The 12 Most Iconic Jackets In Movie History
Whether hanging off the shoulders of a damaged lunatic or warming the back of a suave saver of the day, the jackets worn by our favorite film characters tend to say more about them than any other on-screen item of clothing. Below we break down the most memorable and, of course, stylish pieces of outerwear in the history of cinema. Because, deep down, we've all wanted to channel a bit of Bond into our day-to-day look.
1 | Steve Buscemi's shearling coat from Fargo (1996)
A film that is underrated in the style stakes, the Coen Brothers' black comedy Fargo was full of quality '90s outerwear. But the pièce de résistance was unquestionably hapless assassin Steve Buscemi's over the top suede shearling coat that perfectly matched his character's brash and slightly ridiculous personality.
2 | James Dean's red blouson jacket from Rebel Without A Cause (1955)
For a man who starred in just three films and died at the age of 24, James Dean's mark on pop culture and fashion is enormous, especially when it comes to that red jacket. The story goes (and never let the truth get in the way of a good one) that Dean loved the jacket that his character wore in Rebel Without a Cause so much, that he refused to return it and made it his personal go-to away from the cameras. If you're looking to recreate a bit of doomed '50s icon style for yourself, then Manchester heritage brand Baracuta make the definitive version.
3 | Daniel Craig's bridge coat from Spectre (2015)
While you could write a separate list about all the great pieces of outerwear that have made an appearance in the Bond universe, it's Daniel Craig's sublime double-breasted bridge coat from his most recent outing in Spectre that is Esquire's favorite. Made by Tom Ford—so no wonder it's beautiful—a bridge coat has the cut and length of a great over coat but with the lapel and button formation of a peacoat and frankly, we don't see enough of them about.
4 | Robert De Niro's field jacket from Taxi Driver (1976)
Robert De Niro played one of the great unhinged loners, a character that has influenced countless anti-heroes since. But aside from his intense and unsettling performance, it was De Niro's army surplus field jacket, a nice sartorial ode to Bickle's 'Nam past, that was most memorable. Officially called an M-65, you can pick up a quality one from Alpha Industries, who created the original flight jacket.
5 | Harrison Ford's leather jacket from Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
His hat might well get all the plaudits and attention, but the real heavy fashion hitter in Indy's wardrobe is his tastefully beaten-up brown leather jacket from Raiders of the Lost Ark. A little known fact about this particular jacket is that it was actually made in England by a small brand called Weston Leather Co. If you're a real diehard, you can even buy an exact replica that comes with a certificate and everything.
6 | Humphrey Bogart's trench coat from Casablanca (1942)
While the trench coat's role in film may now be synonymous with jaded P.I's waiting for a contact on a dully lit street corner in the dead of night, as rain pours down from the black sky above and a dog's bark carries through the empty streets—sorry—it's really Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca who is the original master of the trench. In Casablanca Bogart's lovestruck protagonist was but a humble cafe owner, but there was nothing humble about his impeccable Burberry trench, a piece of style history that we'd all love to own.
7 | Ryan Gosling's satin bomber jacket from Drive (2011)
The satin souvenir jacket with all its sheen, finery and embellishments may well be one of the big trends of the past few years, but back in the far, far past of 2011 it was something of a style revelation, making The Gosling's white scorpion signature one of the most memorable in film history. Beneath a synth-heavy soundtrack, Gosling's dark hero ebbed between sympathetic vigilante and skull-crushing psychopath (that lift scene), all the while looking equally mysterious and bizarre in his pre-Gucci trademark.
8 | Judd Nelson's denim jacket in The Breakfast Club (1985)
It wasn't the bad attitude or even the bag of dope that marked Judd Nelson's John Bender out as the coolest character in John Hughes' still-definitive high school comedy, but his denim jacket. Worn scruffily over a checked flannel shirt and a plain white tee, Nelson demonstrated both the transitional classic's layering potential as well as the insouciance required to pull it off. It's a young man's game, really. The Levis trucker jacket is still the go-to classic for this look, while Bender's accessory of choice—fingerless gloves—are of course optional.
9 | Marlon Brando's leather biker jacket from The Wild Ones (1953)
In the 60 plus years since Brando's outing as motorbike gang leader Johnny Strabler in The Wild Ones, no actor, celebrity, rockstar, or regular person (it hurts us too) has been able to come close to matching his effortless mastery of the black leather biker, one of the hardest items in menswear to to not look like an idiot in.
10 | Phil Daniels' fishtail parka from Quadrophenia (1979)
With its Lambrettas, sharply tailored suits and seaside tribal clashes, Quadrophenia was the film that defined the post-war rebellion style of the Mods and Rockers movement, and was also the conduit for one of the great jackets in British film: Jimmy's fishtail parka. Worn fashionably oversized to protect his slick red mohair suit, the parka worn by Phil Daniel's character has never really left the fashion landscape, with Pretty Green doing a pretty great version if you're looking to get with the trend.
11 | Ewan McGregor's bomber jacket from Trainspotting (1996)
During that pulsating, iconic 'choose life' diatribe that opened the defining British film of the '90s, Trainspotting's Mark Renton proved a golden rule of style: that every man, even heroin addicts, can look great in a bomber jacket. Paired with jeans and flannel tied around his waist, Renton's scruffy brown bomber was an epoch of the 90s grunge aesthetic—something that, 20 years later, is being revived across fashion houses and street style alike.
12 | Brad Pitt's red leather jacket from Fight Club (1999)
"All the ways you wish you could be, that's me. I look like you wanna look, I fuck like you wanna fuck, I am smart, capable, and most importantly, I am free in all the ways that you are not." Tyler Durden wasn't exactly referring to his red cowhide leather jacket with peak lapels in this famous quote from Fight Club, but he could well have been. Found in an upscale vintage store in Hollywood, it was the final piece of puzzle when it came to creating one of cinema's all-time greatest mavericks, a statement piece that the rest of us would be hopeless to try and pull off.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com/uk. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.