When Ben Affleck Dressed Like Hollywood's Bouncer
Style Archive: Our new series in which we celebrate the stars of the past that made menswear what it is today. This week, the age in which Ben Affleck coldly informed you that your name wasn't down, and you most certainly weren't coming in.
Hollywood ain't so shiny. Flashing bulbs pursue celebrities in
Ben Affleck at the Shakespeare In Love premiere, New York (1998)
The stereotypes linger, too. Leather jackets. Wide suits. Jawlines carved by Mike Tyson with a wrecking ball. But it seems the bouncer standard issue was not composed by one of their own, but by one of their own charges: a certain Ben Affleck. Yes, long before public breakdowns and Twitter pile-
It began in the cold winter of New York, 1998, at the premiere of Shakespeare In Love. Affleck, then a supporting actor that so happened to be romancing the leading lady (Gwyneth Paltrow, if you weren't aware), wasn't quite the red carpet showboater. Instead, he opted for the kit of the on-hand security: black tie, black overcoat, white shirt and, of course, a goatee that holds you back by the velvet rope barrier as your significant other gains entry, no questions asked, and into a den of suitors far more accomplished than your now-ostracised self.
Of course, you cry, such garb was a sign of the times. That's only somewhat true. As the turn of the Noughties approached, menswear was still preoccupied with the Verona vibrancy of Romeo + Juliet, of puka shell jewelry taken from the kind, considerate high school heartthrob that never existed, or, indeed, of N*SYNC's peroxide. Affleck suffered no such blight.
Instead, it was the quieter, boxier tailoring of Nineties Giorgio Armani and Prada (the sort enjoying a second wind on today's runways, too). Less dazzling than the MTV Awards, sure, but the actor exerted the dominance of the security detail by complementing wider shoulders with wider suits and safer palettes. All that's missing is an in-ear microphone.
And it wasn't just the stuff of red carpets. Where Affleck went Secret Service for his girlfriend's big bash, he went backstreet members' club on the off-duty. At airports, restaurants, across the unnecessarily wide
This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.