First and foremost, if you haven’t yet watched the above campaign video titled Their Italian Job, we thoroughly recommend doing so for the sake of this journal entry.
The Italian Job is one of the most stylish films ever made, and a firm-favourite amongst us here at Mason & Sons. Hitting the sweet spot of sixties style, it was progressive, daring and vibrant in parts, but still razor-sharp and completely considered.
Promotional poster from the release of the film in 1969.
As you would have gathered in our short video with Matthew Field, who is the world’s leading authority on The Italian Job, there are three suits that we’ve reproduced to what we believe as being a faithful standard.
Charlie Croker: looking like he means business.
Here, we’d like to go into further detail and start with the navy double-breasted worsted wool suit which Charlie Croker wears in one scene and one scene only. This is of course shortly after he gains the green light for the whole operation from Mr Bridger (played Noel Coward) and then introduces the gang (15 of them, to be precise) to each other. With such responsibility putting together a motley crew of crooks, a power suit is needed and it is precisely what we’re given.
Mason & Sons: Double-breasted Conduit Cut suit.
The lapels are peaked and imperious, which helps broadens Caine’s shoulders to give that idea of strength and power. The fastening system is classic, with a 6x2 configuration, while the pockets are slanted.
However, what’s really striking is the bold and fearless combination of a medium spread white cotton shirt with double cuffs and a white silk tie. A nightmare to eat soup in, it’s incredibly striking and reaffirms his position as The Boss.
Matthew Field in the "boardroom outfit". Who wears it better?
This suit is now available via our Mason & Sons tailoring line, while the shirt is from Mr. Fish and the tie by J. Canella (who collaborated on all of the accessories). Want to stage a coup at work? You’ll need this ensemble.
Linen: perfect for sticky situations.
The second suit we look at in our film is the beige single-breasted linen suit which provides a perfect swansong to the movie from a sartorial standpoint as it’s the last formal ensemble we see in the film.
Bespoke Anthony Sinclair suit cut by master tailor, Henry Rose.
This is, of course, a bespoke suit, made to the same exacting standards and most minute details right down to the alchemy of different layers of canvassing as Croker’s.
How on earth is that possible, you might ask? Well, Henry Rose (our master tailor) worked with Doug Hayward back in the day and crafted many of Caine’s suits. As such, he’s the only well-known tailor in the world who can cut just like his former mentor.
From a tailoring perspective, it’s an incredibly interesting suit, as there are a few details that can be considered unusual.
Matthew Field in the hands of the master.
The combination of patch & flap pockets are first of all slanted instead of straight, meanwhile, the cuff is finished with a single button. Elsewhere, the notch lapels are accented with a single line of heavy stitching. Overall, it’s a relatively slim-fitting suit, especially the trousers which are flat-fronted and narrow. The suit sadly isn’t available in ready-to-wear, but we welcome you to meet with Henry and bespeak one for yourself.
Anchoring this not-so-subtle-but-impossibly-cool look altogether is a white cotton shirt with taupe stripes and an eye-catching abstract-print tie. As previously mentioned, these have been made available by Mr. Fish and J. Canella respectively.
What to wear behind the wheel of an Aston Martin DB4 convertible.
Moving on, there’s one more suit to discuss which is a hot topic of debate as to whether it’s the most iconic suit in the movie (contesting with the beige linen number mentioned above). It’s worn by Croker soon after he is relieved of Her Majesty’s Pleasure.
Having been locked up for several distasteful years, you can’t blame Croker for wanting to flex a little and relieve himself of his clothes that deserve their own room in a museum, so he slips on a grey single-breasted sharkskin wool suit.
Mason & Sons: Mid-grey sharkskin, button-3, Conduit Cut suit.
It’s incredibly corporate by then and today’s standards, cut with three buttons on the front and on the cuffs. However, beneath the suit is a combination that reminds you of what decade you are in: a blue on blue stripe shirt with a medium spread collar and double cuffs and a blue silk tie to help frame his face.
This suit is available via our Mason & Sons tailoring line, as is the shirt and tie, made by Mr. Fish and J. Canella respectively. The outfit is completed with a pair of "Yvan" sunglasses by Curry & Paxton.
A perfectly harmonious composition.
So, as The Italian Job in its 50th anniversary year, we hope that these faithful recreations by yours truly underline what quintessential timeless style is and looks like. After all, they worked back then, and they most certainly work now.
We can’t help you with your master plan of breaking into the Federal Reserve, but we can help you look better in doing it. As always, though, our doors are always open and we invite you to come and try on any of these garments and accessories. Cockney lessons on the house.