Shirt Stories: Robert Redford

Shirt stories Robert Redford by Mikael Jansson 

You always notice the person wearing a great shirt. A classic that, for me, holds just as much appeal as a perfect pair of jeans. Shirt Stories is about others who feel the same, women and men, and who wear it well.

Robert Redford turned 80 yesterday. An occasion worth honouring, even one day late here on the blog. I have written about his seminal movies, his outstanding contribution to cinema and Sundance, and his costumes in films like Three Days of the Condor and The Great Gatsby. So let’s make it about his own contribution to style today, about the denim shirt and his impeccably rugged, Western-inspired American look. Because he has been wearing it better than anyone else for decades and has even turned the potentially calamitous double-denim option into a classic. Whether in one of his horse-whispering roles, in the otherwise forgettable Little Fauss and Big Halsy, or sporting his hallmarks – blue jeans with a jean shirt, aviators and boots – when at home in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains, Robert Redford has made this really cool, functional, visceral, bare minimum, perfectly-weathered style his own. As in the case of all cinema’s sartorial emblems, his day-to-day style has always seemed to come through in his films just as much as his style when in character has transcended the screen. But the thing is the clothes are just a small part of his appeal, are never a big part of the conversation. It’s the man you notice.

“You never quite know what he’s really thinking, and that makes him fascinating to watch on the screen. Bob understands the power of restraint. You’re never going to get it all, and that’s the secret, that’s the mystery. That’s what makes you want to keep looking at him.” Barbra Streisand
Shirt stories Robert Redford

Rober Redford by mikael Jansson

Related Shirt Stories entries: Charlotte Rampling / Francisca Mattéoli (interview) / Heidi Merrick / Chloe Lonsdale / Clare Waight Keller

photos: Mikael Jansson for WSJ magazine, September 2015

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