Quick, picture someone wearing a trench coat and a fedora. Odds are you either envisioned a Central Park flasher from the 70’s, or Humphrey Bogart. His performances in classical Hollywood cinema made him not only an American cultural icon but also a tremendous influencer of men’s fashion. His lead roles in legendary films like The Maltese Falcon (1941) and Casablanca (1942) helped establish his signature look that’s now embedded in the minds of fashion and film followers alike.
Beyond this defining look, the central aspect of his style that will be long admired was his keen eye for detail. Bogart always styled himself with a variety neckerchiefs, ties and bowties, always paired with a pocket square.
Bogart is also credited with giving the double-breasted suit a surge in popularity, as it was in this look that the actor delivered some of cinema’s most quotable lines. Even if you haven’t seen Casablanca – you know this famous line: “Here’s looking at you kid.”
Bogart’s early film roles were a series of crime dramas, wherein he was typecast as a gangster. The roles required crisp suits; Bogart often wore his own suits to ensure he was always sharply dressed, as he felt the Warner’s costume options weren’t up to par.
Aside from his on screen successes, Bogart was also a founding member of the Rat Pack. Frank Sinatra was Pack Leader, Bogart was Director of Public Relations and Bacall, referred to as “Baby” by Bogey and the rest of the Rat Pack, was Den Mother. When asked what the pack’s purpose was, Bacall simply stated, “to drink a lot of bourbon and stay up late.”
In 1999, the American Film Institute selected Bogart as the greatest male star of classic American cinema.
So take a page from Bogey’s book and step out in a sharp DB suit and a stylish trench coat when inclement weather rears its head – or any other day you feel like channeling Rick Blaine.