Style Icon: Cary Grant

There have been few stars that have truly captured the essence of Hollywood glamour as well as Cary Grant. The quintessential leading man, he starred in countless successful films throughout the 1940s and ’50s, winning the hearts of many female admirers as well as the admiration of men the world over.

He had the rare ability to completely fixate the audience with his performances, his dashing good looks and impervious charm saw him star alongside some of cinema’s greatest ever leading ladies, including Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn.

Suave, elegant and sophisticated, Cary Grant was the alpha male of tinseltown but his style set him apart. Inspired by the sartorial prowess of those who came before him – particularly Douglas Fairbanks – he developed a deep passion for clothing, which influenced his personal life and on-screen characters. Here we take a look at both his formal and casual attire and how you can implement them into your own wardrobe.

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Cary Grant and tailoring are like bread and butter – they go together perfectly. Although he was always at ease no matter what he wore, Grant looked his best in a fine suit. He favoured British tailors Dunhill and Aquascutum, championing a very traditionally British style of dress, despite living in America for the majority of his acting career.

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Aquascutum Forsyth Deakin Suit, £400 (sale) from Aquascutum // Dunhill Wool and Cashmere Overcoat, £1,590 from Dunhill

Although he was seen in alternative suit fabrics such as tweed, Cary Grant most often wore dark wool suits accented by simple accessories with impeccably polished shoes. A single-breasted overcoat adds an extra layer of formality to the look, but wear it with an element of nonchalance like Grant and it won’t come across as staid.

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Similar to the way he wore a suit, Cary Grant’s casual attire was classic through and through. For his off-duty looks he favoured tailored trousers, lightweight knitwear and crisp white shirts. To smarten things up a notch, the introduction of a cotton blazer was a popular choice and of course, these are all incredibly easy looks to replicate today.

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Cary Grant didn’t re-invent the wheel with the way he dressed. Instead, with his simple, timeless attire, he formed the archetype for the modern gentleman, both in terms of style and persona. This look is incredibly versatile, and would work perfectly for dress down Friday or a date-night.

Dunhill Purple Cashmere Jumper, £395 from Dunhill // Aquascutum Snow Trouser, £200 from Aquascutum // Turnbull & Asser Classic Plain White Shirt, £165 from Turnbull & Asser

Further Reading