When one thinks of style icons, few come above Mr Paul Newman. A perennial movie star throughout the 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond, he was most noted for starring in The Hustler, Cool Hand Luke and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, yet for us, it was his off-screen nonchalance that caught our attention most. Study any image of Newman, and you’ll notice how he simply cannot fail to look cool, regardless of what he’s wearing. This confidence combined with his handsome good looks was quite the combination behind the camera, but Newman was more that just an actor.
During high-speed driving training for 1969 film Winning, Newman became enamoured with motor racing and endeavoured to pursue a career on the track. He was largely successful, starting out with the Bob Sharp Racing team in the Trans-Am Series in the USA, and later finishing second in the gruelling 1979 24 Hours of Le Mans. Perhaps even more amazingly still, Newman finished second in his class at the 1995 24 Hours of Daytona at the age of 70. He even competed in the 2005 24 Hours of Daytona, at the incredible age of 80.
Paul Newman was also a prolific philanthropist, raising millions for charity through his non-profit organisation Newman’s Own, but, for now at least, we’re going to focus on the clothes. In our latest Style Icon series, here’s how to dress like Paul Newman.
Few could pull off a suit quite like Mr Newman. Always classic, and in neutral colours and darker tones, his choices were exemplary. Before the sickening days of celebrity stylists, Newman shows how good a well-tailored suit can complement your body shape. In the picture above, he’s gone for a two-button, single-breasted jacket with wide, padded shoulders that accentuate his athletic physique, as well as high-waisted, straight leg trousers, which make him appear taller. Wearing loafers, as he often did, he adds a slice of Americana prep, but here they feature a plain front, as opposed to the apron front that defines a penny loafer. The slim, squared-off tie finishes off a smart look perfect for the office.
Boglioli Grey Dover Cotton, Silk and Cashmere-Blend Blazer, £690 from Mr Porter // White Superior Cotton Shirt, £200 from Emma Willis // Dolce & Gabana Slim-Fit Cotton-Twill Trousers, £335 from Mr Porter // Finest Silk Knitted Tie, £105 from Drake’s // Pisa Loafers, £115 from Herring // Cavalier Vintage Black Leather Duffel Bag, $1,295 from Ghurka
There are few looks more preppy than an Oxford cloth, button-down shirt paired with a leather belt and neutral jeans or chinos. It’s one thing to dress well in an expensive suit; it’s quite another to artfully arrange casual menswear pieces on your day off, and this is a great way of nailing the latter. Notice the way that Newman’s rolled up the sleeves, and the sunglasses peering out of the top pocket – it’s these details that really elevate an outfit, gentlemen.
Madison Fit Button-Down Shirt, £99.22 from Brooks Brothers // J Brand Kane Jeans, £105 (sale) from Matches Fashion // Dark Brown Leather Belt, £14.90 from Uniqlo // Vintage Rolex Daytona, £POA from Watch Finder // Classic Brown Penny Loafers, £150 from Sebago
Another example of solid weekend wear is this long-sleeve polo shirt/tailored trouser combination. Complete with driving moccasins and the unusual use of white socks (we’d recommend you forgo these, gents), this is, for us, the kind of outfit that suited Newman most.
Sphinx Wool Polo Shirt, £65 (sale) from Reiss // Tailored Chinos, £22.99 (sale) from H.E by Mango // Rolex Daytona, £POA from Watch Finder // Barton Perreira Brolin Sunglasses, £285 from Mr Porter // Modena Bracken Calf Driving Shoes, £POA from Crockett & Jones
PAUL NEWMAN LOOKBOOK