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September 25, 2010

Old-School Styling at the Mall

Posted by on Sep 25, 2010

I went into my local mall for a fairly mundane reason: buying a new tie for a family wedding.  However, I encountered some far-from-mundane items while I was there: Robert Redford’s hat from The Natural, and Steve McQueen’s signature sunglasses from The Thomas Crown Affair.

Find out if this is for real, or if I simply had a cinema-themed fever dream, after the jump.

So this was no hallucination, but I also did not see these actual items.  What I saw were spot-on replicas.  While replicas may not be as cool as the original, you also usually can’t purchase the original for your own use, unless you’re willing to drop thousands at some charity auction.  Not that these are cheap, but they’re certainly reasonable.  Read on to see if either of these radical recreations appeals to you and your wallet.

While I was in J. Crew, I came upon a small collection of blue, woolen, old-fashioned baseball caps.  All of these were produced by Ebbets Field Flannels, a great company that makes a ton of historical replicas of now-defunct team memorabilia.  If you love baseball, and especially old-time baseball teams, you will probably love everything this company has to offer.  However, the stand-out for me, being more a movie fan than a baseball fan, is the recreation of the New York Knights cap worn by Robert Redford and the rest of the team in The Natural.  The idea of owning the cap Roy Hobbs wore as he made that titanic swing and then rounded the bases with the sparks raining down – well, it’s a really great idea.  At $35, if I had had just a little more spending power, I would have bought it without even thinking.

Steve McQueen is quintessential cool.  He was one of those guys who played really suave, bad-ass types in movies, but also happened to be that type of person off-screen as well.  The Persol 714 sunglasses that he wore as the lead in The Thomas Crown Affair were his own personal sunglasses, which he also wore while driving race cars and motorcycles off-screen.  The man certainly blurred the line between life and art.  The original Persol 714s didn’t come with that snazzy blue shade of lenses – McQueen had those custom-made.  The new model, introduced by Persol and sold by Sunglass Hut, comes in blue as a tribute to the late screen legend.  At $310, the sunglasses certainly aren’t cheap.  But these things are incredibly cool on their own, and as a link and reference to the man behind Bullitt and the Cooler King of The Great Escape, they will certainly make their way to the top of my wish list.