The perfect tan corduroy suit

Pic: BAMF Style

An article about Bob Woodward’s recent book about Donald Trump prompted me to search for references to Robert Redford’s portrayal of him in the 1976 film adaptation of All the President’s Men. In particular I was looking for something about the outfit most desired by any young man aspiring to be a hotshot investigative journalist, the tan corduroy suit which Redford wears for much of the film, seen in the screenshot above.

And what should I find but a great website devoted to men’s fashion as seen on film and TV, BAMF Style, run by a Californian (of course) guy called Nick. His piece on the outfits worn by Redford is simply wonderful.

There’s more than enough detail on all the outfits worn by Redford:

“Although he occasionally wears other sport jackets or odd trousers, Bob Woodward’s workhorse suit in All the President’s Men is a light brown pinwale-corded cotton suit. Pinwale, also known as “pincord” or “needlecord” is on the finer end of the corduroy spectrum with a count of approximately 16 wales per inch (as opposed to 11 wales per inch in standard corduroy), with wales referring to the tufted cords that give the fabric its name.
Compared to heavier, warmer-wearing wide-waled corduroy, Woodward’s finer pinwale corduroy suit is a wiser choice for the hot, humid summers of Washington, D.C. Lighter-wearing fabrics like linen or non-corded asset may have been more comfortable, but the durability of corduroy would be a strong asset for a tireless reporter constantly on the move; if Woodward had to wear corduroy, he made the right choice.
The single-breasted, 3/2-roll suit jacket has wide notch lapels consistent with the era’s fashion trends. The three front buttons and the two spaced buttons on each cuff are brown woven leather. Woodward’s jacket also has a welted breast pocket, flapped patch pockets on the hips, and a long single back vent.”

There’s also lots of information about his shirts and ties. This of course is my favourite:
“… a light blue oxford cloth button-down collar shirt and a wide-bladed navy necktie with a field of blue teardrop-shaped patterns that create the effect of a repeating zig-zag pattern.”

I confess that I bought a tan corduroy suit in the late 70s, and wore it quite a lot, including to my sister’s wedding. I know I never reached the level of coolness exhibited by Redford – but at least I tried.

There’s lots more to see on Nick’s site. Check it out here.