Style icons – Paul Newman
If you asked anyone to write a list of the ‘coolest men ever’ Paul Newman would be on it. Not only that, I think he’d be damn near the top too.
With a career that spanned more than fifty years – from his acting start in 1954 until his retirement in 2007, Paul Newman was a legend. A war veteran turned Oscar winning actor that also became a racing driver (coming second at Le Mans in 1979) and then a philanthropist, all whilst being a dedicated family man, Newman was everything men aspire to be.
Sometimes it can be hard with actors to know where the style of the characters they played ends and their own style begins – so many iconic images of actors are from the roles they played that often we see them differently to how they actually are/were. With Newman though that was never a problem, he was as well dressed in real life as he was on screen. Even in nothing more than a T-shirt and chinos the man looked great, he wore the clothes and made them look good, not the other way round.
Everything about the man was understated, from his acting style to his wardrobe, nothing flash, nothing fancy, just a simple considered approach. He’s thought of by many to represent the ideal of what a man should look like in a suit, but it’s worth remembering that many of his most iconic images are of him looking casual in a button-down shirt, trousers, V-neck jumpers and simple shoes. whichever way you look at it he was cool, seriously cool.
The above shot with him wearing the simple blue striped shirt and wool pea coat is great – coat buttoned up, the top button of the shirt undone and the tie off to one side. It’s sloppy but so, so cool. As with everything else he wore, it’s simple, still elegant and understated, the way a man should look. Even in his later life he looked effortlessly cool, the navy blazer, blue shirt and charcoal trousers of the shot above makes me want to buy a blazer, although I don’t think I could ever do it the justice Newman did.
Just from going through images of him you can see how this look has made its way into everyday Men’s fashion. Classic looks also need someone to look good wearing them for them to be adopted – it’s that recognition of something working and our desire to emulate it that leads us to give things a try, but then Newman would probably have look cool wearing pretty much anything…