“Blue jeans, white shirt
Walked into the room you know you made my eyes burn”
– Lana Del Rey, Blue Jeans, 2012.
As Lana croons over a description of an effortlessly styled male, my mind can’t help but wander to that of Marlon Brando. And yes, I know that she goes on to reference and reveal that she is actually singing about a James Dean lookalike but we all know that’s because it made sense lyrically as Brando is arguably the pioneer of the blue jean, white shirt. As Stanley Kowalski in 1951’s A Streetcar Named Desire, the film’s release instantly catapulted a 25-year-old Brando into the upper echelons of Hollywood and into a sex symbol and style icon. All you have to do is merely lay your eyes upon the photos taken during the filming of Streetcar to see why. His appearance in 1953’s The Wild One continued to solidify his iconicity. Brando’s understated and effortless performance exuded a confidence and sexuality that helped lift denim and T-shirts from durable work uniform to a must have ensemble for men from all backgrounds. Soon, men everywhere wanted to emulate everything about what was widely considered to be the epitome of masculine sex appeal and style. His classic look has stood the test of time and remains a staple for all men with its accessibility and effortless style.
Thankfully, his signature look could not be any simpler to achieve and you likely already have the components in your wardrobe. Start with a pair of fitted blue jeans, but not skinny enough to look glued on. Once securing your denim, roll up the bottoms to create a cuff. Pair with a classic white crewneck T-shirt, fitted but not skin tight to leave just enough to the imagination. Falling just below your belt and be sure that the sleeves hit mid-bicep. A simple pair of black leather boots are the footwear of choice. Finally, layer with a black leather jacket to compliment the look when outdoors. Now turn on your best brooding scowl and there is little room for error in bringing out your inner Brando.