Becoming the Icon: Dressing Like James Dean

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We blokes are generally the fuss-free, easily pleased dressers. We waste no valuable man time on stressing over outfit combination and colour palettes, right? So, being able to take some cues from some of the most iconic male style veterans can give us the easy image overhaul we’re after. There’s a hall of fame reserved for those inspirational style icons, and the late James Dean certainly has a concrete spot.

The key to copy-cat celebrity styling is to take the concepts of the look and integrate it into your own image. Accelerate too quickly from sweater vest to biker jacket, and your mates might raise some serious questions. Here’s how to channel your inner rebel without getting dumped or fired:

Work with separates

If we could describe the Jimmy style in three words, we’d say rebellious, cool and effortless. His classic outfit combinations would consist of well-selected signature basics worn with class. The good news? You can easily implement these concepts into your own wardrobe without alienating your crew.

The Jacket

Replicate the trademark Harrington jacket with a contemporary bomber style, teamed with an effortless slim-fit white t-shirt and a dark denim slim – not skinny – jean. The top-heavy silhouette and gently fitted t-shirt and jean combo perfectly prepares your biceps for a 50s hair slick moment, sure to make a statement.

James Dean Outfit James Dean Outfit

The Polo

For a smarter occasion, reserve a polo shirt and chinos. Simple, we hear you say? Simple indeed. The key is opting for a more tailored, high-rise style to imitate the 50s aesthetic, and tuck the polo if you’re feeling flashy. Stick to darker colours to preserve that period look, and pair with a collegiate loafer and woven belt to tie the Americana style together.

The Shades

If you’re after the ultimate ‘macho man walks into a bar’ look, you’ll need the signature shades. Given the time period, round sunglasses were the order of the day. Pair with a heavy black boot, modern biker jacket, careful grimace and a scotch on the rocks in-hand for that misunderstood, socially estranged level of cool.

Wear the attitude

James Dean’s outfit combinations weren’t necessarily anything the fashion world hadn’t seen before. Sure, he nailed that ‘woke up like this’ look of yesteryear and was never without his signature sartorial non-challance, but much of Dean’s image came from his deeply enigmatic nature. Perhaps it was his carefree rebel stance, or the fact his life was cut short at the age of 24 – either way, he had a quality about him; an inimitable ‘x factor’ that was undoubtedly the origin of his fast-track route to would-have-been stardom.

Now, we’re not saying to look like James Dean you need to start walking into the office with a cigar drooped out the corner of your mouth, nor should you replace your Mazda 3 with furiously dangerous set of wheels or switch your morning smoothie for a cocktail of class A drugs. Just add a little confidence to your look; an air of presence. Wear your Dean separates with attitude and a subtle sense of rebellion – you’ll be turning heads in no time.

Kent & Lime works with you to establish the right style. Our real stylists chat to you online and find out what it is you’re looking for. Got a style icon you want to infuse into your look? Tell us! Next, we send you a carefully selected box of clothing and accessories. You give them a go at home, send back what you’re not loving, and keep the things you are. Then, you settle the bill. No fussy returns, no stuffy change rooms, just one simple solution to men’s styling. Finally!

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