How to Layer for Fall Like 7 Iconic Leading Men

From 007's shawl cardigan to Marty McFly's vest, take your cues from the pros this fall

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Pros & Icons: Fall Layering Edition

The key to dressing well? Take your cues from the legends.

At InsideHook, we’ve never really shied away from emulating other stylish gents on the journey to sartorial success. Using the dapper fits of others as inspiration for your own ensembles is an easy and very acceptable shortcut to looking your best.

And who better to emulate than iconically dapper characters from the silver screen? After all, seasoned professionals were paid handsome sums to concoct these getups, and their hard work can be your windfall if you know where to look.

Thus we’ve partnered with our friends at Banana Republic to bring you seven indelible menswear looks from the world of cinema, complete with the takeaways from each and a selection of pieces to consider should you wish to put your own spin on them (spoiler alert: you should).

Being that we’re moving into fall, our focus this go-round is on handsome sweaters, dapper jackets and a couple other key items that should prove useful as the temperature dips. Stay cozy, look sharp. Win-win.

daniel craig james bond quantum solace

The Icon:


Daniel Craig as iconic superspy James Bond in Quantum of Solace (2008)

The Lesson:


If there were ever any doubt that a shawl cardigan could serve as an alternative — perhaps even an upgrade — to a traditional navy blazer, let 007 put it to rest as he has countless henchmen the world over. A simple but impactful substitution, try this and then brace yourself for a barrage of compliments. Pro tip: a pair of stylish sunnies is an excellent touch.

The Gear:

bond sweater banana republic

SUPIMA® Cotton Cardigan Sweater

Slim-Fit Non-Iron Dress Shirt

Aiden Slim Rapid Movement Chino

Realey Leather Chukka Boot

Hiram Sunglasses

The Icon:


Chris Evans as duplicitous family scion Ransom Drysdale in Knives Out (2019)

The Lesson:


An off-white cable-knit sweater is the ultimate fall base layer — the texture gives it a welcome dose of personality, while the color (or lack thereof) makes it a terrific backdrop for additional swaggy outfit elements like a camel coat or colorful scarf. Keep the trousers muted (but maybe in the same color family as the scarf, see below) and you can’t lose.

chris evans knives out fashion

The Gear:

evans sweater banana republic

SUPIMA® Cable-Knit Sweater

evans sweater banana republic

Italian Melton Topcoat

evans sweater banana republic

Athletic Tapered Traveler Pant

evans sweater banana republic

Lightweight Plaid Scarf

evans sweater banana republic

Dellbrook Italian Leather Loafer

henry golding the gentleman

The Icon:


Henry Golding as equal parts dapper/psychopathic gangster Dry Eye in The Gentlemen (2019)

The Lesson:


The main takeaway here should be that anyone who says a turtleneck can’t be badass is either an idiot, a liar or both. The key is to keep the overall fit dark and largely monochromatic and add a couple punchy elements like an eye-catching jacket and/or necklace overtop. A superslick haircut never hurt, either.

The Gear:

golding sweater

Italian Merino Turtleneck Sweater

golding sweater

Corduroy Trucker Jacket

golding sweater

Slim City Pant

golding sweater

Brendt Crepe-Sole Chukka Boot

golding sweater

Zodiac Disc Necklace

The Icon:


Robert Redford as cocky Olympic skier David Chapellet in Downhill Racer (1969)

The Lesson:


While Double R’s shearling coat is no doubt the showstopper element of this ensemble, it’s important to note the casual layering underneath as well — too often guys are convinced that a v-neck sweater is the only kind you can wear over a collared shirt, or that a crewneck sweater must be worn on its own. In reality, a casual button-up under a crewneck is a very cool, collegiate look. And while yes, a shearling coat certainly helps the overall effect, a handsome suede shirt jacket works just as well without putting a massive dent in your wallet.

robert redford downhill racer

The Gear:

redford sweater

Organic Cotton Crew-Neck Sweater

Untucked Standard-Fit Cotton Oxford Shirt

Suede Shirt Jacket

Slim Traveler Corduroy Chino

Brendt Crepe-Sole Chukka Boot

rock hudson come september fashion

The Icon:


Rock Hudson as coastal playboy Robert Talbot in Come September (1961)

The Lesson:


Similar to our point above, another common (and unfortunate) sartorial misconception is that a v-neck sweater must be worn with something underneath it. Hudson is proof positive that rocking the v-neck solo and letting a little chest show is a rakish look, particularly when the weather is still warm, the sweater is in a lighter hue and you pair it with a slim white trouser and pair of loafers. Italian villa and Vespa date with Gina Lollobrigida not required, but certainly recommended.

The Gear:

rock hudson sweater

Merino V-Neck Sweater in Responsible Wool

Slim Traveler Chino

Larr Suede Loafer

Reversible Leather Dress Belt

Hook & Albert Mélange CORDURA® Garment Weekender

The Icon:


Denzel Washington as charismatic accidental gumshoe Easy Rawlins in Devil in a Blue Dress (1995)

The Lesson:


Denzel is rocking what we like to refer to as the “shirt squared” concept: a lightweight button-front jacket layered over a (tucked-in) button-up shirt, with all elements kept to the same color family for consistency and the jacket and pants as close a match as you can manage. As for fit, relaxed-meets-tailored is the name of the game. And if you want to throw on a fedora to take things up a notch, we’re certainly not going to stop you.

denzel washington

The Gear:

denzel jacket

Wool-Blend Trucker Jacket

denzel shirt

Heritage Flannel Shirt Jacket

denzel pants

Slim Traveler Pant

denzel shoes

Hadley Italian Leather Brogue Oxford

denzel belt

Pebbled Leather Belt

michael j fox marty mcfly back to the future outfit fashion

The Icon:


Michael J. Fox as time-travelin’ teenager Marty McFly in Back to the Future (1985)

The Lesson:


These are tricky waters, so stick with us — Marty’s overall look is a tad over-the-top, but the basic layering concept is sound. A quilted vest (albeit one that is slightly less puffy and decidedly less orange) looks great over a classic denim jacket, and a solid grey button-up keeps the general aesthetic more tonal and contemporary (as does a darker denim). The turned-out cuffs are a pretty bold move, but if you’re feeling extra saucy, we say what the hell, go for it.

The Gear:

marty mcfly vest

Motion Tech Quilted Vest

Denim Trucker Jacket

Untucked Slim-Fit Double-Weave Shirt

Slim Rapid Movement Denim Jean

Nicklas Leather Sneaker

Illustrations by Dylan O. Brien