Take It From a Woman: Magnum P.I. Should Be Your Summer Style Inspiration

All you need to do now is grow a mustache

June 26, 2024 10:58 am
Tom Selleck as Magnum P.I.
Let's see that glorious chest hair this summer

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My grandmother’s dream man is Tom Selleck. I know this because every time I talk to her, he somehow comes up.

“I like tall men. Like Tom Selleck.”

“Tom Selleck was my favorite — he was so manly.”

And recently, she told me that after Selleck appeared in a speedo on an episode of Magnum P.I., it was all the women at her work could talk about the following day.

Tom Selleck? In a speedo? Of course, I was intrigued! Plus, I was desperate for another show to binge.

The original Magnum P.I. that aired from 1980-1988 starred a very tall, very hairy and very dreamy Tom Selleck in the role of Thomas Magnum, a private investigator solving crimes, speeding around in his red hot Ferarri and sporting incredible short shorts on the gorgeous Hawaiian islands.

Honestly, I couldn’t give two shits about the show itself. The acting is terrible, and the female characters are portrayed exclusively as overly sexualized love interests or entirely hysterical, helpless. But the reason I keep watching is for the same reason I started: Thomas Magnum and his impeccable style.

In the traditional sense, you can’t get any “manlier” than Tom Selleck. Thankfully, though, what we deem “masculine” has progressed since 1980. What it means to be a man is not all about toting guns, rescuing damsels in distress, or even having chest hair. That said, men’s fashion has in some ways retreated since the ’80s. The same short shorts Selleck donned might be sneered at today — and have, by people who had the audacity to tell Selleck his shorts were too short on the show.

The iconic Magnum P.I. and Murder She Wrote crossover. Credit: CBS

If it hasn’t been clear by now, myself and many others are in support of Selleck’s length of short. But it’s not just about the shorts, it’s his entire ensemble — the breezy, bold-patterned, big-collared Hawaiian shirt paired with a nicely-fitted (short) khaki short, finished with a white boat shoe, a pair of oversized sunglasses and a “Pepsi” Rolex. It’s the simple yet incredibly sexy, laidback warm-weather look you should be taking a few notes from when crafting your summer wardrobe.

So below is a breakdown of Magnum P.I.’s closet, featuring items inspired by some of Selleck’s iconic looks, so you can become the next object of my grandmother’s affection.

The Top

Magnum is known for his eye-catching Hawaiian shirts that are conveniently buttoned just enough to expose all that glorious chest hair. A loose-fitting button-down is an obvious staple of your summer wardrobe, but Magnum also sports his fair share of muscle tanks and fitted polos (unbuttoned as far as they can go of course) that are just as essential.

The (Short) Shorts

We’ve already told you that your shorts need to be shorter, so here are a few short shorts reminiscent of the short shorts-king himself: a stretchy chino khaki, a four-inch running short, a pair of classic white shorts and a tiny swim trunk (but know the speedo is always an option.

A CBS television detective drama series. Pictured is Tom Selleck (as Magnum).
Grab your own pair of white pants for summer here.
CBS via Getty

The Shoes

Magnum pretty much wears only two types of shoes throughout the show: a dashing white boat shoe and a pair of white Puma Easy Riders but any pair of white, low-top sneakers you can comfortably chase criminals down in works too.

The Accessories

Our P.I. invariably showed off his Detroit Tigers baseball cap throughout the series (but even if you’re not a Tigers fan, any one of these neatly designed caps will block out those rays). What else? A slim belt to keep those shorts up, a pair of Vuarnet shades (the heritage French sunglass brand Selleck wore in the show), and a newer edition of Selleck’s ever-iconic Rolex GMT-Master Pepsi.

And for more style inspiration …

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