Having recently watched (and loved) Nicolas Winding Refn’s film Drive, which I reviewed here, I walked away from the movie house with one thing burning in my mind: Man, Ryan Gosling wore one cool jacket. I’m a guy that can appreciate a good jacket. I’m kind of like Kristen Wiig’s parody of Suze Orman from Saturday Night Live. There’s something about a coat that has always been a prime display of masculinity. In Sin City, claiming a man has a nice jacket is choice fighting words. What follows is evidence that the right jacket is the main difference between super cool tough dude and totally lame douche bag.
1. The Driver in Drive
That silver metallic coat with gold scorpion on the back was such a strange addition to Gosling’s character that it leaves the viewer digging for meaning behind it and the character wearing it. That coat was one of many throwbacks to the wonderfully gaudy 1980’s. It’s also prime evidence that an article of clothing can make a character. A scene with a guy kicking a dude’s head to mush or lingering a hammer over a bullet pressed to a man’s skull wouldn’t be quite as memorable if the attacker wasn’t wearing such an odd jacket.
2. Fonzie in Happy Days
It’s become pretty clear that if you throw a leather jacket on you’ll probably look awesome.
The leather jacket was a household image of cool thanks to one man and that’s Arthur Fonzarelli, a bad boy who could all at once bust out a mean dance, knock out a few thugs, save Richie Cunningham’s ass, and make a girl neck with him with the snap of a finger. And to think, producers of the show originally didn’t want him in a leather jacket because it symbolized debauchery. They initially had him in a very not-cool blue windbreaker. Thankfully this changed by season 2 or else it is quite possible the Fonz would’ve never caught on the way he did.
3. Sailor Ripley in Wild at Heart
Not one man on this list cares more about his jacket than Nic Cage when he asks Laura Dern, “Did I ever tell ya that this here jacket represents a symbol of my individuality, and my belief in personal freedom?” The snake skin jacket is given a ton of screen time for its obvious awesomeness.
4. Mad Max
A leather biker jacket is the cornerstone of a bad ass. This spot was kind of a tie between Mad Max and Rob Halford.
Elvis was the King of Rock N Roll and excess. And nothing screams excess like a hip swiveling good, shiny, gold jacket!
Don’t get me wrong, Nazis were total dicks. That being said I don’t think they deserve to wear the cool uniforms that they had. Those rad garments are better suited for a much cooler solider not so hell bent on racial purification.
When you’re the Original Gangster of the free world, best believe you’re going to dress in style. GW, and we ain’t talking Bush, wore a blue jacket to kill red coats and that’s how it’s done, son.