How to dress like John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction
90's Bad Boys Sport Timeless Look
Pulp Fiction was the movie of the 1990s, but it had a style that screamed 1970s -- but in a good way. The music, the cars (well, at least Jules' and Mrs. Wallace's cars), even the 50's diner that would have fit right in during the classic retro craze in the early-70's.
Jules Winnfield and Vincent Vega, portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta, brought back a classic style that may be timeless but had not been found in the U.S. fashion seen in 20 years. The late-70's brought us leisure suits and flared lapels while the 1980s saw the rise in giant shoulders, lapels and even wide ties as everyone tried to look like either a mobster or a Wall Street trader.
Jules and Vincent officially killed the offbeat styles of the previous decades with laid-back, classy suits and ties that are still popular to this day.
If you're an adult male, you should already have this part of the look taken care of. Jules and Vincent wear simple dark gray (near black) suit jackets and pants, no pinstripes. Both wear some form of shoulder pads in their suits in the movie, but make sure your jacket fits snug enough so you don't end up looking like a Raiders linebacker. The pants can be black chinos if you prefer, but they've got to be a nearly identical color match with the jacket (which isn't easy to do). It shouldn't need to be said, but wear black or gray socks with a dark gray suit.
Under the suit should be a nicely-ironed white or off-white dress shirt.
Here's an easy part of this outfit that I see lots of people screw up. Yes, it's a black tie, but that doesn't mean any old black tie will do. I has to be a relatively slim black tie. Those wide black ties that are popular with businessmen and federal agents just won't do. I wouldn't necessarily say that a skinny black tie is the correct one to wear, but it's more correct than the wide black tie.
Alternative idea: When Vincent Vega (Travolta) takes Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) to Jackrabbit Slims he is seen wearing a Bolo tie, which some people refer to as a Cowboy tie. If you are hitting the town with a woman dressed as Mia Wallace, this is a look you should consider. It won't really fit in well if you're pairing with a Jules character, as Jackson and Travolta were always seen wearing black ties when they were together.
Wear black dress/business shoes. Polish them beforehand. Don't go for those high-gloss shoes you wear with a tuxedo.
Hair styles and grooming
This is the most difficult part of the Pulp Fiction costume. Vincent Vega has well-groomed, shoulder length dark hair. His sideburns extend down to about the bottom of each ear. Although it takes a few months of preparation, this is actually a pretty good look even when you're not trying to be a character from Pulp Fiction.
Jules has a full afro that is well groomed into a ball shape. His sideburns are shaped like a boot and extend out over his cheeks. He also sports mustache with a split fu manchu. The facial hair should only take a few weeks to pull off, but if you can't grow an afro you can always just buy an afro wig and trim it to the correct specs.
Anyone who has seen Pulp Fiction knows that Jules has a leather wallet with the words "Bad M___r F___r" embroidered on it (I figure you're smart enough to fill in the blanks). You can buy these wallets at a variety of places on the internet, and it really is a nice touch to these outfits.
Bad M-Fer wallet from Pulp Fiction
More by this Author
A guide to putting together the best Droog costume for this Halloween, or for your next A Clockwork Orange theme party
The anti-materialistic Tyler Durden has become a style icon. Here's a guide to how you can dress like Tyler Durden, whether it's for a night out or for a Halloween costume.
The Reservoir Dogs defined "criminal cool" in the 1990's. Here's how you can make the perfect Reservoir Dogs costume -- it's way more than just a black suit and sunglasses.