How to dress like Colin Firth in The King's Speech
The King's Speech Deserves An Oscar For Costume Design
Jenny Beavan was in charge of costume design for The King's Speech, and she did an absolutely superb job. The characters wear historically accurate clothing and it gives the film a touch of authenticity that can often be lacking in historical dramas with poor costume design, or those that ignore historical accuracy altogether (see: "Marie Antoinette" starring Kirsten Dunst).
Fortunately, you can dress like the characters from The King's Speech without appearing dated. As a matter of fact, their attire appears as "GQ" today as it did 80 years ago. Now I'm going to give the basic rundown of Colin Firth's wardrobe so you can try a similar look for yourself. The final piece I list is the most important, so make sure to read to the end.
The black suit
Colin Firth wears a double breasted black suit through much of the movie. His jacket is a military jacket with proper gold striped cuffs, gold buttons, and military ribbons. If you're trying to mimic him exactly for Halloween (this would be a very weird costume idea, I might add), then go ahead and try to make something like this, because you won't find military jackets at thrift shops. Otherwise, forget about all the military stuff and just wear a double breasted black jacket.
Wool is the appropriate material for a suit like this, and it tends to not get that sheen over time that polyester gets. Double breasted suits were out of style for a while, but they seem to be coming back in a big way, perhaps because the resurgence of pea coats has helped people grow accustomed to that look.
Alternative suit: the tuxedo
In a few scenes Colin Firth wears a black tuxedo with obligatory black bow tie. This is a look that will remind some people of Daniel Craig's version of James Bond, which isn't a bad thing. I've actually written another article about how to tie a bow tie. Do not do a clip-on bow tie. The ones with the around-the-neck fasteners are ok, but I say go authentic. Plus, and the end of the night there's nothing cooler than untying your bow tie and just letting both sides drape down (see: the aforementioned Daniel Craig in the recent Bond flicks).
Black shoes and belt
Remember, always match your leathers. Black leather shoes should match with a black leather belt. The same thing goes for your metals, so if you wear a watch make sure it matches the metal on your belt.
For the record, I believe Colin Firth wore a silver watch in this movie.
Black leather gloves
Going along with our previous theme, black gloves should match the leather on your belt and shoes. These come in all sorts of price ranges, and I prefer some basic Isotoner leather gloves when it's cold out. You do not need to go out and buy a $400 pair of O.J. Simpson Signature Series black gloves to look stylish.
A black bowler hat
I'll be honest, I'm not an expert on bowler hats. You've got to have a certain level of confidence to pull of this look, because if you're insecure and wearing a bowler hat you're going to look like a tool. Put on a bowler hat and imagine that you are the King of England. Try talking in an accent to help your confidence.
Crombie King Coat
The most important piece in this wardrobe is the Crombie King Coat. Colin Firth wears it for most of the movie when he's not indoors. Crombie is a British company that still makes this coat, and it looks incredible. It is double-breasted, which was the style at the time. They call it their Camel King Coat in Classic Fit and it runs about 700 pounds. I don't have my currency converter handy, but last I checked that would be north of $1,000.
Since most of you won't go for this, I'll link to some suitable replacements below. As you'll see, buying secondhand will save you hundreds of dollars and if you're a smart buyer you can find an overcoat that's just as high quality as the Crombie King Coat.