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How to dress like Robert Redford in Spy Game

Updated on March 14, 2011

Robert Redford's subtle style

Robert Redford is one of the greatest actors in history, yet you hardly ever see his name in the tabloids or hear any news about him in general. He doesn't travel with a posse, and he tends to be all business on the set. He's also one of the most fashionable modern actors. Rarely do you see him in a role where he isn't a well-dressed gentleman.

Spy Game was a rather average movie that came out a decade ago starring Redford and Brad Pitt. Although the movie was forgettable, Redford and Pitt showed off wardrobes that could be considered classic and timeless. I'm going to give you a rundown of what Redford wore, both in the field and at the CIA office.  

Robert Redford's casual look

Robert Redford plays a CIA agent who once worked in the field and now works behind a desk, for the most part. Much of the movie is a flashback to decades prior when Redford was working the the field with a younger agent he recruited (played by Pitt).

When he's in a location working as a spy, Redford needs to blend in, so he's dressed more casually, as if he was a journalist or a tourist (although unlikely since people don't go on vacation in war zones).  

The basic t-shirt

We'll start with the basics. Redford wears a gray Calvin Klein t-shirt under his button-up shirt. I only know the brand because I've seen the exact item sold at auction. Any gray t-shirt or undershirt will do. You should really have these anyway, because gray is actually a better color for an undershirt if your button-up is thin and semi-see-through. The gray matches the tone of your skin (if you're Caucasian) better than white and is less noticeable.  

The button-up flannel shirt

I'm not sure how great this shirt would have been for Beirut, but Redford does wear a John Varvatos button-up flannel shirt in a color that I will call cream or ivory. The key here is the fabric. You don't want it to look too dressy, because it will clash with the other fabrics in this outfit. That means avoid shirts with a sheen. Twill works fine.

The brown leather jacket

You'll almost have to buy this item used if you don't already have one. The key to this well-worn look is the well-worn jacket. It sort of matches the texture of Robert Redford's face. You can probably find some leather jacket sellers who make distressed new leather jackets, but you'll be paying a lot for it. If you can't find one on eBay or in a thrift shop, buy a new one and just wear the hell out of it. Wear it when you sleep... outside... on the ground.  

Green pants

A pair of olive green pants go great with this outfit because it matches well with the brown leather jacket and the beige button-up shirt. It's also gives the look a pseudo-military inspiration, which is fine since Redford's character was in the CIA and the military is generally a feeder into that organization.  

Brown leather belt

Remember, always match your leathers. That means if you're wearing a brown leather jacket, you should also wear a brown belt. Brown leather shoes, which I'll get to next, will complete the ensemble.

Also, since belts generally have metal buckles, remember to match your metals as well. If your belt has a silver buckle, wear a silver watch. Gold buckles for gold watches, etc. It seems picky, but when you put together the outfit just right it really does make you look like you're on your game.  

Leather shoes

For shoes you'll want to go with leather, and possibly suede or something similar. Brown, light brown, or even an brown-ivory color will work perfectly. Even though Clark's Desert Boots are insanely popular these days, I wouldn't advise wearing them if you're going for this look. This is more of a mature fashionable look, and desert boots are more of a fashion statement associated with the very young adult culture (like early twentysomethings). 

Robert Redford's sunglasses

From what I can tell, Redford is wearing Randolph Engineering gold framed aviator sunglasses when he's with Pitt in Beirut. Randolph Engineering is an American company that's been making sunglasses for the military for decades. They are not owned by Luxottica, unlike nearly all other sunglasses. They are not as expensive as some of the competition and they are really well made. This is what sunglasses should be: well made, inexpensive, and not plastered with some corporate logo. I'm sure as soon as more people find out about these sunglasses the price will jump to $500 apiece and every d-bag will be wearing them, but until them they're a smart buy. 

Robert Redford's alternative casual look

Here's a look Redford sports for maybe one scene in the whole movie, but I like it enough to mention it here. He's wearing an off-white cable knit sweater with a crew neck. Under that, he's got a blue collared dress shirt. It's a classic combination and a good winter look. 

Robert Redford in the office

I think Robert Redford's style in the CIA office at Langley is very telling of the kind of person he is in this movie, especially when compared to the other stiffs at the office. While everyone else wears charcoal gray or black suits with white shirts and a silk tie, here's what Redford wears: 

Spread collar shirt

Once again texture is important. Look for a washed broadcloth spread collar shirt. Redford's is blue. It has a bit of a rough texture, which is going to go well with the blazer he wears over it.  

Grey herringbone blazer

This isn't just your grandpa's blazer anymore. Herringbone is both stylish and great when you don't want to look like another drone at the office. While everyone else looks like a robot, Redford comes off looking like an old pro.  

Navy blue knit tie

To top it off, wear a navy blue knit tie. The rougher texture of the tie goes great with the shirt and the blazer. I recommend checking out for some nice knit ties (and other ties, of course).  

The khaki trenchcoat

Khaki is actually a color, not the name of a type of pants. When Redford leaves the office, he puts on a khaki cotton trenchcoat. If you're wearing a blazer, a shirt and tie, and a trenchcoat, people are going to assume you have an important job. It's a great look, especially in the fall or the spring.  


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    Stacy Shepherd 3 years ago

    The sunglasses worn in Beruit by Redford are not Randolph Engineering - they are American Optical Skymaster Sunglasses for Pilots. AO no longer manufactures them. I am lucky enough I own Skymasters and Randolph's - both exceptional products B-)