White Collar: The Suits of Neal Caffery
Posted: Sep 13 2013
White Collar is a fantastic show and features quite possibly the best dressed man on TV, Neal Caffery. The mere mention of the show caused uncontrollable swooning among the girls in the office! Played by Matt Bomer, Neal Caffery is an ex con working as an FBI informant for agent Peter Burke helping to catch white collar criminals. Neal has a penchant for the finer things in life, hence his proclivity for white collar crime, which is highlighted by his wardrobe. Costume designer Stephanie Maslansky drew inspiration from 50s and 60s mobsters to highlight not only Neal’s style but his personality, creating a very Rat Pack look. Suave, sophisticated and dangerous if required. The staples of Neal’s look include tailored slim-fit suits, shirts with full spread collars, slim lapels, skinny ties, tie bars, pocket squares, and his pièce de résistance … fedoras.
Stephanie describes the look as 'mid-century gone modern' with suits and shirts by designers John Varvatos and Paul Smith. His accessories are always vintage and his fedoras are from Manhattan's oldest hat shop, J.J.Hat Center. It is the perfect example of old meets new with timeless style and masculinity.
Neal has quite the extensive wardrobe so we had best move right along and check out which suits Tailor On Ten recommends, has fabrics for and can make for you. We can kit you out with some excellent skinny ties and pocket squares (and our new Italian silk selection picks up the pairing game and allows it as daring as you like) but you will have to go hunting around vintage shops for your own tie bars and fedoras.
Suit No. 1 is a classic black 2 piece and a staple in any man’s wardrobe. We have a beautiful Holland & Sherry black plain weave fabric with this same touch of lustre created from the merino wool. This high contrast black & white look will work for just about any occasion. If you don’t own a black suit this could be the one you are looking for.
Suit No. 2 is really all about the overcoat, the fedora sets off the 60s look but not every man can pull it off quite so well. If in doubt, skip the fedora. The suit is a 2 piece plain weave mid-brown, we have some Vitale Barberis Canonico in Super 130's that looks very similar and feels amazing. The overcoat is a grey three-quarter length angora / wool blend.
Suit No. 3 is a stunning 3 piece gunmetal blue. You will notice the vest has a pinstripe fabric whilst the jacket and pants are a simple plain weave in the same colour. We wouldn’t usually recommend opting for a different style waistcoat but if you feel like changing it up then go ahead. The suit fabric is sharkskin which in the 60s would have meant it was very shiny. This suit however, like our sharkskin fabrics, has more of a dull sheen to it. If you still find the suit too flashy then we have some beautiful mohairs in the same colour which will give you just a hint of sheen in the right light.
Suit No. 4 is an interesting number. It’s not often that you see a jacket with a shawl lapel without the accompaniment of other dinner wear elements. Coupled with a collared dress shirt and tie, it gives a nice blend of formal meets professional. The lack of a pocket square gives this fashionable look a somewhat severe effect. We would recommend a Zignone Super 130 grey / black fabric, the feel of which is truly inspiring.
Suit No. 5 is a standard grey 3 piece, this time with matching vest and jacket. We usually recommend a 5 button vest, like this one, as it allows the waistcoat to be seen when the jacket is fastened. We have this fabric in a Super 110 from both Vitale Barberis Canonico and Holland & Sherry, the latter being one of our mills of choice when it comes to beautiful fabric.
Suit No. 6 is a great summery outfit, which makes sense as Neal wears it in an episode where he escapes to an Island off the coast of Africa. It is made from Linen making it very cool and comfortable and giving it that charming creased look. We have a range of stunning Irish linen fabrics for both suits and shirts and would recommend a beige colour as it is somewhat ‘safer’ fashionably speaking, but if white is your thing we’ve got that too. To liven up the casual summer look, here are some customisable leather belts that will allow you to add just the right amount of attention to this look.
There are simply too many suits in Neal’s arsenal to list here but if there is one you particularly like then please send us an email and we will check our fabric stock. Be sure to stop by Tailor On Ten before your next museum heist, we can’t guarantee your success but you will definitely look good if (when) you get caught! Season 5 of White Collar premiers on the 17th of October and Tailor On Ten will be bringing you a roundup of the suits as each episode airs. So stay tuned!