Tough men in tweed jackets

Sturdy and hard wearing, tweed jackets aren’t normally the sort of clothing you’d associate with hard men and strong arm tactics.

But on the silver screen, tweed makes regular appearances where it’s worn by some of the toughest film characters ever to have toted a Smith and Wesson or a .44 Magnum.

Here we take a look at some bruisers in tweed, men you wouldn’t want to cross.

Steve McQueen/Bullitt

Steve McQueen Bullitt tweed jacket

A very pricey jacket
Source: Hemmings

It’s fair to say that Steve McQueen is a style icon. He was known for playing a host of tough guys and in Bullitt, he played one of the toughest. And he did so in a tweed jacket.

Worn in the second half of the film, the herringbone tweed jacket features suede elbow patches, and an asymmetrical three pocket front. And to prove tweed can be tough, it’s worn in a shootout and is eventually used to cover up a dead body.

But ownership of this fight worthy piece of film fashion history doesn’t come cheap. It recently sold at a charity auction for $720,000.

Clint Eastwood/Harry Callahan


As Harold “Dirty Harry” Callahan, Clint Eastwood was not to be messed with. Men tried, and failed.

Wielding the most powerful handgun in the world is a hefty responsibility. So a jacket that makes you look even more imposing is no bad thing. A slightly tatty, war beaten, tweed suit strikes extra fear into the hearts of less stylish foes. Each frayed thread serves as a reminder of a bloody victory.

And while a tweed suit helped to impose his superiority over bad guys like Scorpio and co, his three piece brown suits were also legendary.

Ben Affleck/Tony Mendez

Ben Affleck in tweed jacket

Even the new Batman wears tweed
Source: Clothes on film

The Oscar winning spy film, Argo, was loved by makers of Harris Tweed. Ben Affleck wore a tweed jacket in the film, as did Tony Mendez, the real life CIA agent he plays. When researchers rang Mendez to ask about his fashion choices, he was able to dig out one of his prized jackets.

Even hardened spies are nostalgic, and though Mendez may not have had the same brashness and bravado of other hard men, it takes guts and determination to be a spy. An altogether different kind of tough guy.

Mendez has said in interview that the tweed jacket became a sort of uniform worn by the CIA when tracking ‘Ivan’, codename for the Soviet Union. And it’s a legacy that so pleased the makers of the cloth, they gave him a brand new Harris Tweed jacket.

Sean Connery/James Bond

James Bond tweed jacket

A hacking good jacket
Source: BAMF Style

007 is well dressed and more than capable in a fight. So to see him in tweed means that the jacket itself is as tough as it is stylish.

In Goldfinger he wears a tweed hacking jacket designed to be worn when horse riding. It features a slit at the back so it doesn’t ride up, slanted pockets for easier on horse access and higher buttons for added comfort in the saddle.

Goldfinger isn’t the only occasion where Bond dons tweed. In Diamonds are Forever, he opts for a herringbone tweed jacket, which is surprising considering he’s in Las Vegas. Wearing tweed in the desert proves that Bond is the coolest tough guy around.

Can you think of any other famous tough guys who wear tweed jackets?

Posted in Tweed jackets.

One Comment

  1. Pingback: What is tweed fabric?

What's your thoughts on the subject?