“Like Steve McQueen, All I need’s a fast machine, I’m gonna make it all right.” – Sheryl Crow
There are plenty of stylish people out there. But what does it mean to become a style icon? Is it someone that is very well known as being highly fashionable? Is it that someone that possesses je n’est c’est quoi? Yes, it could be all of those things and none of those things. A style icon is someone who we try to emulate via their fashion sense, swagger, personality, manner of speaking or just the way they hold themselves that lets you know that they mean business. Still the question remains: why do they inspire us?
Why He’s A Style Icon
Steve McQueen was a style icon without knowing it. From his leather jackets and desert boots to his leading ladies, no one carried it off quite like him. The highest-paid film star of his time, Steve McQueen had a rebellious nature that complemented his on-screen American antihero persona and earned him the nickname “The King of Cool.” Off screen, the actor was passionate about motorcycle and car racing, and had a natural yet distinctive all-American boy-meets-renegade style that, together with his no-nonsense man’s man personality, made him a style icon both in his time and in ours.
Style-wise, Steve McQueen excelled at taking classic American sportswear and giving it a rugged, masculine edge. Hallmarks of the actor’s style included aviators, slim-cut tailored suits, sport coats, zip-up windbreakers, khakis, button-downs in pale colors, V-neck sweaters, and shawl-collared cardigans, as well as polo shirts. Of course, as a racing enthusiast, the iconic star was also a fan of clothing he could get down and dirty in, such as racing jackets, simple cotton T-shirts, leather jackets, gloves, boots, and denim, denim and more denim.
Interestingly, although Steve McQueen was most in his element when dressed down in jeans, he cleaned up so well that Rolex named its sophisticated Explorer watch after him, officially calling it the McQueen Rolex. Additionally, the Tag Heuer Monaco watch the actor donned in 1971’s Le Mans made such a splash that the company re-released it in the 1990s. This style icon was also the first man to grace the cover of the fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar.
Dress The McQueen Way
Assuming you already own a pair of blue jeans and a perfect-fitting white T-shirt, one of the quintessential items you’ll need to emulate Steve McQueen’s style with is a leather jacket, as the actor was often seen out and about in one, especially while riding his motorbike. This Andrew Marc Silvano leather jacket is, therefore, an absolute must for those coveting McQueen’s ultra-cool style. Like the garments he favored, this jacket will help you create easy, comfortable and stylish looks and is suitable for light riding. Even if you’re not planning to get on a motorcycle anytime soon, the jacket’s sleek style won’t be out of place in a busy urban environment and will give you some serious sex appeal a la Steve McQueen when paired with basics.