There are few true cinematic legends. And I’m not talking about the self-proclaimed “legends” of today’s bland blockbusters, but rather, those mythical figures that changed cinema forever. One such luminary, is Sidney Poitier. In 1963, at the height of the civil rights movement, Poitier made history by becoming the first African-American actor to win an Oscar. From there he became one of the highest grossing actors in Hollywood, with such films as To Sir, With Love and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. During the prime of his career, Poitier was not merely a star on the screen, he was also one of the town’s best dressed leading-men. While his on-screen accolades often overshadowed his off-screen persona, Poitier was very much a sartorial icon. Like his mid-century peers, Poitier’s style leaned toward classic Ivy, which meant a wardrobe chock full of tweeds, OCBD’s, and repp ties. But what set Poitier apart was that he was a chameleon with his look. He could pull off white tie better than anyone I’ve seen to date, and then turn around and actually make a cowboy hat seem contemporary. He could even give Brando a run for his money, making a plain white tee seem put together. Poitier will always be known as one of Hollywood’s great leading men, but it’s high-time he also get his due for being one of its best dressed.
A classic Poitier outfit: