This Is What Made Steve McQueen So Damn Cool

10 things that were instrumental to McQueen’s coolness and how to dress more like him

He was the King of Cool, a rockstar on the screen and a bonafide bad boy from the streets. Basically, Steve McQueen was the man.

Life was rough for McQueen who suffered at the fists of two stepfathers, joining a gang and then living as a ward of the state. He was dealt a bad hand but worked hard to change the stars.

After leaving the Marine Corps, McQueen entered the world of Hollywood and quickly became admired for his anti-hero bravado, his sex appeal and his sense of style.

steve mcqueen style icon

Steve McQueen made everything he wore cool. Whether it was a polo shirt and khakis or a lounge suit, everything he wore looked better. He could be wearing the same shirt and trousers as your father, but there was no way they looked the same. McQueen epitomized style, and he paved the way from the golden age of the silver screen to the modern movies of the sixties.

Let’s dissect several of the things that made Steve McQueen so damn cool.

10 Style Traits of Steve McQueen

1. McQueen could take anything and make it look great. From a three-piece suit to a pair of swim trunks and a t-shirt, he only wore what he felt confident in.

2. Khaki pants were his go-to. He would wear them with anything from a plain white t-shirt to a cardigan and blazer.

steve mcqueen style icon

3. He used casual sunglasses with business attire. McQueen was well known for bringing a relaxed look to a three piece suit. He would often pair his sunglasses with the color of the tie or print of the jacket. He also stuck to casual styles of sunglasses like the Persol 714, wayfarers and aviators.

4. He stuck to clean lines. Almost everything he wore had clean lines. From the collars of his shirts to the cut of his waistcoat, McQueen maintained a masculine and rugged look with very linear apparel.

5. He rarely wore ties. Unless he was wearing a suit, he would likely never be seen in a tie. McQueen was a big fan of ultra-casual attire comprising of undershirts and bomber jackets. Even when he had to wear a jacket, he would often wear sweaters or turtlenecks under the sports jacket.

6. When McQueen did wear a suit, he stuck with a three-piece for the most part. Unlike some of his blazers, McQueen usually stuck with notch lapels. He left the jacket undone to show the single created – and rather plain – waistcoat without any lapels. To emphasize his natural coolness, McQueen usually went with a classic four-in-hand over a larger knot. He also liked blues which emphasized his eyes and made him appear trustworthy which combated his bad boy appearance.

7. He was a fan of messy pocket squares. Never would you see a square fold. McQueen stuffed his pocket squares allowing them to billow out naturally. The only time he ever went with a traditional fold, was when he occasionally put on a tuxedo.

8. McQueen favored short jackets for cooler weather. Bomber style jackets were a staple in his wardrobe.

steve mcqueen style icon

9. McQueen was a classically styled gentleman with a penchant for casual attire. He rarely ever went with the trends and almost always stuck with classic pieces that are still popular today.

10. Everything about McQueen was cool. The best part about his style was him. His nonchalant coolness that can’t be replicated. From the Heuer Monaco 1333 on his wrist to the motorcycle or sports car he drove.

steve mcqueen style icon

Five Ways You Can Dress Like Steve McQueen

1. Stick with casual-wear. He was a big fan of creams and grays so don’t be afraid to call a $5 undershirt, a pair of denim jeans and a suede bomber jacket the perfect outfit for tomorrow’s date.

2. Consider the basics. Every McQueen fan should have a Barracuta G9 Harrington jacket in stock.

steve mcqueen style icon

3. Persol made the sunglasses that McQueen loved to wear. The Persol 714 rounded frames to be exact. Still for sale today.

4. Double denim. McQueen often wore denim trousers with a denim shirt. You can still do it today. Just be sure they’re not the same shade.

5. Footwear. No McQueen fan needs to worry about a closet stocked with oxfords and derbies. The true Steve McQueen styled gent should focus on canvas sneakers and leather boots.

Thanks for reading.

Stylishly Yours,

J.A. Shapira
He Spoke Style

Chime In

  • http://www.vipbachelorclub.com W. ADAM MANDELBAUM

    Given the right press agent we can all be Kings of cool.

  • Joe

    This Steve Mcqueen Article really helps me see his style in a better light. I am looking for inspiration for my own designing of vintage style logo’s. If anyone would be interested in my Men’s Topics Blog or My Vintage Style Graphic Tee’s please come visit at https://dirtyjoes.co

    Thank you all and I will keep on subscribing! :-)