HE said he could ‘hated to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone, but they worked for me’, he also claimed; ‘It never got weird enough for me’ and as the overlord of the ‘counter culture’ written word Dr Hunter S Thompson seemed a perfect place to start my homage to some of the greatest style icons.
The Good Doctor was as famous for his ‘Gonzo’ writing in such amazing books as Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Rum Diary and his writing for Rolling Stone magazine, as for his laconic dress sense, which usually consisted of tennis shorts, Hawaiian shirts, aviator style glasses and white tennis shoes as seemingly thrown together as the ice cubes filling his glass of Chivas Regal or Wild Turkey bourbon.
The truth is that with any trail blazer, the seemingly effortless style is nothing of the sort. It is honed, worked on and finalised to enhance the man, the myth and the legend.
The look was total from the top down and not just attached to one garment, so starting at the top as the Good Doctor would surely do let’s study the look;
The cap that would surely fit the bill would be a baseball cap, and never shy to bare a brand try the Tempi Fila cap in white I feel is more suited to HST, but the Barbour fleece lined suitably named Hunter Hat, would also fit the bill when not sunning up over cocktails, would be a certain winner.
The Lacoste Barman hat would slot in nicely as well, along with the Kangol Jacquard range or the Plaid, which with its deliciously outrageous check pattern would complement the polo shirt and tennis shorts with a touch of colour.
As the ‘hey days’ of HST were generally the seventies, the decade of deliverance and open carnage the reliance on the polo shirt would surely mean the label of choice would be either Lacoste or Penguin. Simple, plain bang on the money.
Rigid uniformity would not be something the writer would adhere to, so pastel colours such as light blue or yellow would definitely be sported by the booze fuelled mad man, but any range of polo shirts such as Lindberg or Fred Perry would also fit the bill.
Donning the all important sunglasses which are a trademark piece, simply plump for the Ray Ban Aviator with gold rims or the gun metal. Again it is the style of that time that is more important for the look, so Carrera Champion or Safari will equally do a suitable job.
Paradise Found Hawaiian shirts, soon to be arriving at Stuarts, are a particular favourite for this look, and mirroring the image of HST with the striped t-shirt and suit jacket I plump for the Suit Denmark Bud striped shirt in blue or sand, dropped under one the designers navy or Timber Wolf jackets, or maybe drop on a Universal Works casual blazer for a modern twist on the icons style, also check out the Levi summer stripe tops.
Tennis shorts were the pant of choice, synonymous with showing the sporting and as such pioneer spirit of the author/journalist, even though firing guns, riding fast bikes and cars and downing cocktails was general challenge of choice.
I reckon slipping into a pair of the Fila Lifer shorts or the Trabert Ellesse shorts in either white or the fantastic Sky Diver blue.
The ‘tennis shoes’ of choice for the writer were Stateside classic Converse, but in their absence I suggest the Pf-Flyer in either white or navy are the nearest thing, or try the Huntingdon Hi GP white boot from Lacoste, or the Diadora Heritage low tennis shoe or the Adidas Stan Smith.
The Puma basket or Roma reissue are excellent choices as well along with the Gazelle all would top of the doctors classic look. If you are not going down the tennis shorts route although I suggest you should, slip on a pair of Levi’s straight cut 511 slim fit of course and if you don’t fancy the blazer it is as well to know that a classic denim jacket such as the Levi Trucker puts you only a cocktail and a pint of raw either away from emulating the man, the style, the icon.
Res ipsa loquitur. Let the good times roll
Next up: Steve McQueen