How to wear a power suit like Michael Corleone in The Godfather Pt II

This month “the greatest sequel of all time”, The Godfather Pt II, will be 40 years old. But rather than waxing lyrical on the inevitable release of the digitally enhanced 5.1 commemorative blue ray edition of the cinematic classic, we thought we’d focus on the Michael Corleone’s suits…

From his first scene, Michael’s light grey suit (above) speaks volumes for the huge changes that have taken place since we last saw him, both in terms of his acceptance of his role as Godfather and the power that he now wealds.

Later we see him striking a similar pose in a magnificent charcoal grey 3-piece.

This suit would look just as imposing in a boardroom in 2014. The key is its simplicity – the only anomaly is the exceptionally high cut of the 6 button waistcoat.

We’ve seen a similar waistcoat before – in the original Godfather –

This suit has the same lustrous finish as many of his others – more accentuated than ever in the above still. This distinctive finish is created by blending the wool with silk or mohair.

Furthermore, this suit is double breasted – a cut probably inherited from his older brother Sonny – but also a popular style at the time (1950s post war America).

Interestingly, the suit is cut in a similar style to the 4 show 6 double breasted Michael wears to his wedding in the original Godfather…

which is made from a much heavier, darker cloth. Not the best choice of cloth for a Sicilian wedding – but I suppose when you’re as cool as Michael Corleone it doesn’t matter!

In the two years that have passed since The Godfather, Michael has developed his own style: single breasted suits in muted colours, long-tip shirt collars and his iconic slicked back hair.

Moreover, Michael remains impeccably well dressed for the duration of the film – ever conscious of the relationship between appearance, respect and power.

40 years on, and suit wearers can still learn much from this iconic business leader.

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Godfather fact: The costume designer, Theadora Van Runkle, was nominated for the Oscar for best costume. Runkle was only beaten by The Great Gatsby (featured in Stitch #33), but the Godfather Pt II went on to win 6 Oscars from 9 nominations.

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