Although he had been acting in films since 1957, the first big movie in Nicholson’s career was probably Easy Rider in 1969. In the film the young actor appeared in a cream suit with a single-breasted jacket, a white shirt and a pair of round-framed glasses with clip-on tinted lenses – a classic example of timeless style and an outfit that would look just as relevant in 2016 as it did almost fifty years ago. In his personal life around the same time Nicholson was a fan of tailored jackets – a staple look for him around the early 1970s being a black roll-neck sweater and a single-breasted, checked blazer.
Skip to 1975 and another perfect example of Jack’s timeless style was his wardrobe in possibly one of the greatest films ever made, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. Nicholson wore blue jeans, brown leather boots, a brown leather jacket and a black fisherman beanie. The actor was big on casual-wear off-screen too and could often be spotted in graphic tees and jeans, paired with his trademark orange-tinted shades.
It would be impossible to write an article about Jack Nicholson without mentioning The Shining; another of his most iconic films and with it another one of his most iconic movie wardrobes. Casual-wear was still the running theme during this period and the most widely recognised outfit from the movie consisted of straight-leg jeans, a checked shirt and a maroon corduroy over-shirt.
As the years matured over the 80s and 90s so did Nicholson’s taste in clothing. His sunglasses became a staple item and he was rarely seen without them. Tees and sweaters gave way to casual shirts, blazers and jackets; often featuring wide-peak lapels, as was popular at the time. When he was doing casual he was doing it properly, with characteristic headwear and thick knitwear both being commonplace in his outfits.
Ten years ago Jack appeared in another of his biggest roles, playing a mob boss in The Departed. Those trademark orange-tinted sunglasses were back out again, along with plenty of sharp tailoring, a leopard print tie and even a bucket hat.
Fast-forward to today and Jack Nicholson is almost eighty years old and still knows how to dress to kill. He’s one of the past century’s true style icons and has always been an unfaltering purveyor of timeless menswear, with a wardrobe that most of us can only dream of.
We salute you Jack and we hope you keep showing the men of the world how to dress for many years to come.