This Week We're Channelling: Martin Brody in Jaws
Jaws was released over 40 years ago but its democratic style is as relevant as ever. This week we’re channelling its unassuming hero Chief Martin Brody.
It is widely accepted by film buffs and laypeople alike that Steven Spielberg’s Jaws is one of the greatest thrillers of all time. It managed to pave the way for the modern blockbuster and continues to detract generations of viewers from ever entering a body of water - an indicator of true cinematic success. But while its menacing soundtrack and iconic poster image have become ingrained in our collective subconscious, the film’s exceptional fashion is rarely opined. It’s understandable why – Jaws doesn’t exactly exude glamour. But it is for that exact reason that we hold it in such high regard as sartorial stimulus. A lack of pretension and a rugged cool permeate the film’s costuming in such an unassuming way that it’s easy to miss, but pay close attention and you’ll encounter some of the best summer style cinema has seen. Each of the film’s three male protagonists sports distinct styles in line with their characterisation, but of particular note is the wardrobe of police chief Martin Brody, played by Roy Scheider. He’s confident but not cocky, heroic but humble, and his outfitting reflects this in spades. For the first half of the film he is seen in little other than his police uniform – a khaki shirt and shorts combo and navy windbreaker – that is so unremarkable it could be considered anti-fashion, yet he somehow pulls it off with aplomb, his badge and buttons giving off military vibes and lending him an understated authoritative edge.
As the storyline progresses, so does Brody’s style: when the group sets sail, he settles into a comfortable groove, replacing his streamlined uniform with laidback, minimalistic attire – the type that would form the basis of most men’s wardrobes today. Indigo jeans, fitted tees, a chambray shirt and black polo neck make for a clean and simple effortlessness: fighting off giant man-eating sharks leaves little time to invest in one’s wardrobe, you see. The same line of thinking applies to Brody’s accessories, which are dictated only by necessity. His wire-rimmed aviator glasses, leather-banded wrist watch and wide black belt are purely functional, their stylishness a result of the unconsciousness with which they’re worn. The ease of Brody’s approach to summer dressing is what makes it so appealing – all that’s required is a selection of key staples and an air of insouciance. Such fundamental wardrobe pieces lend themselves to versatility and years of wear: look to classic brands producing timeless essentials, such as Sunspel, Blackhorse Lane and Edward Sexton to recreate the enduring aesthetic.