Miami Vice, Stepping Into The Heat In Style
The cars, the city, and the synth-score, are all a part of what makes Miami Vice one of the best snapshots of a single era on TV.
Welcome to Magic City. It’s the 1980s and neon-lights wash out the sidewalks while George Michael’s crooning becomes the casual sound of the discotheques, bars, and radios. Against this backdrop, the story of two undercover-detectives might have aged a little (it’s still a great watch, though, and was recently remade into a motion picture) but Miami Vice’s world lives on; and with it, its sense of pastel-smoked style. This is good-living-wearing for the summer: loose-fitted jackets, bright loafers, and t-shirts in lieu of a shirt—although not all the time. And although synonymous with its era, the truth is that Miami Vice played its part in revolutionising the look. As Guy Trebay wrote for the New York Times in 2006, remembering the show’s impact retrospectively, “Before Miami Vice, adult males were not in the habit of wearing t-shirts under sports coats or shoes minus socks… Pastel coloured trousers were reserved for caddies.”
It’s worth remembering that it was the Reagan-era, after all. Sharp, slick business-suiting was the de-facto look; harkening to the reliable gosh-golly American work-ethic of Jimmy Stewart’s Mr Smith—except with colourful braces, and the certain questionable habits that defined the nineteen-eighties workplace. So to have righteous, handsome fellas in pink tailoring and white slip-ons no doubt announced itself to the American male in a liberating way.
The t-shirt and suit combination, in particular, is one that has survived to our present-age, and is very tempting in the current heatwave. It’s not really a ‘1980s thing’ anymore, but remains a part of the open-ended rulebook on how to wear a suit. Perhaps next to its entry, a photograph of Crockett in a white linen suit and a sepia t-shirt, would be the suggested visual explanation of how to do it right—loose, in high-quality linens, cottons, and with an exceptionally cut t-shirt. It’s slouchy, but not to the point of informality. The t-shirt (unless you want to look like a Geffen media exec) should always be plain and without logos or band-names, and must offset the bright tones of the suit.
It’s a look we’re a big proponent of here at The Rake. The Miami Vice style is timeless, and will remain a perfect option whenever a ray of sunshine emerges from behind the clouds. It’s fun, optimistic, a little unbothered, clean, and thankfully relaxed around the neck on hot days. But you need to be able to pair the right suit with the correct t-shirt, the proper loafers with smartest pastel-toned trousers. And for all these good things, you can shop the Miami Vice look here, in its full neon-washed glory, at The Rake.