Western films have long played a role in shaping style sensibilities, thanks largely to the distinctive costume code that the genre calls for – one reiterated time again through hallmarks such as hats, chaps, spurred boots and fringing.
Buck and the Preacher (1972) is no exception to this principle. The Blaxploitation film, which follows Sidney Poitier’s Buck in his attempt to lead freed slaves to settlements after the Civil War, may be – as is the Western tradition – action-packed and violent, but it also manages to endure as a superb exercise in classic cowboy styling.
Amongst all the typical Western action – shoot-outs, duels and galloping horses galore – are some seriously stellar outfits worth paying attention to. Of note is the wardrobe of Harry Belafonte’s character, a conman posing as a preacher, whose sophisticated approach to dressing offers up sufficient sartorial inspiration. Yet despite our fondness for the preacher’s silk necktie, pinstriped trousers and popped coat collar, it is our protagonist Buck, a rugged and tenacious ex-soldier, whose style we’re particularly inclined to channel in this instance.