Dress the Part

Dress the Part: It’s a Wonderful Life

Dress the Part Its a Wonderful Life 1 Dress the Part: Its a Wonderful Life
It’s a Wonderful Life (1949). Directed by Frank Capra. Costume design by Edward Stevenson. Starring Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Henry Travers.

This week, we take a cue from Frank Capa’s Christmas classic, It’s a Wonderful Life for our Lookbook feature. Documenting the disillusionment and redemption of small town bank officer George Bailey, as played by Jimmy Stewart, this Christmas classic is a stirring story about the best of humanity and this time of year.

Most of all, it’s a throwback to a different time, a time when going out meant dressing up to be seen, and holding oneself to a greater standard of dress. This week, EveryGuyed takes to you Bedford Falls, where we can learn a thing or two about men and dressing for winter.

Clothes Make the Man

During this season, it’s not uncommon to see people bundle up and bury themselves in their clothes. Look around, and it’s not unusual to see sweaters, big topcoats, mittens, scarves, and warm hats. In this swathe of clothes, how can you stand out from the pack?

Take a cue from the film, and go with the classic men’s winter look you see George in near the film’s climax. Traditional topcoats, gloves, scarves, and even hats, for a stylish, warm look. Go with a thick warm topcoat, a woolen scarf, and perhaps a flat cap or toque to keep yourself warm. The head and hands are where the human body loses most of its heat in the cold.

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‘Where’s Your Coat and Hat?’

Late in the film, George Bailey walks home distracted, without gloves, hat, scarf, or even a coat. Suffused by liquor, and buffeted by the winds, it’s a miracle he doesn’t die of frost before he even makes it to the bridge.

Don’t think that this is a good look to emulate. George is drunk and distracted, so there’s no reason for you, a sensible young EveryGuyed reader, to go cold this season. Even if you’ve got an old parka, and not this season’s hottest topcoat, and only a pair of old mittens instead of soft leather gloves, don’t fret.

We always talk about being practical, and we’re not about to change our minds now. During this cold weather season, remember that it’s better to be warm and unstylish, than cold and well put together. Bundle up.

The Richest Man in Town

The most important lesson we can take from the film is not an easy one to forget. Throughout the film, George’s regular acts of kindness and generosity help keep Bedford Falls from succumbing to the whims of Potter.

Though it’s hardly a sartorial lesson, we’d be remiss if we didn’t remind you that George’s most redeeming quality is is overwhelming kindness and generosity. Though it’s easy to be cynical about the holiday season, we’d like to ask our readers try and emulate that kindness, if only for a season.
Dress the Part Its a Wonderful Life 3 Dress the Part: Its a Wonderful Life


A Christmas classic, Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life has great lessons for men and women of all walks of life. Here are just a few of them

  • Bundle up: It’s a cold season, so keep yourself warm. Our checklist includes topcoat, hat, gloves, and scarf.
  • Be sensible: Be practical rather than stylish. There’s no sense in being the coolest looking hypothermia victim! Don’t worry if you’ve not got the latest and greatest overcoat.
  • Be kind: We’re not going to argue the relative merits of each holiday, or the supposed ‘true meaning’ of each. But can’t we all agree that during this cold and dark season, we could stand to be a bit nicer to each other?


Need a miracle of your own? Still feeling more like you’re living in Pottersville than Bedford Falls? Use the comments box below to get some answers!


Xiaoli Li
Xiaoli Li is an often-missed former editor at the EveryGuyed network. He's currently working as a freelance writer, and probably yelling at a soccer game somewhere out there.
Xiaoli Li

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