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Kyle Smith (Twitter: @rkylesmith) is critic-at-large for National Review, theater critic for The New Criterion and the author of the novels Love Monkey and A Christmas Caroline. Type a title in the box above to locate a review.

Buy Love Monkey for $4! "Hilarious"--Maslin, NY Times. "Exceedingly readable and wickedly funny romantic comedy"--S.F. Chronicle. "Loud and brash, a helluva lot of fun"--Entertainment Weekly. "Engaging romp, laugh-out-loud funny"-CNN. "Shrewd, self-deprecating, oh-so-witty. Smith's ruthless humor knows no bounds"--NPR

Buy A Christmas Caroline for $10! "for those who prefer their sentimentality seasoned with a dash of cynical wit. A quick, enjoyable read...straight out of Devil Wears Prada"--The Wall Street Journal

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    Why Steve McQueen Was Cool

    By kyle | September 3, 2009

    The Journal has a story on the fashion world’s current obsession with Steve McQueen, who died in 1980 but whose style is being channeled by designers at Dolce & Gabbana, Thom Browne, J. Crew, Tag Heuer and Persol. With some bewilderment, the writer asks, Why?

    his look is so restrained—and incorporates so many of today’s basics—that those who haven’t seen his movies can strain to understand the allure. His clothes were neutral-colored and plain: flat-front chinos, suede desert boots, straight-leg jeans, windbreakers, shawl-collar cardigans, T-shirts and sweat shirts. They were simply classic American casual clothing.

    But the answer comes, like McQueen, naturally:

    That understatement is an essential part of his appeal to designers today. Mr. McQueen wore clothes that didn’t scream to be seen. In an economic environment where conspicuous fashion is frowned upon, sobriety may be an easier sell, especially for men, who generally don’t want their clothes to draw too much attention.

    Not begging to be looked at is cool. Not (to be seen to be) trying too hard is cool. Not obsessing over your ‘look’ is cool. Steve McQueen was cool..

    Topics: Fashion, Movies | 2 Comments »

    2 Responses to “Why Steve McQueen Was Cool”

    1. Brian Says:
      September 4th, 2009 at 2:25 pm

      Are you a “Steve” or a “Stew”?

      See the movie: The Tao of Steve

    2. MaxD Says:
      September 10th, 2009 at 1:40 pm

      I think your last paragraph nails it.

      I think Steve McQueen is probably one of the last coolly dressed guys. Maybe William F. Buckley too. Natural and effortless is the name of the game, which is why it’s kind of funny to me that fashion forward places such as Dolce/Gabbana would be into anything understated.