When lists of the most stylish films of all time are made, they almost always include two films with the same name: The Thomas Crown Affair from 1968, and the 1999 remake of the same film. Though the leading men of both films: Steve McQueen and Pierce Brosnan, respectively, have starkly different wardrobes, the costume design of both films provides a template for how to design a film with enduring mens’ style. The costume design of both films offers a textbook lesson in how to create an enduring look.

Perhaps the most important thing is that neither plot is overly complicated, which allows the viewer to focus on the clothes more than the scene work. The 1968 film details a bank robbery, and an insurance adjuster’s (Faye Dunaway) attempt to catch the rich playboy she thinks is responsible. Sexual tension abounds. The remake follows roughly the same premise, but instead of a bank robbery, it is an art heist, and the investigator (Rene Russo) who attempts to catch the thief is brunette instead of blond. Both films are more of an excuse to revel in erotic luxury than a meticulous attempt to construct a taut thriller.

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