We all love the golden age of Hollywood. Alfred Hitchcock’s romantic thriller To Catch A Thief (1955), starring Grace Kelly and Cary Grant is no exception. This rare lecture in casual Riviera style still feels relevant today, despite the movie was released more than half a century ago. Cary Grant chose his own wardrobe, as he would usually do for his movies. “Generally I wore simple, tasteful clothes – the same kind of clothes I wear off-screen”, he reportedly said.
The plot revolves around John Robie (Cary Grant), a retired jewel thief, living in a villa on the Riviera. He and his colleagues were pardoned because of their courageous work during the French resistance. Robie's quiet retirement is interrupted by a series of jewel heists that seem to resemble his own. The movie is sophisticated and smart, but what is really interesting from the men's style perspective is seeing Cary Grant take on casual summer dressing and elegant behavior in every situation. Here are a few examples to get inspired.
The backdrop of the movie is Côte d’Azur of the jet set-era, including the countryside villa in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, followed by the bistros, beaches, and rooftops of Monaco, Cannes, and Nice. While the villa today looks almost exactly like it does in the movie, it’s privately owned and visitors are not allowed. Instead, we recommend you to visit the village of Èze, perched on a hill 430 m above the sea, where you’ll get a first-hand look at this dramatic section of the Azure Coast to recall scenes from the movie.
The car in which they have the ride of their life on the roads above Nice is a 1955 Sunbeam Alpine Series III roadster. Luckily, there is a replica of that very car available today. If you can't afford that particular car, don't worry. There is Côte d’Azur's excellent transportation system.
The Pullover and The Scarf
Cary found the pullover and scarf in a local shop on the French Riviera where the movie was shot. A long-sleeved jersey with reinforced crew neck, navy base with thin white stripes fits the compelling nature of his character John Robie as well as any sartorially inclined gentleman of today. Red cotton neckerchief with white polka dots added flair to a rather simple outfit, worthy of character's nonchalance.
Robie wears a pair of grey, wide-cut trousers with double forward pleats, slanted side pockets. The fit is roomy through the legs, finished on the bottoms with cuffs, and adds elegance to the pullover and the loafers.
Venetian loafers with tan leather apron-toe worn sockless were the perfect shoes for Grant's casual outfit. While his shoes were handmade by Maxwell’s on Dover Street, we would recommend Belgian loafers made by Rubinacci instead.
Cary Grant always managed to make the plain grey suit seem both glamorous and elegant. His flawless white shirt and the perfect tie knot completed the look effortlessly. Made from ‘Calm Twist’ wool, the Ring Jacket's beautiful medium grey suit is a modern take and equally appropriate for a day at the office or a semi-formal night out.
According to Fashionbeans, Grant's signature fragrance was Acqua di Parma Colonia. This was the definitive fragrance of Hollywood’s golden age. However, a more contemporary scent would be Acqua Di Parma Mirto Di Panarea. It opens with a citrusy note that quickly runs into a fresh green fragrance with a strong herbal influence. There is also an interesting sea breeze accord, which adds even more to the coastal vibe, working perfectly with the above outfits.