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How to dress like the guys in Reservoir Dogs

The basics of the "tough guy" suit

If you have a few friends and you're stuck on Halloween ideas, perhaps the easiest costume for adult men to pull off and still look stylish is the guys from Reservoir Dogs. The best part of this costume is that it's not really a costume. While everyone else looks like a clown, you get to look kind of classy while at the same time participating in the festivities and not giving the appearance that you're "too good" to have a little fun on Halloween or at a costume party.

One thing that I really need to stress about this costume idea: you can't do it alone. If you're one of the guys from Reservoir Dogs, you're really just a guy in a black suit. If you're 4 guys from Reservoir Dogs, people will start to get it. A few people who aren't movie geeks might think you're the Blues Brothers, but you can use a little intimidation -- or small talk about the proper etiquette for tipping, to straighten those folks out.

The basics of this look are the following:

  • black suit
  • skinny black tie
  • black Ray Ban sunglasses
  • black dress shoes

The Reservoir Dogs look

Do you see why you need to roam with a pack?

Do you see why you need to roam with a pack?

The suit

Finding the right Reservoir Dogs suit is relatively simple. It must be black, and it should be pretty basic. That means 2 or maybe 3 button jacket, and no pinstripes. It should fit well, but it doesn't need to be tailored. That's right, this will probably be the only time I tell anyone they don't need to have a suit tailored. Why? Well, remember that the guys in Reservoir Dogs were basically a group of criminals who wanted to look classy so they could enter a jewelers (to rob it) without looking suspicious. They weren't rich guys who would spend $1,000 or more on a tailored suit. They probably would have bought them at the local department store. In fact, Tarantino bought the actual wardrobes from second-hand shops.

how-to-dress-like-the-guys-in-reservoir-dogs

The tie

For the tie, you once again want to buy black. It should be skinny. When shopping for it online, just search for "skinny black tie" and you'll probably find what you're looking for. You may find some that are the same width the entire length of the tie. As long as they have a point and aren't squared off at the end, they'll do just fine.

skinny black ties

how-to-dress-like-the-guys-in-reservoir-dogs

Sunglasses

For sunglasses, you're going to want to look for black Ray Bans. They can be Wayfarers, but they shouldn't ALL be Wayfarers. Mr. Orange (Tim Roth) wore Clubmasters. Also, nothing too modern. No wire frames, such as the Aviators or Caravans.

how-to-dress-like-the-guys-in-reservoir-dogs

Shirt

This one you should already own. It's just a simple white dress shirt. Make sure it's clean and very white. No off-whites here. Wear a white undershirt under your dress shirt (that should be common knowledge by now).

how-to-dress-like-the-guys-in-reservoir-dogs

For Mr. Blonde: holster harness

One of you gets to be Mr. Blonde, and Mr. Blonde wears a holster harness for his gun. It should be black. A novelty squirt gun will add a comedic element to your costume and make it less people run screaming from the room as you enter.

how-to-dress-like-the-guys-in-reservoir-dogs

Shoes and miscellaneous

Shoes are simple, and once again something every man should already own. Black dress shoes. Polish them up before you leave your house.

Other things to consider: toothpicks. They're seen at several points in the movie. It wouldn't hurt to have some on you. They sell some that taste like cinnamon. I like cinnamon, I'd recommend buying those.

Chris Penn plays Nice Guy Eddie Cabot in the movie. If one of your more rotund friends is secure with his looks, encourage him to be Nice Guy Eddie. The costume consists of a bright track suit over a white shirt. Throw in some tacky gold jewelry (don't go overboard) for effect. This is a great solution for a larger friend because, frankly, all the guys in Reservoir Dogs who participated in the jewel heist were thin. If you put a large guy in a Reservoir Dog black suit, people will think he's John Belushi in Blues Brothers. That's just the way the world is.

Anything to add?

SJ on October 09, 2013:

Mr. Blonde also wore cowboy boots. Here's a clip from the film for reference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGqB6JIUzBo#t=69

Mr. Cabot on September 29, 2013:

Don't forget the slicked back hair!

DC on June 19, 2013:

Mr. Blonde wore black cowboy boots.

nikita rules ok on October 25, 2011:

I am actually in a group of girls who is doing this this year! The same rules apply, though - for this costume there's no need to femme it up. It looks cooler if you don't.

We're going for the full effect, though - our Ms. Orange is going to be covered in fake blood ;)

nocreditneeded from Texas on October 14, 2010:

Great idea for a hub. Maybe this is the solution to my Halloween costume dilemma this year.

Whikat on October 13, 2010:

I was always enjoyed the tough guy look, some men can wear the look well. I enjoyed this hub. Thank you for sharing.

I am DB Cooper (author) from Whereabouts unknown at this time on August 27, 2010:

Excellent observation. I've edited the hub to reflect the correction.

Jed on August 27, 2010:

Mr Blonde is actually wearing a hoster harness, not suspenders ...

jayjay40 from Bristol England on April 24, 2010:

Interesting hub, thanks for sharing