This summer marks the 42nd anniversary of the movie that defined the “Summer Blockbuster.” The movie that made many of us second guess venturing into the water.
When we think “JAWS,” we think of the now-famous 2-note theme song. The terrifying unearthly size of that great white shark. We think of the tragedy that ravaged the waters off Amity Island. What we don’t think about is how great Chief Brody, Quint and Matt Hooper looked while saving beach-goers from total extinction via said great white shark. And we certainly never would’ve guessed the patterned blazer, worn by Mayor Vaughn, would make a comeback.
Love the movie and all the great looks? So do we. In fact, we can pretty much recreate all of them.
First, let’s dissect the “look” of the film’s hero, Martin Brody, Chief of the Amity Island Police. Chief Brody was a city cop turned island chief of police who was noticeably out of his element. We learned early on in the film, just before young Alex Kintner met his demise, that Brody didn’t like to go into the ocean. As complex as the shark hunt was for Brody, he managed to save the day in heroic style. From his classic chambray shirt, long-sleeved thermal tee, Levi’s jeans, belt, Sperry Top-Siders and watch, Brody’s look didn’t scream “SHARK,” but instead classic New England style, and not at the expense of his comfort.
Matt Hooper, straight from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, had the fresh-out-of-college yet professional look, carrying a hand-me-down duffle, wearing a plain lightweight summer sweatshirt, perfect for those cool July/August nights, Chuck Taylor Converse, and jeans. But he really added class with his dive watch. Dive watches were to make a splash (pun intended) in the late ‘70s, and we have Hooper to thank for that. The Rolex Submariner dive watch went from being just a suped-up watch to a luxury item shortly after the movie hit the big screen. Similar watches sell for $3,500 over forty years later!
Who could ever forget Amity’s foul-mouthed deep sea fisherman, Quint, Captain of the Orca? Quint made hunting for the film’s villain look cool in his military-inspired getup. Now, Quint’s look wasn’t the standard look of a fisherman. There was no fisherman’s cap or knitted fisherman’s sweater. Instead, Quint had a rugged look that meant business. A military jacket was simply paired with a long-sleeved, partially buttoned denim shirt. His jeans were held in place by a simple knitted army surplus belt. Like Hooper, Quint preferred Chucks on his feet versus fishing boots. And the look was topped off with a rugged baseball cap. Although his look might’ve been that of a former military soldier out for a deep sea adventure, it was no match for the jaws of the great white.
Lastly, there was Mayor Vaughn’s signature anchor-patterned blazer paired with an “old money,” upscale islander look. Just from looking at Mayor Vaughn, you could tell he was an Amity “lifer” selecting custom-made Brooks Brothers looks over what the other islanders were wearing. He didn’t come cheap.
Mad Men influenced a return of ‘60s looks a few years ago. And the ‘70s have certainly made their mark once again in fashion. Are we soon to see a return of the ‘80s and ‘90s?
What movie or movie decade is a fashion favorite of yours? Tell us in the comments below.