What the designers saw: or, Armitage resartus, part 2

Picking up from the previous post, then, I think there are two situations in which the costumers looked at Mr. Armitage’s body carefully and really “got” it. One of these episodes may have been largely circumstantial, the other is so obvious as to appear blatantly intentional. This post is data mainly to substantiate the point that Armitage benefits visually when designers take his shoulder and waist construction seriously.

Who(m) do we love, baby? For many of us, the answer will be: Mr. Thornton. North & South was really effectively costumed, as is usually the case in BBC period drama, so it may not have been intentional on the part of the costumers, just a function of achieving historical accuracy in the production. (Though they were willing to sacrifice it occasionally, as in the case of Margaret Hale’s straw hat, which really doesn’t belong in the 1850s, as the show itself implies, because she’s the only one wearing that hat. All the other women characters have the classic bonnet of the decade). Whether it was the efforts of the designers, or just that his body was especially well suited to the male fashions of the 1850s, Mr. Armitage really benefited hugely from the N&S costumes, as they either accommodate or effectively set off some of his most noticeable corporeal features effortlessly. The clothes fit him so well despite their bourgeois sobriety that one tends to forget that the stylish men’s clothes of the day were more in line with what Henry Lennox wore. Armitage himself praised the costumes as not feeling like costumes but like the real clothes of the character, which facilitated his task greatly (at 2:38). To wit:

Mr. Thornton (Richard Armitage) fends off Mr. Bell’s (Brian Protheroe) well-meaning attempt to set things right between Thornton and Margaret in North and South, ep. 4. Source: Richard Armitage Central Gallery. You can see the long waist here, which can’t be entirely covered, even with pants and vest combined, but enlarge the picture and note how well the high rise pants held up by suspenders address both shorten the long waist, visually assigning the length of his body to the legs, and shrink the generous posterior.

Mr. Thornton (Richard Armitage) rises from his desk during the conversation with Mr. Bell (Brian Protheroe) in North & South, episode 4. Source: Richard Armitage Central Gallery. Wearing a shirt with a dropped seam on the shoulders means never having to worry that your shirt is straining to accommodate your chest. The white fabric is also like a flashing light over those delicious, powerful shoulders and upper back. And this is a historic men’s clothing style I just happen to love, though I feel sorry for the women who had to starch these outfits so laboriously. Though one can’t help but ask: Was Mr. Thornton so well dressed because his mother was, well, motherly? She did straighten his tie and collar out:

Mrs. Thornton (Sinead Cusack) straights out her son’s tie and collar before he goes out to work for the day, warning him to beware of the daughter of a renegade parson, in North & South, episode 1. Mr. Thornton (Richard Armitage) seems to enjoy it a great deal. One of my students called him a “mama’s boy” in western civ discussion this Spring. Source: Richard Armitage Central Gallery. Otherwise nothing to note here. Move on, folks!

Mr. Thornton (Richard Armitage) surveys the silent weaving shed near the end of North & South, episode 4. Source: Richard Armitage Central Gallery. Note how well the sloping shoulder style of the period conforms to the sloping Armitage shoulders. No strain across the shoulder span due to the triangular construction of the top back of the coat, which makes it easier to get a flat seam for the coat’s shoulder, and the collar conforms perfectly to his neck shape. I like how this style displays Armitage’s shoulders — it’s not aggrandizing, but still when you see the whole body from the rear you note their power without being distracted by them. 

Mr. Thornton at his mother’s annual dinner party in North & South, episode 4. Source: Richard Armitage Central Gallery. The relatively open collar of the period (which was closed by a tie rather than a button) means no invasive rubbing of the collar across the front of one’s pillar-like neck. Its height nonetheless demands good posture and aids in characterization, as Armitage noted in the interview linked above. Also catch the front view of the jacket over the sloping shoulders; again no issues with the collar of the jacket or the front line of the shoulders.

At Mrs. Thornton’s party, Henderson (Shaun Hennessey) and Mr. Thornton (Richard Armitage) gaze at Margaret, while Mr. Bell (Brian Protheroe) and Mr. Latimer (Will Tacey) chat in the background in North and South, episode 2. Source: Richard Armitage Central Gallery. A nice shot because it shows how the formal wear of the period looks on different bodies. Mr. Thornton’s dress vest has the lapel gaping issue caused by Armitage’s chest musculature, but the costumer has made an attempt to address it with the lowest V that the style permits –a decision that amplifies his shirt front. If you expand the picture you can see that the gorges are also at a normal height, which again has the effect of visually assigning parts of his length to his legs as opposed to his upper body. Nice work.

Mr. Thornton (Richard Armitage) sarcastically challenges the workers to attack him after a stone thrower has wounded Margaret in North & South, episode 2. Source: Richard Armitage Central Gallery. The high rise in the trousers emphasizes the long legs. Also, the costumers got the length of the shirt sleeve under the jacket correct, so that we can see a good solid inch or inch-and-half, even, of cuff, a nice touch that in turn gives the viewer an index of Armitage’s inspiring wingspan.

Mr. Thornton (Richard Armitage) looking in annoyance to the Hales’s doorway as Margaret says goodbye to Nicholas Higgins in North & South, episode 3. Source: Richard Armitage Central Gallery. A nice shot of the entire ensemble: jacket, shirt front, collar, gorges, and tie all working together with no difficulties.

And finally, just because I can never stop nitpicking, the one sour note in all of this highly successful, indeed beautiful, costuming: Thornton walking away from the Hales’s doorway after seeing Higgins leaving there in North & South, episode 3. Source: Richard Armitage Central Gallery. The one sartorial difficult in pants with a really high rise: if the rise is not held tight to the body with suspenders or via an extremely flat front, the front of the pant runs the risk of looking diaper-like. I think that happens here, but since we almost never see Thornton’s pants from this perspective, why worry?

So we can see that Mr. Thornton’s costumes did indeed fit Armitage like real clothes. Impressive, and attractive as heck. Of course — or sadly — Mr. Armitage can’t wear that sort of thing to a red carpet appearance.

Who else do we love? If we were going to pick a second audience favorite in terms of sheer visual attractiveness, I’d be tempted to pick Guy, and I think those who agree with me would narrow that down slightly to series 3 Guy. The costume designer of the first two series, Francis Tempest, when asked whether she designed the costumes specifically for the bodies of the actors, responded in the negative, but given the way that Gisborne’s outfits compliment Mr. Armitage’s body, it’s hard to believe that certain details weren’t gauged specifically to his physique after he was cast and the designers measured him, even in the first two seasons. And certainly in season 3, the new designer must have considered Armitage’s body in the mix of design influences. He’s also been said repeatedly by others, like Tempest, to have enjoyed wearing Guy’s costumes, though I don’t know if he said it himself. Considering the shoulders / upper chest and the slightly elongated torso, look again at the following moments in Guy’s wardrobe.

Guy of Gisborne (Richard Armitage) yells at the peasants of his estate to try to get them to reveal who committed a theft in Robin Hood 1.1. Source: Richard Armitage Central Gallery. The shoulders of the duster, which Francis Tempest described as a combination of a regency cape, “How the West was Won” and “Sherlock Holmes,” push the silhouette of Mr. Armitage’s shoulders and chest out even more dramatically. Otherwhere I also mused that the shoulders are an important characterization mechanism given the early season 1 Guy’s tendency to use his shoulders to indicate his emotions and especially his status deficit. (They might thus have played a role similar to Mr. Thornton’s cravat for Armitage, I suppose.)

Guy of Gisborne (Richard Armitage) in a publicity photo for series 1 of Robin Hood. Source: Richard Armitage Net Screencap Gallery. Where is that waist? We can’t really tell, even in these pants and with the accidental gaping of the top on the right side of the photo. A low rise pant would end at about the point where we see his laces disappear into the buckler at the hem of his top; one would guess his natural waist would be at the top of the pant; but there’s a 1.5″ belt above that as well before this costume really lets his upper body start — which also doesn’t look shortened in the least. The effect is enhanced here by the pose of the left shoulder, which creates a smooth line from knee to armpit. Yum. When Guy wears this costume throughout series 1 and 2, the costumer can break the upper body up almost at will with different belts and such to shorten or lengthen the visually elusive torso. Thus that costume was really more versatile — even if a bit more sober — than the luxurious surcoat of season 3.

It’s really a pity that we see so little of the detail of Guy’s wedding dress, but here the designers were at their most mannerist, creating an almost sylphlike profile for the soon-to-be-spurned spouse.

Guy of Gisborne (Richard Armitage) observes pensively the villagers’ preparations for his wedding in Robin Hood 13.1. Source: Richard Armitage Central Gallery. The only visual indication here of where his waist might possibly be is the position of his hands behind his back. The effect is dreamy, elegant, and swept with long visual lines.

Guy of Gisborne (Richard Armitage) during the preparations for his wedding in Robin Hood 1.13. Source: Richard Armitage Central Gallery. Here the designer gave him a drop waist that seems to ironically cite the long bodices of the sixteenth century and which would be particularly beautiful on a woman’s gown, where it would probably be used to lengthen the appearance of the waist of a woman with a fuller figure. Here, on a slim build, it makes the already slender hips melt away into nothing, creating the effect of the previous photo when you look at the entire garment. Really skillful. To get a wedding gown like this it would almost be worth having to have it made of leather. The fit of the garment thus emphasizes in someway the intangible, non-real qualities of the wedding, tinged with melancholy for both Marian and Guy, and so shockingly brought to an end.

And, of course, the signature moment of Guy’s appearance in series 1 and 2: the jacket. Richard Armitage as Guy of Gisborne in a publicity photo for Robin Hood, series 1. Source: Richard Armitage Net Screencap Gallery. Strong shoulders and upper body? Let’s put some piping on them some everyone notices. Pulling of fabric due to strong upper body and lots of action? Let’s create a garment that pulls in every possible direction, thus constantly creating lines of draping, and let’s accentuate the length of the chest visually by using an asymmetrical closing (drawing lots of attention to it with those wild clasps) that will draw the eye up and down the wearer’s chest. An absolutely brilliant creation in general and for Mr. Armitage’s body specifically.

Guy of Gisborne (Richard Armitage) with his sister, Isabella (Lara Pulver), in a publicity photo for Robin Hood, season 3. Source: Richard Armitage Net Screencap Gallery.I might want to say more about the sexiness of this costume later, so I’ll just generally point out that the season 3 designer followed Tempest’s visual idea of sartorially highlighting many of the notable features of Armitage’s body. I feel the pit dropping out of my stomach when I look at these pictures, even now.  Here the shoulders and chest musculature are made even more pronounced with the leather extensions and studs that point to their margins, for example. Also, note how the surcoat extends the line of Armitage’s body all the way from his shoulders to his knees by lining up the margin of the front half of Guy’s coat directly with the lines on his breeches. I’ve already considered how the bottom of the coat opens up just at the point of Guy’s laces, as if to point a visual arrow at his (cough) package.

Richard Armitage as Guy of Gisborne in a publicity shot for Robin Hood, series 3. Source: Richard Armitage Net Screencap Gallery. I haven’t really discussed the trousers / jeans issue in this series, but of course I have something to about that, too. Another time. Here I’ll just note the continued motif of marking up the prominent features of Armitage’s body. Powerful thighs? Let’s put a leather of a different color on them so everyone notices! Extended width of the chest? Let’s enhance that moving down the chest by placing a series of horizontal bars on it! These costumes were a festival of visual excess, a sort of fireworking of Armitage’s body.

He also can’t wear this to a red carpet event. So I swear, I really am going to get to that stuff, which is the reason I was writing all this stuff down. (You see now one of my serious problems as an academic writer. I feel like I have to trace for my audience my absolute entire train of thought before I make my actual point.)

OK, so tomorrow: Richard Armitage’s body in a tuxedo, and his sartorially stunning BAFTA 2010 appearance. I promise. Unless I get overrun by my nieces. Then the next day.

~ by Servetus on June 11, 2010.

29 Responses to “What the designers saw: or, Armitage resartus, part 2”

  1. What other areas does your expertise stretch to, servetus? Now you have have embarked on an interesting examination of sartorial details which have completely escaped my notice. I just think Richard looks good, fully-clothed or partially disrobed. I was however very happy with your analysis of the RH3 costume. I’ve only seen a couple of episodes of series 1 and all of series 2, so I’m only familiar with 3 from vids and pics. I was made aware of how the costume was designed to draw attention to his bod when he was tied to the tree in the forest and when he’s stretched out on the settle with his head back. And of course we have the laces!

    Looking forward to the tux post!


    • My mom had a minor obsession with sewing (she sewed all her own clothes from when she was 14 and a lot of ours, too) and she felt it was an important life skill to pass on. Do you ever have the feeling that you have learned a lot of things that were supposed to come in handy sometime? That is how I feel about clothing design. 🙂

      You have to see series 3. Time to order the DVD? 🙂


  2. These posts are fascinating. (I once thought of going to study costume & set design at our national theatre school instead of uni, so costume is of great interest)

    This is a bit embarrassing, but I hadn’t thought that Mr. A’s rear end was the epitome of the “tight” whatever apparently swooned over by women. (I don’t) So, feel a bit better that you noticed.

    As for Frances Tempest, of whom I’ve read interviews – that lady should be invited to the Ontario Stratford Festival, which has had many great designers in its history. She wasn’t there for the R3 series, but IMO, felt she caught the spirit of the ancient/modern High Street intent of a very off-beat production perfectly. She really did know the actors’ bodies (blushing again)

    Agree, the designer of N&S caught the fit beautifully. To the sloping shoulders and every other fit to the body. From a back view, I still think the actor does have slightly round shoulders (years of stooping to listen to short people?) and the so-called imperfections of proportion contribute to this actor’s attraction. Just as does the non-Hollywood nose – have we put that issue to rest yet?)


    • No, his posterior is not tight. 🙂 I think the point of the peaches euphemism is to suggest that it’s juicy, though.

      I agree about Tempest — the costumes were better than the scripts.


  3. I am lovin’ your costume analysis / examination of Mr. A’s “assets”. Must ask Charleybrown if she has seen these posts. I am sure see would be fascinated as well! Looking forward to the tux post!


  4. I’m also looking forward to the tux post. Very interesting analysis! I’ve not really thought about what he’s wearing that much, to be honest, but that’s probably because I don’t really care about fashion and clothes and that sort of thing. I’m the sort of person who, if I was dressed in a Smart dresscode still wouldn’t manage to look more than Smart Casual. 😉 I have to say though, blokes in 19th century costume… that’s never wrong. Especially not when they’re so remarkably handsome as Mr. Armitage! 🙂


    • I don’t really care that much either, though you couldn’t tell that from the posts on the topic. If you saw me in RL after reading them, you’d be like, huh?

      Too bad he can’t wear Mr. Thornton’s outfit to the redcarpet events. They’d have to send a rescue squad out to the event to revive all the fainting women. 🙂


  5. *drooling on Guy’s pics, oh the little details my attetion ahs been brought to…more droonling*

    The tux pics, bring them on! You can expand as much as you wish, I’m not complaining ;).

    Sorry the shallow comment, but I’m here as a learner (I’m afraid you’d be horrorized by how amateurish I sew a button or anything for that matter). I’m at awe at all this, I was not aware you needed all this knowledge to make clothes, I mean I thought it had to do more with fashion and of course the basic anatomy, but no need to consider so many things.

    The next time RA goes shopping, he could give you a call. I’m sure you’ll help him buy the most suitable clothes for him.

    OML 🙂


    • Thanks, OML. I think it’s like food. You can just eat what you find in a grocery store, or you can develop a whole science around it to create the most sophisticated food possible. Most people compromise somewhere in between. Clothesmaking when practiced at its best is a really sophisticated art, and when done well, it can substantially affect someone’s appearance. I’m really fascinated by clothing history.

      There’s a funny clip in a film I really like, “The Devil Wears Prada,” that I’ve linked here. Meryl Streep plays the editor of a style magazine (figure based on Anna Wintour) and Anne Hathaway is her intellectual administrative assistant who looks down her nose at fashion. Great film if you don’t know it.

      Oh, and clothes buying is a really fraught activity. I would never do it with a man I was interested in unless I was obligated (i.e., in a relationship with the guy, so he couldn’t run away from me when the inevitable bruising occurred). It’s so personal.


      • Yes, I’ve seen that movie and liked it very much. I can’t see the clip, seems is only avaible for USA. Which scene do you mean? Let’s see if I remember it :P.

        I don’t dislike buying clothes nor is something I particularly enjoy. In fact I know people who can walk by a store see something they like, enter, try it on and buy it. I just can’t, I have to be with my mind set on ‘shopping’…weird, I know, lol.


        • It’s the clip where Meryl Streep et al are discussing clothing for a shoot and one of them holds up two belts of a similar shade and Anne Hathaway is taking notes but sort of giggling, and Meryl Streep calls her on it, makes fun of her cerulean blue sweater, and says, you laugh at us for notcing these fine details but that sweater you picked up out of a bargain bin at Casual Corner was chosen for you years ago by the people in this room and the color has been the source of millions of dollars in business and countless jobs.

          I hate clothes shopping for myself. I can do it for friends, as I have an eye for detail, but I have to be talked into it.


  6. Great post. Fascinating!! …. So does this mean that his physique might be best suited to period drama? Perhaps he should do more? I am going to indulge in watching N&S today as I have a lot of paperwork filing to do and will watch as I file. What I found was the most attractive look on JT was the shirt and waitcoat – open neck and billowing sleeves. (I think we only see this in Episode 4).


    • Yeah, that shirt is just amazing when we get to see more of it. I love, love, love those billowing sleeves.

      I think his physique is best suited to clothing that is made for him specifically. If he’d break down and buy a really great bespoke suit, he’d get a lot out of it, I am convinced.


    • Something else that occurred to me last night is that his shoulders would probably also look good in a raglan sleeve (like U.S. baseball jerseys). Lots of room to move.


  7. A complaint- you’re too prolific :). I wish that the Guy observations were separate. TMI! Though I will say that the belt on Gisborne suggests his natural waist and not a longer torso. It’s also interesting that the costumer in Season 3 built up his shoulders even more than in the first 2 seasons (which I think looked fine), IMO, to the point of exaggeration. Mucho artifice, a là, “Metropolis”.

    I agree that the sloping shoulders found their soulmate in JT’s costuming. The high collars also play up his long neck and neatly shaped head. I don’t see, however, that the higher rise trousers are anything but normal . What am I missing here? I don’t actually think that the pix are subject to fact given the paucity of information. Are they really that high rise?

    As for JT being a “mama’s boy”- LOL! Seriously, people think nowadays that because one honours their mother that it somehow makes them wimpy. JT is a man of principle and decision who does not look to his mother for answers, yet works alongside her, an indication of respect. Mama’s fussing with his collar is meant to indicate that they are close, nothing else. There is also a saying that if you want to know how a man will treat, look at how he treats his mother. I also think JT”s attitude is clearly exemplified in his response to Margaret at the end- that she can speak for herself rather than Henry about her “offer”.

    As for the “gaping vest”, I think that it’s simply bad tailoring (probably just a generic vest) . The only guys in the pic where the vest lies properly are more rotund (kinda weird). The fellow on the right has all sorts of bunching going on, so I will argue that the context shows that nothing was tailored to the actors. And so therefore nothing can be deduced from it. And perhaps this is probably, by accident, representative of what it was like to purchase a vest in those days.

    Come to think of it, the gaping in JT’s vest would come from a broad lower torso in relation to the shoulders and chest. That is, tight below the breast, loose at the breast. If it was due to an expansive chest, there would be straining up there and looseness below.

    You say: “The one sartorial difficult in pants with a really high rise: if the rise is not held tight to the body with suspenders or via an extremely flat front, the front of the pant runs the risk of looking diaper-like. I think that happens here, but since we almost never see Thornton’s pants from this perspective, why worry?”

    How did it suddenly change, that he has suddenly no suspender’s? Where is that evident, that he lacked them? Why would he suddenly go from suspenders to none when I imagine that the actor has to wear the same clothes? I imagine that his costume did not change.

    IMO, this “diaper-like” effect, or “cupping of the package” is evident in his low rise jeans in Spooks and his tan suit. Which suggests to me something else is going on that might have nothing to do with the average figure.

    I also want to mention that the clothing especially around his neckline emphasises his neatly formed head. I find it aesthetically pleasing and quite rare.

    I enjoy your observations, some of which I find remarkable in their minutia. In the spirit of total disclosure, I guess I should mention that I am the daughter of a seamstress/tailor who grew up accompanying my mother to the garment district and learned about fitting and fabric through osmosis, so that observations about dress are like mother’s milk to me :).

    I must say, that his tux at the BAFTAs was so different and perfect in fit from anything else, and so obviously bespoke. Which just highlights to me that a regular fit is not that regular to his figure.


    • Thanks for the detailed response. I’m happy to have professional insight on this. I’m just an amateur sewer and a frequent shopper with men.

      Hmm, do you think the SB/BAFTA suit was bespoke? With all that visible topstitching on the lapels which interfered with the pinstripes and looked tacky? It really looked so much better than what he was wearing before that I was tempted to go that direction, and the weird thing with the pocket appearing like it was on top of the seam (assuming that wasn’t an optical illusion; these pictures can be so hard to read!) suggested a complex construction to me, but in the end I decided it was just a high quality original garment that was heavily but skillfully altered. I also wondered if additional alterations were made between the SB and BAFTA events, esp. to the waist. I can’t imagine, if those pants were bespoke, though, that the tailor would have let him out of the store with them.

      On the trousers rise, I suppose depending on our ages we may have different definitions of what a high vs a low rise is, but yeah, the waists on those costumes if they are designed accurately should go to the absolute top of the natural waist. Seen from the rear on Armitage they cover his posterior and not more, but then again I think his torso is long. 🙂 On the suspenders issue: I think he was wearing them, he has to have been or the pants would have fallen off, but that the front of those pants was not constructed flatly and tightly enough. That style is going to look looser in front anyway. It’s draping correctly in the scene on the balcony, so it also may be the forward movement of the hips that is causing the pooling of fabric, i.e, the movement as opposed to the problematic fit. On the Carrie’s War pants — I didn’t want to say anything about them specifically because I was worried about the angle from which the photo was taken. He also has a habit of sort of cocking his hips backward when he’s being photographed (see also Varekai gala picture) and I didn’t want to venture on to that territory right away.

      Maybe you’d like to do a guest post about the pants/jeans? Or cowrite one? I have some thoughts.

      As far as the torso goes, I thought about this a lot. Again, I don’t think it’s pronounced, just visible. What convinced me were three things: (a) the number of horizontal elements the Guy designer adds or subtracts to Guy’s torso without making Armitage look stubby in the least; (b) that his natural waist appears in many photos to fall above his navel; and (c) seeing him from behind naked in Between the Sheets, where the top of his body just looks so stunningly long. But I don’t disagree that part of the problem is the divergence from the norm in upper body/torso ratio, and I also think the location of the posterior plays a larger role than I initially realized. That only occurred to me when I was looking closely at the pictures of the SB/BAFTAs jacket.

      On the vests, I probably should have said a bit more. That heavily upholstered fabric is going to create some bunching anyway. But for those people in that time period, they’d have had a tailor who kept a specific pattern for them, so from our perspective they’d qualify as bespoke or made-to-measure. And even given that this is TV and not history, I can’t imagine that they weren’t made for those actors or at least heavily altered from stuff in the BBC wardrobe department.

      on “mama’s boy” — someone in my class did say that, but I was mostly being tongue in cheek with regard to his recent comments that his fans were motherly. I agree with everything you said.


  8. I think the suit he wore to the BAFTA’s this year was the same suit he wore to the Strike Back premier in April.It looks like he just dressed it up with the tie, as opposed to the open collar shirt he wore to the premier. Very flattering for his body type. Where I work we make made to measure clothes for men, and it is hard to fit certain body types. He might want to look into custom made, it’s expensive, but well worth the price.


    • Welcome, leigh. Yup, exactly the same suit, and though it was a strong entry at SB, it was fantastic at the BAFTAs. Amazing what that shirt did for it and him.

      I had to look up made-to-measure; I didn’t realize there was an intermediate step between ready-to-wear and custom tailored. What kind of men are your customers, and what does a suit cost?


  9. These posts on the clothing have been very interesting and certainly have educated me on the finer details.
    I feel like we have playing “dress-up Richard” :0
    (not Mr. Dressup – 😉 to my Canadian colleagues)
    Bring on the tuxes!


    • Yeah, we could have a poll or something on what we’d most like to see him wear. Though I am sure he would totally disregard the results.

      To be fair, as an actor, he has to wear whatever the costume designer plans for him — if I had a job like that, I’d want to wear sloppier clothes in my free time as well.


  10. […] body and a slight extension of the waist; the former is widely agreed upon and some disagreement persists about the latter. I largely left the question of trousers (which my idiom calls […]


  11. The season 3 Guy of Gisborne costuming had a lot of highlights. Its layering made more visual variety possible and allowed for the old onion metaphor. At his lowest, most abused, and most vulnerable (in the first 2 episodes, during the Meg episode when he fully confronts how his life got to be so crap, and at the end when he joins with Robin) he is in his shirtsleeves mostly. And what shirtsleeves they are:


    This outfit has a real pirate vibe to it.

    When he is being more traditional Guy he gets the football uniform shoulder pads which give him the illusion of being even bigger, broader, and more invincible. The leather and fabric is quilted quite intricately which makes you want to touch to see what it feels like. It must be mentioned that the Sheriff and Robin also get quilted leather outfits with shoulder paddage and the workmanship there is also complex, pretty, and begs a touch. (Who wants to touch the Sheriff, though? And Jonas’s face changed strangely in between seasons 2 and 3. It’s puffy. Did he drink away the whole break?) Poor Much had to make due with a little capelet and Allan nothing at all.

    Then there was the hair. I am not a fan of long hair on men at all – the clean cut Lucas North look is what I prefer – but it totally went with this outfit and made him look dangerous and like even more of a sex god. All that new texture. It was, quite frankly, overwhelming.


  12. […] Richard Armitage involves an act of distancing. For example: I write three separate posts (one, two, three) about his wardrobe, but it takes me over a year to say what I really think about […]


  13. […] like this kind of discussion, you might enjoy three posts from 2010: Armitage resartus, part 1 and part 2 and part 3. Posted more recently but buried under the publicity for The Hobbit: An Unexpected […]


  14. […] perhaps it would amuse you to know that there are women out there on the interwebs penning veritable essays on how astonishinglywell this particular costume suits you. Clothes do indeed make the […]


  15. […] he’ll show up in my dreams again. And be UN-uncomfortable. He could wear a cravat and a perfectly tailored suit, and … we could talk about books. And have a nice dinner. And he could play the cello. Aww. […]


  16. […] discussed why Mr. Thornton’s coat was such a good look for Armitage before, and I don’t want to overstate the similarities because the coats are constructed quite […]


  17. […] It’s a piece of clothing well-suited to Armitage’s physique, it’s true — for reasons similar to those that made the Mr. Thornton costume so successful; that is, it not only adds substance to his general shape, but it makes his shoulders and […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: