This article contains links where we may earn a small commission at no cost to you: Learn more here
How many times have you seen The Great Gatsby starring Leonardo DiCaprio? I confess that I have seen it at least a dozen times. I never tire of watching the glamor that was an everyday thing in this movie.
Today, I want to step into the glitzy world of the Roaring Twenties and dive into the splendor of Leonardo DiCaprio’s unforgettable outfits and costumes in The Great Gatsby.
In Baz Luhrmann’s 2013 adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s literary classic, DiCaprio mesmerized audiences not only with his stellar performance as Jay Gatsby but also with his impeccable style that brought the Jazz Age back to life.
In this article, I want to take you on a captivating journey through the wardrobe choices that helped transport viewers to the opulent and decadent era of the 1920s.
From Gatsby’s tailored suits that exuded wealth and sophistication to his crisp white shirts and colorful silk ties, each ensemble was meticulously crafted to capture the essence of the character and the era.
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m all about the intricate details, fabrics, and accessories that made these costumes a visual feast, showcasing the elegance and extravagance of the period.
I will also go into the symbolism behind the costumes that Leonardo DiCaprio wore and how they played a pivotal role in conveying the complex layers of Gatsby’s character.
If you’re considering hosting a Great Gatsby party and tired of wearing (and seeing) the same old Halloween costumes, or you’ve got a wedding to attend shortly, or if you simply love The Great Gatsby as much as I do, then this article is for you!
How to Dress Like Leonardo DiCaprio in The Great Gatsby Movie
Dressing like Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Great Gatsby” movie is an exciting journey into the glamour and opulence of the Roaring Twenties.
To emulate his iconic style, start with the foundation: a well-tailored suit. Gatsby’s suits in the film are nothing short of exquisite, featuring sharp lines, wide lapels, and a slim fit.
The White Suit
If you remember the movie, Gatsby wears a white suit to meet Daisy Buchanan at his friend Nick’s house. It’s interesting to note that while he wears a white suit, the vest is actually brown.
This suit also has a grey/brown shirt
and a gold or yellow tie.
If you really want to go all out with this suit, consider adding a walking stick
and a pair of two toned shoes, such as these:
The Pink Suit
Oh yes, who could forget the pink suit! Men in the 1920s were not afraid to wear colors, and while most men wore pinstripes or dark colored suits, this was usually to hide stains.
The majority of men had only 1 or two suits to their names, so they would opt for colors and patterns that would hide dirt and stains.
However, Gatsby, being the wealthy man that he was, could wear a new suit everyday, and how he loved colors and patterns!
The pink suit is an icon that simply screams GATSBY. If you want to wear the same style to a Gatsby party, start with an impeccably tailored pink 3-piece suit.
In the movie, this suit had a white shirt
a red tie and red pocket square.
Don’t forget those black and white oxford shoes!
For further reading about dressing stylishly in the Great Gatsby era, you might find this interesting.
Who could ever forget seeing Gatsby for the first time, wearing a tux to his own party!
A tuxedo is fairly easy to recreate. The basics include a three-piece tux,
a white shirt,
a black bow tie and a white pocket square.
Accessorizing is key to nailing Gatsby’s look. Don a crisp white dress shirt with a detachable collar, and add a colorful silk tie with intricate patterns to inject a touch of flamboyance. Don’t forget a pocket square for that final dapper touch.
As for footwear, Gatsby’s preference leans towards classic Oxford or Derby shoes in brown or black two-toned leather.
The Touring Suit
Remember Gatsby’s big yellow car? He takes Nick Carraway to lunch in this car, and he wears a tan suit with an interesting mix of colors.
A pale brown suit or this 3-piece tan ensemble is easy enough to create:
But did you notice the shirt and tie?
The shirt is light blue,
and the tie is a cool mixture of orange and blue, as is the pocket square.
Now I never would have considered orange and blue together with a tan suit, but dang, isn’t this simply spectacular? I love the set above since it even has matching cufflinks.
Don’t forget the straw hat and walking stick to perfect the look!
The Casual Look
After Gatsby and Daisy reunite, everyone goes to Gatsby’s mansion, where Jay Gatsby goes casual. He still wears the white pants but removes his jacket, tie, and vest for a more casual sweater.
I’m not sure if the sweater is a very pale pink or an off-white color,
but it looks wonderfully comfortable.
This is ultra casual since there are no suspenders, cufflinks, or a hat, but the look is unmistakable.
Of course, you wouldn’t wear this to a wedding, but for pool parties or costume parties, this is a classic and easily recognizable outfit.
Gatsby wore a simple one-piece black swimsuit to spend his last day of summer (and the last day of his life) at the pool.
It appears that most men would wear their socks and oxford shoes to the beach or pool and then remove them for swimming, and while Leonardo DiCaprio simply went barefoot, you can opt to wear your oxfords and knee-high socks or go with a pair of loafers.
What Fashion Style Is The Great Gatsby?
The fashion style in The Great Gatsby encapsulates the extravagance and opulence of the Roaring Twenties, a period known for its dramatic departure from the conservative fashion of the past.
The film’s style, set in the 1920s, is characterized by an array of glamorous and lavish ensembles. While men’s fashion didn’t change all that much over the previous decade, you will see men embracing tailored suits with wide lapels and patterns such as herringbone,
pinstripes, and slim fits, epitomizing sophistication.
As with flapper attire, accessorizing played a significant role.
Think crisp dress shirts with detachable collars, colorful silk ties with intricate patterns, and pocket squares for a touch of flair.
Waistcoats, straw boater hats,
and fedoras, added a distinctive touch.
In essence, The Great Gatsby fashion style is a reflection of the era’s excess, characterized by luxury, decadence, and a sense of rebellion against traditional norms.
Other Gatsby Style Tips
Gatsby’s style is incomplete without his signature accessories. Don a straw boater hat for daytime events,
and for evening soirées, consider a felt fedora.
Layering is essential, so invest in a waistcoat or vest to wear beneath your suit jacket. To fully embody the character, add a gold tie bar and cufflinks for that extra flair.
Lastly, grooming is paramount. Keep your hair impeccably slicked back, and don’t shy away from a bit of hair product for that polished finish. As for attitude, channel Gatsby’s charisma and confidence, and you’ll truly capture the essence of this timeless character.
Stylish Leonardo DiCaprio Great Gatsby Style Outfits
Unless they were a true fan of the movie, most people will recognize a Great Gatsby suit but won’t necessarily be able to tell you which character may have worn the suit.
For men who are looking to dress more stylishly, wearing suits from this era will make a bold statement regardless of which character you are representing.
You can always emulate other characters, such as Tom Buchanan or even Nick Carraway.
Dress Like Tom Buchanan
Tom was not as flashy or fashionable as Jay Gatsby, but you can recreate his dinner jackets and formal wear easily. Start with a dark colored 3-piece suit and tie.
For daywear, Tom favored the straw boater hat, but you can bet he would wear a panama hat in the evenings and formal parties.
Don’t forget the details, such as two-toned oxfords,
the gold watch and chain,
and perhaps some cufflinks.
Last, don’t forget those sunglasses to your summer garden party. Tom Buchanan looks terribly arrogant when he puts these on.
Dress Like Nick Carraway
If you prefer a stylish but a bit less formal way of dressing, Nick would be a good choice.
Tobey Maguire was the perfect choice for this character, and you’ll note that while he dresses like a proper gentleman, he is a bit more relaxed.
Nick favored colors other than black and went with patterns that were common in the Jazz Age, such as this herringbone suit.
Nick was fond of the straw boater hat most of the time and bow ties,
but there are a few scenes where he is wearing a regular tie.
If you stick with stylish (3-piece suit, tie, straw hat) but muted colors, you’ll nail the Nick Carraway look with ease.
Dress like Meyer Wolfsheim
If you want to go with the gangster look, then look no further than Meyer Wolfsheim.
In The Great Gatsby, Wolfsheim is an older gentleman so his style is a bit behind the times, not that this means anything.
Start with a grey, double-breasted suit.
If you leave it buttoned, no one will notice if you have a vest or not. If you opt to go without a vest, wear suspenders.
You’ll note that he wears a fedora or Panama hat along with a red tie and pocket square. This set would match the suit above perfectly.
Tilt that hat to one side and add a cigar to give yourself real style and flair!
What Did Most Men Wear in The Great Gatsby Era?
During the Great Gatsby era, which was the Roaring Twenties or the 1920s, men’s fashion underwent a notable transformation from the more conservative styles of the previous decades.
Men embraced a more relaxed yet stylish wardrobe. The quintessential outfit for men during this era typically consisted of a few key elements.
First and foremost, the tailored suit became a staple of men’s fashion. These suits featured wide lapels, often with bold patterns like pinstripes, and a slim fit that accentuated a youthful and slender silhouette.
The suit jacket could be single-breasted or double-breasted, depending on your personal preference.
Underneath the jacket, men wore crisp dress shirts with detachable collars, often white, showcasing the high level of attention to detail in their attire. Belts were not common but suspenders were.
Neck Tie & Pocket Square
Ties became an essential accessory, with colorful silk ties featuring intricate patterns being particularly popular. Pocket squares were often added to the ensemble for an extra touch of elegance.
Oxford or Derby Shoes
For footwear, men typically opted for Oxford or Derby shoes, usually made of leather in classic colors like brown or black.
Hat & Pocket Watch
Accessorizing was also a crucial part of the look, with straw boater hats during the day and felt fedora hats for evening events. Waistcoats or vests with gold pocket watches attached to the buttons with a chain added a layer of sophistication to the outfit.
In short, the fashion of the Great Gatsby era for men was characterized by well-tailored suits, attention-grabbing accessories, and a departure from the conservative styles of the past, reflecting the spirit of rebellion and extravagance that defined the decade.
What Did Gatsby’s Pink Suit Symbolize?
Gatsby’s pink suit serves as a symbol of his relentless pursuit of an unattainable dream and desire to recreate the past.
Wearing a pink suit is a conspicuous and flamboyant choice, contrasting sharply with the more traditional attire of the era. Its vibrant color and extravagant nature represent Gatsby’s attempts to stand out and win over Daisy Buchanan, the love of his life, who represents an idealized past he longs to recapture.
The pink suit also underscores Gatsby’s difficult-to-understand and mysterious persona, drawing attention to his wealth and extravagant parties, while simultaneously hinting at his vulnerability and naivety in the face of his unrequited love.
Ultimately, Gatsby’s pink suit symbolizes the façade he creates to conceal his true identity and the sacrifices he makes in his relentless pursuit of the American Dream, which ultimately leads to his tragic downfall.
What About the White Suit?
The white suit that Gatsby wears to reconnect with Daisy symbolizes his transformation into a new identity and his aspiration to reinvent himself.
The white suit represents the façade Gatsby constructs to fit into the glamorous world of the wealthy elite and gain acceptance into Daisy Buchanan’s social circle.
The color white is often associated with purity and innocence, and in Gatsby’s case, it signifies his idealized vision of himself and romanticized memories of his past with Daisy. It could be that Gatsby sees himself as innocent and his wish to reunite with Daisy as pure.
Furthermore, the white suit also symbolizes Gatsby’s wealth and extravagance, as it is a bold and attention-grabbing choice in an era when traditional suits prevailed. It showcases his opulence and desire to distance himself from his humble beginnings.
Ultimately, the white suit becomes a metaphor for Gatsby’s pursuit of the American Dream and the lengths he is willing to go to in order to rewrite his personal history and win back the love of his life, Daisy.
What Types of Shoes Did Men Wear in The Great Gatsby?
Compared to modern-day men, gentlemen of the 1920s had far fewer choices when it came to footwear.
Oxfords or Wingtips
The main choice of Jay Gatsby were two-toned oxfords, usually in black and white
or brown and white,
but you’ll also see one scene where he is wearing grey and white.
Wealthy men often wore plain black or brown oxfords, sometimes called Wingtips, to work or even everyday wear.
Working men would wear something similar to oxfords, but they were more like ankle boots.
Men who worked at hard labor, such as coal mines or bricklayers, or men who simply couldn’t afford dress shoes, would often opt for a style that looked similar to the Doc Martens of today.
Very wealthy men also wore shoes to suit the occasion. For example, they might wear loafers while golfing or simply wear them around the house.
There were also yachting shoes for those who were rich enough to own boats.
Last, but not least, while you often saw men wearing their oxfords while golfing, there were actually golf shoes that looked like oxfords but were made partially from rubber to provide a better grip. They looked something like these shoes, although these aren’t an exact match.
For the most part, however, you would see men wearing dress shoes almost everywhere. Casual shoes and dress had yet to catch on, but in all honesty, I would like to see a return to a more formal dress code.
Why Was Fashion So Important in The Great Gatsby?
Fashion played a pivotal role in The Great Gatsby because it served as a powerful symbol of the characters’ desires, aspirations, and social status in the Jazz Age of the 1920s.
The characters in the novel use fashion as a means to express their identities and navigate the complex world of high society.
For Jay Gatsby, fashion was a tool to reinvent himself and bridge the gap between his humble origins and aspirations of social acceptance and love.
His extravagant parties were showcases of the latest trends and an attempt to project an image of wealth and sophistication to impress Daisy Buchanan.
Daisy herself used fashion to convey her status and charm. Carey Mulligan, who plays her character in the 2013 movie version, wears elegant white dresses and accessories to represent the allure of the elite society she belongs to while also emphasizing her vulnerability and shallowness.
Tom Buchanan, on the other hand, embodied the traditional masculinity of the time through his choice of dark and austere clothing, reflecting his dominance and privilege.
In short, fashion in The Great Gatsby symbolizes the characters’ pursuit of the American Dream, their desire to escape their pasts, and their attempts to fit into a society driven by excess, wealth, and materialism.
Fashion is a visual language through which the characters communicate their aspirations, insecurities, and the facades they built to hide their true selves, making it a crucial element in the novel’s exploration of identity and the illusions of the Jazz Age.
Did All Men Dress the Same in the Great Gatsby Era?
In the Great Gatsby era, while there were overarching fashion trends that defined the 1920s, not all men dressed exactly the same.
The 1920s witnessed a significant departure from the more rigid and formal fashion of previous decades. While the tailored suit was a fashion staple, variations in styles, colors, and accessories allowed for individual expression.
1920s Men Outfits Great Gatsby Style
Some men embraced the flamboyant and extravagant style of the time, wearing bold pinstripes, or in Jay Gatsby’s case, pink or white suits, brightly colored ties, and flashy accessories to stand out.
Others preferred a more conservative approach with simpler, solid-colored suits and classic accessories.
Let’s not forget that the social and economic backgrounds of individuals played a role in their fashion choices. Wealthier men had access to more luxurious materials and could afford custom-tailored suits, while working-class men often wore more practical and affordable clothing.
In summary, while there were overarching fashion trends in the Great Gatsby era, individual style and social circumstances still influenced how men dressed. This diversity in fashion allowed for a range of interpretations of the 1920s style, reflecting the era’s cultural dynamism and the diverse backgrounds of its people.
Before You Go
I’ve taken you on a journey through the sartorial splendor of the Roaring Twenties and men’s fashion styles of the times.
DiCaprio’s portrayal of Jay Gatsby was not just a mesmerizing performance but a testament to the power of fashion in storytelling. His iconic ensembles, from impeccably tailored suits to elegant party attire, transported us to a bygone era of extravagance and rebellion.
Each costume choice for DiCaprio’s character was a carefully crafted reflection of the complex layers of Jay Gatsby himself. The attention to detail, the vibrant colors, and the luxurious fabrics all contributed to the visual narrative of the film.
I’m sure you’ve noticed how fashion was used to symbolize Gatsby’s dreams, his social aspirations, and the façade he built to win back the love of his life, Daisy.
In the world of The Great Gatsby, fashion became more than just clothing; it became a symbol of identity, a reflection of the American Dream, and a representation of the characters’ desires and insecurities.
Leonardo DiCaprio’s unforgettable portrayal in these stunning costumes serves as a lasting testament to the enduring power of fashion in cinematic storytelling.
Written by Kerry Wisby – GatsbyFlapperGirl.com
Owner & Founder of GatsbyFlapperGirl.com
Kerry Wisby, a former teacher with a BA in English, is the founder of GatsbyFlapperGirl.com. With a passion for all things 1920s, including The Great Gatsby novel, her website is the ultimate source for Roaring Twenties fashion, history, and party ideas. Read more about Kerry here.