Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them: Menswear at the Movies

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them: Menswear at the Movies
Film inspired looks you can actually wear.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - Menswear at the Movies

I imagine that designing the costume for Fantastic Beasts' Newt Scamander presented a fun bit of a challenge to costume designer Colleen Atwood. Not only are you doing a period piece, you also have to design a costume that would A) not look out of place on a wizard and B) not look out of place on someone on the streets of 1920s New York City. So it needs to be odd but not too odd. On top of all that, it needs to stand out as being a bit off-kilter from the rest of the New York wizard community, because Newt is kind of a weirdo that prefers the company of magical beasts to other wizards. On top of all that, this is a big-budget blockbuster starring an Oscar-winning actor that models on the side so it needs to look good, too. I gotta say, I think she pulled it off pretty well.

The thing that stands out the most about Newt is his emerald blue topcoat paired with a camel waistcoat. This combination of colors is quite a bit different from the earth tones and blacks that are mostly worn by other wizards and non-wizards alike. Don’t get me wrong, in the 1920s there were pretty flamboyant fashion trends in menswear. Just look at some of Nucky Thompson’s outfits in Boardwalk Empire for evidence of that. But in the world of Fantastic Beasts, Newt stands out a bit. His waistcoat is not part of his suit and his coat is the only item of clothing in the whole film that is that particular shade of blue.

This costume is the most custom of custom-made and I didn’t think I would have anything in my own closet that I could use to get the feel of Newt’s coat. I almost gave up on this look until I remembered that buried somewhere in there, I had a pair of Dockers Alpha Chinos in a shade of blue that is very close to Newt’s coat. So, that would give us the color pop needed. Pair that with a camel sweater (I’m not much of a waistcoat guy) and you’ve got a nice color combination.

Click on each item for more info:

Claiborne pea coat Uniqlo v neck sweater steve madden boots Dockers chinos tie bar tie hm white dress shirt wizarding wand dockers leather belt

My favorite touch for Newt is something that I think says a lot about the character—he is still wearing his WWI-era trench boots. Like most Englishmen of his era, Newt was a participant in the First World War (he mentions working with dragons on the Eastern Front), and the horrors he witnessed there may account for his fondness for the company of beasts rather than other people. The fact that he still wears his boots rather than switching to proper shoes dresses down the outfit even more and makes Newt even more artfully disheveled and out of place in the 1920s.

Fantastic Beasts clothing costume

In the modern age of sneakers and athleisure, a person in a pair of trench boots looks far more put together than they would have in the 1920s. A pair of Goodyear welt trench-style boots are a fantastic addition to any guy's wardrobe and they are definitely on my own list of things to buy. For now, I went with a pair of Steve Madden captoe boots that can approximate the look.

A vintage watch is a good way to add a classic touch to any outfit. While wristwatches were not as common in the 1920s as they were post-WWII, a lot of guys that came home from the Great War continued to wear watches after wearing them as part of the standardized gear in the trenches. The Bulova I went with here is from the 1950s rather than the 1920s, but it still gives the desired throwback effect.

I’m not much of a bowtie guy myself, but I do like that Newt’s choice of tie is a bit off even for his day. For a similar effect in 2017, you can go with a knit tie. The texture allows it to call attention to itself without being over-the-top. Add some polka dots on there and I think you have something that would be worthy of one of J.K. Rowling’s wizards.

Pair all that with a wand (just kidding), and you can look a bit like a wizard without having to throw on robes and a pointed hat.

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Come back tomorrow for our next in our Menswear the Movies weeklong series. And be sure to check out our take on Daniel Craig's Scotland outfit from Skyfall!

Chris Scott is a scuba instructor, photographer, and writer living in Chicago. He graduated from the University of Louisville with a degree in Anthropology and a focus in underwater archaeology. He spends most of his time trying to figure out ways to see the world without having to spend any money.

  • Zac Silk

    Really interesting article. I’ve been wanting to recreate this look for a while. I found out the costume designer used old pieces of fabric for Eddie’s coat and made about 10 duplicates.

    Just wondering if anyone buttons their top button of an Oxford when wearing a knit tit? I’ve always not done it, but I’d like to know if anyone else has.

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      I often don’t but you could, just like a non-knit tie.

  • Garrett

    Quick plug for a friend: Custom made wands starting from $35. Can’t be beat and look great.

    https://www.etsy.com/shop/AlchemicalArtistry

  • Zach Stokes
    • Chris Scott

      Because the Elder Wand is what I actually own so it’s what we used in the photos.

  • dustin

    Grown people carry wands around with them??

    • Big O

      All the time!

  • Big O

    Bravo on this look! And it’s all within very reasonable prices! Loving the Uniqlo sweater and I need to find myself a very good wand!

    Thank you!!!!

  • Ross

    As a big fan of Getups and film theme apparel, I have to say I’m severely disappointed with this outfit. The shirt/coat/sweater/tie combination is awesome! However, the pants ruin this Getup! They are too short and/or too slim to wear with the boots you paired with it. And I know we are basing this Getup on the Movie outfit, but can someone explain the benefit or function of having the wand? Primer, you’re better than this!

    • Nia Lorre

      I know the pieces are just suggestions (that tie color with those pants?) But the rub with me is quality; these are disposable “fast fashion” items that end up falling to pieces in one to three washings. That sweater vest is not inexpensive. It is an acrylic piece of crap. Also, I thought one does not wear a belt with a vest like that as it adds unnecessary bulk.

      • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

        These are brands we feature regularly, our focus is affordable style with decent quality and an eye towards investment worthy brands like Red Wing and the like. I’ve never had something fall apart after three washes (and if you have, give our laundry guide a glance). In a world of unrealistic fashion magazines, it’s always easier to find a better quality item than the other way around. http://www.primermagazine.com/2008/learn/10-things-an-adult-man-should-know-about-laundry

        • Nia Lorre

          No thanks. I can and do read reviews by people who actually buy these sort of “disposable” clothes. I get it, you get affiliate payments no matter what you post. I am not the only one to call you out for posting poor quality items. But like I said, I get it, you’re in it for the money.

      • Ross

        I’m going to assume Nia by vest you mean sweater. I can’t speak for the quality of this brand, but usually you can trust Primer to have decent quality products. If you feel more comfortable with a better know. Brand I would suggest GAP or Old Navy. I’ve always had great luck with these brands when buying sweaters. I think the pants color is a tad bold for my taste but the real issue I have with this Getup and the pants is that they sit too high on the boot. I am a big advocate for slim well fitting clothing but I’m not a fan of flood pants especially with these boots. I’m especially not a fan of showing the entire boot, it get to be a tad disproportionate in my eyes. However once I clicked on the pants link, dockers.com showed them better with a pair of chukkas. Like I said, not my favorite but still a fan of the Getups, just need a longer length on the pant legs, and ditch the wand. Still don’t understand the purpose of that.

        • Nia Lorre

          Thanks Ross. I followed a different thread to H&M and the reviews for several sweaters were abysmal. The wand is for a laugh and/or to part fools from their money.

      • Chris Scott

        What are you talking about? Acrylic sweater vest? Do you mean the Merino wool sweater?

        It’s kind of hard to take anything you say seriously when you can’t even be bothered to read the article and get basic facts about it correct. If you have clothes falling apart after three washes you are probably doing something wrong.

    • Chris Scott

      The pants are a bit short because, as I said in the intro for Skyfall, we used we what owned already for the shoot. The pants are mine and Daniel, who modeled for me here, is a few inches taller than me.

      The wand is included because it’s fun and fits the theme. I don’t think anyway is advocating actually carrying one around. It’s for fun.

  • Rob

    The week’s been pretty good so far. One note: from a totally unscientific survey of menswear in silent movies, dress boots — or what we’d call dress boots today, the kind endorsed by Primer — were actually average everyday footwear for most people.

  • awesometheo

    …but what about the scarf? (Hufflepuff here, we gotta represent!)

  • Manny

    I’m very much loving the look, though I was wondering if it still works if I wanted to change the chino color to navy blue and the sweater to a darker color, but similar shade. What color would you recommend for the sweater?

  • John Waldowski

    Pretty sure that sweater isn’t 10 dollars. If it was I’d buy a ton of them.

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      If you click the link you’ll find that color is, indeed, $9.90