TV Fashion: Michael Westen of ‘Burn Notice’
Keeping an eye out for style
Honestly, French cuffs would just get in the way if you were occasionally killing bad guys with industrial circular saws. So it is not surprising to see newly disavowed agent Michael Westen of USA Network's new Thursday night hit "Burn Notice" in some very elegant – but user friendly – menswear.
Costume designer Danny Santiago has found the perfect compromise by placing Westen, played by Jeffrey Donovan, in a variety of lightweight – hey, he's operating out of Miami, after all – and light-colored suits that are perfect for warm weather and heated situations. Khaki – or tan if you're really hue-challenged – is a perfect choice for summer. Though it's primarily a daytime option, some skin tones can pull off this look 24 hours a day.
Westen tends to work with shapes that flatter his slender frame, and that means abandoning the three-button jackets that have plagued menswear for the past 15 years in favor of a two-button that, if cut properly, looks like the perfect blend of traditional and modern. A well-tailored two-button sport coat elongates the body and gives the wearer a very clean and stylish line.
Among the perfect options for an American agent on the outs is the Fitzgerald two-button Italian cotton summer suit from Brooks Brothers. With a center vent and double beasom flap pockets, this is a perfect option for attending daytime weddings or squeezing information from a dirtbag near the beach.
Another great option from Brooks Brothers is the khaki Pin Dot suit from its 1818 Collection. Slimming and stylish, the suit fits Westen's style perfectly. Paired with a light blue dress shirt, like BB's Wide Check Luxury French Cuff shirt, the look is elegant and strong.
And while anything goes in the world of espionage and danger, there are still some hard and fast rules of fashion that even the roguest of agents must follow. Namely that if you're wearing a suit in the tan family you've got to stick to brown when it comes to your belt and shoes. Though white or a light buckskin can conceivably be an option, no self-respecting spy wants to draw that kind of attention to himself. Ralph Lauren's Stanton Captoe finishes a tan suit perfectly with its warm chestnut tones.
Of course, with the bright, hot Miami sun continually beating down, Westen needs complementary shades to look cool. Gold-colored frames with tinted dark-amber lenses let everyone know he means business – even when he's out of the business.