It’s not easy being a Bill Corbett – riffer, writer, actor, father, amateur soft drink developer. Mixing a career and family can be tough, even confusing, evidence when Bill sent his young daughter to close a contract in Hollywood. (She was a pit bull at the negotiating table, by the way). This leaves Bill the Artist very little time to concern himself with Bill the Look. I’m here to help him.
Bill wears the Regular Guy T-shirt and jean ensemble as well as anybody. But for important events like convention panels, movie premieres and parent-teacher conferences, we need to ramp up Bill’s look to near-Bruno levels of daring. The runways of Paris and the old copy of GQ from the Supercuts waiting area proved to be gold mines.
I wanted to start with something dressed up yet free-moving for Bill, who’s known to spontaneously launch into his Pilates routine just about anywhere – hotel lobbies, luncheons, autograph signings. The sock-free, shirt-and-matching tie lends a chic elegance without straying too far from its T.J. Maxx roots. The only problem with this particular look for Bill is that he isn’t a skinny, flat-chested girl.
This seems near perfect. This neo-Hellenic shift is flowing, with classic, classic lines, cool and breezy yet sophisticated. A dream to accessorize. But with Bill’s skin tones, the only color that would work for him is saffron, and unfortunately that shifts the whole look from Western Canon to something more Tibetan monkish, which diminishes the sexy dimension of the look.
Then it struck me: Hats! The right hat completes an outfit and balances the look, allowing Bill to be daring yet sensible in day and evening wear. Look what it did for Joey Pants – the day he decided to routinely wear hats, his career skyrocketed, and he became the timeless, enduring Hollywood dynasty that he is today. Was it talent, power, the ever-shifting chessboard of show business? Hell no, it was the hat.
But which hat? First we tried out a free-spirited Thomas Dolby top-to-bottom retro thing, great for sci-fi conventions, but for street wear, the beatings Bill would take made it a lateral move.
But building on the headgear, Armani dropped this stunning number into our laps. Just look at the detail – sequined water polo helmet playing off the sauna-suit vest and mink arm-warmers. Sporty, versatile, and made of NOW. I’m predicting that this will be Bill’s look this fall/winter season, but the down vest and wool sweater can be a bit uncomfortabel for San Diego in August.
Dressing up in the summer heat means leggings, and here are two stunning examples that I think Bill would look smashing in. Note the subtle nod to the classic “I forgot my pants” dream on the right, and the exquisite detail of the garter-and hose on the left, each capped by that sporty neo-hairnet that makes the whole ensemble just POP. We were excited to try this look on Bill, but a touch disappointed when he immediately threw up all over himself, which told us we had better lean in a more traditional direction.
And here it is, a classic gentlemen’s look with a modern rakish flair. The porous top is airy and cool while retaining an elegant line, perfectly accenting the modal cutoffs in modern earth tones. And nothing can beat an animal-print fedora so huge it instantly brings to mind Rocky the thug from the Bugs Bunny Cartoons. This is the Bill we all know and love, now dressed to take on the world boldly, yet stylishly. Go get ’em, tiger!
Next time, it’s Kevin’s new look. And dear God but he needs it. And I need your help! Please submit your ideas, links, sketches of the made-over Kevin to this address.
Kevin painting done by UltimateHurl