The legendary Australian actor, drinker and pantsman would have been 108 today…
Look up the word ‘debonair’ in the dictionary and you’ll see a photo of Errol Flynn: Australia’s original Hollywood export, celebrity playboy par excellence, and style icon. And to celebrate the 108th anniversary of Flynn’s birth, we look back on five Flynn fashion trademarks that have stood the test of time.
The best advertisement Brylcreem ever had came in this form of this swashbuckling Tasmanian, taming his conservative tapered style with a comb over and plenty of product to keep his locks in place.
Not quite the military buzzcuts coming out of WWII at the start of the 1940s, not quite the full-on pompadour that greasers made popular at the end of the decade — just a nice side part with a casual swish . . . and a liberal amount of Brylcreem.
A staple of his regular war films like The Dawn Patrol and Desperate Journey, the best example was snapped on his yacht Zaca — shearling-lined dark brown leather piece that’s returned to our snappiest dressers more than half a century later.
Nonchalantly styled with a black polo, the sort of rolled up chinos you’d spot on the hipsters of Fitzroy or Newtown, white boat shoes, non-ironic pipe, and an understated gold Timex watch with a brown leather strap.
Oh, and the only man who could make a makeshift belt look stylish.
History’s finest exponent of the pencil moustache — meticulously groomed top lip was a permanent feature throughout his Hollywood career, whether he was playing a pirate, Robin Hood, a fighter pilot, or a cowboy. It’s definitely a sophisticated facial hair option, but let’s be honest — with looks like Flynn’s, pretty much any style of facial hair would’ve looked good.
No style icon of Hollywood’s golden era worth his salt couldn’t fill out a loose-fitting suit with swagger, and Flynn was no exception.
Younger man — dark colours, wide lapel, double breasted, extravagant peak lapel, pinstriped with a thin, plain tie — but as he matured, lighter greys made their way into his wardrobe, more sensibly wide lapels with a more conservative notch lapel, or even a woollen blazer with trousers.
This is the one component of Flynn’s style that cannot be bought, and endures in his reputation more than a century after his birth — a list of high-profile romances that puts Leonardo DiCaprio to shame, and a hard partying lifestyle that makes Charlie Sheen look like a choirboy. “I’ve had a hell of a lot of fun and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it,” he said before his death at just 50 in 1959. After all, how many blokes have an idiom relating to success with women — “in like Flynn” — named after them.