Tony Soprano Brings the Ultimate Cookout Style and You Should, Too
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The sun’s out, you’ve made your collections, and you took care of that thing for our friend in Brooklyn. OK, maybe it’s just that the sun’s out and your buddy's got the charcoal in the grill and it’s time to get fitted for the occasion. While you may not relentlessly cheat on your wife and commit wanton acts of violence while desperately grasping onto some shred of humanity in a doomed attempt to avoid an all-expenses-paid trip to Hell, you could still take a cue from Tony Soprano. Because nobody does Cookout Chic quite like The Skip.
The man who runs North Jersey is known for his bathrobes, and his crew members are mostly known for their sweatsuits. But in a gift from the cyclical fashion gods, the shirts Tony rocked at nearly all times—including when he was working the grill—are firmly back in the frame here in 2023. Like Seinfeld's Kramer, Tony's trademark Big Shirts were in the style slammer while slim fits and minimalism were calling the shots, but the '90s—a decade that really stretched into, say, 2004—have come roaring back for all of our benefit. Party shirts in unpredictable geometric designs? Check. Oversized bowling shirts? Correct.
The tipped pockets are a nice touch. Luckily the bowling-slash-lounge shirt game is strong at the moment thanks to Todd Snyder. You can find more tips at Banana Republic, and Nudie Jeans has a bowling shirt pattern in a fabric that's a bit more adventurous. For a look that's something like an Advanced Bowling Shirt, gaze in wonder at this one, baby:
If you're looking for a quieter color scheme that says "just off the beach" or "visiting the Neapolitan homeland to negotiate a luxury car smuggling deal and acquire a new employee," well, behold:
There's a linen number from Todd Snyder and another from J. Crew you could take a look at. There's also a striped situation at Marine Layer you could consider, along with a solid.
Or, along the same lines: a sweaterish knit number worthy of the beach bonfire:
Another TS special, the brand's sweater polo, will get you a similar weight of material, as might this boucle situation. Urban Outfitters has a somewhat more out-there beach overshirt you could check out. Best not to try this one at Satriale's. Story MC adds a dash of embroidery to proceedings.
Didn't we mention unpredictable geometrics, though? How about this little number:
Majestic. Then there's this bars-and-rectangles '80s number that Mr. Soprano wore to a meeting with the degenerate gambler cop he's converted into a personal private investigator before a run-in with Carmela:
And you always need a shirt of this variety when attempting to reach an understanding with the local Federales:
These are all pretty much one of one, though you can have your own fun with geometry thanks to Kardo and Karu Research and Todd Snyder and Orlebar Brown and Alexander McQueen.
As far as more uniform geometrics, you can channel this one as you do your Dirty Work.
This one's also hard to replicate, but Oliver Spencer has a different kind of parallel going on.
And then there's this vertical-dot beauty, perfect for throwing side-eye at a sibling who's driving you up the wall:
Another requirement of dressing like the boss is...food? Can't have a cookout without condiments, and Tony seems to have inserted an addendum that you can't hit a North Jersey live music venue without food on your shirt that you put there on purpose.
Tombolo has long been in the business of getting food on shirts.
It's not just the chief, though. You can find well-dressed cookout guests all over the Soprano crew. Paulie Walnuts is primarily a sweatsuit aficionado, but he will occasionally whip out a short-sleeve shirt to die for. (Considering his record, maybe an unwise choice of words.) He did phenomenally with another Tombolo-worthy embroidered number, while our consigliere, Silvio Dante, advises us there's potential in anything with panels down the torso, close to the buttons or farther off:
Capos and soldiers, all decked out for a cookout in 2023. It's not quite the same, but Corridor is feasting on Silvio's vibes here a bit. Todd Snyder has a vertical-panel situation that probably lends itself more to placement over a white T, while YMC has a more subtle panel thing going on.
But it's a onetime boss (disputed) who brings the wisdom of age to the backyard. Check out Junior's snappy nylon (rayon?) color-block button up and a three-button polo with a corduroy breastplate. He gives the impression he hasn't worn a shirt without a collar since 1962, and who's going to tell him it oughta be otherwise?
If you're looking to be the boss(-in-name-only), you can enlist Todd Snyder or even Celine to take care of that thing for you. Meanwhile, Todd is also there for you—along with Orlebar Brown—if you want to veer off into Pajamaland. Is that near Paramus?
In conclusion, for your next big cookout event, it's time to join the family in more ways than one. Oh, and if you're looking for something analogous to that shirt from celebratory Tony up top? You could do worse than this piece from Marine Layer. See you in the backyard.
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