Following on from my post a couple of weeks ago inspired by Benedict Cumberbatch’s career defining interpretation of Sherlock Holmes, I’ve taken inspiration from a similar (yet completely different) source.
Having had it recommended to me by several trusted people in my life, I’ve recently begun watching the US counterpart to “Sherlock” – CBS’s “Elementary”.
While initially I was reluctant that it’d be a pale imitation of “Sherlock”, I must say that I’ve been very impressed with the show as a whole, and with Jonny Lee Miller as Holmes. The show, though clearly more American in style, is utterly inspired and a lot of fun all round – it features stellar performances, witty writing, and clever plot lines.
The costume worn by Miller in his portrayal of Holmes is also of particular note. Having gone for a grungier feel for the character, the CBS costume department went for a more casual wardrobe and incorporated a lot of interesting costume pieces for the character.
Unlike “Sherlock”, the costume for “Elementary”s Holmes changes from episode to episode, yet the overall feel for the character remains unchanged.
Apparently a prerequisite of being Sherlock Holmes is having a good coat and an iconic scarf.
Holmes’ on-screen scarf was by Paul Smith Jeans and was a reversible red/blue check which created an unusual colour-changing effect. Reversible scarves are somewhat easy to find, so coming across one which captures the same essence as Miller’s costume piece is going to be a challenge. I did find this pashmina style scarf on eBay which features a red/green check on one side, and solid green on the other – a decent option, but I believe the pictured scarf – again from eBay – better captures the look of the screen worn original.
The peacoat featured here is a navy blue offering from Superdry and features the classic cut expected from this timeless menswear staple! The styling of Miller’s coat is a well fitted, slimmer version of the standard peacoat silhouette, so perhaps consider sizing down slightly if you want to wear this with less layers underneath.
A peacoat is a veritable icon of menswear and you can literally find dozens of variations on the high street – the best way to find one for you is to go out and try a load on, maybe go with a friend or partner in order to get a second opinion, and invest in what feels right and looks good on you.
Holmes’ t-shirts on the show seem to be a quirky selection of various vintage styles. The most iconic and popular of these is the “I am not Lucky, I am good” clover design featured in the pilot episode. Though this isn’t readily available from a common supplier of t-shirts, it is available as a design on RedBubble. Alternatively, check local charity and vintage shops for vintage t-shirts with faded prints – the more worn the better!
Sherlock tends to mix formal items with scruffier pieces to create a truly bohemian feel. Early on in series one he seems to favour waistcoats over t-shirts. This look can be difficult to pull off, however, if you’re unsure of this, you can always add a soft cotton shirt in between the layers to help bring some balance to the look.
This waistcoat is a soft-structured cotton offering from (our old favourite!) White Stuff. White Stuff clothing is really well made and looks good dressed both up and down, so this will be perfect for emulating the look of “Elementary”s Sherlock Holmes.
Sherlock’s chinos are seen in a variety of colours, but the cut always seems to be a casual slim fit which works really well, again, as a dressy trouser or as part of a more laid back look. It seems he wears mid-grey more often than any other colour, but he’s been known to sport navy, burgundy, and several other shades throughout the show’s history.
This pair is available from H&M – the brand, it is believed, that made Miller’s screen worn chinos – so these will make a very reliable and stylish addition to your wardrobe.
The belt is available from ChrisElli and is a basic dark brown variation featuring vintage styling and a low level of distressing. While Miller’s belt isn’t often seen, this was chosen to tie the outfit together by matching the boots.
Speaking of the boots, the original costume boots are a two tone chukka. Boots of a similar style are incredibly hard to come by, so instead I’ve opted for a basic pair of dark brown chukka boots with a colourful sole. This helps to set them apart from their more ordinary counterparts while also giving a smart and stylish silhouette. They’re available from Debenhams and are currently on sale.
Finally, the smallest accessory worn by Holmes on the show is a small shilling pin made by Miller. This is a lovely personal touch and really helps to give the costume a history and make it feel lived in. These are really easy to come across on eBay, or they can be simply made for a very low cost.
I made mine using an old sixpence I had lying around and a disused strap-
button. Being a musician, I had one of these left over from an old guitar project and simply super-glued it to the back of the guitar. It just buttons through the button hole of my coat without needing to pierce the fabric. Of course, you could always get a pin back from a craft shop!
What do you think of this look? Are you a fan of “Elementary”? Would you wear something like this? Let us know in the comments!