Working Titles takes a closer look at specific films with a denim and workwear aesthetic with the goal of examining the material’s shifting cultural image.
We’re in the middle of what’s been called the “McConaissance”, the glorious period where Matthew McConaughey’s acting talents and onscreen charisma have finally reached mainstream acceptance. After about fifteen years of romantic comedy purgatory (Failure to Launch, Fool’s Gold, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, etc.), the shirtless wonder finally hit the big time with a string of indie films in the summer of 2012–Killer Joe, Bernie, and Magic Mike. McConaughey could have easily turned back to the studio films and demanded a much higher paycheck, but kept pushing and followed up with a biographical turn as an AIDS victim and activist in Dallas Buyers Club in the fall of 2013.
He plays Ron Woodroof, a shitkicker electrician who loves gambling, hard drugs, and casual sex–a lifestyle that eventually lands him in the hospital with AIDS. This was in the late 1980s, when anti-HIV drugs were still in their infancy, and doctors give him a month to live. Ron flees to Mexico where he’s treated with more effective drugs that drastically improve his symptoms, but these miracle drugs haven’t been approved in the US. Ron teams up with another AIDS patient named Rayon, played by Jared Leto, and they devise a “buyer’s club” membership scheme that skirts the law to distribute the life-saving drugs back in Texas. Ron and Rayon are able to help hundreds of other desperate AIDS patients, but their activities land them directly at odds with the FDA.
As it’s World AIDS Day (and we got several requests for it in the last Working Titles post), we thought it was the perfect opportunity to take a closer look at the clothes of McConaughey’s Oscar-winning turn in the Dallas Buyers Club.
Both Leto and McConaughey lost about forty pounds each for their performances, but McConaughey’s wardrobe really highlights his skeletal frame. His Wrangler jeans and snap western shirts were cut for much thicker cowboys.
Our take on Ron Woodroof:
Lee Storm Rider 101 LJ Jacket
$255 at Rakuten
Wrangler 13MWZ Rigid Cowboy Cut Jeans
$63 at Rakuten
Dorfman Pacific Canvas Cowboy Hat
$26 at Amazon
American Optical General Sunglasses
$54 at Marv Golden Pilot Supplies
Rockmount Blue Chambray Slim Fit Shirt
$86 at Rockmount
Nocona Cowboy Boots
$230 at Boot Barn
Western Rope Edge Belt Buckle
$10 at eBay
Natural Cowhide Belt Blank
$25 at Tandy Leather
Images courtesy Focus Features