Everyone knows the iconic gumshoe's "look" from his leather loafers to his askew fedora. While some fictional detectives' looks have deviated from the norm, it's best not to mess with success.
Even though one expects sharp dress from the sharpest deductive minds (you'd never even dream of Sherlock Holmes or Philip Marlow to so much as stub a toe), the same goes for the beloved bumblers.
Having just watched all of HBO's "Bored to Death" Season 3 (sadly, the final series), I got to thinking about the different ways in which the de rigueur trench coat's have been rocked over the years.
5. "Kolchak: The Night Stalker" (1974-1975). Carl Kolchak is certainly the least concerned with his appearance -- a bedraggled baby blue seersucker suit and ratty old straw-boater were his style staples -- but when you're solving crimes perpetrated by the likes of vampires, witches, werewolves, and mummies, fashion faux pas are forgivable.
4. "Columbo" (1971-2003). With his rumpled raincoat and ever-present cigar, this wily disarmer uses his clothing to its best effect, often employing them as tools of his trade. Patting his pockets for "lost" items, blaming muddy shoes for reasons to enter areas other than front doors, and concealing key pieces of evidence in the folds of his oversized London Fog frock, he never fails to close (or is that clothes?) a case.
3. "Magnum, P.I." (1980-1988). Thomas Magnum wears tight blue jeans, Hawaiian shirts, and sports a 'stache that puts modern-day hipsters everywhere to woeful shame. Nope, Magnum definitely doesn't fit the uniform ideal, but he always gets his man (and frequently, more than one woman).
2. "Moonlighting" (1985-1989). Maddie Hayes and David Addison are two of the funniest, most droll partners in crime-solving. She's an ex-model (fashiongasms abound!) while he's the real deal -- complete with the wardrobe right down to the white undershirt and slacks with suspenders.
1. "Bored to Death" (2009 - 2011). Inspired by hard-boiled fiction, a soft-hewn neurotic New York writer decides it'd be cool to lead a double life by pretending to be a private detective. Thus, he's placed in constant danger in situations way beyond his capabilities. Still, that doesn't stop Jonathan Ames from being dressed to the nines, even when he's staring down the barrel of a 9mm.[Pictured: Jason Schwartzman, photo courtesy of HBO Home Entertainment]
You can find all these series in various forms of home enjoyment (Netflix, reruns, and the like), but just a heads up: "Bored to Death" Season 3 is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.