Born right at the end of the 19th century, Humphrey Bogart is one of the most iconic actors of all time. While you wouldn't know it from watching his films, he was only five-foot, eight inches tall.
Back in his day, just like today, it was common for male actors to wear risers. It was also routine for directors to make men appear taller than their female costars through creative camera angles.
Regardless of his short stature, Bogart's talents and style made a huge impression on the American film industry and culture. Starring in over 45 films, Bogart once said,
“Do everything. One thing may turn out right.”
Who was Humphrey Bogart?
Humphrey Bogart was one of the original Old Hollywood stars. He's also known as one of the original members of the so-called Hollywood “Rat Pack”. In 1955, the name came from Lauren Bacall's assessment of the post-party stupor of the group after a long night in Las Vegas. She loudly declared “You look like a g**damn rat pack.” The name stuck.
Despite the constant partying and late nights, Bogart was an extremely talented, hard-working man. To this day he is still considered an icon. As a prolific actor during the Classic Hollywood period, you may know Bogart from iconic films like Casablanca (1942) , The African Queen (1951), and The Barefoot Contessa (1954).
During the 1940s and 1950s, he was nominated for three Oscars. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in The African Queen.
His last film was The Harder they Fall (1956). Unable to work due to his failing health, he passed away the next year.
Who was Humphrey Bogart's Wife?
Of course, Bogart's lack of height didn't get in the way of his dating life. He had numerous wives throughout his Hollywood career. Most of the time, he enjoyed the company of actresses, but rarely co-stars. He was married four times.
First, he was married to actress Helen Menken from 1926 to 1927.
He followed that short marriage up with a longer one to another actress, Mary Phillips (1928-1937).
After his marriage to Phillips ended in divorce, he took up with another costar, Mayo Methot. Their tumultuous marriage (1938-1945) was plagued by infidelity, physical violence (perpetrated by Methot against Bogart), and alcoholism. It ultimately ended when Bogart had an affair with his To Have and Have Not (1943) costar, Lauren Bacall.
On the set, Bacall and Bogart fell in love. They were married on May 21, 1945. It was only eleven days after his divorce from Methot had been granted. They made it for the long haul though. They had two children, a daughter named Leslie and son named Stephen. Bacall survived him when he passed away from esophageal cancer in 1957.
How to Dress like Humphrey Bogart
One of the most legendary screen actors of all time, Bogart's phenomenal style is nearly as famous as him.
There are two approaches to dressing like Humphrey Bogart. The first approach involves a more literal, retro take on his classic, Old Hollywood style. Think of the costuming on the early seasons of Mad Men. You could say Don Draper's style is largely based on the real-life one donned by Humphrey Bogart.
For a literal costume-based approach to copying Bogart's look, you'll want that suave, gentlemanly formal look.
- Hats are a necessity. Gentlemen would never go outside without one. Bogart was often seen in classic fedoras and panama hats.
- For formal wear, consider wearing an all-white tuxedo or a white tuxedo jacket with black dress pants, as Bogart did in Casablanca. Bow ties are a must.
- During the mid-century period, suits were worn a lot looser than they are today. High-waisted pants and wide leg trousers with pleating were quite common.
How to do a Modern Version of Bogart's Classic Look
Of course, our modern world is a lot less formal than the mid-century one Bogart inhabited. However, you can still use his debonair style as inspiration for a current look. They key to pulling off his elegant look is confidence, proper fit, and attention to detail. Of course, it doesn't hurt that the 1950s was one of the most stylish decades.For a thoroughly modern Interpretation, adhering to the themes of elegance and sophistication are key.
- Embrace bow ties. While they may seem prissy to some modern eyes, Bogart proves a man's man can rock a bow tie with swagger.
- Try a double-breasted suit. A surefire way to stand out, a double-breasted suit lends its wearer an air of luxury and sophistication.
- Remember that you're never overdressed. If you're committing to a look as classic as Bogart's, you'll need dedication. He was never photographed looking sloppy. He even rode a bike in a suit. While you don't have to go that far, we would suggest skipping distressed denim, joggers, sneakers, or anything else that reads too casual.
- Instead of “casual”, think “simple”. For an easy go-to outfit, try a solid jacket and pants, with a white button-down and solid tie. If that's too many layers, go for the classic white-button down paired with light color slacks. Roll up your sleeves and leave a few buttons undone.
- Don't forget your hat. Hats will not only add personality to any outfit, they add height. In short, hat's are a height-challenged man's best friend.
- Fit is key. If your clothing doesn't fit well, you won't be comfortable. If you're not comfortable, you won't be confident. Fit and comfort are so important for that dapper look. Don't let your clothes wear you. Bogart certainly never did.
Mr. Bogart? “Here's looking at you, kid”.