Between the early ’80s and mid ’90s, Richard Gere was Hollywood’s go-to leading man when roles called for relatability and a certain type of everyman sex appeal. In the wake of his Armani-wearing turn in American Gigolo, Gere’s hair got whiter and his fits got bigger. While other actors opted for acid-wash jeans and bulbous sneakers, Gere became one of the poster boys for Bistro Vibes, sticking to a tried and true formula of oversized blazers and slim, dark denim, whether attending a fashion show with his girlfriend-then-wife Cindy Crawford, or out on the town on a regular old Tuesday. Decades later, Gere’s commitment to casual tailoring only looks more relevant. Today, brash, logo-emblazoned hoodies dominate the timeline, and Gere’s epic run of fits offer a lasting testament to the lost art of dressing up—all the inspiration you need to snap out of your fleece-lined funk. To help jump-start the process, we distilled the essence of his look into five key components. But first, find a relaxed sport coat you like and wear the hell out of it. Take it from Gere: it’s way more versatile than you think.
Let Your Tee Shine
Gere wore a variation of this outfit a lot in the ’80s and ’90s—loose-fitting blazer, half-tucked button-down, slyly-exposed white tee—but it looked fresh every time. Against a backdrop of darker layers, the white T-shirt reads like a deliberate swerve, not a choice forced by lack of clean laundry. Another tip: When a pair of plain Jane blue jeans doesn’t feel quite right, washed black is an A-list alternative. (And sunglasses always up the cool factor.)
Boot Up Your Suit
Another tremendous Gere fit, another tour de force of supremely-relaxed tailoring. This time around, the actor opted for a knit polo, ditched the undershirt entirely (extra points for the undone buttons), and anchors it all with a pair of sleek black boots. Looking to wring new life from those erstwhile nine-to-five standbys gathering dust in the back of your closet? This is how it’s done.