THE LITTLE BLACK SUIT

John Belushi, Will Smith, Keanu Reeves, and Harvey Keitel have one thing in common—they all look their best when wearing a black suit, white shirt, and black tie.

John Belushi, Will Smith, Keanu Reeves, and Harvey Keitel have one thing in common—they all look their best when wearing a black suit, white shirt, and black tie. The timeless combo is the closest thing you have to the unassailable, always appropriate, user-friendly LBDs that your sisters, mothers, and girlfriends have hanging in their closets. Just think about it would Jake and Elwood Blues have looked as sleek in navy jackets and khakis? And that unforgettable scene in Reservoir Dogs—the one in which the six crooks walk toward the camera—would fall flat if it weren't for the visual impact of their graphic uniforms.

In the 16 years since Quentin Tarantino made violence stylish, many films—Men in Black, The Trans­porter, the recent The Day the Earth Stood Still—have reprised the look, and a crisp white shirt under a well-tailored black suit is still of-the-moment.

"A black suit gives a man strength and anonymity," says Betsy Heimann, the costume designer who outfitted the casts of Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. "At the same time, it also calls your attention to him, because it's so stark—you're only looking at him, his eyes and his face."

Better still, to pull it off you don't even need to be cool—the suit will take care of that for you. Courtney Colavita

An iconic Pulp Fiction scene with John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson

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