Oi Polloi

In Praise of… Jeff Goldblum

Published: Fri Jul 03 2020


There's a lot of under-appreciated (and occasionally misunderstood) people, places and inanimate objects out there. With these articles - we like to reset the balance a bit.

For this one, Tayler Willson sings the praises of Hollywood big-hitter and jazz pianist Jeff Goldblum.

Jeff Goldblum has always been kind of cool in his own special way. Unlike the vast majority of fashionistas we’ve praised over the years, Goldblum is someone who does bits both on and off screen. He is a 24/7 icon whose rig is as on-point at home, as it is on set, all with that effortless panache he oozes. While his off-screen style in recent years has been rejigged, he’s been a fashion stalwart for many some time before that.

He’s a mad man, a tall man, a man rumoured to have died in 2009 and been replaced with a look-a-like, and a man who could probably steal your girlfriend without trying. Yet, ultimately, he’s a stylish man.

While outerwear and functional clothing are very much at the epicentre of menswear in 2020, Goldblum manages to remain comfortable in his own unique bubble. A menswear aficionado whose smart-casual combinations are relevant, when they often wouldn’t be on others. Turtle necks, thick-rimmed spectacles, slicked back hair and even pointed shoes (forgive us), he’s an anomaly when it comes to trends, but an anomaly to behold.

There are two sides to Goldblum; on one you have the t-shirt-and-jean-wearing casual Jeff, while on the other you have Prada-wearing, pattern-liking Jeff. For the record we’re fans of both, but for a long time we’d only ever been witness to the former.

First released in 1993, Goldblum starred in Speilberg’s Jurassic Park playing Dr. Ian Malcolm. While the khaki-clad scientists were dressed for an expedition and John Hammond’s white guayabera and pant combination were working for more tropical vibes, Goldblum’s was dressed for neither.

Described as “all in black, with snakeskin boots and sunglasses,” by the screenplay ⁠— a rig in-keeping with the literary ⁠— for a trip to Isla Nublar, he drapes his all-black with a slightly-oversized unbuttoned black leather jacket, with a silver statement necklace, prevailing trends of the early nineties. Sleek, mysterious and very Jeff Goldblum, it remains one of his most recognisable rigs to-date.


Goldblum also starred in Independence Day some three years later, in which he played David Levinson, a casually-dressed satellite engineer. A Ralph Lauren plaid shirt and khaki trousers are fairly ubiquitous, but it’s a fresh combination Goldblum spends most of his screen time donning. Often with a jacket around his waist like the casual satellite engineer he is, Goldblum’s laid back look is inherently nineties, yet something that wouldn’t look out of place getting some milk from the offie later today.

Off-screen though, Jeff Goldblum is a different animal. Like a fine wine or a little Stone Island Marina piece – his style gets more delectable with time. Whether it’s his two-tone shoes or pork pie hats, his clear love for jazz and piano (true story) screams through in the clothes he wears. While his style success is made easier due to the fact he’s 6’4”, lean and has a silver crop that he clearly conditions religiously, his ability to put together gear that shouldn’t really go together is what makes it work.

Goldblum is the epitome of not giving a shit. He’s not fussed by social media, he’s not arsed what others think, he’s refreshingly unconcerned as to what others are saying. Wearing clothes that look absurd on others, but excellent on yourself is an art and a talent that not many possess. And while the rest of Hollywood follow the same dim philosophy they have for decades, Jeff Goldblum will play by his own rules. It’s something everyone should look for in a true style icon.