Cinema Wardrobe: American Psycho

 Written by: Ruben Buerhing


Without a doubt, American Psycho is among the most stylish films of our time. Every character embodies the 80s wallstreet look right down to the smallest detail. Even in Brat Easton Ellis’ novel, it's all about Patrick Bateman's fashion fanaticism for pages after pages. Admittedly, he looks damn good in his Valentino Couture suits and Oliver Peoples glasses. Let's take a closer look at this iconic cinema wardrobe.

Contrary to the current fashion, pinstripes are a must have in Mary Harron's horror movie. The suits furthermore feature wide shoulders and the jackets are — typical 80s — very long. Costume designer Isis Mussenden collaborated with the Italian fashion icon Nino Cerruti to recreate authentic suits from the 80s for actor Christian Bale. However, in the story Bateman only talks about Armani and Valentino suits. He is even physically offended when someone assigns his look to the wrong designer.

In the office Bateman goes for the typical broker look. He wears the classic blue shirt with a white collar combined with a patterned Hermès tie. While trying to get a table at Dorsia, he also enjoys wearing his beloved sunglasses indoors for a certain nonchalance.

In the novel, Bateman is a walking fashion encyclopedia. With almost no exception, the protagonist analyzes the style of each character. At one point he admires a colleague's Vicuña sweater — a wool even finer than cashmere. The stylists of the movie also made use of this preference. Bateman is presumably wearing an overcoat made of this fine textile when he enters the office equipped with a walkman and over-ear headphones.

The yuppie is clearly obsessed with fashion. Even if this is pleasing to the eye, Easton Ellis' point is likely a different one. Bateman is all about the surface, there's not much behind it, and if there is, it's barely human. Fortunately, the love of fashion can look a lot different in real life.

Nowadays, thanks to Balenciaga, the 80s suit cuts are making a comeback. So what would Bateman wear in 2022? Would he be influenced by trends like the Dior Monogram shoes? We'll never know the answer, but since the protagonist admits that he only dresses this good to fit in, it remains an exciting question. Don’t forget to return the videotapes while looking for the answer.

One more bonus for all watch lovers: What looks like a Rolex Daydate (and it is in the novel), is a Seiko SNXJ90 on the screen. Rolex did not want to be associated with the role of the psychopath