Character Study: Peter Weller in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai


Style editor Linda Immediato takes requests— and puts together modern looks based on characters (real and imagined) that have captured the sartorial aspirations of friends, readers, and colleagues.

This week, the request comes from Wired magazine’s articles editor Adam Rogers: Peter Weller in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai (1984):

 “Buckaroo Banzai was, arguably, the movie that marked the moment geeks became cool. I’d been looking forward to it for months—the studio marketed it heavily to comic book fans, and the idea of a scientist/race car driver/rock star/adventurerheld a certain appeal to me, a then-13-year-old who stood a chance of becoming one of those things. (Yes, OK, the first one.) But when Peter Weller, playing Buckaroo, puts on a shimmery grey suit and bow tie to lead his sidekicks and a room full of reporters through some heavy-duty particle physics, well, the part of my brain responsible for wardrobe got totally re-mapped. Until then I thought clothes might be good for hiding what a hopeless nerd I was, if I could just decode their secrets. But Weller, as Buckaroo, wasn’t hiding. He was owning it. If you’re going to wear glasses, wear bright red ones! Bow ties weren’t goofy, they were awesome—and you could insouciantly untie them when it was time to steal a motorcycle and go rescue someone, as I planned to do right after the movie ended. He looked like a geek, and he looked great. Buckaroo didn’t have to take off his suit to reveal a garish superhero costume underneath; the suit, I realized, was the costume. I’ve thought of my clothes that way ever since.”

STYLE NOTES: Finding a gray suit wasn’t so difficult, I chose this one by Canali, available at Mr., because it has a slightly wider lapel than most contemporary slim suits. The striped button down wasn’t as easy but this dress shirt by Hugo Boss comes close. The stripes in the bow tie are hard to see in this photo of Weller, but the silk Hemley tie I found is pretty spot on. The hardest part of this look was locating those Sally Jesse-esque eyeglasses! Instead of an exact match I think these “rum cherry” colored spectacles from Warby Parker capture the vibe, without looking costume-y.

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