Jeff Goldblum

Look of the Week: Jeff Goldblum's regular Joe outfit in Independence Day

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Oct 28, 2018

Welcome back to Look of the Week, celebrating the best in TV and film sartorial excellence past and present across sci-fi, horror, fantasy, and other genre classics!

Jeff Goldblum is the Chosen One of the Month, and this also extends to Look of the Week, in which we started with his red carpet style evolution and are now moving on to some of his most notable genre movie costumes. First, we discussed Goldblum as Dr. Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park: The Lost World and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, followed by his role as the gold-wearing Grandmaster in Thor: Ragnarok. The last Goldblum look this month returns to the mid-'90s for one final costume deep dive as he heads into Dr. Alan Grant-styling territory as David Levinson in Independence Day.

Jeff Goldblum
A plaid shirt and khaki pants are pretty ubiquitous, and it is the outfit Goldblum spends most of his Independence Day screentime wearing. At times, he has his jacket tied around his waist in the most casual manner. David is a guy who plays chess with his dad in the park on his lunch break before biking back to the office — and through the office — reminding his co-workers to recycle and noting how much the world is being destroyed by humans. This movie came out 22 years ago, but his environmental stance is very much on point.

As I noted when I wrote about Alan Grant, there are numerous kinds of plaid; it is its own visual style language. On the surface this combination could read as being very similar to what Alan wears in Jurassic Park, but a big difference here is how David wears it, injecting a dash of Dr. Ian Malcolm into this ensemble — he favors a few buttons undone, his white tank is clearly visible.

Independence Day
Driving against the countdown clock from New York City to Washington D.C. with his father Julius (Judd Hirsch) means he didn’t have time to change or even pack a different outfit because there are bigger concerns. And while it is not really the kind of look you want to be rocking up to the White House in, David already has a contentious relationship with the president, so what is the lack of tie going to add to this?

As the stakes rise, the number of buttons David has undone also increases. During a moment of alcohol-induced despair, his shirt hangs off his shoulders, fully revealing the white tank underneath. He’s rumpled, a little sweaty and broken. Julius’ fussing over his son leads to David’s breakthrough as he realizes just how they can defeat the not-so-friendly extraterrestrials.

Jeff Goldblum
Suiting up with Captain Steven Hiller (Will Smith) finally means a change in clothes is in order, but costume designer Joseph A. Porro keeps things consistent as David’s white shirt is peeking out — even in space, he doesn’t do all his buttons up. He is still wearing a necklace that looks like something I also wore in 1996, which doubles down on his hippie-adjacent qualities.

Independence Day
Independence Day isn’t just about saving the world; there are also romantic relationships that need salvaging. In a great exposition-laden introduction, both Goldblum and Hirsch divulge a lot of backstory. Julius comments on the wedding band his son is still wearing even though it has been three years since his marriage ended. David’s wife happens to be the White House communications director, which means he is thrown back into her orbit during this time of crisis. Connie (Margaret Colin) is initially less than thrilled to have her ex around until it becomes clear that David has tapped into a frequency being used by the alien invaders. This movie is also a good reminder of how chunky laptops used to be.

Bickering and cheap shots turn into something softer as the situation becomes dire. There is nothing quite like the end of the world to make a couple forget the things that used to bother them about the other person. Changing out of her workwear, it becomes clear a reconciliation is in the cards when Connie basically dresses like David in a plaid shirt and khaki pants. The main difference here is that her tank is olive green rather than white — you never want to be too matchy-matchy.

Jeff Goldblum
Silhouettes and styles of the mid-'90s favored bagginess, which is exactly the style of David’s attire. In the recent Independence Day: Resurgence, Goldblum returned to the fold, and as with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, his costumes are a sleeker cut. Gone is the oversized Ralph Lauren plaid shirt, replaced with the mandatory uniform of all CW hunks. That’s right, we are in henley territory, and all the better off for it. As with Jeff Goldblum's IRL look, black skinny jeans are in, baggy khaki pants are no more.
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