The winningly-nicknamed mobsters arrested in this week’s FBI bust are accused of the usual stuff, like murder and racketeering. But the New York Post finds them guilty of sartorial crimes as well. “Dapperless dons,” cries the Post. (Dapperless is not a word.) These modern-day Capones were in “sorry sweatpants” and “tawdry tracksuits” when the feds came, and Will Welch of GQ is unimpressed: “They don’t even deserve to be loan sharks.” Ouch.
The Mafia enjoys a pop-cultural association with fancy pinstripe suits and big rings, although as these guys show, that might be kind of undeserved. Forthwith, a gallery of famous mobsters (fictional and otherwise) side-by-side with their modern, scruffy counterparts.
Michael Corleone vs. Joseph “Junior Lollipop” Carna
Corleone classes it up in a dark, impeccably tailored 3-piece suit. Carna chooses baggy gray sweatpants, a gray sweatshirt (in a different shade of gray, at least) and impossibly white sneakers like the kind that American tourists wear to the Eiffel Tower.
John Gotti vs. Anthony “Tony Bagels” Cavezza
Even in a stressful courtroom setting, Gotti remains smooth and elegant in a dark, presumably super expensive suit. Bagels, not so much.
Bugsy Siegel vs. Edward Aulisi
Both of these men are going for patterns here, but the results couldn’t be more different. Siegel’s houndstooth blazer screams sophistication and 1940s elegance, while Aulisi’s hunting jacket speaks to the inability to differentiate between work and weekend clothes which afflicts many American men, but especially mobsters.
Al Capone vs. Michael “Jello” Kuhtenia
Capone impresses with his use of a white pocket square, matching his crisp white cuffs. Jello matches his sweatpants to his zip up and sneakers. Not the same effect.
[scruffy mobster photos via New York Post]
(Shouts also to the ever fashion-conscious Vice, who had the same idea.)
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 24, 2011