Top Gun’s Maverick as a Style Icon

This past weekend I decided to have a little movie marathon and watched the original “Top Gun” from 1986 and the recent 2022 sequel “Top Gun: Maverick.” My teenage kid had never seen either movie, so I thought it might be fun to take them on the highway to the danger zone.

I’m old enough to remember when the first “Top Gun” came out in 1986. I remember watching it on home video and most of it flew over my head (see what I did there) because I was only 9 or 10 years old. I remember how much of a pop culture sensation it was at the time though and how it expanded into other media like the nearly impossible to beat Nintendo game of the same name. The frustration from trying to land on the aircraft carrier or connect to the fuel plane in that game still haunts me to this day.

Landing on this thing was impossible.

Since this isn’t a movie review blog, I won’t say too much about the film, but there are a couple of things of note. First, how the hell was the movie only rated “PG” when the “PG-13” rating was available by 1986? I don’t usually get squeamish about adult language, but the movie definitely had language that I would not consider PG – lots of references to “getting hard” and calling people “pussies” and things like that. Then there is the sexual content itself which I found to be just kind of outdated and gross. Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis look like a couple of aliens who are trying approximate human sex but only had bad Skinemax movies to base it on. They weirdly look like they are trying to eat each other’s faces. Then there’s the thrusting. Again, not PG stuff in today’s world. In fact, I doubt many PG-13 movies today have this much simulated sex in them.


The movie is just – not that good. It’s basically one long music/military recruitment video with cool motorcycles and jets and, of course, that infamous and bizarre shirtless volleyball scene, the subject of so many analyses of the film’s latent homoeroticism (just google “Quentin Tarantino Top Gun” for one of the more amusing breakdowns). The romantic subplot seems just thrown in and Cruise and McGillis don’t have a lot of chemistry (Cruise has way better chemistry with his foil “Iceman” played by Val Kilmer). Eliminate the romance and focus more on Maverick coming to grips with his father’s legacy and his relationship with Iceman and the movie instantly becomes more interesting.


What carries the movie, apart from the cool jets and motorcycles, is Cruise himself who charismatically embodies the character of Maverick (as you would expect from Cruise, perhaps the most charismatic actor in Hollywood history). The 2022 sequel sees Cruise bring the character back to life, and I have to say I’m glad he did. “Maverick” is overall a better movie than its predecessor. The fact that there is a lot less face eating and backlit simulated thrusting in it automatically makes it a better movie. It’s not perfect though. I laughed at some of the more ridiculous parts more than once. Perhaps most ridiculous of all we are supposed to believe that Iran has developed fifth generation fighter jets that have evened the playing field with the United States. Completely laughable. While Iran is never named in the movie (just like the Soviets were never named in the first one) there are plenty of hints as to the identity of the “rogue nation” the pilots are up against. The biggest hint being that Iran is the only country in the world with F-14s still commissioned in its air force and the F-14 plays a key role in the films denouement which was actually a pretty good callback to the original 1986 movie.

Cruise looks like he has stepped out of a time machine in “Maverick” it’s pretty incredible. He still has that boyish charm that made him Hollywood gold and he may be even more buff in his late 50s than he was in his early 20s. The chemistry between him and the romantic female lead in this movie, Jennifer Connelly, is a huge improvement over the romantic chemistry in the original. The plot is pretty ridiculous, but it’s a fun ride and a good popcorn flick – nothing more, nothing less.

One aspect of the movies that I would have never paid attention to until recently is how the character Maverick is styled. Since I’ve become more interested in men’s fashion, I have started paying attention more closely to what characters are wearing in the various tv shows and movies that I watch. Now that I’ve started noticing these things, I can safely say that the character Maverick really stands out to me as an all-time movie style icon.

Here’s why:

Maverick is styled consistently in both movies – he has the same basic look in both which is impressive given 36 years passed between the two. A lot of fashion came and went between 1986 and 2022, yet Maverick seems to have stayed the same. This comes down to a few factors:

1. Maverick is a military man and the military isn’t known for chasing fashion trends.

2. Maverick’s look is timeless Americana which will never go out of fashion.

3. Tom Cruise has aged perhaps better than any human in history. Pretty easy to keep a consistent style when you wear the same jean size in 2022 that you wore in 1986. I know I’ve changed a lot since 1986. Still can’t land on the aircraft carrier in that Nintendo game though.

I am not the first person to write about Maverick’s style. I started this journey by simply googling “what jeans does Tom Cruise wear in Top Gun?” There are lots of results, and I’m basing a lot of what follows on what I read in those various articles. In the interest of not plagiarizing or repeating what others have written, I’m going to try to do something a little different.

So here’s what I want to do – I’m going to discuss all the pieces of Maverick’s wardrobe and then discuss how I would style myself if I were to dress like Maverick.

Before I get into this let’s set some ground rules and get few things straight:

  1. I do not look like Tom Cruise nor will I ever look like Tom Cruise, so I’m not trying to pass as Tom Cruise here. I know a big reason that Maverick looks so stylish is because of Tom Cruise, who would look good in anything.
  2. I’m discussing Maverick’s off base civilian style. I’m not trying to put together a naval dress white uniform or anything here.
  3. I am not making a Maverick Halloween costume. My goal here is pay homage to Maverick’s style and to not cosplay as him. The goal is emulation not imitation.
  4. Budget is a factor. I want to dress like Maverick but dressing exactly like him is cost prohibitive (something that will be pretty clear once I discuss his watch).
  5. Every piece selected should be versatile enough to wear with other outfits on a regular basis.
  6. I want this exercise to be as sustainable as possible. This means avoiding fast fashion, of course, and also finding pieces on the second-hand market. Everything should be well made and durable enough to last a long time.
  7. This blog post is not sponsored in any way and I get no personal benefit if you click on any of the links provided below.

With those facts laid out and rules set, let’s get into the details:

Archetypical look #1: Military

I’ve been thinking a lot about male fashion archetypes and I hope to write a bit more about this in the near future, but for now let me say that I think Maverick’s style encompasses three distinct archetypes – Military, Classic Americana, and Western/Cowboy. Part of the appeal of Maverick’s style, I think, is that the character so seamlessly combines these three archetypes. Let’s tackle them each separately.

There are three pieces in his kit that are directly influenced by the military and more specifically by the fact that he is a military pilot or aviator – his sunglasses, jacket, and watch. Let’s break down each one. From khakis to jackets to watches military style has influenced civilian style in so many ways.


Maverick’s aviator sunglasses are perhaps the most iconic fashion element of his entire look. Nearly every pilot in the two movies wears them and they just look cool as hell.  Aviators are a timeless accessory that will never ever go out of style. Even Joe Biden looks cool wearing them. Maverick wears Ray-Ban aviators with a gold frame and green lenses that you can still purchase for $213. Ray-Ban has lots of frame and lens color options to choose from, and you really can’t go wrong with any of them.

This isn’t Tom Cruise but I bet you thought it was!

I don’t own a pair of aviators but I have eyeballed and tried on Ray-Ban aviators many times and have sworn that some day I will own a pair. I have bought Ray-Bans in the past, but they have always been Wayfarers (I think I’ve had three pairs – one I lost on a plane to Denver, one I stepped on and bent the arm, and the other is my newest pair that I haven’t lost or bent but give it time). I like Wayfarers a lot, they are another timeless look and I’ve gotten compliments on them a few times (compliments from strangers being the primary reason most of us wear anything).

There are lots of companies that sell aviator sunglasses – here are a few that have caught my eye:

Tomahawk Shades makes some really affordable aviators ranging from $60 to $70 in various frame and lens colors. You can get the Maverick style shades in gold frames and green lenses but I would probably go with the silver frame and silver lenses found here.

Randolph makes aviators that apparently real pilots use that range from $259 to $319. At that price point I would go for Ray-Bans myself since I’m only in this for the fashion and I’m not a pilot.

Here’s a pair from American Optical that are close to the Ray-Ban price point.

Oakley makes a pair for $100 but to be honest I haven’t owned a pair of Oakleys since the ‘90s and the brand puts off a vibe that I’m not particularly feeling these days.

Then there’s the second hand route – a search on Poshmark and Ebay brings up lots of choices and you can even get Ray-Bans for about half the price you would pay for them new. If I weren’t getting second hand Ray-Bans I wouldn’t pay more than $30-$50 for used aviators because you just don’t know how they will work out.

My choice: I think in this case I’d prefer to go with the O.G. Ray-Ban aviators but I have a bit of a problem in that I just had to get prescription lenses due to old age. So if I were to invest in a pair they would have to be prescription and probably progressive lenses since both my near and far sight are declining. I wonder if Maverick needs progressive lens aviators? Getting progressive prescription lenses in my Ray-Ban aviators would probably add another $200-$250 to the cost bringing the total to $450 or so.

If I were looking to go a more budget route I’d go with the Tomahawks with no prescription and just put them on when there’s sun in my eyes (my far sight is good enough that I can drive without corrected eyesight).

Or I would just grab a pair of Ray-Bans second hand and hope they worked out ok.

I think in the end I could also just go with my wayfarers and not lose much from the look.

Maverick’s cost: $213

My Cost: $60


Aviator sunglasses surged in popularity after “Top Gun” and so did another key piece of Maverick’s wardrobe – his leather bomber jacket. Internet sleuths have determined, after studying the many patches on Maverick’s jacket (presumably after hitting the pause button on their VCRs), that it must have been his father’s jacket (one of the patches has a date on it from the mid-60s when Maverick would have been a child and during the Vietnam War). That’s a pretty cool piece of characterization given how important Maverick’s lingering questions about his father’s death are to his character development. Another hint is that Maverick only wears the jacket when he’s off duty and not in uniform and riding his BMW motorcycle helmetless at crazy high speeds or eating Kelly McGillis’s face – so it’s probably not a part of his government issued flight uniform.

You can buy the exact same leather jacket Maverick wears with the same patches and everything from a company called Cockpit USA for $990. I don’t own a leather bomber (my leather jacket is a Schott 141 motorcycle jacket which is pretty bad ass in its own right), but if I ever got one, I don’t think I would buy the replica from Cockpit USA for two reasons 1. It’s a bit too cosplay for my tastes – and while cosplay and fashion are pretty closely related, I don’t want to look like I’m dressed up for Halloween when I put my jacket on 2. I don’t think I’d ever wear a jacket with military patches on it. I have nothing against the military mind you, I just think it veers too close to stolen valor. There are actual fighter pilots who have earned their patches through military service and I don’t think I would want to wear patches like that unless I earned them.

Leather bomber jackets can be crazy expensive. Here’s one from Buzz Rickson without patches for $2150.

Schott makes a leather bomber in cowhide (they have other options like sheepskin and horsehide as well) that looks pretty cool for $950.

Even on the second hand market a good leather bomber can run $500 or more. I was lucky to get my Schott motorcycle jacket for $200 on Poshmark in a very rare find. I don’t think I’m in the market for another leather jacket right now though.

Since I’m not really in the market for a new leather jacket, I started looking for alternatives. In “Maverick” the character also wears a nylon bomber with patches. You can buy the actual jacket without patches here for $190. The style of jacket is an MA-1 flight jacket and while they come in a lot of colors I think I prefer the sage color because I don’t have a jacket that color and I think it would go well with lots of things from jeans to khakis.

In the course of looking for a sage nylon bomber I found three that I really liked and have had hard time deciding which one I like the most.

Cockpit USA has one for $80.

Schott makes one for $168.

And Rothco makes one at the cheapest price point of $67.

I’m really torn as to which of these I like the most – they all seem to be pretty similar but I think I like the sleeker look of the Schott but it is twice the price of the others (even if it’s a little cheaper than the Alpha Industries jacket).

My choice: The Schott is my first instinct but I’m not sure if it is worth double the price of the Cockpit or Rothco. If I were being budget conscience I would go with the Cockpit or Rothco. Also, a quick search in the usual second hand spots shows that you can get a nylon bomber for a bit cheaper – maybe even less than $50. I would probably go with the Rothco for budget reasons but splurge on the Schott if I came into an inheritance (or found one second hand for a good price).

Maverick’s cost: $990

My cost: $67


The aviators and the jacket are probably the most iconic pieces in Maverick’s kit. There’s a reason “Maverick” starts with the titular hero putting on his bomber jacket and then taking his aviators off a shelf – they symbolize the character as much as a cape and tights symbolize Superman. They are also the pieces in his kit that most clearly identify him as a pilot (or “aviator” since he’s in the Navy).

However, there is a bit more subtle of a piece that also reveals that he’s a stick jockey – his watch. Maverick wears a Orfina Porsche Designs Chronograph 1.

I don’t know much about watches, but according to watch dudes on the internet (which are as numerous as denim and boot dudes), it’s a pretty iconic watch. What I do know is that it’s a 10 thousand dollar watch new – used ones run from $5k to $8k. New or used, it is way out of my price range and I will probably never be in the market for a watch that costs multiple thousands of dollars (I’m probably not even in the market for one that costs multiple hundreds of dollars). So I would have to get creative here.

I already own a couple of watches but nothing too fancy. My daily wear is a Garmin tactical watch which is basically my fitness tracker. There are things I like about it and things I don’t like but one thing I can say about it is that it’s not really stylish at all. I’m also over fitness tracker and smartwatches (I’ve had a few fitbits and I just find them so ugly). My most stylish watch is an old Omega Seamaster that I inherited from my grandfather – it’s in desperate need of repair as the crystal is cracked and the second hand has come off and I hope to someday get it fixed – but I don’t wear it much because it’s broken. It’s also more of a dress watch and wouldn’t work for this outfit. I also have a twenty year old Pulsar with a steel bracelet that I like and an even older Swatch that my mom gave me in the ‘80s (maybe around the time the first “Top Gun” came out). Neither one really works here either.

I’ve started trying to learn more about watches but I still find them to be a bit baffling. Some watches are $50. Some a couple hundred. Some multiple thousands. I’m not interested in anything showy or any of those watches with a huge face that were so popular there for a while but are starting to look as outdated as mens skinny jeans (I will not lament the passing of huge watches and skinny jeans as fashionable menswear and that whole look makes me think of Andrew Tate barf). I’m interested in something simple but also stylish and timeless, so I’ve started gravitating to military inspired watches.

Here are some military inspired watches that have caught my eye recently:

I like the look of this Seiko 5 sports watch and it’s somewhat affordable at $180.

This Citizen Eco-Drive Aviator watch looks good and is only $127.66 on Amazon.

This Benrus field watch looks nice but is nearly $600.

The Hamilton Khaki field watch is supposed to be an all-time classic but is about $1000.

I love the look of this Weiss field watch but again $2000 is a lot to shell out for a watch.

There’s a pretty wide range of prices in those watches, and I’m still not sure what the difference is between a $200 watch and a $1000 watch. I suppose I’ll have to take in more watch dude youtube to learn.

In my searching though I came across this aviator style chronograph from Timex with a leather strap and a few extra dials and this simpler Timex field watch with a nylon or canvas strap. Both watches are less than $60 which makes them ideal starter watches for someone like me who just doesn’t know much about watches and is not quite ready to invest multiple hundreds (let alone thousands) of dollars in one.

My choice: I know Timex is not the fanciest watchmaker out there but I like the look of simple Expedition with the nylon strap – it has the look I’m going for without costing more than my first car.

Maverick’s Cost: $10,000

My Cost: $54.89

Archetypical look #2: Classic Americana

I’m focusing here on two basic yet very important pieces of Maverick’s kit – his jeans and t-shirt. It doesn’t get more Americana than jeans and a tee and the look cuts across several different archetypes (from western/cowboy, to blue collar worker, to motorcycle/rock-n-roll).


In the first “Top Gun” Maverick wears perhaps the most iconic American jeans of them all – the Levi’s 501. Since it was the 80s he wears a bit of a lighter wash – not quite light acid washed maybe more of a medium stone wash. In the sequel Maverick goes with a darker denim which is a more updated look and perhaps one of two nods to changing fashions between the two movies (the other being his boots which I’ll discuss later).

Let me say this – I’m comfortable enough in my masculinity and sexuality to admit that Tom Cruise looks like he was born to wear a pair of 501s. I, on the other hand, was not. I tried a pair of 501s about a year ago and I just did not like the way they fit. Maybe it was the slightly higher rise or maybe I just had a bad pair but I found where the crotch meets the thigh to be too tight and uncomfortable and it really hindered mobility. So while Maverick can play shirtless volleyball in a pair of 501s I could and would not.

I’ve struck out with nearly every single pair of Levi’s I have ever bought and lord knows I have tried to find a pair that would work for me. I have pretty much given up on finding a pair of Levi’s forever, which is sad because I like the idea of Levi’s perhaps more than I like their actual jeans.

Finding the right pair of jeans has been a struggle for me. I’ve tried all different kinds from lots of different makers – Levi’s, Diesel, True Religion, Buffalo David Bitton, Lucky Brand, Brooks Brothers, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Mavi and on and on and on. I’ve tried different cuts from slim, to athletic, to relaxed, to skinny (never again). The problem has always been that they either don’t fit right or look right or the crotch blows out really fast.

Last summer I discovered the denim dude subculture on the internet and started getting really interested in jeans again – looking at Japanese and boutique American jean makers that use unwashed selvedge denim. I took the plunge at the end of the summer and bought a pair of Naked and Famous indigo jeans in their weird guy fit. I liked them a lot and really tried to make them work – but they are a bit tight in the top block and really tight on my thighs. Maybe if I lose 30 pounds I’ll be more comfortable in them.

I thought I was done trying to find jeans for all time until a few months ago I found two pairs on Poshmark that I have ended up really liking. One is a pair from Ciano Farmer Denim based out of Texas and another from a now defunct company out of Portland, OR called Bluer. Both of these jeans fit great and I really like them so it seems my jean problem is solved for now. I’m hoping to write more and even make a video on my denim journey sometime soon.

But for now if I were dressing in the style of Maverick I would just go with one of the three pairs of selvedge denim that I have right now and would probably not buy something new. If I were looking to splurge I may go with something Japanese in a straight cut like from Iron Heart, TCB, or Oni Denim. But I don’t think I will at the moment.

My choice: the jeans already in my closet.

Maverick’s Cost: $79.50 but they go on sale all the time.

My Cost: $0 but my Bluer jeans cost me $50.

Tee Shirt:

In the first “Top Gun”, when he’s not playing volleyball, Maverick wears a plain white tee with a pocket – a basic, simple, and classic look that will never ever go out of style. In the sequel he also wears a white tee but also changes things up and wears a black one. You simply cannot go wrong with a plain white or black t-shirt.

I have some hot takes on grown men and t shirts that may stir up some controversy but here goes – a grown man should not be seen out in public wearing a t-shirt that depicts cartoon, video game, movie, or tv show characters. This means no super heroes, Star Wars, Legend of Zelda, Transformers, or anything else that you might have loved when you were a wee lad that fills you with the joy of nostalgia every time you put it on. I also don’t think the American flag or the US Constitution are fashion statements so leave your “proud to be an American” and “We the People” shirts (probably made in a sweatshop in China or Bangladesh) and your Grunt Style apparel where they belong – in the bargain bin at Wal-Mart or better yet cut up into shop rags. Also save your sports apparel shirts with team logos and player names for your trips to the ballpark. I also try to avoid t-shirts with university names on them (even though I have degrees from three different universities) because I am not a student anymore, I’m a grown up (in theory). Simple mono-color plain t-shirts are all you need. Graphic tees are ok from time to time, but avoid company logos and things like that. The graphic should be artsy or interesting but not overwhelming to the eye. The only exception I make is band tees – those are cool no matter what.

Now before you decide to pillory me for saying nasty things about your entire t-shirt collection let me say I have violated most of these rules for most of my life (except the American flag rule because I have never been comfortable using the flag as a fashion statement). I have a vast collection of tees with characters, logos, sports teams, restaurants, bars, breweries, universities, etc. on them. It was not until a couple of years ago that I started acquiring plain mono-color t-shirts and wearing them regularly. I still have a few of the logo and graphic tees in the rotation but I almost never wear them out anymore they are strictly for wearing around the house or sleeping in. At one time I must have thought that graphic tees were a good substitute for a personality and I wish I had this epiphany at a younger age because they are not. They just make you look juvenile. So learn from my mistakes – go with a plain tee and you will never regret it.

Now there are all kinds of places to buy plain white or black or mono-color t-shirts. Tees range from $20 to well over $100 and some are even more if they come from some silly designer and have logos splashed all over them. Most men balk at the idea of paying more than $20 for a tee which is why I suspect lots of grown men wear graphic shirts they snagged at Target or Gildan or Hanes shirts which are made under less than desirable conditions abroad. But I’m here to tell you that if you invest in a couple of well made, sturdy, and plain t-shirts at around the $30 to $50 range you will not regret it.

Good plain tees are not hard to find. Pretty much everyone sells them and if you google “Best t-shirts men” you will find plenty of articles and listicles to keep you busy.

Here are a few worth checking out:

Everlane makes t-shirts that range from $20 to $45 that end up on a lot of “best t-shirts” lists.

Velva Sheen is a heritage brand that was revived and makes tees that are good enough for Carmy in “the Bear” but are on the pricier side at $68 a shirt.

Mertz B Schwanen is a German brand that makes old school loopwheeled heavyweight tees that run about 65 Euros and given the good exchange rate between US Dollars and Euros it’s not a bad price.

True Classic sells shirts in three and six packs for about $63 and $116 that also end up on a lot of “best tees” lists.

Last summer I invested in two t-shirts from Buck Mason – one white and one black – that I really like and have served me well. I have also picked up mono-color tees from Amazon’s Goodthreads, Target’s Goodfellow and Co., and a company called Fresh Clean Tees. All have done just fine for me. None of them has a pocket though – but I don’t think that a pocket is entirely necessary for this look. So I would stick with one of my two Buck Mason shirts but if I were looking for a pocket tee I would probably go with one from Buck Mason.

My choice: the Buck Mason white t-shirt already in my closet.

Maverick’s cost: it’s hard to say he probably just wears a Hanes Beefy T which costs about $7

My Cost: $0 but I paid about $45 last summer for my Buck Mason tee. This is the only time I’ve outspent Maverick on a piece.

Archetypical look #3: Western/Cowboy

If his callsign didn’t tip you off then there are a couple of pieces in his kit to remind you of something very important about Maverick’s character – he’s a cowboy who doesn’t particularly care for rules. We can see this in two things – most prominently in his choice of footwear which are cowboy boots and a little more subtly in his choice of belt which is a western style belt with a prominent silver buckle, tip, and stay.


Maverick’s cowboy boots in the original “Top Gun” are perhaps the most outrageous aspect of his entire sartorial getup which is otherwise pretty plain and basic. The character wore some pretty wild red, green, and yellow boots made by Justin that Cruise also wore in “Days of Thunder” (a movie often called “Top Gun” but with racecars and Nicole Kidman). You can buy a reproduction pair of these boots for nearly $1000 here.

In “Maverick” the character toned it down a bit and wore plain brown cowboy boots, perhaps a reflection of his more advanced maturity in the sequel and the only other nod to changing fashion between the two movies apart from the wash of his jeans.

Cowboy boots are therefore pretty essential to capturing the Maverick look. Right around the time I discovered denim dudes last summer I also discovered boot dudes – there’s a lot of crossover between those two types of dudes. I had never really owned a pair of boots before but got really interested in acquiring some hoping to escape from the sneaker look which I found boring. I did a lot of research and settled on a pair of Red Wing 1907 moctoes that I have grown to love after a prolonged and painful period of break in. I even made a video about the boots and everything. But Red Wing moctoes would not really work for the Maverick look – it seems to me that cowboy boots are essential, and failing that maybe some chelseas.

I have given a lot of thought as to what my next investment pair of boots would be and I’ve wavered between a pair of sandstone colored suede chelseas that caught my eye at Thursday Boot Company or a pair of cowboy boots. When it comes to cowboy boots I’m most interested in a pair of plain ropers – they have a shorter shaft and lower heel than standard cowboy boots and are usually fairly plain looking. My biggest problem with a lot of cowboy boots is that they are too ornate and look like something a Nashville singer would wear on stage. I’m not going for that kind of look ever.

We have a western wear store here in the town I live in and I went over and tried a few ropers. I found the sizing to be pretty baffling. I wear a 12 in sneakers which means in boots I typically size down to an 11.5. Some ropers in 11.5 regular width fit me fine, some in 12 wide fit fine, and some I couldn’t even get my foot in. So finding the right pair might take a while.

There are a few that caught my eye from Lucchese and Justin, but I’ve been interested in Tecovas for a couple of years now but never had the courage to buy a pair. I’ve looked at their Earl ropers many times and have had a hard time deciding which color to get – black or brown?

My choice: Tecovas Earl ropers in brown or black I still can’t make my mind up

Maverick’s Cost: $990

My Cost: $265

Belt: So this might be the most obscure piece in Maverick’s kit, but there are a few clear shots of him wearing a black western belt with a silver buckle, stay, and tip. This is another nod to his cowboy nature.

You get a pretty good look at his western belt in this shot.

You would think this kind of belt would be easy to find but it’s actually not! I did a lot of searching around and found a few ranging from $50 to $300 – but not a lot of them looked right to me. Some were a bit too ornate or they had the silver buckle but not the tip. I did not less this deter me and I kept searching until I found the name of a company that makes these kinds of belts – Brighton. A brand new Brighton western style belt runs about $70-$80.

I searched on ebay for Brighton western belts in my size and found one that looked like it was in pretty good condition for a decent price. The seller even offered me a discount so I got it for $21. Not bad and it’s the only part of this kit that I have actually purchased so far. All told with shipping and tax it came to $31.

My choice: Brighton Onyx western belt purchased on ebay.

Maverick’s cost: Let’s go with $77 the cost of the Brighton belt new.

My Cost: $21

A few other notes on Maverick’s style:

Maverick is a military man and is therefore clean shaven. This is a bit of a problem for me as I am right now rocking one of the fullest beards I have ever grown in my life, though I may shave it down this summer.

Maverick does not wear a hat ever unless it’s the hat with his dress white uniform or his crash helmet which he wears in his jets only (he goes helmetless on his motorcycle and I don’t know what safety precautions he takes when munching on Kelly McGillis’s face). This could be because Tom Cruise has a fabulous head of hair that he doesn’t want to cover up (as the owner of a fabulous head of hair I get it) or because something like a cowboy hat would just look too ridiculous and steer more towards the cowboy look than is necessary for the character.

Apart from his watch and aviators Maverick does not seem to wear a lot of jewelry or other accessories unless you count his government issued dog tags. Again, I wouldn’t go this route because I was never in the military.

Despite spending his entire life in the Navy, Maverick does not have any visible tattoos (but I do). Personally, I think Maverick would look great with some Sailor Jerry style ink on his arms.

All told if you wanted to dress exactly like Maverick it would run you around $12k – that’s a lot of scratch but the bulk of that cost is his very expensive wrist watch. Using some things from my closet and buying cheaper aviators and the cheaper nylon bomber jacket but the more expensive boots I could get this look for less than $500 and that’s before really scouring the second hand market for cheaper options.

I haven’t put this look together in its entirety yet, but if I ever do I will be sure to post pictures here and on my Instagram and it would probably take your breath away. It would not however help you land on the Nintendo aircraft carrier.

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