When fictional attorney James McGill transforms into slick (and some would say slimy) lawyer Saul Goodman, his style goes from professional and drab to colorful and somewhat garish. It’s no coincidence that as Goodman becomes less scrupulous, his wardrobe becomes more ostentatious. What is he trying to say with this? Here’s what the creators behind Saul Goodman’s style have to say.
An Attention Seeker From the Start
Even as James McGill is hustling after every case he can get, chasing ambulances, and never getting a break, he wants to be noticed. He loves being the center of attention and he craves the spotlight. This is why he always, even from the very start, wears a double-breasted suit coat. According to “Better Call Saul” costume designer Jennifer Bryan, a double-breasted suit is showy. Men who want to stand out wear double-breasted suits, so Saul splurges on this one aspect of his outfit from day one.
As he slowly turns into Saul Goodman, he starts wearing brightly-colored shirts, complementary-colored ties, and pocket squares in tertiary colors. This combination of color somehow all matches, but against a dark suit, it really pops. Goodman becomes a showman and he needs suits that highlight him as the main attraction. He puts together colors that most people would never combine, but on him, it all works because of his personality.
Color Represents Success
To Jimmy McGill, a small-time accident injury attorney, colorful shirts and ties represent success. His nemesis, Howard Hamlin, adds a bit of color to his own outfits and even though McGill despises him, he aspires to be as successful as he is. That’s why, when he first experiences a taste of that same success (albeit unethically obtained), McGill, who is transforming into Goodman chooses a brightly colored shirt for the first time. But, Goodman takes the use of color even further than Hamlin, perhaps subconsciously believing that the more colorful his wardrobe, the more successful he is.
Mastering Saul’s Style
If you want to dress for success like Saul Goodman, you’ll need to embrace color and get comfortable combining colors you might not think go well together. For example, he might pair a bright blue button-down shirt with a purple tie or a green dress shirt with an orange and blue striped tie. Then, he’ll add a third color to the ensemble with a silk pocket square. Get several brightly-colored button-down, long-sleeved shirts and ties that complement those colors.
Then, purchase one or two dark-colored suits. Black and charcoal gray are the best options because they go well with any other color. That way, you can mix and match the shirts with the suits and have a slightly different look every day. While Goodman only wears double-breasted suits, yours don’t have to be exactly the same. The surprising part of Goodman’s outfits is the color palette he chooses, so as long as you’re selecting these same colors to go with your dark suit, you’ll master his look in no time.
The word “colorful” can be used to describe both Saul Goodman’s style and personality. For Goodman, it’s also synonymous with success. So, if you have a big, bold personality like Saul and you want to project the same sense of success, adopt his colorful clothing and let the magic happen!