In Praise of (the Fashion of) Tintin
February 5, 2020 7:27 AM   Subscribe

Think of Tintin and you’ll most likely picture a round-faced, ginger-haired grass who hails from Belgium, yet has a suspiciously good British accent. And while the aforementioned is mostly certainly, definitely true, what you’re probably missing from your list is: cultured menswear fashionista.
posted by Etrigan (20 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
If you're going to talk about Tintin and fashion, I think you'd best include a link to this.
posted by kimota at 7:48 AM on February 5 [2 favorites]

what does "grass" mean in this context?
posted by Dr. Twist at 8:20 AM on February 5 [1 favorite]

Pretty upset that the “get the look” section at the end didn’t make any attempt to capture the orange spacesuits and fishbowl helmets of Destination Moon.
posted by chappell, ambrose at 8:26 AM on February 5 [15 favorites]

what does "grass" mean in this context?

British English, so it literally means a snitch. In this case the author is using it to mean “teacher’s pet” or “goody two-shoes”.
posted by chappell, ambrose at 8:28 AM on February 5 [6 favorites]

posted by Dr. Twist at 8:29 AM on February 5

A long time ago, when I cared about such things, I used to read a message board about men's fashion, and one of the posters went by the name "tintin", and I seem to recall that it was because he regarded the character as an inspiration.
posted by kevinbelt at 10:13 AM on February 5

he and Snowy trekked deep into the Congan jungle and Tintin rocked looking like a catwalk-ready safari ranger, wearing a bowler hat straight from a Prada lookbook. It’s probably his most glamourous rig to date, but it really did do the trick.

Jus wanted to say that that's not a bowler hat, it's a pith helmet.
posted by haemanu at 10:29 AM on February 5 [9 favorites]

And surely he’s not wearing ‘a wide-legged pair of pin-rolled rust pants’? I always thought they were plus-fours.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 12:43 PM on February 5 [7 favorites]

Tintin, and his sartorial choices, may have originally been based on Palle Huld.
posted by Jane the Brown at 12:52 PM on February 5 [7 favorites]

They *are* plus-fours, Bloxworth Snout. At least I think they are!

It's funny that the casual-wear aesthetic of the 2020s means that Tintin's 1920s and 1930s sportswear can be seen as high end and stylish. Safari clothes and hiking gear would never have been viewed as elegant when the series was conceived. The suits and hats of the twin detectives (Dupont?) would be closer to everyday workwear for most men -- Tintin and the Captain are conspicuously underdressed.

Athleisure has had some really odd effects :)
posted by jrochest at 1:20 PM on February 5 [5 favorites]

That's also not a pea coat. It's a beltless raincoat.

Captain Haddock has, on occasion, worn a pea coat.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:37 PM on February 5 [11 favorites]

the twin detectives (Dupont?)

Dupond et Dupont in French; Thomson and Thompson in English.
posted by Lexica at 2:02 PM on February 5 [1 favorite]

Thomson and Thompson in English.

Their amusingly unhelpful spelling suggestions were some of my favorite parts of the books when I was a kid (“With a P, s as in psychology”).

And the moon suits were indeed great.
posted by Dip Flash at 2:35 PM on February 5 [2 favorites]

I was just reading a Tintin book! My French is terrible, so it gives me joy that I can read these and pretend I am fluent and know tenses and understand jokes. Plus, I love Milou a lot more than I love Snowy. Herge was just an amazing draftsman. The clothes on everyone look great.
posted by acrasis at 4:31 PM on February 5

I grew up with Tintin* so this is right up my street. Even as I child I always thought he looked great, although my true hero was Professor Calculus. I have a poster of Objectif Lune on my wall, with the angry Calculus pointing out his red rocket. Awesome. Snowy can fuck off, though.

Ok, so the author is terribly wrong at labelling most of the clothes, but I'd happily wear Tintin's mountaineering kit. I wish we lived in a world where plus fours are socially acceptable, but I also recognise that they'd be like capes - great as a conceptual look, not great in reality.

* As well as the books being great (apart from the racism), I contend that the theme tune to the animated series is one of the best of all time
posted by milkb0at at 3:16 AM on February 6 [1 favorite]

In this case the author is using it to mean “teacher’s pet” or “goody two-shoes”.

... which would be fine except for the fact that "grass" doesn't carry either of those meanings in British slang (or in any other usage that I'm aware of). Words can be made to stretch only so far, and if Tintin's a grass, then so is every reporter and investigative journalist who's ever lived.
posted by Paul Slade at 4:54 AM on February 6

As a customer of Oi Polloi, it's good to see them get spotted by this esteemed site. I'm sure they'll appreciate the traffic. Whoever writes their stuff is an underrated journalist. This piece on the paninari - Italian very influential style cult from the 80s for instance is a great piece on cultural history.
posted by treblekicker at 6:12 AM on February 6 [1 favorite]

Tintin looks so stylish because she is a butch dyke. Obviously.
posted by medusa at 5:59 AM on February 7

For those who love the “With a P, s as in psychology” joke:
posted by mdoar at 10:38 AM on February 7

Well, I showed the paninari article to my friend Gio who was a teen in Milan at that time, and I said, did you ever dress like that, and he indignantly said NO BECAUSE I WASN'T A FASH and basically while a couple of people in the comments did offer corrections, the author has no idea that the look is closely coupled with right politics and fascist sympathisers.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 11:05 PM on February 7 [2 favorites]

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