Style on Film: Eddie Murphy in 48 Hours

Reggie Hammond was the epitome of cool to me when I was a kid. Hammond, as portrayed by Eddie Murphy, possessed several attributes that I wish that I had. He displayed all of them inside of a bar, which was packed wall to wall with good ol’ southern boys. It was an absolute tour de force of a scene in the middle of “48 Hours” that would never be written into a movie the same way today. Ten year old Claude enjoyed sneaking my uncle’s VHS into my room and watching it as often as I could because Reggie Hammond was cool!

To a young me, anyone that wasn’t afraid to stand out was special because I so often wanted to fade into the background. So watching Reggie Hammond walk into a bar full of white people that hated him enough to want to hurt him, and pretend to be a cop to shake them down was awesome to me. The fact that he did it in that suit though, was what was extraordinary to me.

You know the suit I’m talking about. The 4x1 double breasted with the Prince of Wales pattern and the wide notch lapels. 

The double breasted suit is underutilized, and the specific type Reggie wore throughout “48 Hours” is rarer still. Double breasted suits are described by their button closures. Most double breasted suits have 6 buttons in the front, and two of them button, though no man in his right mind should button the bottom one.

A 4x1 suit, like the one Eddie Murphy’s Reggie Hammond wore, has 4 buttons on the front of the jacket, but only 1 button is used to close it. That functional button is placed lower on the suit, and using it to close the jacket gives the impression of a longer silhouette. When paired with a wider lapel, the wearer is gifted with that v-shape we all want to have in a suit.

It’s a look I’ve adopted for myself and one I’ve recommended to clients in the past. Whether you want a new silhouette for your formalwear or simply need to interrogate a bar full of possible Klan members, a 4x1 won’t steer you wrong.

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