National Treasure: Book of Secrets -- Justin Bartha's Sports Suits in Detail
The tweed and corduroy suits he wears aren't exactly business suits, but they're not relegated to the country or hunting either. They are perhaps best called sports suits since they have the features and fabrics one would expect of a sports coat but with matching trousers. Both suits are cut and styled identically. Everything including his designer eyeglasses combines to make him look like a young, hip professor of sorts.
He first wears a grey Donegal tweed three-piece for his (failed) book signing. Worn with it is a grey and white alternating stripe shirt with a point collar and barrel cuffs, a black tie with an irregular white oval pattern tied in a four-in-hand knot, and nonchalantly stuffed in his breast pocket is a blue silk satin pocket square with an unrecognizable print. Going by the original costume tag, he wears striped socks with the outfit (colours unknown) and the shirt is alpha-sized like a casual shirt, not by the neck and sleeve like a dress shirt. The shoes are seen sparingly from a distance, but look to be black square-toed shoes which were popular during the 2000s. His tie and shoe choice could certainly be better, but they could also be much worse. A pair of wingtip brogues would complete this ensemble a little more nicely.
|At his Borders book signing. (This location definitely dates the movie a bit.)|
The jacket is detailed with a button two front, medium width lapels, slanted (hacking) hip pockets with a ticket pocket, and double vents. The collar, lapels, front edges, breast pocket, and pocket flaps have topstitching about 5/16" from the edge for a sportier touch, also known as swelled edges. The jacket has lightly padded shoulders with moderately roped sleeve heads.
|Riley attempts to impress his "fan". The swelled edges can be seen more clearly here.|
The waistcoat has four pockets total -- two at the chest, two at the waist as most used to -- and a button five closure in which he leaves the bottom undone. The points are a longer than average, creating a larger notch down below. The back is lined in contrasting dark grey and has an adjustable strap and buckle in the same lining fabric.
|The low-rise trousers and longer points cause his shirt to show in a triangle below the waistcoat.|
|It is difficult to tell the shoes or socks from this shot and others.|
Later, at Buckingham Palace, he dons a two-piece navy corduroy with a red and black on white, mini-tattersall pattern shirt and burgundy tie with small white repeating ovals. The shirt has the same details as the previous one. Unlike with the tweed suit, he chooses sneakers that appear to be black Converse Chuck Taylor All Star with grey toe caps and sole edges. Though this is a continuation of his fashion choices from the first movie, it's not something that should be copied and lets down the entire outfit. A suede or pebble grain derby boot would achieve the same goal of dressing down his footwear and look far better.
|Riley remains well dressed even while hacking Buckingham!|
|The ill-chosen Chuck Taylor sneakers. Considering Ben Gates (Nicolas Cage) wears dress shoes and is able to run away from the bad guys just fine later, there's simply no excuse.|
|Ben mistakenly fastens both his jacket buttons, but Riley doesn't fasten his at all!|
|The tie pattern. Both ties have a matte texture that I cannot quite place. Any guesses as to the fabric?|
There are a couple other tailored pieces, but they're really nothing special by comparison. One appears to be a solid charcoal or black waistcoat accompanied by a white shirt with a faint diamond print, same style as the previously mentioned shirts, and a burgundy regimental stripe tie with red stripes and thin white stripes on either side. The trousers remain unseen, so is he even wearing any? (Awkward!) He only wears this outfit indoors and it's not clear why. There may be a deleted scene that explains it. The waistcoat is left completely unfastened, as Riley still values comfort above all.
While there are a couple of style choices that I and other clothing traditionalists will dislike, it must be deliberate to some degree by Makovsky to show that Riley dresses down even while "dressed up". Sleeve length notwithstanding (Nicolas Cage's suits have the same problem in this movie), both of Riley's sports suits are pretty stylish on their own.
Though people tend to wear more suits than sports coats ten years after this movie, that doesn't mean they are wearing more suits period. Off the rack business suits generally have softer construction on average than they used to. The sports suit is a logical evolution of this idea, not only using soft construction but soft, casual fabrics. It is unfortunate that they are not more popular right now, as it might make the suit in general more popular.
All screencaps from kissthemgoodbye.net