Esquire – September 02, 2021

‘If You Come Close, You Notice’: Brad Pitt’s Secret to On-Point Personal Style

The actor—and face of De’Longhi’s latest campaign—talks with us about fashion, coffee, and comfort.

By Jonathan Evans
Sep 2, 2021

Brad Pitt is adamant that he is not a style guy. “If I have a style, it’s no style,” he tells me over the phone. I, for my part, disagree. There’s a damn good reason Esquire has covered his red-carpet and off-duty looks with some regularity over the years, and it’s not just because he’s Brad Fuckin’ Pitt, one of The Last True Movie Stars. It’s because, whether he’s hitting the red carpet in classic black tie or teaching an impromptu master class on casual dressing while popping out for coffee, the man seems to have an innate idea of what works for him when it comes to getting dressed. (Being Brad Fuckin’ Pitt does help, though.)

I’m about to jump in and tell him just that when he starts expanding on this idea of “’no-style’ style,” and I realize we don’t disagree—we’re just dealing with a good old-fashioned language barrier. “I like monochrome, without it being a uniform,” he explains. “I like simplicity. I like the details in the stitching, the way it feels. If anything, that’s the only divining rod I have.” In other words: unlike so many guys who care about the façade first and foremost, Pitt is tapping into something deeper. He’s focused on how he lives in what he wears. How it works with his own idiosyncrasies and predilections. It’s personal style, distilled—he just doesn’t call it that.

“It’s led by comfort,” he continues. “I like the feel of a Lecia camera or the way a watch feels. I don’t want to look ostentatious, but if you come close, you notice. I like how the lining feels. It’s those details that are important to me. It’s too exhausting to follow trends. And I despise billboards; I just don’t want to be billboard.”

He is, though, willing to rep for the brands he really loves, which is why we’re talking in the first place. Pitt just signed on to be the face of the latest campaign for the Italian coffeemaking experts at De’Longhi. “I am a serious, professional, committed coffee drinker,” he says. “Usually a three-cappuccino drinker in the morning, and depending on the work in the afternoon, I might switch over to an espresso.” As my nerves start rattling in sympathetic caffeine overload, he explains why he decided to work with De’Longhi. “I try to do very few of these things,” he says. “But for me, it made sense to take a ride with De’Longhi. When you have confidence in your product, you don’t have to shove it down people’s throats. You can do it nicely.”

In practice, that translates to a video directed by Damien Chazelle, featuring Pitt riding his motorcycle along the coast to pick up fresh beans before returning home and to enjoy a cappuccino. Though he’s quick to admit days like that don’t happen all that often, Pitt calls it “a little slice of life.” And true to life, instead of wearing something supplied by a costume department, he’s wearing a jacket of his own—one that happens to encapsulate Pitt’s sense of style pretty perfectly, and one that I’m pretty damn sure I’ve seen before.

“Yes, you have!” Pitt confirms. “It’s Loro Piana, it’s cashmere, and if I make it to 86, I’ll be wearing it with moth holes. It’s expensive, but if I’m able to wear it for 30 years, it won’t be in the long run. It’s so simple, so sleek. To me, it’s perfect.” That sounds like someone who’s tapped into foundational elements of personal style so deeply that he’s basically bypassed the language necessary to explain them, “non-style” guy or not. Plus, the thing is comfy. And as 57-year-old Pitt explains to me, “You get older, you get crankier, and comfort becomes more important. I think it’s as simple as that.”