Denim CultureShop Talk

Raylan Givens & His Hat

Ever since my first eye-opening encounter with actor Timothy Olyphant in the series Deadwood, where he portrays famed non-fictional 19th-century U.S. marshal Seth Bullock, I’ve come to love his acting performances, speaking voice, and style. Lately, I’ve enjoyed following him closely in the FX series Justified in which he personifies the contemporary fictional U.S. marshal Raylan Givens; a hat-wearing, tricker happy “hillbilly whisperer” from the hills of eastern Kentucky’s Harlan country. And beside his constant sarcastic tone, firm firearm skills, easy going attitude towards life, and tendency to enforce his own brand justice, mr. Givens is also an amazing and inspiring dresser, at least if you ask this denim lover.

Justified is based on Elmore Leonard’s novels Pronto and Riding the Rap, and his short story Fire in the Hole. Watch closely and you’ll notice that the rural lawmen of today still wear (at least according to the wardrobe of the series) quite a lot of denim and other garments traditionally linked with stereotypical cowboys. Especially Raylan Givens’ hat has created notable fuzz among viewers of Justified.

Personal friend of Timothy Olyphant, Walton Goggins (left above) agreed to portray the bank-robbing white supremacist Boyd Crowder as a favour to Olyphant. Originally, Crowder was supposed to died in the first episode, but in response to his great reception among viewers his character survived and has come to play a central role to the plot of Justified.

Like Givens, Crowder has a very distinctive style and always wears fully buttoned shirts and slim no-brand blue denim jeans – if you look closely in the second season you’ll notice that it’s selvage jeans.

Another inspirational character stylistically is Dickie Bennett portrayed by Jeremy Davies. Bennett is a lifelong rival of Raylan Givens and part of the Harlan weed and drugs business run by his mother, Megs Bennett. Most noteworthy is the tight jeans with huge cuffs that Dickie always wears.

Even when talking about the show on the FX TCA Winter Press Tour in January in Pasadena, Olyphant wears well worn in denim jeans. The other guys in the pictures are Graham Yost (left), show runner and executive producer, and Elmore Leonard, executive producer.

If you want to know more about the series and the characters have a look at the Justified Wiki.

Words and thoughts by Thomas Bojer.

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