Style Icon: Dean Martin

For us, a style icon is someone who goes beyond what it means to dress well and represents sophistication, calm, class and cool. This doesn’t stop at what you wear but is about the energy and persona of the icon. Dean Martin is also known as the King of Cool and for good reason. He was a good looking, well-dressed, successful man who spent more time on the golf course than on the set of any of his projects!

He got his big break with Martin and Lewis when he teamed up with Jerry Lewis to create a musical comedy show. Martin was a great entertainer and went on to produce and act in movies, record songs and have his own hit TV show, The Dean Martin Show. He is probably most well-known for his friends, the other members of the infamous Rat Pack which included Martin, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford.

They were the coolest kids on the block, known as much for their fashion and style as for their talent and humour. Dean Martin was a style icon for more than just his fashion and we take a walk down memory lane to recall some of his most stylish moments.

Dean Martin lived in a time where every night was an occasion. Men and women were always dressed to the nines yet he somehow managed to retain his own signature style. He was always clean shaven with neat hair and loved wearing a red handkerchief. His suits were always cut close to his body and complimented by a cigarette in one hand and drink in another. Interestingly, Dean Martin enjoyed being viewed as a heavy drinker and would make people laugh with his drunken antics though it seems he would only pretend to be very drunk. His friend and long-time producer Greg Garrison once said that he would always be holding a glass of apple juice, not alcohol!

As part of the Rat Pack, Dean Martin and his gang were strong proponents of equality for African Americans and would never perform anywhere their friend, Sammy Davis Jr. wasn’t allowed to perform. He was a loyal and generous friend who never forgot a hand that helped him.

FILE PHOTO: An undated promotional photo of the ”Rat Pack”, (from left)Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop. (photo by Newsmakers)

What made Martin so memorable was his way of doing things. He came from nothing, spoke only Italian until the age of five, dropped out of high school and worked odd jobs including being a boxer, a bootlegger and blackjack dealer. Despite all his hardships, Dean Martin emerged as one of the 20th centuries most loved and remembered entertainers who gave people music, comedy and style.


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