The sweatshirt from The Great Escape and the jacket from Bullitt are among the most iconic, but Steve McQueen's most consistent item of clothing was his brown suede boots.
California Coast (1964) from the book Steve McQueen: Photographs by William Claxton
You can see McQueen in brown suede boots in numerous photographs. Note the dark top and light trouser combination in the images above, as well as the incredible cardigan. Steve McQueen Style will warm to both themes later.
You see McQueen in brown suede boots on film, too.
The Thomas Crown Affair (1968)
Note again that dark top and light trouser combination (above).
The Blob (1958)
The brown suede was there, although his overall sense of style was less defined back in the days of The Blob.
He even appears, later in his career, to sneak a pair onto Devil's Island.
The most famous instance of Steve with that type of boot, however, is Bullitt.
Steve McQueen in his role as Police Lieutenant Frank Bullitt (1968) from the book Unforgettable Steve McQueen, edited by Henri Suzeau
McQueen was known to wear loafers by the Italian company Tod's. He advertised them. What's more, some of the Bullitt posters talk about "Italian shoes".
This has led people to speculate the boots in Bullitt are Tod's. However, apparently they're by English company Sanders & Sanders. [Update: apparently they're by English company Hutton! See Interim Post #2.]
What's more, Sanders still makes the model. They're difficult to get hold of in the UK, though. Many of the best English manufacturers concentrate on export - especially to Japan - rather than the domestic market, so you might fair better elsewhere. The Manchester and online menswear shop Oi Polloi, at the time of writing, sells the navy version for £135. Barley Harvest Season, a Japanese shop, currently sells a couple of small sizes of brown for ¥36,750/£270. Good luck.
Sanders & Sanders playboy lo chukka boot
The finest English footwear tends to come from Northamptonshire. Sanders & Sanders is no exception, and neither is George Cox, which makes a chukka similar enough that some believe it's the actual Bullitt boot. Camden's British Boot Company sells them for £130 (click for the online shop and search "george cox chukka").
George Cox brown suede chukka
Tod's ankle boot is an attractive alternative. Try their Bond Street boutique if you're interested.
Tod's ankle boot
Popularity has pushed up the price of the humble yet classic Clarks desert boot. £69 is cheap compared to Tod's, though, and it's an appealing option regardless.
Clarks suede desert boot (colour is "cola")
The Daniel Craig incarnation of James Bond is influenced a good deal by Sean Connery, but more so by Steve McQueen.
Quantum Of Solace (2008)
Note again the dark top and light trouser combination, as well as the incredible cardigan. Craig's boots are by Church, another manufacturer from Northamptonshire.
Church Ryder III
They're Church's Ryder III model, from the country collection, £300 and an excellent choice.
Chukka. Desert boot. What is the difference between desert boots and chukkas? Desert boots are supposedly looser at the ankle and have a crepe sole. However, as you can see from the suggestions, here in reality the terms are essentially interchangeable.
The moral anyway, in case you missed it, is wear a pair of suede desert or chukka boots in a mid or dark brown.
Next week: Walk A Mile In His Boots