The vacation look that's too good to stay in Vegas

Hunter S. Thompson's uniform is the ultimate summer look

Photographs: Getty

Along with his contributions to literature and prolific substance abuse, Hunter S. Thompson will be remembered for the bold style choices he made. As much an exercise in branding as wardrobe, it was his bucket hats, printed shirts, short-shorts and Chucks, often described as tourist style, which allowed him to ride with the Hells Angels, ride in the back of a presidential car and, yes, take Vegas for a ride.

So when Johnny Depp was cast to play the author's alias, Raoul Duke, in the film adaptation of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Thompson's seminal classic, part of his shadowing the author included riffling through the icon's gear and choosing pieces that became the actual wardrobe for the film.

Hunter S. Thompson style

Look around and the pros have gone weird where Alessandro Michelle puts tigers on gowns, Vetements does extreme layering and Thompson's gonzo take on sports utility is borrowed by Balenciaga. While Thompson's penchant for the practical was obvious – flak jackets, sunglasses with a built in cigarette holder, layering – it was how he threw his looks together without much care that makes this such great holiday wear. 

This look is about being the polar opposite of whoever you are in the office, so remember Thompson's best trick was doing whatever the hell he wanted to, which made him a style icon in the process.

If you'd like to find yourself in some sort of misadventure this summer, perhaps you should consider the below getup and add-to-cart?

Printed Shirts

We won't lie, having referred to this shirt as everything from Hawaiian to resort to vacation, Acapulco is new. But this is what Duke's attorney lists at the beginning of the film as an essential for their trip, and we think that there's no better way for the man confined to bland button downs and shirtsleeves to show he's on holiday than a loosely fitting, extremely fun shirt. The lightweight nature of these allows you to stuff several into a carry-on, the prints hide booze and blood stains and when not buttoned up they're the perfect thing to throw on with a swimsuit.


Seen mainly in a bucket hat, Thompson is also seen in the type of kitschy visor you'll be able to pick up at any seaside gift shop. As much about function as it is fashion, the point is to keep your bald spot out of the sun, your eyes hidden and your face in the shade.


Not only do sunglasses have the power to change how people perceive you, tinted lenses will also change the way you see the world. Like the hat, these are about function and while a pair of classic Ray Ban aviators with a semi-opaque tint will always look stylish, they're also the best defence against hangovers. (And if you're doing your holiday right you'll have plenty.)


On occasion Thompson wears a pair of country club-esque slacks, but for the most part he's in shorts. Terminally short shorts. Free your knees, feel the sea-breeze and spend your days in the type of thing you can't wear to the office.


Understated and classic, a pair of Chuck lows in white are not only the comfiest plimsoles you can slip into poolside, they're also dressy enough to not have people push their breakfast buffet in the same way they would if you were to show up in a pair of flip flops. Seriously. How are toes not considered private parts? Dangling there for all to see and drawing our gaze like a rubberneckers to a car crash. Anyway, Thompson wore his Chucks daily, usually with a pair of white socks pulled up high. And despite the general grubbiness of the rest of his look, his always seemed to be a pristine white. 


Because you're going to need something to throw all of this, some sneaker cleaner, a coupla quarts of Wild Turkey and a galaxy of multi-coloured uppers, downers, screamers and laughers into. 

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