THE BULLETPROOF SUIT
Is John Wick’s Kevlar-Lined Suit the Real Deal?
Three things about John Wick: he’s good at killing, he’s bulletproof, and he has a terrific tailor. Counting corpses hasn’t been this taxing since The Expendables. Who would have guessed that the brunette half of Bill & Ted would emerge from puberty a bona fide badass?
For us, the most enjoyable scenes are from the five minute “getting ready for the party” segment. The sequence achieves the following four things: it gives us a brief respite from the initial onslaught of mortal combat; it presages the bloodbath to come; and it confirms that the film is part tongue-in-cheek, part kick-in-balls. It is also a light-hearted and well-executed homage to the Bond films. Whatever else two or more generations of fans have loved about the 007 franchise, few set-pieces brought as much giddy delight to boys and men as those in which James was acquiring his spycraft gizmos and pocket-sized ordnance from Q. (‘Q’ here stands for ‘Quartermaster,’ in case you didn’t know.) Reeve’s Q is the sommelier cum armorer played by Peter Serafinowicz — half Major Boothryod, half Monsieur Gustave H from Hotel Budapest, and wholly a character we hope to see again.
It is the re-edited tailor vignette (“Suited Up”) however that is cruising fast and furious to meme-status.
Filmies, fashionistas, and the molon labe crowd have already taken note of Wick’s bespoke zero-profile body armor. A thread on Reddit asks point-blank “How realistic is Wick’s cutting edge body armor?,” and the question has been asked on Quora too. We’re not experts in textile terminal ballistics, and therefore cannot tell you whether a suit like Wick’s would actually work; but we do know there are more than a few folks out there doing bulletproof menswear.
Carbon Fiber and Cashmere: Where to Get It
Garrison Bespoke, said to be “the #1 bespoke tailor in Toronto,” is currently offering a line of bespoke bulletproof suits crafted with carbon nanotubes technology. (If you have to ask, you can’t afford it.) Here in the lower-48, Virginia-based Aspetto sells a suit which combines “the finest suit fabrics in the world” with tech that “exceeds NIJ, DEA and FBI testing standards.” It has a IIIA rating, which means it should “defeat pistol caliber threats up to .44 magnum, and .357 SIG at 1,430FPS or lower, including all lesser pistol calibers.” If all this urban-hoplite talk is Greek to you, what it means is: these threads will take the bite out of a fast-moving projectile. Price? $5000.
If 5K is out of your price-range but you are concerned about taking a slug to the chest, there’s also the two-piece BulletBlocker suit, from a company of the same name. Also IIIA-rated, the BulletBlocker is $1200, and a bargain compared to their (IIIA) Bulletproof Armani Wall Street Suit. “Made of pure wool it features a single-breasted two-button jacket with notched lapels, straight shoulders, and rear side vents. Pants have front french pockets and rear buttoned welt pockets with a covered zip and button fastenings.” Price: $5895.
We recommend starting with BulletBlocker’s much more versatile Bulletproof Sportscoat: $1000. It comes in a lovely shade of Vicuna, which is a magnificent color for smart-casual but not the best choice for concealing bullet holes.
With Autumn on the horizon, we’re eyeing their Long TopCoat in grey: $1200. It goes with everything. And it covers one’s Wick.
More Top Armor For Your Under Armour
Jim Dobson did a beautiful expose for Forbes on high-end designer armored-apparel. Have your credit card ready. The Blaze covered Aspetto this time last year — here’s their article. Not bulletproof, Ruste adds Kevlar to your favorite jeans and leathers, upgrading off-the-rack threads for motorcyclists.