Carhartt duck canvas “Detroit” jacket
For a former Disney star, Austin Butler exudes a preternatural sense of cool. (When you’re playing The King, it sort of comes with the territory.) So when we tapped the Elvis actor to wax eloquent on the everyday objects that spark the most joy in his life, we had high expectations. And in the latest episode of GQ’s 10 Essentials, the Orange County native didn’t disappoint.
Butler’s picks—a journal for cataloging his thoughts (and jotting down the occasional poem); a vintage Leica for capturing the world around him—reflect his journey from wide-eyed teenage heartthrob to Hollywood fixture on the precipice of household name status, each detailed in a mellifluous drawl that puts Terry Gross’ on-air purr to shame. (Listening to this dude describe his favorite stuff could be an entire genre of ASMR unto itself.)
But he also makes time to namedrop a few surprisingly everyman picks, including one thoroughly worn-in Detroit jacket from Carhartt, the first name in brawny workwear. Cut from the brand’s signature ultra-sturdy duck canvas, it remains a best-seller 75 years after its debut, bolstered by cosigns from the double-knee set and, apparently, one very famous Elvis impersonator.
Butler bought his at a vintage spot in Brooklyn, and sheepishly professes to wearing it every day–even in the summer!—for a full year afterwards. (Forget the Method: that’s exactly the kind of commitment we can really get behind.) “As they get worn in, they just feel better and better,” he says, fondly thumbing the jacket’s faded corduroy collar. If that particular soundbite sounds eerily familiar, it’s because we’ve been trumpeting a similar line for years. So if you didn’t take our word for it then, take it from Butler today. Buy one now and you can still eke out a few solid weeks of wear before the weather turns prohibitively swampy—but don’t be surprised if you find yourself refusing to take it off, July heat be damned.
Oh, and Austin: if the whole acting thing doesn’t work out, there’s a gig on the GQ team with your name on it. We’ve heard all we need. Consider the job yours.