All images via Getty

7 of Robin Williams' most iconic outfits

The late legend of comedy had an unorthodox personal and red carpet style.

by Douglas Greenwood
05 August 2022, 7:00am

All images via Getty

For nearly five decades, Robin Williams was America’s king of comedy. Everyone has their own most memorable movie of his. For some it’s Good Will Hunting; to others it’s Mrs Doubtfire. But we all know the real legends come to the conclusion that his finest work is, without a shadow of a doubt, Flubber. And that’s not just because the film slaps, but because its lead star rocked up to the premiere wearing an unfathomably and unnecessarily cool Issey Miyake fashion look.

You see, while his position as a Hollywood funnyman might feel like a dealbreaker when set against his ability to dress himself, he’s consistently proved the rule wrong. Up until his death in 2014, he continued to be both hilarious and stylish, bringing Jean Paul Gaultier to the runways and BAPE into his personal wardrobe. Here are the iconic outfits of his that live in our mind rent free.

Robin Williams in a tight fitting multi-coloured top and beige trousers in a house holding a magazine and winking
Photo by Art Zelin/Getty Images

In New York, circa 1970

Before he became a beloved name in 90s family movies, Robin Williams was a stand-up comic known for his outlandish sense of humour. His outfits in the 70s reflected that zany character, frequently resembling a kid’s entertainer while delivering zingy adult comedy. Like this outfit: a skin-tight long sleeve t-shirt with multicoloured patterns. It’s giving clowncore.

Robin Williams in rainbow suspenders and a face printed t-shirt performing on stage at the Roxy Theatre in 1979
Photo by Saxon/Images Press/Getty Images

Performing at the Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood, 1979

In the late 70s, Robin’s fame as a comic skyrocketed, with his peers -- the likes of David Letterman -- literally fearing for their careers as a consequence. He staged an HBO comedy special, Off The Wall, but as notable as the comedy was the outlandish look he wore throughout it. As he reeled off gags, Robin held his trousers up with rainbow suspenders, peppered with pins of flowers, whales and sheriff badges. The t-shirt, too, was interesting: a tight-fitting number with a black ribbed neckline and sleeves framing the blown up, porcelain-like face of a woman printed on the front. Who is she? What's her story?  

Robin Williams in a blue and purple beret and a blue bomber jacket with pins on it at the Roxy in 1979
Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

At The Roxy in Holywood, 1979

A year after his HBO special, Robin had grown accustomed to rocking up to the opening of friend’s major events, so much so that the idea of ‘dressing up’ was thrown out the window. Instead, his red carpet looks were suitably low key. Like this one, which he wore to the first night of Martin Mull’s comedy show at the Roxy: a navy bomber jacket -- again peppered with pins -- and a plum and navy beret. 

Robin Williams in a Jean Paul Gaultier trompe l’oeil shirt at a party in 1996

At a party, 1996

The same year he collaborated with Francis Ford Coppola and Jennifer Lopez (you read that right) on the movie Jack, Robin Williams made a miraculous red carpet statement by rocking up to an event wearing this iconic number by Jean Paul Gaultier. A trompe l’oeil print shirt, emblazoned with the print of a man’s muscular chest, it leaned into the playful parts of Robin’s character.

Robin Williams wearing Issey Miyake at the Flubber premiere in 1997
Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

At the ‘Flubber’ premiere, 1997

Yep, the pièce de résistance in the Robin Williams wardrobe journey. In 1997, after years of leaning into the playful parts of his style, Robin went full hypebeast in this AW96 Issey Miyake jacket, part of a collection of military-style looks, with a concealed hood, cargo pockets and a back pouch large enough to store a notebook. The jacket is now considered a key part of fashion history, with designers often emulating Miyake’s immaculate creation. Fancy copping one for yourself? Start saving: it goes for $5000, if not more, on Grailed.

Robin Williams wearing BAPE in Soho in London in 2002
Photo by Mark Mainz/Getty Images

In Soho, London, 2002

Today, A Bathing Ape is one of the most hyped brands in the world, in part due to the 2010s streetwear boom, but most significantly thanks to the rise of its founder Nigo, who’s since ascended to the high ranks of Kenzo. But back in 2002, BAPE was definitely an IYKYK thing, and celebrities -- never mind comedians -- seldom wore it. Of course, being someone who knows his fashion history, it makes perfect sense that Robin would be attuned to their stuff: spotted on the streets of Manhattan, he was pictured wearing a BAPE short-sleeve camo shirt and a colourway of Nike Viotech Dunks that had, at that point, only been available for sale in Japan. 

Robin Williams wearing the ​​J-16 jacket from Acronym with North Face in 2009
Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images

In Manhattan, New York, 2009

It’s funny, so many of the techwear boys of the early 2020s would have been raised watching the movies of Robin Williams as kids. Little did they know that the man himself was donning that stuff a decade before they were. In 2009, Robin was wrapped up for winter in New York in the ​​J-16 jacket from Acronym when a paparazzi caught him, paired with The North Face gloves, a beanie and wrap-around shades.

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