How to Dress Like Captain Malcolm Reynolds

By John / March 16, 2015
Last updated: October 1, 2016
Captain Malcolm Reynolds

Cap’n Mal is a simple, honest man who values freedom above all else. While the Captain is generally honest and adheres to a strict moral code, he also isn’t too picky about who he does business with or what that business may be for that matter.

​Dealing with such a vast array of questionable characters, conducting illicit smuggling activities, all the while keeping an eye on your crew requires a great deal of attention, so Mal obviously doesn’t have a complicated or flashy style. That would require too much effort to maintain.

​Mal’s style is a lot like him, Simple, Direct and Versatile. The Captain’s style is so simple in fact that with only a few items, you could easily throw together multiple different looks that Mal has showcased.

Clothing Purchasing Guide

We recommend:

Jacket & Shirts

Pants & Boots

Accessories

Captain Mal's style overview:

  • Coat
  • Shirt (often a darker shade, button down, long sleeve- collar shirt)
  • Trousers
  • Boots
  • Accessories (Dog Tags, Suspenders, Belt and Holster Combo, Pistol and Gloves)

​Captain Malcolm Reynolds' Coat

Captain Malcolm Reynolds

Captain Malcolm Reynolds, also known simply as Cap’n Mal, is the owner and Captain of the Firefly class space cruiser know as Serenity.

He served formerly as Platoon Sgt. for the Independent army, sometimes referred to as the “Browncoats” during the Unification war.​

Given his background as a Browncoat, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that one of the main articles of clothing that really “completes” the authentic Cap’n Mal look is in fact his Brown Coat.

Where Can I Get Captain Malcolm Reynolds' Jacket?

​I did quite a bit of research on all of The Captain's accoutrements, and discounting his Formal attire, this is the one and only jacket Captain Malcolm Reynolds ever seems to wear, and why wouldn’t it be? As I stated earlier it’s a Brown Coat and Mal was a Browncoat, so there's that.

Mal’s look is based on the classic western-cowboy archetype, so just about any cowboy duster should work as long as the collar isn’t too large, it should end just below your knee, have no shoulder flaps and of course be Brown.

It’s a simple Suede jacket, reliable in just about any circumstance you could fathom and will keep you toasty even in the cold emptiness of space. Jonathan Logan (the original prop-maker) used to sell custom replicas, and they really are worth it if it’s within your means, but here's a link for a replica of Captain Malcolm Reynolds’ jacket that I purchased and I am pleased with.

Captain Malcolm Reynolds’ Shirts​

Generally speaking, Mal’s shirts are just about the only article of clothing he ever seems to change on a regular basis. Maybe there isn’t readily available laundry service aboard the Serenity, or maybe he just has a closet full of multiples of the same pants, I can’t say for sure.

But regardless, Mal’s enthusiasm for the culture of style begins and ends with his modest collection of primarily Earth-tone, Button-down, Long-sleeve Collar shirts.

What kind of shirts does Captain Malcolm Reynolds wear?​

Captain Malcolm Reynolds Shirt

Mostly he wears plain, one colored shirts with no noticeable designs or patterns. It is worth noting that he is probably most recognized for his Red shirt as it is featured prominently in the show and in many promotional spots.

Whether you are browsing around for Malcolm Reynolds Cosplay or you just want to add a Malcolm Reynolds Outfit into your personal dress routine, undoubtedly you will find no more variety than with the colors of The Captain’s shirts.

These Dickies shirts are my personal favorites just because they are available in multiple different colors Captain Mal wore.

Captain Malcolm Reynolds' Pants​

Captain Malcolm Reynolds’ pants, much like his trusty jacket, never seem to change throughout the series. They are a basic tan or khaki colored trouser with Brown Piping down the side of each leg.

​This seems to be the most difficult item in obtaining a complete, authentic Cap’n Mal outfit, as the original hero pants worn by The Cap were apparently over 100 years old, and therefore not a style easily procured from your local or online merchant.

It is unfortunate that these can be so difficult to find. A good set of replica slacks can really make or break the look you’re going for.

I did find a couple pretty close matches, but both have their own drawbacks. Here are the links for your convenience:

If you are a woman or don’t mind a slim-fit, these pants on Amazon are pretty much a perfect match to Captain Mal’s Trousers.

If you prefer you can modify something like these Dickies pants, which is a very close match, you’ll just need to add the brown piping down the sides yourself, with some ribbon.

​Captain Malcolm Reynolds Boots

When it comes to foot fashion, Captain Malcolm Reynolds' feet are at the Pinnacle. His boots are the maximum in comfort and style for anyone aspiring to be a Bad-ass Space Cowboy with a heart of gold.

So where can I get those boots?​

The short answer is nowhere. Captain Mal’s boots (in reality at least) were not even actually boots! They were low-cut shoes with the spats glued on. So needless to say you’re not going to be finding an exact match for these, but Pirate-style or Riding boots should work just fine. make sure they are a decent height and the color brown and you should be good to go.

I think these boots I found on Amazon match Captain Mal's boots the closest.

Captain Mal’s Accessories​

Captain Malcolm Reynolds Dog Tags

The first of Captain Mal’s accessories I’d like to mention are his Dog tags, which I am excited to announce can now be purchased as officially licensed replicas!

Mal has his dogtags from his time as Platoon Sergeant with the Independent Army fighting against the Alliance. Mal’s Dog tags are an often overlooked, small yet crucial detail to bring your Captain Malcolm Reynolds Get-Up together.

Check out these official dog tag replicas on Amazon here.​

Suspenders​

Captain Mal wears a few different suspenders, but Tan or Light Brown seem to be what he is remembered for. Obviously suspenders are integral to the Captain Mal style and therefore a Malcolm Reynolds costume or outfit wouldn’t be complete without a set.

As you may have gathered by now, I have also obtained and shared a link to a few sets that I think match Captain Reynolds’ style best:

Belt-Holster Combo​

Captain Malcolm Reynolds Belt and Holster

Since Captain Mal wears suspenders constantly, it does seem slightly redundant to wear a belt also, but he only ever does so when he needs to take his pistol. Because no matter how hard he tries, things never seem to just go smoothly for the Cap and his Crew.

Needless to say this piece is also slightly essential to any Captain Mal outfit, but only if you want to have any fun. As always I have located the closest match to the good captain’s, this western belt and holster on Amazon.

Gloves​

Captain Mal’s gloves are your basic black or dark brown mens leather gloves, here are a couple pairs that I though were a great match:

Captain Malcolm Reynolds' Gun​

The pistol made famous by Captain Malcolm Reynolds, known in the Firefly universe as the “Moses Brothers Self-Defense Engine Frontier Model B”, but here on Earth we know it’s actually a Taurus Model 85 revolver Cast in Brass to look like a semi-automatic handgun.

I was actually able to find an exact replica, so feel free to check out the price on Amazon here.

Conclusion​

Dressing like Captain Malcolm Reynolds can be challenging, and when you get it right, even a little bit rewarding. Whether you just like a certain item or accessory of the captain’s or you are planning out your next convention outfit, dressing like a quick-witted, pistol slinging space cowboy translates to fun in any language.

We here at TVSG hope you have found this guide helpful and informative.

If you have any suggestions of ways we may improve the site to serve you better please comment below.​

Also keep an eye out for even more Firefly Character Style Breakdowns in the future!

About the author

John

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