Back To The Near Research

**Update** September 9, 2013

Intro & Shirts

This past week I continued reading up on Marty’s clothing. I found enough retailers on-line to buy many of the items I would need or may want for my idea of an accidental time traveller. One of the least expensive items on the list is a button down shirt. J.C Penney‘s (a department store I do like that is noticeable during key scenes) web site didn’t have my size (one of two things that usually happen when I actually want to buy clothes) for this one shirt I like. That is a similar style to the Shah Safari worn by Michael J. Fox. The website said it was in stock at my regional mall.

Something else I wanted to do had me going to the mall. Browsing  J.C Penney I couldn’t find the shirt. I found similar shirts, one was even long sleeved. I took a look in Old Navy thinking their may be an inexpensive alternative. I did find a similar shirt that could work. I haven’t bought a shirt for myself from Old Navy in years as my usual size has been form fitting. Later that day I did find a bigger size and even the maroon t-shirt from their web site. It’s good to know I added another retailer to my list.

In the last couple of days I was searching the internets for similar shirts and styles I like. Not surprising I found similarly styled shirts on J.C Penney’s site. They’re not in stock locally. As of this week they have my size and they’re on sale.


Michael J. Fox probably wore a pair of light blue denim jeans from Guess. I usually wear Levis. I don’t normally like expensive jeans, for me all jeans will eventually need to be replaced. I may already have a pair of jeans that could work. If I need a new pair for the look that I like, that would be ok.


Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly wore white Nike Bruins with a red swoosh. Classic kicks that have been reinvented and updated in 2+ decades. Around 2007 Nike called them Cortez. More recently I’ve found on-line through sneaker retail chains the “new” Bruins. The price isn’t bad. If I’m going to buy new sneakers I would prefer to buy a pair that I would wear nearly everyday.

Denim Jacket

Most fans know Michael J. Fox wore a two toned Guess Marciano denim jacket with the sleeves rolled back to reveal the lining. The paisley (think it’s called that) lining was most likely added by the studio. Original jackets have a lining that has a Guess stencil logo. I’ve even seen jackets on-line that have a sports image (football?) inside. It isn’t a surprise the studio added a lining as the Guess tag on the front pocket and any label Marty wore was either removed or never shown. A denim jacket I’d want to buy will have a classic blue denim feel to it.


I don’t know if this was more of an ’80s trend, Marty wore three lapel/jacket pins. I sorta remember wearing pins on my jackets as a kid. I think just about everyone knows Marty wore a circular “Art In Revolution” pin. What does it really mean? Most don’t know. I could picture Marty buying that pin at the Twin Pine Mall. Marty (and Michael J. Fox) played guitar, Marty is an artist with a Pinhead band. They were probably anti-establishment. Even though their only hit in the making was Power Of Love. Outside of Hill Valley, you use to be able to buy these reproduction pins from I don’t currently know of any sites selling them. The paper prop file is available for free to make your own.

Marty’s second pin is a bass guitar pin. A black and gold precision bass to be exact. I have never learned to play a guitar, it was only as an adult I should have learned as a kid, instead of the beginnings of a saxophone. I don’t know what I was thinking. Long before adulthood drums is where it’s at. Well at least I never wanted to be a “one man band.” There are web sites that sell music pins. Last week I found one that sells the precision bass. As I’m going for my own style if I were to buy a guitar pin I could go with a different one.

Marty’s third pin is an odd one in the 21st Century. It is this boomerang shape pin that hasn’t been identified. I know other fans have made their own. My theory is, maybe its a type of guitar pick. Perhaps it isn’t music related at all. Either way I could follow up with my theory. If I get the other pins and want to have a third pin I could always add whatever I like. As long as it doesn’t look like I worked at a Fridays in the ’90s. :p

“Puffy” Vest

There has been a debate among fans if the vest Michael J. Fox wore was orange or red. It’s not a bright orange and it isn’t red. If I can explain this right, its more of a darker red/orange. The real vest was made by a California based outdoor company known as Class-V. Prior to a fan (taxman73) finding an exact vest at a vintage store it was thought the vest might have been from The North Face. Years ago I would have bought a darker red. Based on what can currently be purchased I like a vest from Land’s End that’s more of a copper/bronze color. I think it’ll work for my needs.

Mirrored Sunglasses

According to Bob Gale (co-creator/writer of BTTF) Michael J. Fox wore a pair of mirrored sunglasses as a promotional deal with the sunglass company. Upon closer inspection fans on the Replica Prop Forum discovered the glasses were from Zeiss, a German company. Because the sunglasses are mirrored it added difficulty with filming. Michael J. Fox wore the glasses on the poster art, during the trailer, and as part of the opening scene at Doc’s garage home. Since they were seen briefly in the movie and I’m not a stickler for accuracy I found a pair of mirror aviators I like. They’re also inexpensive. I will probably order a pair, hopefully they’ll be comfortable to wear.

Classic Digital Watch

Should I decide to get the digital watch, Casio still sells the CA53W which is the watch Michael J. Fox wore in BTTF II. He wore an earlier model which was most likely readily available during filming of Back To The Future. I really wouldn’t want a cassette player. They can still be purchased on-line and from chain pharmacy stores. If I want to go the extra mile I still have my Sony Compact Disc Walkman. The headphones are perished, if I wanted I could buy a pair without breaking the bank.

’80s Wallet

I’ve had an ’80s style red velcro wallet since around 2007. Although we’re never really shown what other items “Marty” carried in his wallet, fans have created paper props to put in the wallet. It’s a fun idea that I like. When the time comes, I’d print most of these to include. Of course the infamous “Save The Clock Tower” flyer.


I’m nerdy enough not only to do that, to take it to the next level. Michael J. Fox had his maroon colored Eastpak back pack (or book bag) with him from before the start of the school day until he got home in the evening. In my pre-college school years I had JansSport book bags. They were probably pretty basic then.

The only backpack I have today was one we earned this century for fundraising. It wouldn’t quite work for a Marty costume. I may buy a new one for the look and function in my life.


Before Marty changed his family’s destiny, he could only dream of having his own sweet Toyota 4×4. As such he rode his Valterra skateboard through Hill Valley, even to the Twin Pine Mall at 1:15 AM. I thought I’d at least browse modern day skateboards. I was only beginning to learn how to ride around 11 when my skateboard was stolen from my then upstairs back porch. I don’t know if it was because of that one event, I mostly rode my new bike and a scooter that reminded me of a hoverboard with handles. Except of course for the two wheels. And it couldn’t fly.

As a creative person who has been into the arts I can appreciate the artwork that’s expressed on skateboard decks. Even if I don’t do that, I have a hoverboard replica a fan made long before Mattel officially sold their version last year.

Putting a thorough costume together that I would wear as part of my wardrobe will take time. If if I’m happy with my choices it should be satisfying and worth it. As I acquire the clothes and these items I will continue posting about it.


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