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Broadway’s ‘Back to the Future’ star says that his closet is 85% used clothing — here’s why


His clothes take him back in time.

Hugh Coles, who plays George McFly in Broadway’s “Back to the Future,” once owned a vintage shop in his native England and said about 85% of his closet is filled with used clothing.

“I made a conscious choice that I won’t buy anything new. All the clothes you need already exist, apart from underpants and socks and athletic gear if you want it,” he said.

“For me, it’s that moment of going, ‘You picked this out and now I’m picking it out.’ It’s an artistic exchange.”

Coles, 30, who moved to Prospect Heights in May to begin rehearsals for his Broadway debut, took The Post on a thrift store shopping trip in Midtown ahead of the show’s Aug. 3 opening at the Winter Garden Theatre.

Hugh Coles, Back to the Future George Broadway
Coles, posing at the first stop, Vintage on 46th, wore a vintage “Rocky IV” t-shirt he got from “Back to the Future’s” historian, Michael Klastorin.
Aristide Economopoulos

Donning a 1985 “Rocky IV” T-shirt gifted to him by the show’s historian that sells for $800 online, Coles highlighted two of his favorite spots — PDL Vintage on West 49th Street and Vintage on 46th.

The key to shopping for vintage tees — like the 1978 Steely Dan shirt he had bought at L Train Vintage in Brooklyn the day prior for $25 that Coles estimates is actually worth $60 to $120 — is to look for single-stitched seams.

“Post NAFTA, they outsourced stitching of clothes to Jamaica and Honduras and places like that and it was the end of American screen printing,” he said. “So single stitch, that would be pre-’95, ’96, after that, it would be double stitched.”

Hugh Coles
The Prospect Heights resident also stopped at PDL Vintage on West 49th Street.
Aristide Economopoulos

hugh coles
The British actor, far right, is making his Broadway debut in “Back to the Future.”
Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman

The outfits he wears in his role of George, who was played by Crispin Glover in the 1985 film, are historically accurate, Coles said.

“When I first put it on, it was very important to me that it was as close as you can get to the film and it’s bang on, every single costume,” said Coles, whose character is the father to Marty, who was played by Michael J. Fox in the movie.

The “Back to the Future” costume department actually bought an item from his London store for one of its ensemble members to wear on stage: a $50 Chicago Bears T-shirt from 1985.

The cast of "Back to the Future."
The cast of “Back to the Future.”
Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman

American sports clothing, such as 1990s NFL, MLB, NHL and NBA jerseys, t-shirts, jackets, sweats and hats, were the mainstay of his shop, Coles said.

“We specialized in 1990s Starter Jackets, Champion jerseys, Nike, Reebok, Logo Athletic. My gateway drug into vintage was the jerseys,” he said.


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