Sunday, May 9, 2010

Gene Kelly in Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

So, I had delusions of grandeur that I was going to do a fantastic flapper outfit inspired by Singin' in the Rain. But, alas, I could not find an outfit that would be applicable for everyday life. Furthermore, designers are not really creating drop-waisted dresses these days. Costumes were pretty much all that was available.

Stroke of brilliance: I would do an outfit from Singin’ in the Rain but it would be one of Gene Kelly’s! His clothes from the tap number “Moses Supposes” are totally adaptable for women! (Not to mention this is one of the greatest tap numbers EVER put on film.)

Here is my interpretation for women:
Rain Jacket: Ellen Tracy via Nordstrom Yellow Hooded Trench, on sale for $79.90
Shirt: Gap, White Stretch Fitted Shirt, on sale for $35
Sweater: Target, Merona Women’s V-Neck Cable Sweater in Zen Red, on sale for $8.75
Pants: Shape fx, Hip Balancing Suit Trouser in Gray, on sale for $19
Shoes:, Women’s Mary Jane Spectator Pumps/Shoes Black and White, on sale for $33.66
Total: $176.31

I recreated the outfit pretty faithfully and re-used the pants from the Cyd Charisse Take 2 Bandwagon post. I also "pumped up" the spectator shoe to a spectator-inspired Mary Jane pump. The last adaptation I made was to add a yellow rain jacket as a fun homage to the movie overall. (I also partially got this yellow and red idea from my previous post on Rita Hayworth from Cover Girl.) This is terrifically affordable for a heavily layered look and very office appropriate.

Then my husband challenged me to do the same outfit for men. This was tougher as I am not as familiar with the sources and I find menswear to be more expensive, especially shoes. Here is what I came up with:
Rain Jacket: LL Bean, Men’s Solar Yellow Stowaway Rain Jacket with Gore-Tex, $159
Shirt: Old Navy, Men’s Oxford Shirt, on sale for $22
Sweater: Land’s End, Men’s Regular Supima Cotton V-Neck Sweater in Chili Pepper Heather, on sale for $14.99
Pants: Old Navy, Men’s Distressed Regular Fit Khakis in Tea Leaf, on sale for $16.99
Shoes:, Aris Allen Men’s Black and White Spectator Wingtips, $74.95
Total: $287.93

The only place to find a yellow rain jacket that looks appropriate for daily wear was LL Bean and this was the least expensive one available ($159). Since this was so pricey (almost as expensive as the entire women’s version of this outfit) I tried to keep the other pieces very inexpensive. By utilizing my go-to cheap spot for basics, Old Navy, I was able to keep the other central pieces to about $54.

The shoes were a problem. A good pair of men’s spectators will run you almost $300. They were central to keeping the look from being ordinary. I finally found a pair of men’s “almost spectators” at a dance store online for $74.95. For the price, they suffice to give the outfit the something special it needs.
Here are both looks layered up to give you an idea of the effect:

I love the idea that Old Hollywood inspiration doesn’t only have to come only from actresses. I think this could really broaden the scope of this blog. Incidentally, I think I might try to do Donald O'Connor's outfit too, which is basically the same except different colors and add a tie. Perhaps a scarf would achieve the same look but soften it for women. What do you think?
I also really enjoyed this challenge because doing my first men’s outfit was certainly a different experience. I will definitely do it again sometime and see if I can bring the price down significantly.

Before I go, I want to show everyone two pairs of spectator pumps that I really wanted for this post. Oh my!! They both make my heart go pitter-patter.

(Top) Kate Spade, Rita in White and Black Patent via Piperlime, $335
(Bottom) Ralph Lauren Collection, Arina Spectator T-Strap Pumps via Saks Fifth Avenue, $595


  1. I LOVE this blog. Please do more of these!

  2. Thank you so much, A. Scheide! I am back to posting and there will be alot more content over the next few weeks. Please keep checking back! I have some big plans for new content.



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