Monday, May 3, 2010

Leslie Caron - An American in Paris (1951)

I love An American in Paris! More particularly I love Gene Kelly. Last night when I was watching the film I told my husband (with great seriousness) that if heaven exists, then for me it will consist of being Leslie Caron during the sultry section of the American in Paris ballet. I would just live that part over and over -- dancing with Gene forever.

But, back to reality: one of Leslie's outfits did catch my eye as something that I could adapt in my real life.
One reason this caught my eye is because I just purchased a green cardigan. I love the ladylike, gamine feel to this. Scarves are coming back in style, but I rarely see them worn the way that Leslie is wearing hers in this photo. I never wear my cardigans buttoned all the way up because they feel unfinished somehow. This is a great way to handle that problem.

Here are my finds to create this look. The entire ensemble (if you were doing this look “from scratch”) would be under $200. Most people have a black skirt and black pumps already at home, so the investment would be considerably less.
Cardigan: Gap, Pocket Cardigan in Shamrock. $39.50 on sale.
Skirt: Banana Republic, High Waisted Lightweight Wool Pencil Skirt, $80
Shoes: Nine West, Landlock in Black Multi Patent, on sale for $49
Belt: Forever21, Wide Weave Belt, $9.80
Scarf: Sheer Delights, Black and White Polka Dot Scarf, $7.99
Gloves:, Classic Crochet Lace Gloves, $12
Total: $198.29

One thing I love about this look is the high-waisted skirt with a wide belt. As a girl with short legs (26 inch inseam) I am always looking for ways to visually lengthen them. I don’t own this high-waisted Banana Republic skirt, but it is definitely on my wish list now. I have other stretch skirts that can stand in for the time being.

Another great thing about this look is that it is office appropriate. It is terribly ladylike without being fussy or too flirty. This makes it wonderfully adaptable for many venues including professional ones.

Lastly, I love the gloves! Why doesn’t anyone wear gloves anymore? Hers are leather, I believe, but I have chosen a crocheted set to make it a bit more modern feeling. I think ladylike day gloves should make a comeback. What do you think? Are they practical? Would you feel too “costumey”?


  1. Bravo! Well done. Looking forward to more. Great idea. ~Angi

  2. Thanks, Angie! I hope you will check back, as I am back to posting regularly now and I have lots of plans for new movies and new outfits!!



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