Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Lauren Bacall in To Have and Have Not (1944)

So, my husband said that I should steer away from musicals for a bit and broaden the scope of the blog. I agree. I also noticed that I was concentrating a bit heavily on the 1950s and wanted to do something a bit older. Thus, I have selected Lauren Bacall’s first movie role, To Have and Have Not.

Lauren Bacall only wears a couple of outfits in this film and this is my favorite one. It immediately brought to mind a jacket I saw on Anthropologie recently and I knew I could do something with this.

Here is my interpretation (Click on the Flickr Photostream for a larger version):

Jacket: Anthropologie, Fine Service Blazer, on sale for $69.95
Skirt: Banana Republic, High Waisted Lightweight Wool Pencil Skirt, (same skirt from Leslie Caron post) now on sale for $69.99)
Shoes: Nine West, Hambert Peep-Toe Pumps in Black Leather, on sale for $49.99
Hat: Forever21, Chic Wool Cloche, $13.80
Bag: Houndstooth Checkered and Red (Interior) Clutch Purse, from Etsy seller coryrenee for $21
Total: $224.73

However, I was a bit worried because Bacall's outfit is a lot of houndstooth/checkered. Her jacket, skirt and even her bag are houndstooth! So, I quickly made the decision to go with a black skirt to tone it down a bit. I have selected the same skirt from my first post on Leslie Caron for the same reasons and bonus – it is now on sale at Banana Republic. (The jacket from Anthropologie is also on sale. It was regularly $118 and now only $69.95.)

I did select a houndstooth bag which has a red satin lining when opened. This gives you the same heavily patterned feeling of Bacall’s ensemble without overdoing it. You can just barely see in the picture that she has on simple black peep-toe shoes. This was easy because this shoe is so classic, it hasn’t gone away. These from Nine West are on sale now for $49.99.

This is altogether a very simple outfit. Not many accessories or fussiness. I did notice that Bacall is carrying a black hat throughout the film. She never puts it on but she has it in her hand. You cannot really tell what kind of hat it is but I decided to select a cloche hat to go with this. From what research I did on hats today, probably no one was still wearing cloche hats in 1944 (they were out of style by the mid 1930s) but I have always loved the idea of this kind of hat. The point is not to be completely historically accurate but to capture a visually cohensive retro feel that doesn’t make you look like you are wearing a costume. Based on that criteria, I think this hat works and is super-cute! Not to mention it is only $13.80! I don’t believe in paying a lot for accessories unless they are super-versatile. A cloche hat (in this day and age) should be very cheap in order to make it practical.

My favorite thing about this outfit is that it could reasonably be worn to a job interview. You might leave the hat at home and select closed-toe shoes instead of peep-toe, but otherwise it is very presentable and stylish. Bacall did not but I might throw on a string of pearls with this for a job interview. If I was wearing it for another occasion, I might trade out the black shoes for red ones or carry a pink bag. I was also thinking that the red flower pin from the last post would look good on the cloche hat. Tres chic! This is the kind of blank canvas outfit that is not boring on its own but lots can be done with it. What would you do with this as your starting point?

And all of the major pieces were on sale. For high-quality suit piece such as these, the prices are great. Minus the purse and hat, this comes in at only $189.93, which for a complete suit with shoes is fantastic!


  1. What a great combination of pieces! I was actually doing a little search on myself when I came across your blog. Now I am addicted! Keep up the super stylish take on fashion and you will create a fantastic following!

  2. Thanks so much, cory renee! I am happy to use Etsy pieces whenever I find them. I am so glad you like the blog. Tell your friends.



Related Posts with Thumbnails