Saturday, May 8, 2010

Rita Hayworth in Cover Girl (1944)


Even though Cover Girl is not an M.G.M. musical it is still very good. I am sure Gene Kelly brought a lot to it and if nothing else his “Alter Ego” dance number is a very innovative piece for its time. Rita Hayworth is almost too cute to believe. She has a free and easy way about her that makes her irresistible. I think she is just a doll.

She is wearing red-ish brown pumps, a black skirt, white button down shirt, a black and white checked jacket and a yellow vest. Here's another shot of the outfit in black and white.

Here is my interpretation:

Run-down:
Jacket: Anthropologie, Fine Service Blazer, on sale for $69.95
Shirt: Old Navy, Women’s Oxford Shirt in Bright White, $26.50
Vest: Vintage 60s Canary Yellow Knit Vest Top, $10, Etsy via seller NodtoModvintage
Brooch: Flower Button Brooch in Black, $7.50, Etsy via seller jezdesigns
Skirt: Old Navy, Women’s Cotton Twill Box Pleat Skirt, on sale for $20.99
Shoes: Madden Girl Karlla in Red, $49.95
Total: $184.89

I chose to take the shoes all the way to red instead of a muddy red-brown. These from Madden girl have chunky, pumped-up 1940s feel to them. The yellow vest was hard to find in a structured fit. Delia’s had a yellow one that was drapey and Victoria’s Secret has many choices but none in yellow. I ended up with a vintage find on Etsy which buttoned down (like Rita’s does) and is more fitted than the others I saw. I try to use these vintage finds as infrequently as possible since they aren’t mainstream, but this was the right fit and a good price.

The jacket should look familiar. I used it to recreate Lauren Bacall’s look from To Have and Have Not, which was also from 1944. I supposed checkered jackets were just “in” that year. Rita’s jacket was very long and baggy as you can see from the picture. I definitely think that a fitted blazer style makes this much more wearable for today.

Budget-wise, I kept the total down by saving money on the basic pieces in this outfit. Both the white oxford and pleated cotton skirt are from Old Navy and each are well under $30.

This look is office-appropriate and very adaptable. The same serious checkered jacket from my To Have and Have Not-inspired outfit takes on a cheeky, fun feel when combined with yellow and red. This is a great example of the two-thirds rule from Academichic, taking two-thirds of a triad on the color wheel. The red and yellow with blue (a complete triad) would be too clown-like and childish to be chic. But just the bright red and subdued yellow matched with neutrals makes this very wearable but still fun and cute.

How else could you remix a checkered jacket like this to make it have yet-another totally different look and feel?

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