Saturday, June 26, 2010

Barbara Stanwyck in Meet John Doe (1941)

Everyone knows It’s a Wonderful Life, but no one knows Meet John Doe. Meet John Doe is a Frank Capra film released in 1941, five years before Capra did It’s a Wonderful Life. In my opinion, Meet John Doe is basically a dry-run for the more well known film. It includes similar themes: sacrifice/suicide, love-thy-neighbor, Christmas, the essential goodness of mankind, looking out for the little guy, etc: in short, all of Capra’s touchstone themes.

I find Meet John Doe to be much more interesting. The other film is popular because of its family focus. This film features at its center a washed up baseball player turned hobo (Gary Cooper) and a tough newspaperwoman who is working to support her aging mother and two younger sisters (Barbara Stanwyck). This film also seems to take a much more Depression-era slant and is thus more political and some would say – socialist in its message.

As always, Barbara Stanwyck is fabulous in this film, in the very beginning we get to see her dress for work as a reporter. Her attire balances the need to be respected in a mostly male workplace and femininity. Pictured above, she wears a strong shouldered chiffon blouse with a bow, a pencil skirt with a belt and waist detail and round toe pumps (not pictured).

Here is my interpretation:
Run-Down:Blouse: 7 for All Mankind, Tie Back Blouse in Crinkle Chiffon in Yellow, on sale for $49.00
Skirt: Tulle, French Terry Tulip Skirt in Black, on sale for $15
Shoes: Wild Diva Women's Girl-352 Pump in Black, $30 via
Total: $94.00
I am excited about this look because it is not only part of my series called “Three Easy Pieces,” but it is also an office attire look for under $100. Trust me; it took some savvy virtual shopping to make those two things occur.

The blouse is a lovely pale yellow and though it does not have a bow detail on the front, it does on the back, which is a nice twist on Barbara’s look. This blouse was very much marked down and thus it looks a good deal more expensive than it is.

In order to get this to three pieces, I needed to find a skirt that had a belt incorporated into the design. I also wanted something with some detail at the waist. I saw this particular paper bag skirt (with a belt-like detail) featured on Kendi Everyday. It is marked down to only $15. Great find.

Lastly, I wanted some basic round toe pumps for this look. I had some for only $49 selected, but I realized that if I found a pair just a bit cheaper, this would be an under $100 look. So, I threw out the $49 pair and came up with these basic lovelies from a brand called Wild Diva.

I think this is a feminine and ladylike but serious office look. And this look proved to me that with some sale shopping, you can do business attire for under $100.

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