Friday, June 4, 2010

Fred Astaire in Royal Wedding (1951)

Royal Wedding is a movie that is not very interesting in and of itself but has some of the finest musical numbers of the 1950s. The most famous one is the one where Fred Astaire dances on the ceiling. But there are other great ones in this including: “How Could You Believe Me When I Said I Love You (When You Know I’ve Been a Liar All My Life” and “I Left My Hat in Haiti,” and the number where Fred dances with a hat-rack. All of them are amazing!

This movie actual has several inspiring costumes in it and the one that stuck out to me most was actually one of Fred Astaire’s. In my earlier post based on Singin’ in the Rain, I took on a men’s outfit and not only created a contemporary look for men but also for women. I challenge myself to do it again and get more comfortable with budgeting for menswear. This easy-going outfit that Fred wears to rehearsal in the film seem the perfect opportunity to tackle this again.

To start off, here is my women’s interpretation:

Women’s Run-down:
Shirt: Forever 21 Striped Woven Shirt, $17.80
Sweater: J. Crew, Painter Cardigan in Naples Yellow, $68
Pants: Old Navy, Ultra Flare Women’s Perfect Khaki in Black Jack on sale for $24.99
Scarf: Land’s End Canvas, Scarf in Rich Red Sailboats, $24.50
Shoes: Steven by Steven Madden, Shirley Pointed Toe Loafer on sale for $65 via
Total: $200.29

I love the color combos in this look, yellow, red and blue with a black background. Even though this does primary colors, it doesn’t seem cartoonish or clown-like to me. I found a lovely yellow cardigan to go with the basic blue oxford and an amazing red scarf to stand in for Fred’s untied bow tie.

The basics were easy to find. Easy-going, comfy wide leg black pants: I picked a chino and a blue oxford shirt. You cannot see in the picture but Fred has on black pants here and though you do not see his shoes, I imagine that he is wearing loafers. It just feels right for this outfit and the context in the movie. I selected a pointed toe loafers to elevate this look to something that was suitable for work in a sophisticated business casual way.

This look almost got out of control (budget-wise) because of the high cost of the cardigan but I really wanted something that was the right color of yellow and did not look like it could part of a twinset. I wanted it to stand on its own. This one from J. Crew was right on the money. By saving on the more basic pieces, I came in only 29 cents over budget.

Here is my interpretation for men:
Men’s Run-down:
Shirt: Old Navy Men’s Oxford Shirt in Cabana Blue, $24.50
Sweater: Topman, Men’s Yellow Skinny Placket Cardigan, on sale for $15
Pants: Old Navy Men’s Everyday Loose Fit Khaki in Black, $29.50
Tie: Dillard’s Daniel Cremieux “Natte” Bow Tie in Red, $39.50
Shoes: Skecher’s Men’s Nixon Penny Loafer on sale for $44.96 via
Total: $153.46

For the men’s version, I really lucked out. The sweater pretty much fell into my lap and was on sale for $15! Perfect! I got the pants and shirt at Old Navy (the best place for inexpensive basics) and I lucked out on a great comfy looking penny loafer by Skecher’s. All that was left was a basic red bow tie, which was easy to locate.
Here are both looks layered:

I am very proud that this look came in nearly $50 under budget for the men's outfit. I am finding that menswear can be very expensive, particularly when you get into suiting, fancy shoes or weather resistant apparel. But, business casual for men can be budget-friendly and snappy looking if you have the right inspiration and you know where to look.

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