Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Gene Kelly in Anchors Aweigh (1945)


The 1930s, 1940s and 1950s abound with Navy movies. Off the top of my head, I know of Anchors Aweigh, On the Town, Hit the Deck, In the Navy, Follow the Fleet, and Here Come the Waves. Although there are lots of movies about the Army too, I feel there is a special kind of fascination with the Navy in film. I think it is the uniforms!

In fact, Gene Kelly actually served in the Navy during World War II. Anchors Aweigh and On the Town are two of his best films and he plays a sailor in both. Incidentally, Frank Sinatra is his co-star in both of these films.

I have chosen Anchors Aweigh to select an outfit from because this has Gene’s famous dancing routine with Jerry the Mouse (of Tom and Jerry fame). Here is the original. And for those of you that like the show Family Guy, here is an adaptation with Stewie!

In this number Gene has on a sailor style costume, but it is more of a French sailor style. (Gene Kelly was a known Francophile; he was made a Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor in 1960.) This costume is a blue and white striped top with white pants and shoes and a white beret with a red pom-pom on the top. I thought this was adaptable enough to work as a women’s outfit today.

Here is my interpretation:
Run-Down:
Shirt: The Original Breton Shirt Company, Picasso Shirt in White/Navy, $55.31 (converted from 37.95 GBP)
Pants: Dillard’s Chelsea & Violet Linen Sailor Pants, on sale for $46.80
Shoes: Bella Vita Women’s Breeze Pump in White, $49.47 via Endless.com
Hat: Forever 21, White Pointelle Crochet Beret, $6.80
Pin: Artemicinc.com/Roses Silk Flower Pin 3 inches by 3 inches in American Beauty $15.50
Total: $173.88

I have been enamored with Breton sailor shirts for a while. My husband found this website which makes the authentic ones available to the public. For this outfit I liked the Picasso shirt because it was true blue and white rather than cream. I lucked out and found this great linen sailor pants on sale. I think these are so lux and chic. I wanted white shoes that weren’t quite sandals or espadrilles but had a breezy feel to them. This perforated pump works great with this ensemble. I thought taking the hat too literally would be a mistake and look like a costume, so I went with a crochet beret and instead of a red pom-pom on the hat; I put a red rose pin to be worn on the shirt as a color accent. (This is the same pin from my Nanette Fabray Bandwagon post!)
Here is everything layered:





I think this outfit is very versatile. You could wear this to many different places, for many occasions. It is office appropriate but casual enough to wear running errands or shopping. The only caveat would be that the white pants could get dirty easily, so perhaps wearing them for an Italian dinner is out.

While I was researching this and my recent post on little girl classics, I found a good deal of interesting and wearable sailor-inspired items. This is a fashion theme that pops up in a lot of old movies, so I decided to share a few more of these sailor items here. I absolutely love the dresses from Modcloth. So cute!!


Retro Theme: Sailor InspiredStarboard Bow Dress, $64.99 via Modcloth
Asos.com, Hello Sailor Vest, $27.05
Cute-opher Columbus Dress, $92.99 via Modcloth
Old Navy, Women’s Mid Rise Cuffed Sailor Pants in Soba Noodle, $24.99
Land’s End Canvas, Women’s Boatneck Sailor Tee, $19.50

 

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