Monday, June 14, 2010

Ginger Rogers in Swing Time (1936)

The text on the back of the DVD case for Swing Time says that Astaire and Rogers rehearsed for over 350 hours for this film. That’s almost 9 weeks at full time 40 hours per week. Wow! That’s really a lot of intense dancing. But, it certainly did pay off with this one. It is a lovely film, gorgeous in silvery black and white and it has some of the best dance numbers ever in it. The songs are great as well including the classic “The Way You Look Tonight” and other great ones such as “A Fine Romance,” “Pick Yourself Up,” and “Never Gonna Dance.”

Gingers Rogers is luminous in this film. She is so adorable. She to be a 1930s version of Meg Ryan in her hey-day (or more accurately Meg Ryan seems to have been channeling Ginger Rogers.) Her first look in this film intrigued me. It was a plaid cape with a skirt, oxford shirt and men’s style tie.

Here is my interpretation:

Run-Down:Cape: Plaid-dington Station Cape, ModCloth, $72.99
Shirt: Old Navy, Women’s Oxford Shirt in Bright White, $26.50
Skirt: Talbot’s Double Weave skirt in Flare Red, on sale for $48.99
Tie: Kohl’s Apt. 9 Shaded Narrow Silk Tie, on sale for $18
Stockings: Hue Black Luster Tights, $12.50 via Bloomingdale’s
Shoes: Bass 'Glenbrook' Oxford, $68.95 via Nordstrom
Total: $247.93
Here is everything hung together:

I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to find this cape! I think it makes such a statement! Since it is green, black and red, I decided to go with a red skirt to mix it up a little bit. I threw in a simple Old Navy oxford shirt and a men’s black tie and voila Ginger Rogers chic! I was so excited about this outfit.

Then I had to select footwear. Ginger wears some simple pumps in this film but I get bored with simple pumps after a while. So, I took creative license and added a very interesting pair of saddle oxford pumps that I had encountered recently. They are not very pricey on their own but once you add them and appropriate hosiery to complete this look, I am about $50 over budget. But, I feel that these shoes give the outfit really something special and unique. I can totally see Ginger dancing in something like these. These are the kind of thing that could become a signature piece in one’s wardrobe and they go really well with the red, white, black tie combo.

To illustrate my point, I present a wardrobe remix sheet to show how you could wear the red skirt and oxford shoes in a few different ways. The first one on the left is the Ginger Rogers outfit without the cape.

I think this is an innovative take on office attire. I think it adds some quirkiness to a menswear look. Probably indoors I would wear it without the cape but the whole thing looks great together for going to and from work.

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