Thursday, June 17, 2010

Lauren Bacall in How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)

I have no idea how both Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable got higher billing than Lauren Bacall for this movie. I can understand Marilyn since she was a bonafide superstar at the height of her fame. But, seriously, Lauren Bacall is the star of this movie. It is her intelligence and dry humor and wit that carry this story.

Lauren Bacall is hilarious! If you only see her in her dramatic roles, you might never get to see how funny she can be. About the third time she tells Mr. Brookman, “I never want to see you again, ever,” I just crack up!

Honestly, I got three outfit ideas from this movie and they are all from Lauren Bacall, which was unexpected. Not one idea from Marilyn from this movie. The first one is the semi-formal look pictured above. It is a portrait collar black ¾ length gown with rhinestone (in her case probably diamonds) and a large pink flower pinned at the waist.

Here is my interpretation:
Run-Down:Dress: Eliza J Taffeta & Jersey Shirtdress, $148 via Nordstrom
Necklace: Windsor, Rhinestone Vintage Necklace, $12.90
Bracelet: Forever 21, Coil Wrap Rhinestone Bracelet $7.80
Brooch:, Silk-Satin Folded Flower Pin 3 inches by 3 inches in China Doll, $24.50
Shoes: Circa Joan & David Women's Badge Pump, $68.95 via
Total: $262.15

I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to find this gorgeous dress. The collar is perfect and the sleeves make it very demure. It has jersey ruching at the waist which would make it very comfortable and wearable. The price is pretty good for a full price semi-formal dress.
Once you have the dress, the rest is just accessorizing with this look. I found these two rhinestone pieces for very cheap – all the jewelry coming only to a bit over $20. I love that the necklace comes to a point at the end to follow the curve of the portrait collar on the dress.

I went back to my favorite site for flower pins and found a folded flower pin in a pink color called China Doll. The folding makes it a bit dressier, shinier and more polished looking. They have three varieties of flower pins (3 inches by 3 inches, 3 X 3 folded and 5 inches by 5 inches) in literally every color under the sun.

Lastly, Lauren Bacall wears some very simple strappy slides with her dress, but I felt that the kind of occasion you might wear this dress to total would require a bit more substantial shoe. I wanted a kitten heel to keep the feeling demure. This one seems very ladylike with a shorter kitten heel and bow on top. I also love that the patent leather mirrors the shiny nature of the taffeta dress.

For anyone who attends semi-formal receptions or black-tie events for work, this would be a perfect look. It is classy and elegant without being overtly sexy. The look says, “I am a put-together seriously lovely lady.” And even though you would be wearing a little black dress, with that portrait collar and unexpected pink flower pin, you are sure to stand out in a crowd.

Budget-wise, I definitely went a bit over for this look. Everything was very affordable except the dress and shoes. The dress is really not debatable; it is perfect. You could easily pick a cheaper shoe or make you own flower pin to bring the budget down a bit. You could also forgo the rhinestones and just wear the same look with a simple string of pearls. But, for a special occasion, this is still a fairly affordable look.

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