Friday, June 18, 2010

Norma Shearer in The Women (1939) (Take 2)

This is the second of three outfits that I will be posting based on Norma Shearer’s attire from the film The Women. Here is my commentary on this film which can be found in my first post on Norma and one on Joan Crawford.

Norma Shearer wears some fabulous skirt suits in this movie. She is playing a pampered but genuine woman who you assume does not work. So, I don’t know why she wears suits but I am glad she does. They are a great example of 1930s women’s suiting taken together. One really caught my eye: it is a matching skirt and jacket with a rounded collar and strong but rounded shoulders. The shirt under the jacket is white with a peter pan collar and she wears a pearl brooch on the jacket. She also wears a fedora and simple black pumps.

Here is my interpretation:

Run-Down:Shirt: Anthropologie, On and Off Hours Blouse, on sale for $29.95
Blazer: The Proverbial Blazer, $44.99 via
Skirt: Office Hours Skirt, $39.99 via Mod
Hat: Woven Fedora with Two-Tone Band, $9.99 via Urban Outfitters
Brooch: White Freshwater Pearl Pin, $15 via Newport News
Shoes: Madden Girl Bluebery in Black Fabric, $49.99 via
Total: $189.91

I thought this would look best as a monochromatic grey look, even though this suit could have been any color really – it is hard to tell with a black and white movie. I utilized the blouse and shoes from my Claudette Colbert post again for this look. They both work flawlessly and I always try to re-use as appropriate to show how these items could work within an actual wardrobe. (But, I don’t want to always use the same item over and over so much that this blog gets boring.)

With the shirt and shoes covered, I need some retro suiting pieces. I wasn’t tied to finding a suit set or items that matched hers too closely. I knew that probably would not happen. I did find two really interesting pieces from ModCloth that I think work well together and capture the feeling of Norma’s suit. Both are different shades of grey and have a slight tweed texture to them. Both are priced nicely around $40-$50 each. I love that the blazer is a one-button blazer. Norma’s doesn’t have a button but it comes together in only one place, so it looks as though it could have only one. I also like the black trim on this blazer; it gives it visual interest and makes the shoes make a bit more sense. The skirt is really a nice shape. It has a couple of box pleats on the side to give it some volume but not so much that it looks like it was from the 1940s or 1950s.
I found a very cute pearl brooch that reminds me very much of Norma’s for only $15 at Newport News. I think that adds just the right amount of jewelry for a pretty serious look. Lastly, I love this hat. It’s a black fedora but has a two-toned grey band around it, which will make it go with the rest of this suit set nicely. And it was only $9.99.

This entire suit with accessories was well under $200. That’s fantastic. All of these pieces could be remixed and you could get lots of mileage out of them. Here are five quick ideas for how to use these same pieces.

On & Off Hours Blouse -, $30
Old Navy Womens Shirred V-Neck Tees, $8
Women's Clothing: Women's Clothing: The silk-blend V-neck: Sweaters ..., $15
The Proverbial Blazer, $45
C&C California Official Store - luxe fleece cropped blazer, $70
Office Hours Skirt, $40
Tall Curvy Cotton Poplin Trousers, $50
Max Studio Designer Women’s Clothing Ladies Fashion
Classic Clothing at Talbots - Double-weave skirt, $49
V is for Vixen Tights, $20
Hush Puppies Women's Impression Mary Jane Pump - Free Overnight... Steven By Steve Madden Women's Shirly Pointed Toe Loafer:..., $56
Nine West Nuncio NWNUNCIO BLACK LEATHER 140 M (BLACK), Wide Width, $69
Woven Fedora with Two-Tone Band, $20 - Accessories - Hats & Hair, $6.80
Green Thumb Belt, $28
Madden Girl Bluebery at, $50
White Freshwater Pearl Pin at, $15
Anthology Semiprecious Stone Necklace - - Nordstrom, $45
Women's Mary Jane Spectator Pumps/Shoes Black & Baby Pink

And this outfit put together in this way is office appropriate and could (sans hat) be worn to a job interview too. The grey monochrome and lack of jewelry keeps it serious but the retro cut of the pieces definitely make it unique and memorable.

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