Film Fashion Fridays: 14. Fred Astaire’s Golf Outfit in “Carefree” from 1938

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Today is Friday, so it’s time for another Film Fashion Fridays article. Every week, I choose a different outfit from a Code film (1934-1954) and use it to represent a fashion concept. Then, I choose products from Amazon which are similar to the elements of these outfits and recommend them. I include clickable images which link to these items. If you click on these pictures, you can buy these products on Amazon. Every time you make a purchase through a link from our website, we get a small commission from the Amazon Affiliate program. In this series, I try to alternate between ladies’ and gentlemen’s fashion. Last week, I wrote about Janet Leigh’s Pink Swing Dress from Confidentially Connie. This week, it is time to write about some element of men’s fashion.

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Whereas ladies had many different styles and types of outfits which were popular for daily wear during the twenty years of the American Breen Era, the standard daily outfit for a man was a suit. I have written about many different styles of suits, including the full dress suit. Thus, I decided to write about a different style of clothing which a man needed in the Golden Era, athletic wear. I decided to write about the sort of outfit which  a man would wear when playing golf. As an example of this outfit, I chose Fred Astaire’s golfing ensemble from Carefree from 1938. In this film, psychiatrist Tony Flagg (Fred Astaire) tries to impress Amanda Cooper (Ginger Rogers) with his athletic skills. He does so by performing an impressive tap dance at the golf course, during which he sends the balls flying as fast as his taps. It is not widely known, but Fred Astaire was an avid and accomplished golfer. This impressive number is one of the few opportunities available to see his amazing golfing skills on film. You can see a large part of this dance in the YouTube clip below.

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This outfit is the epitome of a dapper yet understated ensemble to wear on the green. Not only is it simple to put together, it is extremely versatile. You can choose different colors and interchange pieces to make several different combinations based on this same outfit. Even in 1938, Fred Astaire looked particularly smart in this outfit, when all the other men were well-dressed. On a modern course, which is mainly populated by men in shorts, tee shirts, and baseball caps, you will be the most dashing man on any eighteen holes in this Tony Flagg-inspired outfit.

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The first element of this outfit which we will discuss is the pants. Tony is wearing white slacks. They appear to be linen. They are not baggy, but they are loose enough to allow free movement in golfing and dancing. They have creases on the front. They are cuffed up about two inches so that you can see Fred’s fancy footwork as he trips the light fantastic. During most golfing occasions, this is a touch which you can forego. However, if you are planning on kicking up your heels and attempting to recreate the golfing tap routine from this film, by all means cuff up your pants a little! Let’s see what options for white slacks Amazon offers.

The above pants from Amazon are an excellent option for this outfit. They are very nice yet not too fancy. They are well-fitted but loose enough to be moveable. They have a linen texture. They come in bright white, natural linen, and navy. White is the best option for recreating this particular outfit, but natural linen, which is off-white, is a good option for a similar outfit with a different color scheme. These pants are 54% linen and 46% cotton. This item costs $35.42-$79.50, depending on which color and size your order.

The above pants from Amazon are another good option for this outfit. Unlike the last option, they aren’t linen. They also have a good dapper style without looking too fancy. They have a natural fit, so they won’t be too tight for movement. They only come in white. The material is high quality polyester and rayon. These pants cost $34.95.

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The second important part of this outfit is the cardigan. It has a light knit pattern. It has a V-neck collar. It is a light collar. The options which I have chosen are light gray, since that looks like its shade to me. However, it could be any number of colors. Medium blue and light green would also look good with the black and white color scheme. If you instead opted for natural linen pants, you could choose a cardigan of taupe, tan, mustard, olive, or some other similar shade. The cardigan has five black buttons up its front. Fred buttons all but the bottom button, which makes the cardigan hang nicely. The sleeves are long. The cardigan is fitted, but it doesn’t cling. Let’s see what options Amazon has to offer.

The above cardigan from Amazon is a good option for this outfit. It is a light knit material. With long sleeves and a V-neck collar, it has very similar styling to Tony’s cardigan. With five contrasting buttons up its front, these buttons are just right. This cardigan comes in thin gray, thin blue, and thin black. The thin material makes it look sleek, like Fred Astaire’s style. The material is 70% cotton and 30% acrylic. This item costs $5.98-$21.98, depending on which color and size you choose.

The above cardigan from Amazon is another good option. This sweater is a little longer. Because of this, its appearance is less sleek, which may be desired by heavier gentlemen. Because of its added length, it has six buttons, which are dyed to match the fabric. However, it still has a knit material and a V-neck. It comes in grey heather, hunter green, white, dark navy, true royal, red, and black. This cardigan comes in the most colors, which is nice if you want to diversify this outfit with different color combinations. The material is 100% acrylic. This item costs $20.42-$45.52, depending on which size and color you select.

The above cardigan from Amazon is another good option. Its material is a little heavier than the previous two options’, but it still looks quite sleek. It has a V-neck style and long sleeves. It has four buttons up its front which are the same color as the material and are quite large. This cardigan comes in dark grey, grey, navy blue, wine red, and black. Its material is 65% viscose and 35% acrylic. Depending on which size and color you choose, it costs $18.99-$27.99.

The above cardigan from Amazon is the final option for this item. It has the right styling, and it is quite sleek. It has five buttons up its front, which are lighter than the material. It comes in light heather gray, black, and bloodstone. The material is 5% cashmere and 95% cotton blend. The inclusion of cashmere is very pleasant, unless of course you are irritated by the feel of this material. This cardigan costs $43.80.

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Under the cardigan, Tony wears a plain white shirt. Although simple, this is an essential part of the outfit. It is a plain white dress shirt with un-buttoned collars. The cuffs aren’t visible. This shirt could be replaced with one of a different color to give the outfit a different color spectrum.

The above shirt from Amazon is the perfect option for this dress shirt. It is a plain dress shirt with buttons up its front. It is 65% polyester and 35% cotton. In addition to white, this shirt comes in black, cameo blue, flame, grey, grey stone, lavender, pacifico, Persian blue, stone, dark leaf, deep sea, desert rose, leaf, lemon glaze, magenta, mist, ocean mist, persimmon, purple velvet, and scallop. It also comes in a set of two with white and cameo blue, as well as a set of three with white, grey stone, and Persian blue. This shirt costs $14.99-$77.12. The highest price is no doubt for the three set.

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Luella Gear, Ralph Bellamy, and Fred Astaire in Carefree, 1938.

The item which really makes this outfit look classy is the tie. As tempting as it might be to just wear the white shirt, the addition of the tie really elevates this suite to a higher level of vintage style. Fred’s tie is black white small white pin dots on it. It is a medium width.

The above tie from Amazon is just like the one Fred Astaire wears in the movie. It is black, of a medium width, and sports white pin dots which are so small that you miss them at first glance. This tie is microfiber polyester. In addition to black pin dot, it comes in twenty-seven other patterns. This tie costs $11.99.

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A stylish element of this outfit which is easy to miss is the socks. As I mentioned before, Tony Flagg’s pants are cuffed up so that you can see his great dancing. Because of this, his shoes and his socks are especially visible. His socks are black with white pin dots. They match his tie perfectly! The below socks from Amazon are the perfect option for this outfit. They are nice dress socks, 54% polyester. They are $16.70 for a set of two pairs. If you decide to wear a different tie, I recommend that you choose socks to match! Even if you don’t cuff up your pants, your socks are bound to be visible when you sit down. Those extra touches of style are what make a man a Dapper Dan.

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The last important element of this outfit is the shoes. They are black and white two tone shoes with wingtips. They have laces. The toes and heels are black, and the middle part of the shoes are white. The below shoes from Amazon are a great option. They look just like the shoes Fred Astaire wears. The two tone style is a great compliment to the black and white theme, and it draws a lot of attention to the feet. These shoes are made of synthetic leather material. In addition to black and white, they come in black and red, dark brown and tan, tan and white, and brown and tan. They cost $39.99-$49.99, depending on which size and color you order.

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Bing Crosby in the 1950s.

Tony doesn’t wear a hat, but many golfers do. The classic golf hat is the newsboy ivy cap. It is distinctly Scottish and very flattering on gentlemen of all ages. If you want to protect your face from the sun, this is the perfect chapeau. The below hat from Amazon is a great hat to wear with this or any other classic golfing outfit. This particular hat comes in grey and twenty-two other patterns and color options, many of which would look nice with this outfit. This hat’s material is 90% polyester and 10% wool. It costs $8.50-$14.99, depending on which color you choose. 

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That concludes my description of this outfit! The next time you hit the green, make the scene in this truly stylish ensemble. It is sure to improve your game! Even if it doesn’t, you will look good while you go over par. Be sure to complete the outfit with a winning smile and a graceful air. In this outfit, you are sure to feel as graceful as Fred Astaire himself!

If you want to observe Mr. Astaire’s style for yourself, I suggest that you purchase the movie and study his outfit firsthand! Click the above image to purchase Carefree on DVD at Amazon.

Remember, take pictures of yourself in vintage style and send them to me to be featured in a future Film Fashion Fridays article! I will gladly republish your pictures, advice, and experiences in vintage clothing for others to see and read. Let’s make Friday a day for film fashion!

Casablanca Fashion

To every Glamour Girl and Dapper Dan, “Here’s looking at you, kid!”

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One thought on “Film Fashion Fridays: 14. Fred Astaire’s Golf Outfit in “Carefree” from 1938

  1. Pingback: Film Fashion Fridays | pure entertainment preservation society

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