Today is Friday, so it’s time for the next article in our Film Fashion Fridays series. I skipped this series last week because it was Thanksgiving weekend, but I am back this week with a special holiday article! In each article in this series, I either discuss a general vintage fashion concept or a specific costume from a Code film which is an example of a particular type of outfit. By providing links to items at Amazon which are similar, I hope to encourage my readers to recreate this glamorous fashion in their own wardrobes. As Christmas approaches, why not consider some of my recommendations as gifts for your friends and family? Every time you make a purchase from one of our links, we will get a small commission. This helps us continue our research and writing about Golden Age films and pure entertainment.
This article is my first entry in the blogathon which PEPS is hosting this weekend, The Happy Holidays Blogathon. This blogathon is all about the winter holidays, from Thanksgiving all the way through the Twelve Days of Christmas. Like most of our participants, I decided to write about a film which features Christmas. For my fashion article, I decided to write about a costume which is worn in a Code Christmas movie. Since my last two Fashion Friday topics have been ladies’ costumes, I chose a gentleman’s outfit as today’s topic.
The film from which I am taking my costume for today is Remember the Night from 1940. This Paramount classic is one of my favorite Christmas movies. It has just the right blend of homespun charm, comedy, drama, romance, and genuine sentiment. It tells the story of an honest New York district attorney, Jack Sargent (Fred MacMurray), who is prosecuting a lady jewelry thief, Lee Leander (Barbara Stanwyck), right before Christmas. Feeling bad that she has to spend jail in Christmas, he bails her out and brings her to his Indiana home for Christmas. There, she experiences the love and kindness from his mother and aunt which she has never received from anyone before. As the holidays near their end, Jack and Lee feel the stirrings of a love which they daren’t acknowledge, for how can a district attorney love a girl crook?
The outfit which I am describing today is the outfit which Jack wears when he is preparing to drive to Indiana. We first see him wearing it when Lee comes to his apartment, and he also wears it when they go to dinner. He wears that outfit with a coat for the duration of their road trip. He wears it for the last time on the first night at his mother’s house, which is Christmas Eve. The base of this outfit is a gray plaid suit. Underneath it, Jack wears a white dress shirt with a black sweater vest. He accessorizes the outfit with a black tie with small white decorations and a gray pocket square. This outfit looks hibernal and charmingly warm because of the vest. Since he is wearing the vest, Jack can doff his coat on Christmas Eve and still look complete while staying warm.
The primary component of this outfit is the gray plaid suit. The plaid pattern is tight and in squares. The gray is a light one, and the lines of the plaid are black. The suit has matching coat and trousers. The coat is single-breasted, and he never wears it buttoned because he has the vest. The fit is very relaxed, so the suit shouldn’t be slim, modern, or skinny under any circumstances. Let’s see what similar suits Amazon sells.
The above suit from Amazon is a good option for this outfit. It is a two-piece set with matching coat and trousers. The coat is single-breasted. The material is 100% wool. The pattern is gray with blue square plaid. It doesn’t have the black accents which Jack’s suit has, but I have been unable to find any Amazon suits with a pattern which is really like the one in the movie. Anyway, this is still a good suit option. It costs $299.99.
The above suit from Amazon is another good suit option. It also is a two-piece set with a matching single-breasted coat and trousers. The material is 100% wool. This suit is also gray, and it has blue squares which form a check pattern. You can decide which of these two suits you prefer, since each is as similar and yet as different as the other. This suit costs $314.99.
The other very important part of this outfit is the sweater vest. It is sleeveless and quite tight, since it has to fit snuggly underneath his coat. It is black. It has more of a rounded neck than a V-neck. It has ribbing at its bottom edge. There are knitted lines on the material which makes it look more homespun. I wouldn’t be surprised if his mother knitted it for him! Let’s see if Amazon has any similar sweater vests.
The above sweater vest from Amazon is a good option. It is 100% cotton. It has a solid knit material with a ribbed bottom edge and collar. It has a V-neck collar. It comes in black, grey, coffee, dark grey, ivory cream, light blue, navy blue, and turquoise. For some reason, all three of the sweater vests I am recommending will not come up in black, so I had to show them in navy. This sweater costs $23.99.
The above sweater vest from Amazon is a more decorative option. As opposed to being plain, solid knit, it has a knitted pattern on both sides. It also has ribbed edges and a V-neck collar. The material is 65% viscose and 35% acrylic. It comes in black, blue, coffee, dark purple, grey, and dark grey. It costs $16.99-$22.99, depending on which size and color you choose.
The above sweater vest from Amazon is the best option for this garment. Like Jack’s sweater, it has a rounded collar and knitted vertical lines throughout its material. It is made of 50% viscose, 28% nylon, and 22% PBT fiber. It comes in black, dark blue, and dark gray. It costs $24.69.
Another very important part of this outfit is the white dress shirt. It is a standard white button up shirt with a button down collar. The below shirt from Amazon is a good option. It is 60% cotton and 40% polyester. It has buttons up its front and a button down collar. It comes in white, blue, cayenne, English blue, dark green, navy, khaki, and yellow. It costs $19.49-$49.95, depending on which size and color you order.
No suit is complete without the right tie. It is black with a white pattern. The decorations look like little white triangles. They are quite closely spaced. They are not solid. They are just the outlines. Let’s see some similar ties from Amazon.
The above tie from Amazon is the first option. It is black with small white dots. Unfortunately, the circles are not outlines but solid shapes, but they are very small. In the pictures from the film, Mr. MacMurray’s tie almost looks like it has little dots, so this is an appropriate choice. It is 100% polyester microfiber. It comes in black with white pin dots, plus seven other color combinations. It is 3.15 inches wide and 58 inches long. It costs $12.99.
The above tie from Amazon is another good option. Rather than having white spots, it has a more triangular pattern. Thus, it looks quite a bit like the tie in the film. It is black, and it has gold and navy decorations which form a diamond-like pattern. I think this is the best option for this item. The material is described as microfiber polyester silk. It comes in black navy, plus twenty-seven other patterns. This tie is 3.15 inches wide and 57.09 inches long. It costs $11.99.
Of course, an important detail of any outfit which we must not forget is the shoes. Jack’s shoes with this outfit can’t really be seen in any pictures from this film, but they are doubtless black. We can assume that they are standard black Oxfords, so I recommend the below shoes. They are 100% leather with a rubber sole. They have a slightly pointed toe and laces. They come in black and brown. They cost $54.99.
That concludes my description of this outfit! This is a great basic structure for a stylish winter ensemble for a gentleman. All you have to do is add a sweater vest to a suit to make it warmer, hibernal, and festive right in time for the holidays! If you really want to have a Yuletide fashion, choose a red or green sweater instead of a black one! Paired with a festive tie, you will have a stylish alternative to an ugly Christmas sweater for that holiday party! Just add old-fashioned Hoosier honesty and charm like Jack’s to have a wonderful, all-American Christmas Eve celebration like the one in Remember the Night!
If you want to observe Mr. MacMurray’s style for yourself, I suggest that you purchase the movie and study his outfit firsthand! Click the above image to purchase Remember the Night 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!
To every Glamour Girl and Dapper Dan, “Here’s looking at you, kid!”
Stay tuned throughout the weekend to see all the festive posts in The Happy Holidays Blogathon!
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