Fred Astaire is one of the greatest dancers of all time, but he was also a great dresser. The thing to note with his dress is the tailoring and cut. No matter the dance move, jump, pirouette or position Astaire was photographed in, his suit always fit him appropriately. The main reason for this was the tailoring. Astaire always opted for bespoke (handmade specifically for his body) suits. He made sure that the suits had range of motion and were not restricting while still holding their form and style.
The only way that Astaire could find clothes that fit with the level of comfort and style he required was going with a suit style called the "Drape". The Drape allows for the fabric of the suit to move with the wearer without being stiff, but it still holds its form. I will go into this style further at a later time, as it is too important to be glossed over. The important thing to note is the range of movement and comfort the suit had, which allowed Astaire to complete his dance moves in sartorial elegance.
It was stated that Astaire would try on a suit and then jump across his tailors office and stop suddenly to see how the suit was fitting. Making sure that it still held its proper form and fit on his figure. I certainly would not find myself jumping across the dressing room in a suit, but idea that I should be able to perform a complicated tap dance routine in my suit is an important lesson. The suit should be worn by the wearer, instead of vice versa and this is accomplished by making sure the suit fits well, is tailored properly and is comfortable. I personally find ill fitting clothes to be uncomfortable, which in turn ruins my day. Keeping this lesson in mind allows for my clothes to have little affect on my mood.
Astaire also was known for being able to wear great hats. Whether it was a top hat, a derby or a fedora, Astaire could accessorize the appropriate hat for the occasion.
Tuxedos were a specialty of Fred Astaire. Few people have ever worn a top hat and tails with the grace and sophistication that Astaire was able to achieve.
He also paired colors well, while there are few pictures of him in color, his mix of colors was well done. Putting together colors and patterns that worked well together without matching. He stuck with color families and complimentary colors but did not color match, except when it came to black and white.
Botany 500’s Ivy Executive Collection, 1955
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