The Daily Rushes: A Wardrobe Test

(An RKO wardrobe test for “Notorious” from Cary Grant: A Celebration of Style.)

Above you see a photo of Cary Grant doing a wardrobe test. He is standing, looking very serious, with his hands in his trouser pockets. You can see the reason for his concern. His jacket is center-vented and is riding up over his wrists. The perfect dark column of clothing that led to his tanned face was awry.

(A perfectly cut suit will move with you, regardless of your position.)

Why do I bring up a wardrobe test? I was reminded of the photo of Grant as I went through the photos of my recent trip to New York. I should have done a wardrobe test beforehand. Yes my clothes fit me. But the cut didn’t show me to my best advantage. I know that sounds vain, and it is. But elegance requires vigilance. Grant would have never left home without a perfectly cut suit. He wouldn’t even leave the wardrobe building.

Actors review their performances after a day’s shooting by watching the daily rushes, the raw footage, if you will. It’s a good practice.

Your Easy and Elegant Life hint for the week: do a wardrobe test, before wearing it out the door. Take a digital photo, if possible, from all angles. When you find what looks best on you, refer often to the photograph. It is also a good way to remember which combinations of patterns and colours go well together.

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