“Don’t overbuy. When you contemplate an article, judge whether or not it harmonizes with items you already own. Again, avoid exaggeration of current fashions. It’s best to be inconspicuous. But inconspicuous does not mean dull. Extreme dullness can be conspicuous in itself. Just do the best you can.”— Excerpt from Cary Grant’s long article on style, which he penned in 1962. The full piece is available at Keikari.
I re-watched a favorite film last night, “To Catch a Thief.” The above ensemble, which Cary Grant wears for the series of scenes, is one of the best in film history. It captures the relaxed elegance of a retired jewel thief living in a French resort town perfectly. The gray flannels, which Grant wears for much of the film, are so elegant it hurts the eyes. The outfit even makes me think (along with the rest of the film) that maybe a neckerchief isn’t so nutty. On the other hand, I’m not Cary Grant.
For the ladies, by the way… Grace Kelly has a few truly spectacular looks in the film, but I was perhaps most impressed by her gorgeous pajamas. If anyone knows where I can find a similar pair for the Mrs., do let me know.
Cary Grant: as good as it gets.
Cary Grant, dressed simply. Via A Suitable Wardrobe.
Cary Grant at 60.
A reader named James showed his mom (a Cary Grant fan), our post about black tie, which featured his photograph. She insisted he watch the Grant film To Catch A Thief, and he was particularly impressed by this outfit. So are we. This is style FOR REAL.
James was wondering if Grant was wearing an ascot above - it looks like a scarf or a kerchief to us. He asked if someone could wear something like this today, and I think it’s possible, but it would be tough. You’d have to be consistently well dressed, and in a context where being casual but dashing was called for (seaside date?). And you’d have to keep it modest, which Grant is doing here. You’re making enough of a statement with the silk, you don’t need to flounce it around like a mid-80s Prince shirt.
Also: it doesn’t hurt to be spectacularly handsome.