Fred Astaire Would Wear That, Really?

Fred Astaire Would Wear That, Really?


From time to time I like to take some time out of my day to call out parties who have gone afoul.  As I’ve said before, every action causes a reaction.  I know others take time to call me out when I go astray, which I do appreciate and am willing to admit when I am wrong.  I hope those I speak of feel similarly.  Well anyway, Esquire, congratulations it’s your turn.

The offending item is an article written by Esquire’s John Jannuzzi entitled “What Would Fred Astaire Wear Today?”  Well, my loyal readers, according to Mr. Jannuzzi Mr. Astaire would don suits by Gucci, Michael Bastian and Dolce & Gabbana; shoes by Raf Simons, Louis Vuitton and Gucci; Shirts by Michael Bastian, Dolce & Gabbana and Patrick Ervell.  Well, I beg to differ.  But really, you must take a look at the photos and see for yourself.  For if you know how Mr. Astaire dressed you know he would not wear 90% (maybe even %100) of the things that Mr. Jannuzzi postulates he would wear (and if you are not familiar with Mr. Astaire’s dress I suggest you start here).

There are two quotes I will take from the GQ article discussed in that post referenced above, which is a great article, in contrast to the Esquire article I am railing against.  The first is that “He [Mr. Astaire] points out that thinness seems to destroy an essential quality of dress, its style, by misuse in ties or lapels. ‘Look at the thin rolled lapels with the double-breasted suits—they are atrocities.'”  Now, one look at the thin lapeled Michael Bastian suit or the offensively low gorged Dolce & Gabbana suit (which is paired with an equally offensively thin tie) from the Esquire article and one can tell that Mr. Jannuzzi is clearly talking out of his ass, but excuse my language.  Additionally, it is well known that Mr. Astaire had most, if not all of his suits made bespoke.  The only jacket I could imagine Astaire even touching is the Louis Vuitton blue sport jacket.  Anyway,would he really be wearing designers suits?  I think not, the man knew how a suit should look and feel and these suits are not that.

My second argument against the Esquire article is on the topic of shirts.  Again, here we have issues with the proportions of the shirts (mostly the collars), the Patrick Ervell shirt is the most obvious example.  But also, there are no button down shirts in the bunch, which Mr. Astaire so elegantly and famously wore; even with double breasted suits.

And lastly, on the matter of shoes.  This one is quite simple according to the GQ interview “all his [Mr. Astaire’s] shoes are custom-made in London.”  I’m pretty sure this precludes Mr. Astaire from wearing designer footwear as dictated by Mr. Jannuzzi…  But that may just be me.

Now I question what would spur one to write an article such as this in such poor form for such a serious and respected publication.  A few things come to mind, the first of which is ignorance.  The second of which is blurring of the line between editorial and advertorial.  My friends, I think we may have a serious case of the latter here.

In conclusion I leave you with this.  Mr. Jannuzzi, with all respect, you are wrong.  Mr. Astaire, with all respect, you were one of the best male dressers, ever.