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Friday, May 20, 2016

Vintage Outfit Post-A 1940s Suit Inspired by Bringing up Baby

Last week in honor of Katherine Hepburn's birthday I did a cinema spotlight post on my favorite film of hers, 1938's screwball comedy classic Bringing Up Baby .  This film is particularly special to me since my husband and I named the first pet we got together, our now 15 year old cat Baby, after the film's titular leopard .

I also love the style in the film as exemplified by the sporty elegance of the great Katherine Hepburn.  

Now obviously if you read this blog you know that I have a LOT of clothes, but I'm  primarily a dress wearer and I really don't have many pants, and I don't have any suits.  So I decided a few months ago that a pant suit would be a good addition to my vintage wardrobe.  

I knew I wanted a 1940s pant suit, since I think that is the ultimate era for suits and pants in general,

 and I knew I wanted to take inspiration from Katherine Hepburn, the decades consumate  pants wearer.  She made the her signature look decades before most women wore them regularly.

I was particularly inspired by this gorgeous pant suit from 1940's The Philadelphia Story (another Hepburn/Grant film with flawless fashion).

I  love the wide collar and belt on this suit. 

  I started to talk to my friend Kim, a vintage repro clothing maker formerly of Time Machine Vintage on Etsy, and now selling her wares through the 1930s and 40s marketplace on facebook, about a suit based on this look.  I wanted it to reference my favorite Hepburn film, Brining Up Baby, so I asked her to make the wide collar in a leopard print, instead of stark white in Hepburn's version.  I think Hepburn's suit might have been a pale grey but  I asked for mine to be powder blue, since I thought that would be springy and compliment the leopard.

Now I have a completely different body type then Hepburn, to say the least.  She was long and lean, and I'm short and not lean, but Kim got the fit on the suit just right and the finished look is perfect.

I particularly love the collar, the leopard print is just right, and I adore the belt.

I decided to mix eras in my look and I  paired the 1940s style suit with a 1960s leopard tam hat, 1960s style gold tone hoop earrings,  a 1950s or 60s novelty purse,remix 1940s style sandals, and some bakelite bangles.

I don't have the sort of job that requires suits for work, thank goodness!, but I do think this would be a perfect work suit.  It's vintage without being too "out there."  It's a great outfit for any time you want to be a bit dressy but still wear pants. 

I'm very glad I added this piece to my wardrobe and decided to branch out from my usual dresses into the wide world of pants.  

Hepburn had it right!

Outfit Details

1940s Style Suit-Kim Clark the 1930s and 40s Market Place (you have to ask to join)

1960s Leopard Tam-The Little Grass Hut
Bakelite Bangles-Brighter Bakelite
1940s Style Sandals-Remix Vintage Shoes
1960s Style Gold Tone Hoops-Mrs. Polly's Lucite
1950s or 60s Novelty Purse-Vintessential Goods


  1. I love the look with the leopard tam! And the suit fits so well. You look gorgeous.

  2. Oh, GREAT outfit!!!! Very Katherine Hepburn
    What an amazing actress she was
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess Leah xxx

  3. What a fabulous suit! The combination of pale blue and leopard print is quite unusual but the print really makes it pop. xx

  4. I love the vintage outfit you have put together. Today's pantsuits are so boring and predictable.

  5. J'adore! You will stop traffic in that for sure.

  6. Such a beautiful outfit! I really love the color and wide collar! You look so lovely and elegant!

  7. That is one amazing pant suit and it "suits" you very well. And what a lovely picture of Baby! xxx

  8. A fantastic choice for 'branching out' in styles!

  9. This is a great outfit! love the leopard print in the collar!
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

  10. Such a gorgeous outfit!! I really miss the era of high waste/long billow-y pants!

  11. This is standing ovation level spectacular, dear Kate. Wow, wow and wow again!!!

    Oodles of hugs & happy weekend wishes,
    ♥ Jessica

  12. Wow, those clothes look smashingly good!

  13. This is so gorgeous and really suits you. I love the powder blue and leopard together - good call!

  14. My, what a fabulous suit! You look so pretty in it xxx

  15. So stunning! Love the baby blue you picked out! This outfit looks amazing on you! Love everything about it! And I love the hat too! I have one just like it! ;) <3

  16. Fabulous suit! That hit of leopard print is perfect.


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