When most people think of the fashions women wore in film noir, they think of the sultry, clingy, glamour girl gowns worn by torch singers. They are stunning — but me? I always think of the fabulous female forms in those fabulous fitted suits.
Maybe someone has done an accounting to see which sort of fashions appeared most often in film noir features… I don’t have any idea, myself.
But even if the glamour girl gowns out-number the fitted suits, the suits are more far more iconic to me.
The suits conveyed a sense of power on the part of the women — even if in their situations they were doomed and therefore powerless by definition.
And when they performed the simple act of removing their suit jacket, oh the sexual tension!
Every film noir script or pulp detective novel I ever wrote (yup, I’ve got folders full of ’em!), always featured a woman as powerful & wise as she was beautiful & jaded — and she always walked in wearing a fitted suit above those clicking high heeled shoes. And so, here’s a salute to the film noir femme fatale fitted suit!
1940’s fitted black suit by B. Altman & Co. Fifth Avenue New York:
A stunning vintage Adele Simpson suit with Ermin collar:
A vintage rayon suit in a rainy grey color and deco detailing:
And this 1940’s women’s black suit jacket — with blue glass beading: