I was browsing at the newsstand the other day and saw one of those LIFE photo collections on the Rat Pack. I flipped through, saw an interesting outfit on Dino, and brought it home to share with you guys Forgive me for taking snapshots rather than scans; I don’t want to anger the folks at Time Inc. or Getty Images.
Dino looks to be wearing an Ivy-Continental hybrid jacket, with patch pockets and short double vents. But of course what really caught my eye are the cream-colored socks, which appear to be paired with black suede slippers or tassel loafers. “Light In The Loafers” was one of the earliest posts here at Ivy Style in the fall of 2008. It was reposted last year. Usually it’s a casual move, but here Dino shows it can be a stylish one as well. —
The airplane was Sinatra’s (he loved the color orange), hence the headline. — CC
I just listened to the Come Fly With Me album this past Sunday evening. Here Frank seems to be wearing the exact hat (with ultra-wide ribbon) style that he is seen wearing on the album cover art. This photo was taken much later however; the first Learjet wasn’t delivered until late 1964. I am guessing this is from 1965-67.
Looks like Sammy is wearing a double breasted, notch lapeled jacket. Shudder.
“Light in the Loafers” may or may not apply to white socks — I certainly remember that white socks were the ONLY way to dress in my college days at Gainesville — but the expression itself is (or perhaps was) a definite slur that defined and identified gays. Am I the only one to remember this phrase that referred to homosexuals in this way?
Well yes it’s a play on that outdated phrase. Perhaps things have changed so much since ’08 that jokes of that sort are unacceptable. Perhaps it was unacceptable in ’08.
Probably more of a reference to the stereotype of a gay man’s light-footed gait. A tad inappropriate, though, yes.
I do believe that the phrase “light in the loafers” was a euphemism once used over 30 years ago to refer to a gay man. I think that many people today would do well to remember, “sticks and stones will break your bones; but names will never harm you”. I do not believe that CC would ever intentionally use a derogatory ethnic, racial, religious, or sexual slur to refer to any individual or group of people in his writing or otherwise.
No offense to Mr. Christian was intended. In fact, I think we’re TOO damn sensitive these days about words.
I agree with Mr. Korn that Christian would never intentionally use an offensive ethnic, racial, religious, or sexual term.
I agree with Charlottesville agreeing with Korn. It’s a joke ON the slur. No harm, no foul.
The reason we’re so touchy these days is the new concept of microaggressions, which makes intention irrelevant.
There is something to it, but like most things coming out of the university system, it goes too far.
In my humble opinion the concept of “microaggresions” is just more nonsense from the censors at our universities.
“Light in the loafers” originally referred to tap dancers like Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor in the early 1940s who danced wearing white socks, loafers and rolled up pants to draw attention to their feet. Nothing at all about anything else. Certainly not to any sexual mores about those two.
Was at a HS reunion a few years ago, and I reminded a classmate that we thought Dean Martin was the coolest guy in the world in 1967. He reminded me that, in fact, he was.
Dean Martin often wore shirts with button-down collars (even with dinner jackets), some of which also had French cuffs.
In the picture with Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr it looks like Dean Martin may be wearing a shirt with a button-down collar and three button cuffs.
Dean Martin was the MAN!…While Frank was always crisply dressed with perfectly starched shirts and razor sharp suits, Dino always had that casual nonchalance, even while wearing “the uniform”-the Tux…It was this quality that, in my opinion, made him the coolest of the Hollywood and Vegas elite in the 60’s.
In other words, Sinatra obviously put effort in his wardrobe and appearance, and looked like he tried to be “cool”, which he was. Dino, however, trumped Sinatra because he was every bit as stylish as Sinatra but gave the impression that it was all effortless. The difference between the two men can also be applied to their singing and acting. Again, Sinatra was a perfectionist, especially with his music. Martin, who I’m sure worked every bit as hard, seemed that he just breezed through without a care…awesome!
This is one of my favourite photos – Dean Martin looking so cool, all turned out in casual travel clothes , and Frank looking like Frank. Note the orange trim on the Lear jet – not widely known that orange was Frank’s fetish – his living room, casual clothes, etc were often some gaudy shade of orange. Great shot!
Frank wears two different orangish sweaters in the classic Ocean’s 11 (1960).
BTW, this is a must-watch film for devotees of 1960s style architecture, furniture and clothes. If you haven’t seen it, don’t watch it now, wait for the holidays; all the action takes place between Christmas and New Years. Portraying the early ’60s in a milieu of Beverly Hills and Vegas hipsters, there are lots of Christmas trees, but none of them are real, and few are green!
It’s a holiday staple at the Kraus household, along with Happy Holidays with Bing and Frank (1957).
I forgot to mention that Frank also drove an orange (Arancio Metallico) Lamborghini for a while in the early 1970s.
I feel I need to tell you all – most of all CC – that I so enjoy this blog. The remarks are true gems in most cases and though you may get a little testy amongst yourselves at times the discussions usually end amicably. Thanks for great forum and wonderful trips down memory lane! Having just successfully completed my Medicare/Social Security applications its nice to think of my younger days.
All this talk of Frank, Dino, airplanes and the holidays is ‘triggering’ a confluence of my own memories today! Ten years or so ago, my father was at my house for Christmas and told a story I had not heard before: that for all his partying and ultra-cool persona, later in life Dean Martin never recovered from the loss of his son, who died when he crashed his F-4 Phantom. I found this interesting, not least of all because my father did not enjoy ‘Rat Pack’ style at all, yet he knew this obscure factoid. Dad himself died not long thereafter, and about six months later I was sitting at my desk at work at Christmastime, and the Pandora station played Dino’s version of ‘Silent Night’, which is titled ‘Peace on Earth’. (if you haven’t heard it, you should give it a listen). Then, as some friends had warned might happen, I found myself sitting there – the guy who didn’t flinch at the actual funeral – sobbing. I had to close my door so that my secretary wouldn’t think I’d lost my mind. Anyway, that little episode strangely makes me smile today: all these different threads in your life – music, style, family, etc. – can sometimes come together in powerful, if unexpected, ways.
But seriously, come December, listen to Dino’s version of that song; it’s pretty great. And pour yourself a drink when you do.
Bravo, Paul. You should write something for the site.
Then there’s time I was really buying into a lucrative deal a guy was pitching until he stopped to “disclose” he’d gone to prison for masterminding the kidnapping of Frank Sinatra Jr. That one’s going in the book.
Then there’s THE time… Dammit.
Happy to, CC; feel free to suggest something, and I’ll do my best.
Also: for my money, snapshots with a herringbone tweed border ain’t so bad, esp. for this site.
There are at least a couple of iconic Dean Martin photos that contain those socks are white crew. The Dream With Dean album has white Levi jeans, loafers and crew socks. I think the Houston album has similar attire sitting on a stool in recording studio. Both he and the photographer had an eye for the casual look.
The button down white formal shirt was worn from the sixties until his last public performance with the Rat Pack in Chicago in 1990. He had that uniform down pat and never – to my memory-deviated. I assume there was a Sy Devore influence but he had that great collar roll in dress shirts worn on Johnny Carson as well.
One of my favourite Dean Martin stories is from Denis Leary, on meeting the man later in life (excerpt from tlchicken.com):
w: He’s from a town about three hours from here.
D: Yeah, he’s from Steubenville. He talked about Steubenville quite a bit. He told me that when he moved to New York and he and his roommate would be low on the rent, they would have a boxing night. What they would do is they would charge people a dollar which, at that time, was a lot of money. So people would pay to come over to their apartment and they would have beer and potato chips. Everyone would sit in the living room and watch Dean Martin and his roommate beat the shit out of each other.
w: (laughing) That’s awesome. I’d pay to see that.
D: It’s classic. He said they’d get like 15 or 20 people a night. That’s how they’d pay the rent. That’s old school.