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New Wardrobe For Elvis

31 Mar 2011

NEW WARDROBE FOR ELVIS

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“WE’LL give Elvis a new wardrobe for this film, and have him look like a smart, well-dressed young business man. It’s a switch from sports shirt and blue jeans and sports jackets,” said the producer of “Take Me To The Fair” at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Mr. Presley’s third movie for 1962.

Accordingly Sy Devore, the master-tailor of show business stars, was given the assignment of equipping Elvis with his new wardrobe.

For the last Presley film, “Girls! Girls! Girls!”, the Devore organisation had provided Mr. Presley with three raw-silk jackets and several pairs of black silk trousers.

“It was decided to make this wardrobe as a sort of surprise for him,” Sy Devore told me.

“I had his measurements and I engaged an actor who is his exact size and weight to stand in for his fittings.

“We then took the wardrobe to the studio and all I can say is that Elvis flipped when he saw it. He tried on the clothes and they were almost a perfect fit. He looked marvellous in them and I’ll tell you why. He has a natural flair for wearing well-fitting clothes.”

Mr. Devore gave me the cost of the clothes in dollars, but to bring it to Savile Row standards, I’ve calculated the equivalent in guineas.

There were, therefore ten suits at 100 guineas each; four sports coats at 75 guineas each; 30 specially designed shirts with a deep collar and narrowed cuffs, at eight guineas each; 15 pairs of slacks at 25 guineas a pair, and six dozen ties at three guineas each!

The trousers Elvis Presley wears have to be specially designed. It seems that he wears no underwear, not even briefs.

All his jackets have to be designed to allow for freedom of movement.

He wears boots, not shoes. They are of the short Wellington kind, called Continental Gaiters in Hollywood.

In “Take Me To the Fair,” Elvis plays a pilot who gets romantically involved with a lovely girl at the Seattle World Fair.

So Mr. Devore designed a special black leather jacket which he wears while piloting his plane.

It is probably the world’s most expensive leather jacket. It cost 80 guineas, and is entirely handmade.

Mr. Devore considers this film marks the beginning of a new era for Elvis Presley. “He will take his place amongst America’s well-dressed men,” he assured me. “I consider this is my greatest achievement since I persuaded Bing Crosby to give up his incredible chromatic sports shirts and trousers which didn’t match at all.”

The nice thing is that Sy Devore uses the finest British material for his suits, jackets and trousers.

Thus Elvis is sporting fine suitings from Huddersfield, Bradford and the West of England in “Take Me To The Fair.”

Johan Ruddy, NME, 9 November 1962


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