[Portrait of Frank Sinatra, Liederkrantz Hall, New York, N.Y., ca. 1947] (LOC)

Frank Sinatra, Liederkrantz Hall, NYC - Circa 1947

Style: Some have it, and others are like me – complete void of any trace.  It’s a blend of taste and smarts that brings it out.  For the lucky few, style is effortless – natural like breathing air.  But for many, it’s a sure bet that the clothes combo picked out in the morning would made a stylist laugh.

But in the 1940s it seemed as if everyone had style, especially musicians.

The United States’ Library Of Congress has an entire collection of photographs taken by William Gottlieb in the 1940s, highlighting the stars of Jazz.  By looking through the 1600 photos in the collection, it’s pretty clear that part of being a jazz musician in that era meant dressing sharp.  The suits were cut with flair, and the dresses also hugged a curve or two.  Ties had character.  Everything was shiny, pin striped, or accessorized to the stratosphere.   It was definitely a time when people cared about how they looked, instead of an era for some that my mother-in-law describes as “Looking like you’re doing yard work.”

In the 21st Century many of us – well mostly me anyway – could learn a lot about what to wear, simply by going through these photos.

Enjoy!

[Portrait of Doris Day and Kitty Kallen, Central Park, New York, N.Y., ca. Apr. 1947] (LOC)

Doris Day and Kitty Kallen, Central Park, NYC, ca. Apr. 1947

[Portrait of Chico Alvarez and June Christy, 1947 or 1948] (LOC)

Chico Alvarez and June Christy, ca. 1947

[Portrait of Irving Kolodin, New York, N.Y., between 1946 and 1948] (LOC)

Irving Kolodin, NYC, between 1946 and 1948

[Portrait of Dottie Reid, New York, N.Y., between 1946 and 1948] (LOC)

Dottie Reid, NYC, between 1946 and 1948

[Portrait of George Wettling, New York, N.Y., between 1946 and 1948] (LOC)

George Wettling, NYC, between 1946 and 1948

[Portrait of Imogene Coca, Mary Lou Williams, and Ann Hathaway, between 1938 and 1948] (LOC)

Imogene Coca, Mary Lou Williams, and Ann Hathaway

[Portrait of Fran Warren and Gene Williams, Hotel Pennsylvania(?), New York, N.Y., ca. Oct. 1947] (LOC)

Fran Warren and Gene Williams, NYC, ca. Oct. 1947

[Portrait of Eddie Condon, Eddie Condon's, New York, N.Y., ca. Oct. 1946] (LOC)

Eddie Condon, NYC, ca. Oct. 1946

[Portrait of Joan Brooks and Duke Niles, New York, N.Y., ca. Apr. 1947] (LOC)

Joan Brooks and Duke Niles, ca. Apr. 1947

[Portrait of Thelonious Monk, Minton's Playhouse, New York, N.Y., ca. Sept. 1947] (LOC)

Thelonious Monk, Minton's Playhouse, NYC, ca. Sept. 1947

 

[Portrait of Sarah Vaughan, Café Society (Downtown), New York, N.Y., ca. Aug. 1946] (LOC)

Sarah Vaughan, Café Society, NYC, ca. Aug. 1946

[Portrait of Stan Kenton and Eddie Safranski, 1947 or 1948] (LOC)

Stan Kenton and Eddie Safranski, 1947 or 1948

[Portrait of June Christy and Red Rodney, Club Troubadour, New York, N.Y., ca. Sept. 1947] (LOC)

June Christy and Red Rodney, Club Troubadour, NYC, ca. Sept. 1947

[Portrait of Earl Hines, New York, N.Y., ca. Mar. 1947] (LOC)

Earl Hines, NYC, ca. Mar. 1947

[Portrait of Ann Hathaway, Washington Square, New York, N.Y., ca. May 1947] (LOC)

Ann Hathaway, Washington Square, NYC, ca. May 1947

[Portrait of Joe Marsala, William P. Gottlieb's home or office, New York, N.Y., ca. June 1947] (LOC)

Joe Marsala, ca. June 1947

[Portrait of Louis Prima, New York, N.Y., ca. June 1947] (LOC)

Louis Prima, NYC, ca. June 1947

[Portrait of Sylvia Syms, Little Casino(?), New York, N.Y., ca. June 1947] (LOC)

Sylvia Syms, ca. June 1947

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