Help me find this officer's uniform from the 1955 movie "French Cancan"?
January 13, 2013 7:18 AM   Subscribe

There's a character in the 1955 movie "French Cancan" who wears a very fancy uniform. He wears a light blue double-breasted jacket with white braid and bright red pants with stripes on the sides. I think it is some kind of old fashioned military dress uniform. You can see the outfit 0.26 seconds into the trailer (warning:there are 26 seconds of cancan dancing first). My question is: (1) What sort of uniform was this? Or is it just a costume they made up for the movie? (2) Where/how could a modern person most affordably get a similar outfit of sufficiently good quality to wear around town at fancy occasions that are not Halloween?
posted by steinwald to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I am in no way an expert, but maybe Uniforms of the French Hussars: 1804 - 1813.

I cannot help with your second question.
posted by lungtaworld at 7:35 AM on January 13, 2013

Ah, yes. That is very close but none of them are wearing the red pants. thank you.
posted by steinwald at 7:59 AM on January 13, 2013

Here's one with red pants. It's for sale but not exactly cheap though (4000 €)...
posted by elgilito at 8:14 AM on January 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

You might try looking for a marching band uniform.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 8:52 AM on January 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

It looks like a French Officer's uniform of the Third Republic. This approximately fits the time-scale civilian formalwear in the rest of the movie.

Unfortunately this isn't really a period of time that people are super interested in re-enacting.
The Napoleonic wars are (but are much earlier, with correspondingly flashy uniforms), and so people sell replica uniforms. The bad news is that that stuff isn't cheap:

For example:
Empire Costume
A Stitch In Time
19th Century Tailoring

It may be cheapest to contact a costumer or tailor to see if they'll make you one.
posted by Comrade_robot at 9:38 AM on January 13, 2013

French Cancan is set in the 1890s; Here are photos of the French Hussars in the 3rd republic. Here's some color stuff. Key term seems to be "Hussar Jacket".
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 9:42 AM on January 13, 2013

Or, rather, "Dolman", since the Hussar isn't wearing a Pelisse.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 9:48 AM on January 13, 2013

And since you're in Indiana, it seems like this guy might be able to make you one, as might other people who make reenactment costumes.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 10:01 AM on January 13, 2013

Wow, used marching band uniforms are pretty great and about a hundred times cheaper than historical reproductions. I guess that is the way to go for budget-friendly fancy uniforms. Nevertheless I'm very very happy to know that this was a historically accurate outfit.
posted by steinwald at 12:07 PM on January 13, 2013

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