Easter Parade

The unfettered materialism of Christmas has obscured the fact that Easter is actually the most important holiday in the Christian calendar.  Back in the day the well-to-do would don their very best for Easter services which meant morning dress for the gentlemen.  In New York City they would then literally parade their finery down 5th Avenue following the services much like the 1946 Irving Berlin song “Puttin’ on the Ritz”.

Happy Easter!

“Esquire” April 1935

“Esquire” April 1936

“Esquire” April 1937

“Esquire” April 1941

Judy Garland and Fred Astaire in the 1948 film “Easter Parade”.


  1. David V

    I’ve already picked out my clean t-shirt for this Sunday!

  2. Farragut Jones

    I have morning dress—which I wore at my wedding—and, after reading this post, I’ve decided to just substitute an oxford grey jacket and attend the service in a stroller. Easter is about the only time I’ll wear a suit to church, but it never really occurred to me to dress up a little more on one of the few times one can get away with it.

  3. A. R.

    That’s it, I’m wearing a stroller on Easter.

  4. Christopher

    Fred Astaire, in the photo of him, shows why I think leaving the morning coat open is a bad idea. I don’t know why so many men seem to have an allergy to wearing their coats closed when wearing a vest, whether with a dinner suit or morning dress, but I think it ruins the entire effect of the suit. I honestly can’t recall the last time I saw a photo of a Briton in morning dress who was wearing his morning coat closed, the royals included.

    I think part of it may be that men are so unused to the idea of wearing a vest that they’ve come up with this notion that the vest is what makes the outfit more formal. A good example is with black tie for weddings and proms in the US, where brightly-colored or garishly patterned vests have become de rigueur, and the fellows wearing them seem terrified to button their jackets lest they cover what they see as the most important part of their outfit.

    1. Farragut Jones

      Christopher (and one of the others Anonymous), what about a dinner suit with a white waistcoat—should the jacket still be closed? When I see that combination in old movies, it’s usually with the jacket open, though I’m not sure whether that’s from a desire to display the otherwise-invisible waistcoat or drawing on the example of an evening tailcoat. For my part, this is the only instance where I’d leave the jacket open. With a black waistcoat, it’s closed.

      1. Christopher

        In my opinion, the look of the dinner suit is ruined if the “V” made by the lapels narrowing down to the waist is done away with by leaving the jacket unfastened, whatever the color of the waistcoat. The picture of Cary Grant in a white waistcoat and dinner suit in The Black Tie Guide is an excellent example. His white waistcoat may provide a visual “pop”, but it doesn’t flatter his stomach or figure.

  5. Anonymous

    I agree with you Christopher, open morning coat is just horrible. In fact all kind of open coats (except evening tailcoat) are ugly.

    1. Anonymous

      The other exception is the mess jacket

      1. Peter Marshall

        That would make sense as it’s essentially a tail-less tailcoat.

  6. Pingback: Cam Reviews: Easter Parade | sally cooks

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