Clark Gable’s Gone With the Wind Wardrobe Didn’t Suit Him

A book to celebrate GWTW's 75th Anniversary!

A book to celebrate GWTW’s 75th Anniversary!

Clark Gable had finally had it with the Gone With the Wind wardrobe made for him by the Selznick International costume department. The shirt collars choked him, and the suits and cravats were ill fitting.

He complained to producer David O. Selznick, who — on April 3, 1939 — fired off a memo to Wardrobe Supervisor Edward P. Lambert: “I think it is very disappointing indeed to have the elegant Rhett Butler wandering around with clothes that look as though he had bought them at the Hart, Schaffner, and Marx of that period and walked right out of the store with them.”

Selznick urged his wardrobe staff to observe Gable’s personal wardrobe: “Look at how well he looks in his own clothes generally, and compare the fit and the tailoring and the general attractiveness with what I regard as the awful costuming job we are doing with him.”

To keep his star happy, Selznick ordered a complete new wardrobe made for Rhett Butler by Gable’s Beverly Hills tailor, Eddie Schmidt.

Happy 75th anniversary, Gone With the Wind!

Blog Bio: Pauline Bartel is the author of The Complete GONE WITH THE WIND Trivia Book (2nd edition), which will be published in spring 2014, and an expert on the film and its history. Visit the website (www.paulinebartel.com/resources/books/books-available) for further information. Follow her on Twitter @PaulineBartel and “like” her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TheCompleteGWTWTriviaBook)

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