Style File: Ginger Rogers

Maybe she is best remembered for dancing in the arms of her long time dance partner Fred Astaire, but Ginger Rogers was also well known and adored for her fashion style and most notably her hair styles.

1. Ginger Rogers publicity photo still 1935    

Born in 1911 and having no less than 73 films to her credit, Ginger was a stellar actress, dancer and singer with a wicked comedic flare. Ginger loved fashion, style and dressing up. She said putting on one of her dancing gowns, doing her hair and donning one of her famous feather capes made her want to “turn and twirl in it”.

What was particularly striking about Ginger was her hair, which never looked the same twice. She was always the one to set the trend. Personally I loved that she was able to pull off so many wonderful hair styles and how the hairstyle not only changed her face, but her whole demeanour.

Pre-blonde

Pre-blonde

'Stage Door' publicity still

‘Stage Door’ publicity still

In 1937

In 1937

She was best known as a blonde, as this was the look she sported in most of the eight wonderful musicals she made with Fred Astaire in the 1930’s.

The Astaire-Rogers films were made virtually back-to-back though Ginger often crammed in other movies in-between. This meant that the same styles were in vogue from one film to the next.

5. Ginger_Rogers_Portrait publicity shot from studio 1937

Looking to be taken seriously and break the stereotype blonde bombshell dancer, Ginger got her break when she changed her appearance dramatically for a part in Kitty Foyle. Here, the blonde bombshell wore her hair long and brunette.

Later, she sported curls and an up-do in the comedy Once Upon a Honeymoon. She was only 31 at the time but Ginger’s movie career had clearly peaked. The memorable hair-do’s became a thing of the past for a little while, but style never really goes out of fashion, and we still strive to achieve her look to this day!

Kitty Foyle trailer 1940

Kitty Foyle trailer 1940

Kitty Foyle publicity still

Kitty Foyle publicity still

1940s publicity photo

1940s publicity photo

Most of the hairstyles (except the pleated braid) that Ginger sported would have required a great setting lotion, been pin-curled overnight then brushed out into the styles and shapes she was looking for.

9. flickr-2574851439-original Wikimedia Commons Flickr member danceonair 1986

Although we know Ginger as meticulously groomed and styled, she once told Look Magazine that she was happiest in a “shorts and bra outfit”!10. Ginger Rogers Argentinean Magazine AD 4 1944

Ginger passed away April 25, 1995 but left behind a legacy of style and some amazing hairstyles for us to emulate.

She once said, “The most important thing in anyone’s life is to be giving something. The quality I can give is fun, joy and happiness. This is my gift”.

The Lindy Charm School for Girls will give you some great tips on vintage hair and makeup at the Love Vintage Show in Melbourne, May 17-19. Don’t miss it – it’s only on here once a year!

Words by Miss Chrissy – The Lindy Charm School for Girls


Images are all public domain and sourced from Wikimedia Commons

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