Designed by famed costume designer Edith Head, the costumes in White Christmas nearly steal the show from the timeless music. Vera-Ellen stars alongside Bing Crosby, Danny Faye, and Rosemary Clooney in the classic holiday film that showcased each of their talents. As you might imagine from one of the youngest Rockettes ever at only 18 (and shortest at 5’4”), Ellen’s dancing shone even among the big names beside her.
Aside from her incredible dancing, Vera-Ellen’s costumes as Judy are just spectacular. So let’s get to the fashion, shall we?
That White Costume
How could I not start with the famous white costume from the “Minstrel Show” dance number? Everything about it is fabulous. The sparkles, the shoes, the red gloves. As old as the movie is, this costume is surprisingly modern and not unlike something a singer today would wear. The sparkly white leotard reminds me of something Taylor Swift would have worn on her 1989 tour (probably sans skirt and gloves).
Fabulous in Plaid
This is possibly my favorite outfit from the movie. I love the layering of the v neck sweater over the turtleneck. It looks so chic! The subtle touch of coordinating the red belt with her shoes makes the whole look so perfect.
Yellow Never Looked So Good
If this doesn’t make you want to take dance lessons, if only for the outfits you’d get to wear, I don’t know what will. While most people would probably shy away from yellow for fear that it’s not very flattering, Ellen proves that it most definitely can be.
Dreaming of This Robe
The first time we see Ellen in the movie is in this white robe, and what a sight. The white against the red detailing just makes this the perfect winter robe. Imagine wearing it over your pajamas to go downstairs to unwrap gifts on Christmas morning. I’m dreaming of a white Christmas…in this robe.
The Dazzling Blue Costume
It wouldn’t be White Christmas without the “Sisters” dance number. Tulle, feathers, sparkles; the whole thing was perfect. Excuse me while I fantasize about being an old-time performer, singing and dancing in a dress like theirs.
Ladylike in Yellow
If you weren’t sold on yellow by Ellen’s fabulous dance rehearsal dress, this ladylike dress is sure to convince you. I love the high neckline that was one of Ellen’s signatures and the belt that helps emphasize her petite figure. It’s the perfect way to show off your figure and remain classy at the same time.
The Famous Pink Dress
Is there anything more stunning than her pink dress? It’s proof that the best things happen while you’re dancing. She looks like a classic Barbie come to life. Plus, it’s all about the details here. The darker petticoat shows only when her skirt swishes up, and gives you a flash of richer color. Swoon!
The high necklines, gorgeous colors, and ladylike silhouettes are a guide to getting a gorgeous holiday style that’s about as high on the scale of ladylike dressing as you could get. So even though I’m pretty sure none of us have the dancing talent Ellen did, there’s no reason we can’t try to copy her wardrobe, and maybe take a barre workout class in the hopes of becoming more graceful. If I got her legs from doing it, well, that would just be a bonus.