Marriage on the Rocks: Sinatra’s Double-Breasted Olive Cardigan
Frank Sinatra as Dan Edwards, workaholic advertising executive
Los Angeles, Fall 1965
Film: Marriage on the Rocks
Release Date: September 24, 1965
Director: Jack Donohue
Costume Designer: Walter Plunkett
Kick back on this chilly #SinatraSaturday with the mid-century comedy that reunited Rat Pack pallies Frank and Dean, the duo’s final on-screen collaboration until Cannonball Run II, twenty years later.
Marriage on the Rocks stars FS as Dan Edwards, a buttoned-up businessman who—thanks to madcap circumstances—ends up swapping lifestyles with his swingin’ pal Ernie… played by who else but Dean Martin?
What’d He Wear?
Befitting his dedication to long hours at the office, Dan Edwards is introduced in a rotation of conservative business suits—I counted five gray suits alone—before his lifestyle shift draws out a more casual at-home wardrobe for his laidback evenings at Casa de Ernie. On this particularly cozy night, he’s brushing off the advances of his daughter’s pal Lisa (Davey Davison) when his brash former mother-in-law Jeannie (Hermione Baddeley) barges in—with bagpipes and kilt—to announce that she’s moving in!
Of all the mid-century crooners, the cardigan crown has been shifted between Perry Como, Bing Crosby, and Andy Williams, while Frank Sinatra has understandably been more associated with loosened ties, tilted hats, and sleek suits from Sy Devore. Just like his crooning comrades, however, Ol’ Blue Eyes had long illustrated his reliance on the classic cardigan, seen in publicity shots, album covers, and his movies like Ocean’s Eleven and indeed twice in Marriage on the Rocks. Dan Edwards’ first on-screen cardigan was orange, famously The Voice’s favorite color, and we catch up with the happy bachelor Dan a few scenes later, now comfortably wrapped in a double-breasted olive green cardigan.
The earlier cardigan was a simpler, more traditional style, while Dan’s olive cardigan approaches the unique territory of cardigan/blazer hybrids that found particular favor among Italian-influenced hepcats through thee decades to follow; even the estimable Roger Moore wore a navy cardigan-blazer on The Persuaders! as documented by Matt Spaiser for his comprehensive blog Bond Suits.
Dan’s olive cardigan wouldn’t quite qualify as a cardigan-blazer—the wide-ribbed olive cloth and conventional black plastic sew-through buttons assure that—but it incorporates the elements of a tailored jacket with its notch lapels and the double-breasted wrap, which appears to be a full six-by-three button configuration which could be worn with all three rows of buttons fastened; FS opts to leave the top button undone. The cardigan is further detailed with set-in hip pockets and raglan sleeves with an open gauntlet (but no buttons) at each cuff.
Beneath the cardigan, Dan wears a pale yellow cotton shirt with a button-down collar that serves the purposes of form and function by coordinating with the cardigan’s casual nature while keeping the collar under control.
Dan wears dark gray wool trousers that look like they may have been orphaned from one of his business suits. They appear to have a flat front, though the long rise conceals the waistband under his cardigan’s straight hem. The fit is straight through Sinatra’s legs down to the plain-hemmed bottoms that break cleanly over his perhaps overly formal black calf cap-toe oxfords, worn with black socks.
Sinatra wears his usual gold signet ring on his left pinky and a gold tank-style watch with a black leather strap on the same wrist.
How to Get the Look
The fastidious Frank Sinatra’s sense of decorum dictates that, even when dressing down, he’s dressing up, thus his olive cardigan for an intimate evening in still incorporates the sensibilities of a dressier blazer, from its notched lapels to the double-breasted button configuration, all worn with a button-down shirt, gray slacks, and black oxfords.
- Olive green ribbed-knit double-breasted cardigan with narrow-notched lapels, 6×3-button configuration, set-in hip pockets, and raglan sleeves with gauntlet cuffs
- Pale yellow cotton shirt with button-down collar and button cuffs
- Dark gray wool flat front trousers with plain-hemmed bottoms
- Black calf leather cap-toe oxford shoes
- Black socks
- Gold signet pinky ring
- Gold tank watch on black leather strap
The cardigan revival of recent years hasn’t neglected those of the double-breasted variety, though they’re arguably harder to come by than their single-breasted or shawl-collared cousins and next to impossible in shades of olive. A cursory search yields double-breasted cardies on both ends of the price spectrum, with Express’ price-reduced cotton cardigan speaking to budget-minded audiences while ISAIA offers luxury in a micron cotton package via The Rake.
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Check out the movie.
See? You needn’t have pity on me anymore. My mother-in-law’s come to live with me!