- Historic Sites
The Wary Dandy
December 1988 | Volume 39, Issue 8
Cary Grant is the British image Americanized. The wary frown and tense jaw give humanity to the perfect tailoring and layers of subtle texture. A self-doubting American spirit inhabits all this smooth wool—one we can believe in. Grant helped create the image of the handsome American man whom women may adore in formal clothes but whose private self really makes the conquest. This 1946 image is at odds with the confident characters Grant played on screen: here the wide shoulders lend protection rather than power, and the hat is a shield, not an ornament. The man is tantalizingly accessible, and feels it.