How to Create: Bela Lugosi’s suit from The Black Cat (1934)
By Sean Longden
For his appearance in The Black Cat, the legendary horror film star Bela Lugosi wore a four-pocket tweed suit that has long been revered by vintage clothing collectors and enthusiasts. It seems likely that it was one of Lugosi’s own suits, rather than a costume piece, since he was photographed wearing the same suit at his home. Or maybe he was costumed in the suit for the film and liked it so much he decided to take it home.
And now, through our Made to Measure service, you can replicate the suit to create a unique piece of historic style.
As a starting point, select the King Cole Suit (single breasted).
Then you need to select a cloth. Photographs show it to be a flecked tweed, most likely a Donegal tweed, in a relatively light colour.
So select one of these:
For the jacket, you will need to choose Wide Notch Lapels, indeed the original suit has relatively wide lapels:
As you can see, the jacket has a three button front, so let's go ahead and select this option:
The suit also appears to have edge stitching, which was a common feature on sports suits of the period. Bela Lugosi has around 6mm edge stitching, so select this as seen below:
The jacket also has three-button cuffs as seen below. You know what to do.
So that’s the front of the suit, now let’s look at the rear. Bela Lugosi's suit had a belted action back, but with no vents or pleats. So to replicate this look perfectly, choose option "Plain Action Back No Vent":
The original suit included a single breasted waistcoat that can be seen in some stills from the film.
For the trousers, there are no images to show the exact configuration of the details. As such, you can select whatever is your favoured style. However, we would recommend that you select Wide option in terms of the shape, and the option of Two Inward Pleats to help create the correct drape on the legs:
And the rest is up to you!
So there you have it: The ‘Black Cat’ suit!