Ray Eames favored crisp white blouses, trim square-necked jumpers, waist-cropped jackets and dirndl skirts, a way of dressing which suited her and reflected her Austrian roots.
Charles Eames preferred to dress himself in similar clothes every day as a uniform – something he believed saved his energy for decision making at the office. The uniform: flat front khaki pants, thin belt, buckled on the side, bow tie. From August 1959 Vogue: “He likes to wear yellow-beiges, yellowish-greens, shirts of wonderful subtleties, roughly textured jackets, often with silver Navaho buttons which his wife, Ray, sews on a with special curved needle. These buttons are a partial clue to both the Eameses. They see the beauty in small oddities that others may miss. They are intensely practical. They work as partners, both designers, both filmmakers, both at ease in their life.”
Much has been written about the couple’s many design collaborations such as the Eames lounge chair, the molded plywood chairs, and their house in the Pacific Palisades. Their clothing choices were no less distinctive. A PBS documentary in the American Masters series, Charles and Ray Eames: The Architect and the Painter, provides information on their clothing preferences. Talk about the ‘layout as statement’: the couple’s arms and legs mirror one another in the two top photos. Charles Eames and Oscar Wilde have a thing about buttons!