Cary Grant’s Wardrobe Is Getting a Charitable Second Life

Cary Grant
Photo: John Kobal Foundation/Getty Images

Most celebrities’ fashion troves are auctioned off for astronomical prices, usually at a big-name auction house like Sotheby’s or Christies. But The Wall Street Journal has a touching story about what happened to Cary Grant’s dapper collection of clothes after his death. Known for playing impeccably dressed men — like John Robie, the stylish cat burglar in To Catch a Thief — Grant was particular about what he wore offscreen as well as on. He once wrote in GQ that when it came to suits, he made sure “the lapels are neither too wide nor too narrow, the trousers neither too tight nor too loose.” Along with his suits, his closet included luxe versions of casual pieces, like monogrammed pajamas and silk robes.

After his death in 1986, Grant’s daughter Jennifer anonymously donated the contents of his closet to charity. His suits went to a nonprofit for men seeking work, while his pajamas and a cashmere sweater went straight to Goodwill. And even the item with arguably the most sentimental value — an overcoat whose interior was embroidered with the message “Dad, I love you. Jennifer” — found a new home. Jennifer Grant gave it away to a homeless man eight years ago.

“I wasn’t comfortable keeping it,” she told the paper. “He could really use it.” Surely Grant would approve.