Figure 1.--Fifth grader Eddie Munster always appeared in a black velvet suit worn with a Peter Pan collar and little floppy bow. His suit had suspender short pants which he wore with grey kneesocks.
Eddie wore little short pants velvet suit with a wide white collar. It is not really a Little Lord Fauntleroy suit. It is more like a velvet Eton suit like boys would wear to dress up at Christmas. He wears it with a large white Peter Pan collar. He also wears grey cableknit kneesocks. As strange as his outfit was for an American boy going to a suburban primary school, it was never once a topic for one of the episodes or even mentioned during the various shows.
Eddie Munster was one of TV's most elegantly dressed boys. He wore a short pants velvet suit with a wide white collar. The series was shot in black and white, but color publicity shots appear to show that it was black velvet suit. It is not really a Little Lord Fauntleroy suit. It is more like a velvet Eton suit like boys would wear to dress up at Christmas. The suit had a sort, cut-away jacket. He never took his jacket off, but the short pants apparently wer suspender shorts like most Eton suits had. He wears it with a large white Peter Pan collar and a floppy bow. He also wears grey cableknit kneesocks. Cableknit kneesocks were primaily worn by gils. He probably wore them because they were readily available in American stores. As strange as his outfit was for an American boy going to a suburban primary school, it was never once a topic for one of the episodes or even mentioned during the various shows.
Eddie was growing a bit, but it is not too apparent in watching the series. But he was 11 when the series began and 13 when it ended. He appears to have kept the same costume as the shorts looked a bit shorter than at first. Apparently he was a bit embarrassed about his outfit. I noticed comments he made about a tour bus which the studio instituted. He apparently hated to be seen while he was in costume, as by the last year of the series he was 13-years old. I assume that he disliked to be seen in his costume because the visitors must have thought he looked so sweet in his velvet suit. He recalls once having to rush to the bathroom when the bus was driving by. Apparently this delayed him and he had an accident. His velvet shorts did not have a fly. In the opening credits as Eddie comes down the staircase, schoolbooks in hand, Lily Munster bestows a smile and a beatific gaze on Eddie, and she ever so
gently and motherly pinches his cheeks; Eddie reacts with a boyish look of distaste. Of course, this sequence is scripted, but maybe it reflects Butch's discomfort with his signature costume as well...A HBC reader commernts, "Just observing Eddie's roles on the show, however, one infers that he may have been a bit shy about his clothes. Many of Eddie's scenes show him seated at the kitchen table. In many other scenes the camera shot is either a close-up or Eddie is seen from the waist up, or he stands behind a railing, a couch, or some other object. Eddies even wears a robe over long sleeve and pants pajamas for scenes in some episodes. For sure there are plenty of full length shots of Eddie in his suit, but many of these show him coming in or going out a door, or some fast image. Butch may have let his feelings about his suit be known to the director, who, as much as possible seems to have accommodated his wishes."
Eddie like the other members of the family, except Mailyn, never appeared in other outfits. Thee wer very few exceptions. I rember he ore a gym suit for a race. There were few other outfits for pecial occasions, but it was his velvet suit that he almost always wore.
A HBC reader comments, "Eddie Munster's suit was quite striking; maybe Eddie's supernatural physical skills (being part vampire bat, he must have been
first rate at hanging from branches!) awed his fellow students somewhat. He was often depicted with friends, and his attire contrasted sharply with that of his
"contemporaries". You might expect, though, that one episode treating Eddie's sense of being different would have been produced." The boys at school, however, never teased him about his outfit, but once made fun of him, calling him "shorty." Eddie usually had only small parts, but some programs were set around him. I was watching an anthology lately and I noticed that Eddie in the early shows had quite long knee length shorts. In later ones his shorts were much shorter. Presumably he wore the same suit as he got older. He almost always was in the same velvet suit, but he appeared in gym shorts and golf knickers
The Munsters were cancelled in 1966 after only two seasons. One wonders what would have happened to Eddie's costume if the show had been continued. He was 13-years old and was ready to make the shift to jubior high school. A velvet suit apparetly was acceptable at the Mockingbird Heights Elementary School, but he may have more difficulty fitting in at junior high. One reader believes, however, "Then again given what kids wear to school nowadays, he may have fitted right in." Another reader suggests, "If the show had continued, Eddie might
have given up his velvet suit for a costume like Grandpa's." Alas we will never know.
Eddies costume was of course quite different than the outfits worn by other TV kids. Rarely did boys appearing in American sit coms wear short pants. On the rare occasions that American boys did appear in short pants, they were usually spolied brats and poorly behaved. An excetion was often made for European boys. Eddie was the only regular of an American sitcom that wore short pants. Of course the campy humor of "The Munsters" made it acceptable.
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