Thursday, November 24, 2011

Winter Sports Wear in 1922

Finally, something for men who want to dress well. In fact, I was looking for something relating to women's ice skating clothes, but I happened upon this passage that was so charming I couldn't help but share it. I wish men actually thought of clothing this way. I am just in love with the statement that, given how lovely an ice skating scene is, "It is downright perverse to attach oneself to this scene without a bright necktie, gay muffler, or colored shirt." I yearn to be the girl in the orange sweater or, rather more likely given my color preferences, the scarlet coat. I wish everyone would arrange their clothing "with an eye to the picturesque." That is your homework today.

To be practical for a moment, this passage comes from a 1922 Vanity Fair, which I found available on google docs (how fabulous is that?) here. Check out page 76 to see the rest.
 "There is no wardrobe for winter sports other than that dictated by common sense. The activities of winter sports require warm, but not heavy or cumbersome clothing. Therefore a pair of knickers, a flannel shirt, a comfortable loose fitting jacket with a slip-on sweater, or some woolly type of waistcoat, are the things suited to these activities. As the articles mentioned are a part of every well-equipped man's wardrobe, there remains only the necessity of assembling them with an eye to the picturesque and to the gaiety befitting the occasion. There are no more decorative sports in the world than skating, skiing, tobogganing, etc. When one comes onto an ice pond, tucked away in some corner of the winter country side of a late winter afternoon, where young people are skating, the scene appears more brilliant than anything on the stage of a modern revue. There is something about the snow-clad landscape that cries for a red tam o'shanter or a green muffler. The girl one wants to skate with most is the one wearing the orange sweater or the scarlet coat. It is downright perverse to attach oneself to this scene without a bright necktie, gay muffler, or colored shirt. This is the day of bright colors in men's clothes. The correct sport shirt is made of a tropical weather flannel in bright blues, copper red, orange, salmon, or lemon yellow. A sweater, such as the Prince of Wales wears, is a riot in color and design, and is now the smart man's taste in place of the drab colored thing of yesterday. Even for town wear, the newest muffler is a striped affair of two or more bright colors. The country gentleman on Long Island resembles the Canadian woodsman more than his former self."


  1. What a great find. I just love reading about the color combinations of clothing- especially when you only have black and white images to refer too. The 1920's were so much more colorful then we would normally think. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Those descriptions of color are so vibrant! They really make you feel like going ice skating with a splash of color, don't they? I wonder if another skating trip can be planned this winter?

  3. I love color in the winter!!!

    However, reading the last bit- about the Prince of Wales and his colorful sweaters, all I could think of were the numerous disagreements between Jeeves and Wooster and the dictates of fashion.

    Somehow- I think Bertie would have ADORED a lemon yellow flannel shirt. :)

  4. I especially love this post because it proves people actually read the text, rather than just looking at the pictures. Awwww, I love you guys!

  5. Well not much bothering about the pros and cons, Wardrobe for winter sports has always been a quiet interesting history. Their virtual passion in the real world are eye catching. Caring of their culture and traditions they have just proved themselves to be the best..... Bosom of thanks for posting this blog!!!!!!!!

    Winter Sports Apparel