While winter had most of the outdoors tightly under wraps, spring was coming to life indoors—in the workrooms of the designers of America's sportswear. And, working closely with them, the editors of SPORTING LOOK have made a selection of the best they have to offer for sale in the new season. The biggest item of news, one evident in every showroom and demonstrated on each of the following 15 pages of this preview of spring fashion, is the re-emphasis by all of the designers on the simple good looks and good taste for which American sportswear first became famous.
Look at the golf clothes, set here against the background of the Bing Crosby Pro-Amateur tournament at Pebble Beach. They are still colorful, but the garish combinations of gaudy colors that for a time beguiled the pros and influenced those amateurs who emulate them have given way to the well-bred look. The sloppy, low-buttoning, bell-sleeve cardigan, for instance, appears to be losing out to the neatly fitting knit pullover.
For the spectator, there is a return this year to an old favorite—Scottish checks, that range from traditional hound's-tooth and shepherd patterns to the more complex district checks, such as the Glenurquhart.
College students take their Easter vacations by the sea in such droves these days that Designer Rose Marie Reid has created two new bathing suits especially for College Week. While their long-legged look may remind old-grad girl watchers of Annette Kellerman, the college men haven't got a beef—they started it all themselves.
March 9, 1959
For more news of spring—a new short cut to raincoats and a look at the 30-year-old design that has swept the chemise and the trapeze into oblivion—turn the page.
At the Crosby, Sam and Jan Curry watch the play. Sam's 19th-hole blazer is in the green of the Augusta National ($65, Rogers Peet: J. W. Robinson). His white slacks are a wash-and-wear blend of Orion and rayon ($13, Palm Beach: Rogers Peet). Jan exemplifies the coordinated look: hand-knit cabled cardigan ($35, Crown Colony); matching Dacron-cotton blouse ($10, McMullen); plaid wool shorts ($23, Robert Powell Johns) that match her golf bag ($50, Atlantic Products). All at J. P. Allen, Dayton Co., Gidding's, Halle Bros., Lord & Taylor, Maison Mendessolle.
Poised with shooting-stick umbrella (Littler's, Del Monte), Jan Curry follows tournament in a sleeveless cardigan of Orion ($15, John Weitz for Shelley: B. Altman, Meier & Frank, Neiman-Marcus) over tailored cotton shirt ($3, Ship 'n Shore: B. Altman) and new foulard-printed wool challis shorts ($24.50, Gutstein-Tuck: George Stinchfield, Outdoor Traders).
At Cypress Point, Pal Melchior wears knit pullover ($18, Gino Paoli: Amelia Gray, Neiman-Marcus), golf shorts of Dacron-cotton poplin ($13, Evan-Picone: Lord & Taylor, Meier & Frank, Neiman-Marcus). Adolph Yturralde's shirt is alpaca ($30, Bernhard Altmann: Whitehouse & Hardy); his slacks are linen ($22.50, Daks: Jerry Rothschild's, Saks Fifth Avenue, James K. Wilson).
Lambretta's new Surrey ($1,290) speeds a foursome along Monterey's 17-Mile Drive. The ladies wear above-knee skirts of Arnel flannel, attached to shorts ($18); shirts are Ban-Lon ($10, all Ricci for Haymaker: Best's, I. Magnin, Neiman-Marcus). Sam Curry's pullover is wool ($15, Rogers Peet). His Dacron-cotton slacks ($18) and Adolph Yturralde's cotton shirt ($9) and Arnel slacks ($18) are all by Izod (Bullock's'Pasadena and Santa Ana, DePinna, Giddings). Sam's shoes are Etonics ($37.50); Pat Melchior's, Spalding ($14).
New decorum decreed for the golfer
As is demonstrated by the young lady at the ii right in action-flared skirt and rolled-sleeve shirt, designers are planning on more decorum on the golf course this spring. There are more golf skirts, designed to give as much freedom of stride as shorts. One of the best is a short, knee-length skirt which is made over shorts (page 41).
For men, too, a quieter style is indicated, with colors more subdued than in the past five years and clothing cut to a trimmer line. The golf slacks on page 45 illustrate both the new pleatless, cuffless cut, and color used in small geometric foulard patterns.
The pullover sweater-shirt in fine-gauge knit—cotton, wool, alpaca, Orion or Tycora—worn outside the waistband, looks like the golf shirt of the year for men and women.
A change from popular sleeveless cotton shirts for women are tailored long-sleeve shirts, worn wrist-length or rolled to the upper arm.
There are as many variations in golf jackets as there are in putters—and this spring brings forth a new contender with a sleeve construction called Kymont, which allows for movement sideways and up and down. It is made in both men's and women's jackets (page 44).
The news in golf shorts is in the detail. Pockets for extra balls and cigarettes, tabs for tees and loops for towels are arranged to add the least bulk. Golf hats, many of them roll-brim straws, are offered to replace last year's fad—the beribboned gondolier. Men stick to raffa Tyroleans.
Coming up to the 18th hole is Pat Mlelchior in a wrap skirl of sueded poplin and zip-front oxford shirt (skirt $15, shirt $10, Glen of Michigan: J. P. Allen, Frederick & Nelson, Lord & Taylor, Marshall Field). Hat is Tapoo-Hawes; golf socks ($1, Mavis); shoes ($25, Ben Hogan).
Neck-muffling cashmere sweater has three-way collar which buttons up to turtle neck or converts to a spread ($30, Peck & Peck). It is worn by Jan Curry with dyed-to-match cotton poplin shorts and Tapoo-Hawes colorfully banded straw hat.
Here are the season's two newest golf shoes. The top one is one of the slimmest shoes ever designed for golfers, has interchangeable kills in different colors—red, black, white ($35, Johnston & Murphy: Whitehouse & Hardy). Black-and-white-checked hose are by Cox, Moore.
The other new golf shoe has a revolutionary closure, developed by Talon. It's a variation of the zipper—oops, fastener—called a Shu-Lok, which eliminates laces. Device is of spring steel, is easily adjustable for comfortable fit and is covered by a kiltie tongue. ($37, Foot-Joy).
Action-back rain jackets for the diehard golfer are of water-repellent Dacron and cotton (both Willis & Geiger), with new Kymont sleeve construction designed to keep jacket down when golfer is swinging. Sam Curry's jacket has elastic inserts at the waist for additional grip ($17.50: Burdine's, Littler's, Saks Fifth Avenue). Jan's has knitted waistband for neat fit, is worn with walking-pleated skirt of same fabric (jacket $18, skirt $14: Neiman-Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue).
The newest trousers on any fairway will be these of wool challis—a blue-and-yellow foulard tie print on olive ground. They are pleatless, have side adjusting tabs, no cuffs to load with sand ($37.50, Gutstein-Tuck: Mannie Walker; Outdoor Traders, Greenwich; Geo. Stinchfield, Palm Beach). Foot-Joy Shoes. Champion gloves.
A golfer's leather windbreaker is cut for action, with back of stretchable knit in matching beige, side tabs to adjust fit at the hip, low-placed pockets ($60, Samuel Robert: Littler's Seattle and Pebble Beach, all Saks Fifth Avenue stores). Mrs. Curry wears it at the Del Monte Golf Course.
At Crosby tournament golfer Ronnie Nicol wears plus fours made in Scotland; Pat Melchior, cotton shorts with low side pocket and back tab for towel with sleeveless shirt (shorts $11, shirt $8, Louise Suggs: Saks Fifth Avenue).
New suits for college vacations
If college men get a shock when they see dates legging it to, the beach in leg-covering swimsuits this spring, they have themselves to thank. It was the surf-riding college men of the West who first imported from the surfers of Hawaii long-legged swim trunks and started a fad for the Gentleman Jim look (SI, Nov. 12, '56). Seeing the practical as well as the fun side of the look, Designer Rose Marie Reid, who won SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S Sporting Look Award last year, was inspired to outfit college girls for the same sports. She developed knitted suits for SPORTS ILLUSTRATED and the set that gets to such hangouts as Bermuda or Balboa at Easter time. For the college crowd it looks like a long-legged spring—and summer.
At Santa Monica, three UCLA students observe the look the girls are stealing from them: Bob Billings (top) in striped boat-neck T shirt ($4) and teamed-up surfer-length trunks ($6, Jantzen); Gerry Cohn (left) in another boat-neck pullover ($6) with cotton basketball-style shorts ($5, both Catalina); and John McCrady in a tank top ($3) and elasticized knee-length "John L." trunks ($10, Jantzen).
UCLA coeds model Rose Marie Reid's Orion and-lastex knitted college-girl suits: Pauline Kelly, calf-length pants with striped camisole; Claire Groger, striped shorts and fitted pull-over (each $25, Lord & Taylor, Marshall Field, Neiman-Marcus, J. W. Robinson, Stewart's).
Hound's-tooth and hounds, in this case French poodles, are aired in San Francisco by Mrs. Edwin Wilson. Her walking suit is made of spring's newsiest fabric, an Orlonand-wool hound's-tooth check, in spring's newest cut: elbow-length sleeves, tunic length, open neckline ($275, Monte-Sano & Pruzan: Bergdorf Goodman, I. Magnin, Marshall Field). Dior hat, I. Miller shoes.
On a woodsy weekend at the Country House in Monterey, Mrs. George Dyer poses in a travel classic that blends with the California background. Her full-length coat and walking skirt are made of three-color hound's-tooth-check Irish tweed, an overblouse of natural linen ($135, Vera Maxwell: Saks Fifth Avenue, all stores). Shoes are I. Miller; kidskin gloves, Kislav.
The versatility of checks
Whether appearing in the newest suit silhouette of spring—the short-sleeved walking suit at left—or in a classic Chanel (see following page), the check is the season's dominant pattern.
This is just as true in men's suits. After many a long season of dark blues and grays, the new checks will add variety to a man's wardrobe. What's more, checks serve double duty—as shown here, a checked suit can be as businesslike or as casual as the occasion demands.
In New York, Bob Smith wears a glen-checked worsted suit ($160, Hickey-Freeman: F. R. Tripler) with a tab collar and a silk print tie.
In New Canaan, Dick Lawrence teams checked worsted suit ($135, Hilton: Larrimor's) with a yellow vest, knit tie, a brushed Tyrolean hat.
The popularity of classics
A classic is defined as apparel in such simple good taste and so becoming that it continues in style in spite of changing fashion. This year classics are the pace-setters, and some of them—photographed at the New Canaan, Conn. home of Eric Boissonas—are shown here. They are also classic in fabrics—ranging from bold plaids to nearly invisible checks.
A Chanel suit and silk shirt are modeled at right by Ginny Taylor (suit $125, blouse $45, Davidow: Lord & Taylor, John Wanamaker). In the background are Tan Arnold in sheath dress and jacket of giant hound's-tooth-check rayon and acetate ($36, Sportwhirl: Meier & Frank) and Pat Otis in a pleated-skirt suit of glen plaid with white cotton piqué pullover (ensemble $47, Mr. Gee: Best & Co., Lipman Wolfe).
In a season of checks, one of the boldest of the districts (which look like plaids) is found in these worsted slacks ($22.50, Dunlee: Lew Ritter, Roger Gray Ltd.). Dick Lawrence wears them with red Merino wool polo shirt ($15, Bernhard Altmann: Best & Co.). Lefcourt shoes.
...and the shirtwaist dress
The dress which has followed the natural lines of the figure for 30 years is already proving to be everybody's dress for spring. The shirtwaist dress is shown by Miss Otis in check silk gingham ($55, McMullen: Lord & Taylor, I. Magnin, Marshall Field). Bob Smith wears a faded tartan wool sport jacket ($65, E. S. Deans: Trooping the Colour, Tweeds and Weeds).
The duality of rainwear
Of late, the designers of raincoats, taking advantage of the handsome water-repellent fabrics now at their disposal, have turned to making raincoats so handsome that they will be worn on the sunniest of spring days. Here are seven examples, representative of the varied look of rainwear available this spring. Note the capes, the rain suit and particularly the new short, flared cut—a look the women will borrow from the men to wear with tapered pants—whether it rains or whether it doesn't.
Capes, cut with the swagger of a bobby's or a gendarme's, turn up this spring. Lionel Wiggam's is of tan poplin, lined with black ($20, Golden Fleece: Witty Brothers, Bullock's Downtown). Ruth Ebling's reverses from blue to natural poplin ($25, Fulwiline: Lew Ritter). Thomas Begg grouse helmets.
Here's an innovation—a rain suit, with reefer coat ($30) and matching skirt ($15), of Galey & Lord's green-and-blue-plaid water-repellent Tarpoon cloth (Bill Atkinson, Glen of Michigan: J.P. Allen, The J.L. Hudson Co., Lord & Taylor, I. Magnin). Umbrella from Abercrombie & Fitch, U.S. Rubber boots.
New short coats are ideal for scooters. Ruth's is the Newmarket, of cotton gabardine ($50, Aquascutum: Lord & Taylor, I. Magnin). Lionel'sis the Short Rider, a lightweight poplin version of traditional equestrian raincoat that straps to the legs ($42.50, Burberry: Jerrem's, Martin-Burns).
To cushion the neck snugly, these raincoats have inflatable collars. They are of navy cotton gabardine, have yellow linings, silk for women, cotton for men, with yellow stitching outlining all the edges (B. Teller: women's $1,5, Anson Newton; men's $50, D. J. Kaufman, Nicolas, Lew Ritter).
More signs of spring
•The bowler, biggest hat news of last fall, will spread from coast to coast this spring in a narrow, lightweight felt model, as topper to new plaid suits.
•A ladies' bowler, either in felt or in straw, will be worn with spring suits, prompted by the success of the men's version.
•Felt fedoras with raincoats, snap-brim straws on the golf course are other hats that women will borrow from men this spring.
•The covert cloth topcoat will be back in a knee-length, slightly fitted model, another companion to plaid.
•The continental cut will be the most talked-about suit shape of the season, and men will be trying on this new suit to find out what all the argument is about.
•Lightness in weight will continue as a major suit trend—the six-ounce tropical worsted, lightest ever, in blends of Dacron and worsted, will say spring in the south and summer in the north, in a wide variety of patterns.
•Mohairs and zephyr wools will be cable-knit into women's lightweight cardigan sweaters.
•Slim pants, held taut by a tab that fastens under the foot and worn with low boots, will achieve a ski pants look.
•Foulard-patterned scarves will decorate both men and women. The silk pocket square for men, in patterns that do not match but complement the tone of the tie, will replace the white handkerchief.
•Blazers, in many new colors and in double-breasted as well as single-breasted models, will be seen with the new patterned slacks.
•The spectator shoe, in two tones, one of them always white, will come Back on the golf course and, for women, on the street with checks and plaids.