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Clothes for traveling light

May 09, 1960
May 09, 1960

Table of Contents
May 9, 1960

Penny Pills
Handball
Aparicio
Boxing
Horse Racing
Gymnastics
Alaska Cruise
  • The thousand-mile passage from Seattle north to Juneau leads adventurous yachtsmen through the wilderness cruising ground of the mighty Coast Range, an area of snowcapped mountains, superb salmon rivers, vast forests and, at journey's end, the glaciers of Alaska

Baseball's Week
Acknowledgments
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over
Pat On The Back

Clothes for traveling light

This Roman porter is not so overloaded as he looks. The seven pieces of luggage he is carrying, balanced with Italian finesse, weigh less than 132 pounds. Yet they contain a complete, unstinted wardrobe for two traveling Americans. The clothes were selected by SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S fashion editors to be worn by Mr. and Mrs. Robert J. Taft (no relation to the late Senator) of New York City on a trip to Rome, the site of this summer's Olympic Games. They demonstrate, on these eight pages, how the American concept of easy-to-pack, easy-to-Care-for clothes has not only made the steamer trunk obsolete, but the American on the go the world's best-dressed traveler.

This is an article from the May 9, 1960 issue Original Layout

The Tafts sailed to Europe but flew home. So, to keep within the 66-pound first-class flight allowance, they chose the lightest luggage they could find. Bob Taft took two two-suiters ($65 each) and a 21-inch case ($49.50) of leather-bound tan car-top canvas. Joan Taft's luggage, of cowhide-. trimmed, tapestry-printed, pyroxylin-coated cotton, includes a hatbox ($35), a carryall ($32.50), a 26-inch case ($65) and a 29-inch case ($79.50). All are by Wings, and all seven weigh only 45 pounds empty. The men's luggage is at Bullock's, Los Angeles; women's at Carson Pirie Scott, Chicago. All are at Mark Cross, New York City.

A shipboard life of leisurely activities

The clothes on these pages were selected for a sunny eastward crossing, Olympics bound, and for the leisurely life on Roman beaches and at Roman swimming clubs later. The traditional sports blazer is a key article in the wardrobes of both Bob and Joan Taft. Bob's blazer teams with white trousers aboard ship, with plaid trousers for lunch ashore, with gray for informal cocktails. Joan's goes with slacks on the ship or with a pleated skirt later on. Sweaters for each, a print sportshirt for Bob, and a quick-drying swimsuit and pullover for Joan are all easy-care clothes that will hold their own wherever Uncle Sam's informal ambassadors appear.

Trapshooting at sea from the fantail, Bob Taft wears a white summer-weight, cable-stitch pullover ($50) by Gino Paoli (Peerless, Sarasota, Fla.); Joan wears a cashmere cardigan ($38) by Hadley (Bergdorf Goodman; I. Magnin).

Aboard ship blazers combine with white slacks. Joan's brown wool jersey ($65), her Arnel sharkskin slacks ($18) are by Ellen Brooke (Lord & Taylor; Neiman-Marcus). Bob's summer blazer ($32.50) is Orion and rayon, from Gordon-Ford (Mark, Fore & Strike); Dacron-cotton slacks ($16.50) from Corbin (Arthur M. Rosenberg, New Haven); cordovan moccasins ($30) from Frank Bros.

Joan's poolside pullover ($25) matches her elasticized Paisley maillot ($23), both from P&M (The Casual Shop, Hicksville, N.Y.).

Bob's silk-scarf shirt ($27.50) is typical of new school of bright print shirts which are being worn with style from Capri to Palm Beach. This one is a Chateau Madrid pattern from Merrill-Sharpe (Bullock's, Pasadena; Neusteter's, Denver).

For Roman days

Once in Rome, the Tafts are prepared for its tropical midsummer days with a cool, crisp wardrobe chosen for Olympic spectating, for shopping, for sightseeing, for lunching in a city more famous for its food than its air conditioning. All of Joan's clothes are in golden tones, so that her travel raincoat and her accessories are interchangeable. Bob's suit, like his shirts and underwear (Manhattan's new Kodel and cotton), is of a wash-wear blend. His reversible raincoat is for day or evening wear.

At Palazzo Borghese, Joan wears Emilio Pucci's silk jersey sheath ($90), four ounces light and non-wrinkling (Lord & Taylor). Hat is by Mr. John Boutique ($25); Delmanette sandals ($21). Car is Fiat's 1200 roadster.

At Naples dock, Joan travels in Phelps's raincoat ($50), matching skirt ($35) of golden Dacron (Lord & Taylor). Canvas bag ($H)is by Park Lane; reptile shoes ($20) by La Piuma. Bob's Valmeline poplin raincoat ($35) reverses from oyster to charcoal (Gimbels, Milwaukee).

Joan surveys Nervi's new Palazzetto della Sport in fitted ocelot-print cotton suit ($160), by Bill Blass for Maurice Rentner (B. Forman; Neiman-Marcus; Saks Fifth Ave.). Matching beret is by Emmé; Castlecliff gilt jewelry.

At Foro Italico, Bob's Haspel suit ($45) is covert-colored blend of Dacron-Orlon-cotton (Higbee Co.; Rich's), his Panama by Dobbs. Joan's two-piece linen dress ($55) by B. H. Wragge has zebra-print overblouse (Bonwit Teller; Burdine's). Reptile bag is by Greta ($25). Lujean glasses.

The Tafls' most festive Roman evening begins at the new Borgia Room of Hostaria dell'Orso. For it, Joan picks a simple black-and-brown silk-chiffon dinner dress ($120), by Donald Brooks for Townley (B. Altman; Bonwit Teller, Philadelphia; Neiman-Marcus); starfish pin ($28), by Schreiner; and glace gloves ($14), by Superb. Bob's black suit is a crisp blend of wool and mohair ($55), by J. & F. (Bullock's, Los Angeles; Rich's, Atlanta; Famous-Barr).

Dark after dark

Formality has to be planned for by the Tafts, not only for evenings on shipboard but for Continental engagements when the red carpet is rolled out. Bob is following the European preference for a black dinner jacket. A white dinner jacket or one of its colorful substitutes, though good style and spirit at the country club dance, would look less in place abroad.

For dining in fine European restaurants, which are more formal than their U.S. counterparts, Bob wears a black business suit, Joan a cocktail-length dinner dress. Both of Bob's suits are non-crushable: his dinner jacket and trousers are tropical worsted, his black suit a wrinkle-defying blend of wool and mohair. Black dress oxfords are worn with both. One or two evening shirts should take care of black-tie occasions, depending on how gala the trip promises to be.

Since evening dresses pose the greatest packing problem it is important to choose fabrics that come out of a suitcase as free from wrinkles as possible. Joan's solution, as shown on these pages, is a pair of chiffon dresses which can be worn with the same basic accessories. A white ermine jacket like that on the chair at right is one dashing way to take care of cool nights.

For Continental occasions Joan includes a brown chiffon dress ($145) by Donald Brooks for Townley {Lord & Taylor). Her earrings are from Scaasi, brown silk sandals from Mademoiselle, ermine jacket from Revillon Frères. Bob's suit ($70) is from After Six (Lytton's, Chicago; Roos/Atkins).

Simple ease

As for all European travelers, some of the Tafts' most memorable experiences were the simplest: breakfast on their balcony overlooking the Via Veneto—in robes bought on a shopping tour, a day at the ancient seaside town of Sperlonga and lunch on the Pincian Hill, with all Rome spread out below.

At Sperlonga, beach town south of Rome, Joan wears cotton beach shirt ($12) and bathing suit ($18) of gold-hued plaid by Bill Atkinson of Glen of Michigan (J. L. Hudson; Kaufmann's). Bob's bold-striped knit shirt ($6), seersucker swim shorts ($8) are by Jantzen.

The Tafts breakfast on their Flora Hotel balcony in Italian robes. Joan's robe is of rose velvet with white satin binding and buttons, by Tomassini. Bob's tailored navy silk kimono is from Brioni.

At an outdoor lunch at the Villa Valadier, Bob and Joan again wear blazers (see pages 56-57). Joan teams hers this time with crisp Arnel sharkskin pleated skirt ($20) by Ellen Brooke (Lord & Taylor; Neiman-Marcus); Bob teams his with Gordon-Ford's check trousers ($13) of Dacron and cotton (Marshall Field).

FOURTEEN PHOTOSLOUISE DAHL-WOLFE