Spectator Sports Style



Attending sporting events was a popular leisure time practice during the 1920s. Fashion-conscious spectators dressed in attire appropriate for a variety of sports events. Often fashion was dictated by the weather. For instance, male and female college students who attended autumn and early winter football games wore bulky raccoon fur coats or heavy tan-colored camel hair and woolen polo coats belted at the waist or with a partial belt at the back. Women's sportswear was becoming more masculine. By the late 1920s college-aged women wore tailored woolen tweed suits with knee-length skirts and loose-fitting slacks to collegiate sports events.

Warm weather events such as horse races often were held in stylish surroundings such as resorts. Wealthy male spectators wore navy blue woolen blazers with gold buttons. In the late 1920s men and women began wearing black-and-white spectator sports style shoes. They were white wing-tipped leather shoes trimmed with black leather or patent leather at the toes and heels. Women wore spectator pumps with matching spectator handbags, white leather rectangular pocketbooks with a clasp at the top and black leather or patent leather trim at the four corners.

In 1927 Charles Lindbergh (1902-1974) became the first aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. He became an instant popular cultural hero to millions of Americans. By 1928 fans of Lindbergh bought mass-produced reproductions of his leather aviator jacket to wear at sports events.

Golf matches also were fashionable places to see and be seen. Men watching the golf games wore clothes that mimicked the players' outfits: three-piece sports suits that featured knickers (loose-fitting pants that ended just below the knees, usually fitted at the bottom by a button), a vest, and a jacket. These often were made of light-woven woolens or tweeds. Knickers were worn with colorful argyle (diamond-shaped pattern) knee socks. Many of the accessories to golf attire, such as ties, caps, and socks, often were fashioned from Scottish clan plaids, because the game of golf was developed in Scotland.

For tennis matches spectators wore variations of tennis players' garb. The major difference was that tennis players wore white only. Men often wore soft, loose-fitting white woolen flannel trousers with a navy blazer. Women wore knee-length pleated summer dresses in white or pastels, or loose trousers with pleats in the front. During the late 1920s many women chose to wear berets, or soft, wide rounded woolen caps with narrow headbands, with their spectator style clothing.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Peacock, John. Men's Fashion: The Complete Sourcebook. London, England: Thames and Hudson, 1996.

Peacock, John. 20th Century Fashion. London, England: Thames and Hudson, 1993.



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