Saturday, November 6, 2010


The 1930s was a decade of sartorial oddities, at least in our eyes. Belted backs, bi-swing backs, pleated pockets, back gussets. Very unique and complex treatments that are rarely if ever seen today. But it was the norm back then.

Several months ago during some of my travels I stumbled upon the late 1930s sports coat below.

click images to enlarge

This jacket has a couple odd characteristics. First, it has two breast pockets. While this was not unheard of on leisure jackets, it was a little less common on regular sports coats.

Another example of a dual breast-pocketed jacket is shown below. These images are from the classic movie "It's a Wonderful Life" and show Jimmy Stewart's fantastic jacket with lazy peaked lapels to go with the dual breast pockets.

It should be noted that Stewart provided his own wardrobe for "Wonderful Life". The dual breast pocket feature was more of a Hollywood/dandy/higher class trend and most likely would not have been picked up by the lowly and poor small town clerk character that Stewart played in the movie.

Secondly and most unusually: all of the patch pockets are pleated with vertical 'shark gills'.

Definitely an unusual and sophisticated tailoring feature that added another layer of character to an already unique jacket. The material is also interesting, kind of a smooth yet slightly nubby tweed:

With such unusual treatments on the front of the jacket you'd expect even more craziness on the backside: a belted back at least, maybe with pleats if we're lucky. But you'd be wrong.

Just a plain, ventless back. It's a party up front, all business in back. What a combo.

This unusual jacket is a perfect example of the oddities spawned during the 1930s and has a well deserved place in my personal collection.


garofit said...

cool pockets and fabric! i love the 30s, odd or not.

Roger v.d. Velde said...

It's a real oddity that one. I'm used to seeing the busy jackets from the 1930s with pockets and belts, but I've never seen one with a ventless back like that.

The '30s usually had higher 3-4 buttoning jackets too.


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