Sunday, June 26, 2011

"Ricky": Quintessential Vintage Sportswear

So-called "Ricky" jackets were a staple throughout the Golden Era, particularly during the late 1940s and throughout the 1950s. Gabardine waist-length jackets in bright and crazy colors and patterns evoke images of cool cars, slicked back hair and youthful hipsters from yesteryear like no other piece of clothing.

Which is why I was excited to score the Ricky pictured below.

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The styling this jacket is really cool and sleek as is the color scheme: pinkish-gray and purple. The gathered sleeveheads and the gathered yoke in back add another level of drape to the already drapey rayon gabardine material.

"Super-Calisheen"- whatever that is, it must be good!

It has seen some use throughout its years and sports a few battle scars, but finding a Ricky of this style in this good condition and decent size nowadays requires a stroke of luck and perhaps a blessing from the vintage gods.

Another intriguing aspect of this particular jacket is the outline of some sort of shield patch on the left shoulder:

It would be interesting to know who put what patch on this classic jacket and why. The imagination wanders...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

An Edwardian...


I don't really know what to call this garment. A Paddock Coat? A Topcoat? I'm going to say it's an Edwardian Covert Coat even though it's fairly short.

Whatever it is, it's in excellent condition for its age and very rare, especially considering its large size. The quality is fantastic, probably the best quality I've ever seen in a garment, vintage or not. Tailors really knew what they were doing back then.

Unfortunately there are no tags to be found anywhere on the coat, which is fairly unusual. Perhaps the client forbade the tailor from attaching any tags. Or the client removed the maker's tags afterward, though there is no evidence that tags were attached to begin with.

The wool is extremely heavy weight and thick; a dense wool like none I've seen before. Even the thick wool of 1950s U.S. Navy Peacoats cannot compare. And the velvour collar, it too is like nothing I've ever felt. Extremely soft and luxurious.

There's no doubt this coat cost its owner quite a bit when it was first made. The quality if first rate as are the materials used, like nothing found today.

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I love how the stitching throughout the coat is absolutely perfect and yet under the collar it's far from perfect: gives it character, a personal touch. This shows that it was handmade and therefore a custom job:

A surprisingly colorful lining:

Here's W.H. Taft wearing a similar coat back in the early 1920s.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Shoes as Art

Enjoy the following vintage shoes, most pairs being Florsheims with one pair from Crosby Square, arguably the best shoe maker of the time. Another pair is from Freeman, another high quality maker.

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Crosby Square





Crosby Square


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