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Entries in sport (12)


The Original Boyfriend Jacket

I’ve always wanted to own a classic varsity jacket, but they are not easy to come by in Australia. A couple of months ago however, I attended a Unique Vintage warehouse sale with a friend. Their ad stated that varsity jackets were amongst their huge collection of vintage items imported from America, and I was determined to snaffle one if I could.

We arrived half an hour after the sale had opened, and already the warehouse was crowded with bargain-hunters. I immediately dived into the scrum gathered around the precious – and very small – rack of varsity and baseball jackets.

I was quick enough that there was still a good selection, and I snatched up the one I liked the most: a navy wool jacket that buttoned with real buttons, not snaps. It was clearly a baseball jacket, rather than a varsity jacket, but I liked the shape and the felt logo emblazoned across the front. I’m really into navy at the moment too. It also looked like one of the oldest, the best quality and condition.

The Letter A, from James Worthy, Rowing Crew and Collections Catalog, c. 1920sVarsity or letterman jackets have of course been worn by students for a long time, and to be dating a guy who had one bestowed enormous cachet on a girl, especially if she got to wear it too when she was cold!

Cool girl from the 1940sSporting her boyfriend's jacket

Now, I know zip about baseball, and I couldn’t begin to guess how old this jacket could be. Some Googling uncovered the information that Brooklyn’s baseball team, the Dodgers, had moved to Los Angeles in 1958. Possibly the jacket predates that move, taking into account the fabric and detailing, and the design of the label, which reads Empire Sporting Goods, New York, Union-made. That company operated from 1925 to 2012.

A cute look from a Polish artistI’ve worn the jacket out a couple of times, and I can asseverate that it is extremely warm. Admittedly it is a little big for me, being an extra large, but I pretend I’ve borrowed it from my (non-existent) boyfriend. I joked to my sister that maybe one day a future boyfriend can borrow it from me and call it his girlfriend jacket!

Fashion Notes

I’m wearing the jacket with a Claude Maus striped wool jumper, Calvin Klein jeans and a Jasper Conran wool cap – all second-hand too.


Photo: August 2016
NB The background is actually a vintage photo of the old Yankee Stadium, and was sourced from an article on its history at Stuff Nobody Cares About.

Coach 1941 brings back the varsity jacket for Fall 2016!


Sporting the Colours

Today is one of Australia’s big sporting days, with the grand finale of the Australian Football League season played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, a sporting venue that is very close to where I live. Thus, even when I don’t attend a game, I can experience the roar of the crowd, albeit at a distance.

I’m a nominal football fan these days, and my team (Essendon) wasn’t playing, so who to nominally support? It was the Western Bulldogs v the Sydney Swans. The choice should be easy after all: a Victorian team (the state in which I live) versus a New South Welsh team. But that would be too obvious. Then there were their mascots: bulldogs and swans; I definitely prefer swans – they are such amusing birds, and I see them every day in the botanic gardens across the road.

there was something of even greater – and more fashionable – interest to me: THE COLOURS.

But there was something of even greater – and more fashionable – interest to me: THE COLOURS. I decided my allegiance would attach to my favourite colour combination. The Doggies, with blue and white and red, and the Swans with simple red and white. Both classic colour combinations; both incorporating stripes of some sort (on jerseys or socks); and both having nautical connections. This would be tricky! Because I adore both, as evidenced already on these pages (click those links above).

In the end, although I didn’t attend the game, and only watched the final quarter on TV, I gallivanted around town in a subtle variant of the Bulldogs’ colours. And in the end, it was the right choice, because the Doggies won the flag after an exciting last quarter, ending a 62-year drought. It’s always nice to be on the winning side if one possibly can.

Fashion Notes

I’m wearing a mix of new and vintage, notably a 1940s red velvet hat, and a 1970s ribbed cardigan.

Photo: Yesterday


Box Clever

Ever since I collected these vintage leather lace-up gloves from my old club one clean-up day, I have wanted to do a boxing story especially for Boxing Day. Originally I wanted to wear the gloves, but was never quick enough to organise a friend to come press the shutter for me (as I obviously could not operate a camera shutter remote wearing gloves). Finally I decided to go ahead anyway, as I love the way the laces allow the gloves to hang around the neck – a classic look not possible with modern gloves that fasten with Velcro.

Hattie Stewart, from the Bronx, New York (image from Pinterest)Researching women’s vintage boxing attire was extremely entertaining as of course with the Victorian mania for keeping women as covered up as much as possible during sporting activities, this meant donning all sorts of paraphernalia, such as silk sashes around the waist, ribbons in the hair, and pretty frilled socks and shoes. The image of Hattie Stewart from the Bronx, New York was my main inspiration for my outfit – it was the ribbons and the multi-coloured sash that sold me on it.

The only vintage items I am sporting are the gloves themselves, the silk ribbon in my hair, and a silk kimono I bought in an antique store in Vietnam years ago. I had to make do with a Gap tank and Adidas shorts, and leather fold-up ballet flats by Yosi Samra (super soft and comfortable, by the way). I laugh every time I see the lace socks paired with running shorts!

The Bennett Sisters, c1910–15

I haven’t done any boxing classes for a year or two – martial arts having given way to fine arts – but I still do a bit of shadow-boxing as part of my warm-up when I go running. Doing this shoot reminded me how much I miss sparring, although if I do take it up again in the New Year, I think I will be wearing more practical garments!

Photos: A few days ago

Clara Bow in Rough House Rosie, 1927Women boxing in heels in the 1920s (click through for more images of women boxing)Fraulein Kussin and Mrs Edwards fought on 7 March, 1912


Don’t Mess With Me

Don’t mess with me on Boxing Day. I mean business. I have fists and I know how to make fisticuffs. I AM READY TO DO BATTLE.

Oh … what? It’s not that kind of boxing day? Boo. Hiss.

Traditionally, Boxing Day was when the feudal lords gave out gifts, known as a Christmas Box, to their peasants, and also leftovers from Christmas Day feasting. I am afraid I am eating all my leftovers myself, and I don’t have any peasants anyway.

As for that other revered tradition, attending the Boxing Day sales – I have eschewed them this year. The crowds and the rampant commercialism are more wont to make me break out with a quick one-two to get people out of my way! I am spending a relaxed day at home perusing presents given me yesterday (a lovely vintage 1930s book, and a great art book), watching films, and eating the aforementioned cakes. I really ought to fit in a workout to work off all those extra desserts …

Photo: Today


Anyone for Tennis?

Celebrating the Roaring Twenties in a Special Series

As the Australian Open draws to a close, I thought I would celebrate the fortnight with a homage to this classic 1927 Vogue cover illustration by Harriet Meserole. It’s a picture I have long liked for its freshness and elegant simplicity – something Meserole was known for.

Meserole worked for Vogue from 1919 to 1933. In 1923, she said of herself: ‘I like simplicity in all things and people. I hate prettiness and ice cream.’ I suspect that by ‘prettiness’ she meant ‘girlishness’ – something I can appreciate. Too much sugary prettiness makes my teeth hurt.

In these pictures I am wearing a Zambesi linen dress, BCBG cardigan, and a vintage 1920s shirred headband. The tennis racket is vintage too, and has a wooden press, although I am not sure of its actual age.

Picture note: since time and the weather were against me, I was unable to photograph a tennis court myself. These tennis court pictures came from here and here