11 December 2008

Sis-Boom-Bah!

Once upon a time, when people were generally dressed in a respectable manner, high school athletes and cheerleaders earned a sturdy, heavyweight wool sweater, often a cardigan, for their efforts, such as these:
The Lanza 'N' by Roper and Lanza knitting mills of Boston, Mass.


'71' by Parrish of Park Ridge, Illinois, an official 'Sand Knit'


Not one wear another man's school colors, I immediately removed the 'N' from the cardigan, and found a pocket underneath.This thing weighs a ton. After it gets a fresh dry cleaning, I think I'll change the buttons for some brown leather ones, and use it like a sports jacket. '71' is too cool to mess with and will remain as is. In your face, Rugby Ralph Lauren! $150 my foot!


And what to wear to the spring semi-formal? We all know nothing impresses the young ladies quite like cotton madras:

What's that? Spilled your drink? No need to worry, the Palm Beach 'Zephyr Weight' is machine washable:
Fast forward to July: this jacket with khakis, a navy blue tennis shirt, no socks and top-siders. Superb! (add a captains hat and I'll have the Thurston Howell vibe nailed). Alas, this one will also require a new set of buttons, maybe brown horn. Anything but these monstrosities:

All this, plus a sweater and a fleece blanket for the boy, a 1960's vintage glass and gilt serving dish for the wife, and an unworn Brooks Brothers U.S.A. made white oxford button down for just shy of 30 clams. Not a bad haul.

p.s. Who can even imagine a teenager dressed like this? How far we've fallen (world's smallest violin)

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Who can even imagine a teenager dressed like this? How far we've fallen."

We've fallen so far that people wearing t-shirts and jeans look formally dressed (when one sees the hordes of people wearing sweatsuits and plastic jogging outfits).

Mom on the Run said...

DOTR's high school must've been the last one in North America still awarding letter sweaters in the late 1970's because he has one instead of a letter jacket. One of the kids will wear it every year on "decade day" during homecoming week. We also have a red sweater with a white N (for Nebraska, of course)that is not vintage, but for some reason DOTR had to have. It just showed up via UPS one day.

You have fabulous thrift stores. Ours are full of a million cast off t-shirts and that's about it.

Renovation Therapy said...

Love the sweater and 71 sweatshirt!! Braided leather buttons will definitely make that sweater pop. Hope you passed the N onto someone like Nancy, Neil or Norman...

ms. mindless said...

my undergraduate alma mater still gives letter sweaters to athletes. a deep royal/almost navy with a white trident (school logo). very similar to your 'N' cardigan. my fiance loves his and wears it to all of his law exams for luck! so far, so good.

Giuseppe said...

Renovation Therapy,

'71' is actually a burly wool crew neck sweater, possibly 1940's vintage. It's way cooler than the pictures make it look.

oldschool said...

Giuseppe,

Bemoaning the decline in taste and standards deserves the world's largest violin!

longwing said...

I hope you have spacious closets.

LS176074 said...

I earned a letter at my prep school for varsity swimming. An option at my school was to wear your sweater instead of a jacket, and my buddy and I always did that. Infact, I still rock it. I should mention that I graduated from my prep school in 2006...

Zachary said...

Great Finds!
Old madras jackets are the best; contemporary ones are too vivid and loud and bright.

Frank said...

That 71 sweater is from Maine South High School, my alma's arch rivals. Since South was founded in 1964, that sweater is most likely from 1971.

Still very badasss.