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The Norfolk Jacket

24 Feb

So a few days ago I had the pleasure of watching the final Season Two episode of Downton Abbey (aka the Christmas episode), which takes place in 1919/1920.  I could completely derail this post and squeal about how much I adore this show, but other people have done enough of that.  Focus, focus.

Near the start of the episode there is a long hunting sequence.  It is absolutely gorgeous, if you ignore the fact that they are killing birds for sport.  Apparently there was a little hoopla in the UK about the characters wearing the wrong boots for the time period, but that’s not what caught my eye.  I noticed Mary’s jacket.

It looks awfully similar to this print I have in my living room.

How cool is that?

The Norfolk jacket has quite the refined history.  It first appeared in the 1860s and is, to put it simply, the best sporting jacket ever.  The thick, neutrally colored wool keeps you warm, while the loose, boxy cut gives lots of room for movement.  Most of the jackets had front pleats and big pockets as well.

The other interesting thing about this jacket is that its use is very specific.  It is for hunting and outdoor adventures only, which makes it impractical for those with a limited budget.  Only the upper class could afford to buy a garment that would only be worn a few times a month or so.  It was also on its way out of popularity in the 1920s, to be replaced with a more fitted jacket.  When Mary wears this kind of jacket, she is telling the world that she comes from old money and is perhaps not so interested in being on the cutting edge of fashion.

For more info on the jacket, check this out.  And if you need a close up on her hat and collar, like I did, enjoy this too.


Sporting Hamills

23 Feb

Recreational sports are so fun!  Or so I’ve been told.  Looks like my relatives enjoyed them quite a bit, enough to bring out the camera to capture a few moments.

Thomas Patrick 1925ish, looking dashing with a hat and tie. I hope they didn't get wet later...

Cliff, my grandfather, in 1948 and looking very tall. (The vehicle behind him is also fantastic.)

And my favorite:

Mary Ann Doyle. Do not get in her way.

Baseball and Fashion?

6 Apr

Baseball is back!  The next seven (hopefully eight) months of my life will now be devoted to following brawny men in their twenties to forties wearing tight pants and hitting balls.  And I LOVE IT.

What I don’t love, however, are the people that try to make baseball fashionable/cute/sexy.  It doesn’t work.  There is no way to successfully make baseball clothes look sexy without looking like you’ve shown up after a very long night at a dance club.   Or looking like you would prefer to be there instead.  Pink, with or without bedazzling, is not a baseball color.  EVER.  And please, if you are going to a game but you don’t care about baseball, DO NOT use it as an opportunity to wear your tightest and shortest outfit.  It’s great that you’re there, but I’m not there to see you and your assets, I’m there to watch the game.

Just saying.

A few years ago actress Alyssa Milano created a clothing line, Touch, for feminine sportswear.  I appreciated the thought, creating baseball clothes for women in women’s sizes.  But honestly, who wants to wear this?

The plain t-shirts work, like this one, because there is no added “style”:

Might as well just get a kid’s shirt though- I bet it will last longer.

Final request: please go to a game this summer and have a blast.  Drink lots of beer, cheer for the best team, and avoid anything with the “designer” name Alyssa Milano.