Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Posts Tagged ‘archival tennis’

Archival Paddle Tennis

May 3rd, 2013

As much as I enjoy tennis, I prefer the snappy uniforms worn by these vintage gents playing paddle tennis.  For reference, paddle tennis is an indoor variation of the traditional tennis played with solid rackets and underhand serve on a smaller court.  I liken paddle tennis to the elegant, east coast cousin of  pickleball, a PE course requirement in 1980s Eastern Washington.   Per usual,  I endorse any sport that permits you to wear clothing that still resembles what you might wear to work.  I’m shopping for a pair of deadstock saddle shoes so I can start working on my own, from-the-ground-up, paddle tennis ensemble.   See below for step by step illustrations on how to play the game. 


Archival Athletes

March 26th, 2013
From the Musee McCord Museum Archives, here are some terrific photographs of individual and team sports from the turn of the (past) century.  I love reprinting images of historical athletes as evidence of a time when athletic prowess was conflated with a snappy, well tailored presentation for the camera.  Here, in the McCord image set, both male and female athletes wear sporting garb that could easily double as street clothing.  I long for the days when heraldic emblems, plus fours, bowler hats, wool knits and striped tunics were de rigeur elements of the the amateur sporting uniform.
 John Lowe, 1931
 Frank Barnwell, 1891
Louis Rubenstein, 1893
 Rowing Crew, 1871
Fencers, 1925
 “Bonnie Lassies” group, 1891

Hurdle race on snowshoes, 1892
Trafagler Basketball Institute, 1928
 YWCA Water Polo Team, 1925

Bank of Montreal Hockey Team, 1895
 Kahnawake Lacrosse, 1867
Wesleyan Thelogical Basketball Team, 1916
Physical Education Hockey Group, 1925

Archival Recreation: Tennis

April 9th, 2012

Yes, we’re most fond of cycling and hiking here at Archival, but we (almost) all love tennis, too. I waved a racquet around for an hour this morning on the last day of open tennis in New York (as of tomorrow, you need a $200 permit). I had to shop from my hiking wardrobe, but I was mentally wearing a more complete outfit from the past.

Making tennis balls

Shopping from the movies: Shoot the Moon (Parker 1982)

June 24th, 2011

Some films are better watched on fast forward or reproduced as film stills. Shoot the Moon (Parker 1982) is just such a movie — playing out like an Ingmar Bergman domestic drama populated by Woody Allen characters. While we’re asked to focus on the dissolving marriage of Albert Finney and Diane Keaton, one’s eye cannot help but wander to the the family’s shared taste in classic clothing: wonderful cotton plaids, knits, woolens and jackets sourced (perhaps) from venerable brands like Barbour, Woolrich and Pendleton.

I’ve reproduced a few stills for reference:

Rugby stripes and heritage garb for kids

Knit cardigans

Plaids (and pencil sharpeners)

Barbour Solway Zipper jackets (and a fetching duffle)

Woolrich jac-shirts

Down vests
Pendleton blanket robes

Cotton knit caps

And a few a household accessories:

Rotary phones

Backyard tennis courts
Family station wagons

Archival Tennis

April 16th, 2010

Once Spring randonneuring season is over I’ll be switching over to tennis as my preferred archival sport. Tennis is great because it only requires two to play and even if you have no formal training there’s a good chance you’ll get the ball over the net (who cares about line calls). Fortunately for me, most of my friends have at least rudimentary, P.E. class level ability (although one is a transfer student from the more hoi toi toi sport of squash). We chatter and bat the ball back and forth in the outdoors.

It’s easy to shop from the past for tennis equipment and apparel. I have a robust, thrift store collection of wooden rackets including favorite signature models by Chris Evert and Jack Kramer. My own embarrassing racket of choice during my teen tennis “career” was an over sized Prince woodie.

Mandatory equipment

The best part of tennis is the footwear. There are many vintage styles still in production including tennis white models by Jack Purcell, Tretorn and PF Flyers. My own preference is for these classic “elastique” tennis flats and lace ups from Bensimon. Since I’m not seriously running after balls, I’m fine wearing slip-ons on the court.

Bensimon Elastique Tennis Flats

Friend Lynn is on the hunt for more modern, functional tennis apparel. She found this company, DTL fitness, selling high performance, US made tennis clothing for women.

Tennis playing gents need only model their spring wardrobes after McLoughlin and Rice.