Hiking Weather, and What to Wear

After weeks of rain, today was the perfect early fall day.  Fall is the time for hiking here in the mountains, with crisp, cool days and low humidity that makes the mountain vistas even better than usual.  When it comes to what to wear on such a hike, I really don’t think we can improve much on this knicker set from the early-mid 1920s.  It’s made from linen, and is appropriately “woodsy” but still quite polished.  How to accessorize?  Here’s how they did it at B. Altman & Co in 1925:

from a 1925 B. Altman catalog

I have the patterned stockings, and a casual dark red cloche.  I’m still looking for some brogan shoes, but I do have a great pair of 1920s lace up hiking boots from Abercrombie & Fitch.

When this set was made, slacks were not an option for women.  Bloomers had been made for bicycling before the turn of the 20th Century, but most female bike riders did not wear them, preferring a slightly shorter skirt instead.  Bloomers became commonplace at women’s collages, worn first as gym attire, and later as sports uniforms.  But until the very late 1920s, pants for women were knickers like these for sports wear, or long flowing pyjama pants for beach and poolside.

But what freedom these knickers must have afforded a generation of women who were used to hiking in long skirts and corsets!


Posted by Catwalk Creative Vintage:

If only my history lessons at school had been so interesting! Love the 1925 advert from B Altman & Co to go with. Great post! 🙂

Monday, September 28th 2009 @ 1:32 PM

Posted by Lizzie:

Well, aren’t you kind! I just hope some of my students from all those years of teaching history feel the same.

Monday, September 28th 2009 @ 2:00 PM

Posted by Trudy Callan:

Great blog you have here. Lots of interesting things. I found you through Sew Retro.


Monday, September 28th 2009 @ 10:02 PM

Posted by Anna:

Wow! I came over from Sew Retro and I am so impressed with your blog! Absolutely fascinating!

Tuesday, September 29th 2009 @ 5:18 AM

Posted by Lizzie:

Welcome to all the new readers from Sew Retro. I’m pleased that you all have checked out my journal.

Tuesday, September 29th 2009 @ 8:48 AM

Posted by Nan Jaeger:

This is one cool hiking outfit, love the linen — the knickers look so much better than the coulottes I remember wearing as a kid.

Tuesday, September 29th 2009 @ 11:26 AM


Filed under Camping and Hiking, Proper Clothing, Sportswear, Vintage Clothing

3 responses to “Hiking Weather, and What to Wear

  1. Pingback: how the mountain laurel blooms | silverfinofhope

  2. Clare

    Where can you find a pattern to make a knicker suit?


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