Vintage Styleknit Sweatshirt Sports Cardigan

This is the find that I nearly overlooked.  Flipping through the rack at the antique mall, at first I thought this was just a modern sweatshirt.  But something about the feel of it made me stop and take a closer look.  I’m glad I did because this is a hard-to-find vintage sports cardigan.  My guess is that it is from the late 1940s or early 50s.

It’s made from cotton knit fleece, like sweatshirt fabric, a fabric that I’ve seen in catalogs dating back to at least the 1910s.  The seams are overlocked, and the label is printed onto cotton tape.

Styleknit: Made to Fit

The buttons are a hard, clear plastic that has yellowed slightly.

See the thread loop to the left of the buttonhole?  Does anyone have an idea as to its purpose?  There is also a loop on the inside.

I’m always so happy to find older active sportswear.  It is relatively scarce because this is just not the type of thing that people tended to save.    That is, unless you are like me.  I saved relatively few clothing items from my youth and young adulthood, but among them is my favorite heathery purple sweatshirt.


Filed under Sportswear, Vintage Clothing, Winter Sports

10 responses to “Vintage Styleknit Sweatshirt Sports Cardigan

  1. What a great find. I have no idea what the loop is for. I’ve never come across anything like it.
    I’m always fascinated by the construction of garments and the little details.


  2. Good find! The ribbed collar reminds me of a baseball jacket. Interesting that it would have the little decorative detail on the buttons, which you probably wouldn’t seen nowadays.
    I hope someone can help solve the mystery of the thread loop.


  3. Coincidentally, I’ve just been reading the glossies which are predicting the sweatshirt as the next must-have fashion piece. I’d totally forgotten how easy to wear and comfortable they were. I’d love a sweatshirt cardi like this one. I’m off to the shops!
    The loops are very odd. At first I thought that they might be for a removable button-on collar, but then the loops would surely be all around the edge and possibly on the inside. I hope someone comes up with a solution, it’s one of those little mysteries that’s going to niggle.


  4. Teresa

    I love how the feel of vintage stands out from modern clothing. Such a tell-tale sign of quality.

    This is a great find Lizzie and I hope the mystery of the loop is solved!


  5. Okay, here’s my totally wild guess about the loops: First thought was scarf holder but then I thought coach whistle holder (if the cord on the whistle somehow hooked in the center back and could be threaded through).

    Such interesting details!


  6. My guess is loops are for clipping snow gloves or other to. Blair mailorder reproduces a similar jacket, collarless, without knit collar and side-seam pockets. I ordered several for mom and myself for around-the-house jacs. They have 15% Poly blend which I don’t like. Any Poly for that matter. What happened to the warm, hefty pure cotton fleece sweatshirts of my kid hood? At 63 now, I’m wearing my good ol’ ones thinner! I’ll keep searching ….


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