1940s Ski Suit and Caps

If you’ve been reading The Vintage Traveler for a while, you know that I write about my new finds as I investigate them.  But today I have an item that I’ve owned for probably ten years or so.   I had this suit out so I could look at it with some new accessories, and I realized that I’d never written about it.

The suit dates from the late 1940s, while shoulders were still big.  It is made from wool gabardine.  The jacket is actually reversible, though I can’t see why anyone would wear it on the grey side when they could choose this bright red.

The pants are as streamlined as possible considering the fabric, but they are still pretty bulky.  Around the time that this set mas made, Emilio Pucci was revolutionizing ski wear by using a stretch fabric for the pants.  They were cut much closer to the body and gave a slim look to the skier.  No wonder that they were popular.

There are a lot of nice features on the suit, including zippers at every pocket.

The set was made by White Mountain Ski Wear.  I can’t tell you much about the company, but I’ve seen items with the labels on garments from as early as the 1930s, and as recent as the 1970s.

I acquired this cap, even though it was probably intended for wear by men because I have seen photos of women wearing similar hats for winter sports.

And who could resist that button?

I also recently bought this cap.  It was listed by the seller as being from the 1920s, and I can see why she thought that because of the way it fits around the face.  Is is actually a bit later, probably late 1940s.

In 1941 the  Wool Products Labeling Act was implemented in the US, and numbers were given to companies in the order of application.  #7503 was given to Schuessler Knitting Mills of Chicago, sometime in the mid 1940s.  There is a database where these numbers can be looked up, though the number does not give the year of manufacture.  It gives the year the number was issued.  Still, the WPL number is a useful bit of information because it does limit the years that an item could have been made.


Filed under Collecting, Vintage Clothing, Winter Sports

13 responses to “1940s Ski Suit and Caps

  1. I absolutely adore the ski suit and that caps are great too! The suit fabric still looks as good as the day it was made. Like you say, who’d want to wear grey when you can have the red? It’s the perfect colour to be seen in.

    Love your background shots too. I would dearly love to have a good old nosey around! It all looks so pretty. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!


  2. I would never said it is a ski suit – it looks fantastic! I remember this caps – especially the wollen one – from old pictures. Lovely assamble!


  3. Ah, the buttons! You could make a whole other outfit just around those buttons. the ski cap is so cute, it looks like a pixie cap!


  4. Well, I love the grey knitted cap. Someone should make a knitting pattern for that–a mix between a cloche and an elf hat!


  5. littleheapvintage

    I love that second hat! I recently saw an assortment of ski pants at a vintage store– so great to learn more about them!


  6. You had me so intrigued, I followed your video up the stairs up to your workroom only to find – Clark Gable. I guess there are no accidents because I was just viewing a picture of him skiing with the swells in Sun Valley in clothes much like the outfit you show here. I love your blog. You have the most exceptional range of interests. It’s like opening a treasure chest every time I visit.


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