Last week I got to take in the big Liberty, NC Antiques Fair. Actually it is more like a big flea market where most of the stuff is old. It’s usually not the best place to find clothes because it is outside and some dealers don’t like to exhibit clothing out in the weather, but I have found some fabulous things there over the years.
The first booth I came to had the dealers still pulling bins of textiles off their truck. There must have been over a dozen big plastic binds full of clothing and linens from the past 125 years. According to the seller they cleaned out the clothing from an estate and this was everything in the house. There was no rhyme or reason to the packing of the bins. You might have one with Victorian underwear and 1940s kids’ clothes together.
So I settled in to go through all the bins, and I was rewarded with some really interesting items. One was this shirt from sportswear maker, A.G. Spalding. It looks a bit odd, kind of like a shirt with legs. I knew I’d seen a similar one in an ad in a 1929 EveryGirl’s magazine.
As you can see, in this ad from Man O’ War, it was called a ted shirt, which I assume is a cross between a teddy and a shirt. Even though it is shown without a bottom in the ad, I assume it would be worn with bloomers.
I think this ted shirt is also from the late 1920s, with the popular round collar that is also seen on dresses from this era. Also, the label is very similar to another Spalding suit from the late Twenties that I have in my collection.
Note how the top of the opening is shaped like a V and fastens beneath the collar.
As in the ad, there are curved shirt tails.
It looks like the purpose of the ted shirt was to keep the tails of it neatly tucked inside the bloomers, rather like the bodysuit of the 1970s.
Here’s the entire ad.
I’ll be sharing some of the other great sportswear I got from this dealer in the coming days.