It’s no secret that I love a nautical look, and I especially love a vintage nautical outfit. The shirt and pants above are from the mid 1960s, and though they were not made together, the original wearer paired them for what I think is a perfect 1966 ensemble.
It’s certain that she could have not worn these to school because in North Carolina school dress codes did not generally allow the wearing of pants by girls until the early 1970s. Instead, this was a fun time outfit, for a casual date or a picnic or just hanging out with friends.
The top is made of cotton poplin, white with blue sailboats and red directional abbreviations. It has a band collar, a feature that was popular during the mid and late 1960s.
The shirt’s label is Shirt Tree, Designed by Lynn Stuart. Lynn Stuart is little remembered today, but during the 1960s and 70s she was quite busy, designing and manufacturing both the Shirt Tree and Mister Pants labels. Some of her designs can be found in McCall Patterns’ New York Designers series. Present day designer Jill Stuart is her daughter.
I love the inverted pleat on the back. It gives mobility without looking like a man’s shirt.
The pants were made to look like classic sailor’s pants with a double-button opening and drop front. I somehow can’t see guys (other than sailors, of course) going for this style, but it is possible these pants were made for young men.
McGregor primarily made sportswear for men, but for a very brief period, 1963 through 1968, they did have a line for women. All the labels I’ve seen for that line read “Her McGregor”, but that really does not prove the point either way. Truth is, in the mid 1960s and into the 70s girls were appropriating their brothers and boyfriends clothing like mad. Chances are the original wearer either stole them from her brother’s closet, or was shopping in the young men’s department.
It’s hard to tell from my photos, but the legs are very slightly belled. Bell-bottoms were not quite the must-have pants that they would be just a few years later, but they were already being worn by the fashionable set. Lynn at AmericanAgeFashion posted a great page showing the pants of 1964, and in it bell-bottoms were classified as a novelty look.
Nautical, right down to the anchor buttons!