Circa 1960s Golf Set by Serbin

One of the difficult things about collecting clothing is that often one finds just part of an ensemble.  As a collector of sportswear that often does not matter, but it is always a treat to find an outfit in its entirety.  Having the top or the skirt of this set would be nice, but it is so much better having both, plus the matching belt.

Serbin was founded in 1943 by brothers  Lewis and John Serbin in Cleveland, Ohio.  In 1951 Lewis Serbin moved his family and the family business to Florida.  There the company focused on golf wear and casual dresses.  The Serbins had a daughter, Marianne, and I’m guessing that she is the Mari*Anne on the label.  At some time she married and her name was Marianne Serbin Friedman.

The quilted skirt is covering a pair of shorts made from the same fabric as the top.  It feels to be a cotton/poly blend.  The buttons are a type that was popular in the late 1960s, ball-shaped plastic covered by a matte paint. There is a nylon zipper in the shorts and in the back of the top.

The belt matches the bias trim on the top and the skirt.

I have not firmed up a date, but my best guess is late 1960s.  Besides the buttons, there are other clues.  The A-line shape of the skirt was a popular one at that time, as was the cotton/poly fabric.  I’ve not shown any of the interior details, but the seams are pinked instead of serged.  That tends to mean a manufacture before the mid 1970s when the serger became widely used, but it pays to remember that smaller companies could not always invest in the latest machinery.

Novelty prints are really more associated with the Seventies than they are the Sixties, but when it comes to golf wear, anything goes.  Any other thoughts?

And I’d sure love to hear from the Serbin family.


Filed under Novelty Prints, Proper Clothing, Sportswear, Summer Sports, Vintage Clothing

10 responses to “Circa 1960s Golf Set by Serbin

  1. when i was researching Vintage clothing for clients i learned something from the shop owners – “Designer / Couture suits especially-the blouses and tops were most always missing…i was informed ( perfect logic)were very perishable -persperation /stains and or just did not wear as well -often a careless dry cleaner would ruin them or the owner simply just did not care!? That was one explaination! I found beautiful vintage Chanel, Oscar,Cardin,,, and always no blouse/top…then the chore…to find the appropriate one!- just wanted to share the trivia!


    • During the 1950’s to 80’s, (I don’t really remember much earlier) another great “ruiner” of suit jackets, and tops was the cigarette burn, often incurred when the person next to you at a crowded party or bar grazed your sleeve, side or back while holding and ignoring, or gesturing with, a lit cigarette. I remember my non-smoking mother’s fury when she discovered a black burn hole in the back of her wool suit jacket. Deodorants damaged underarms, too. Blouses suffered food spills, and occasionally were burned by your own dropped — but still burning — cigarette ash. Non-smoking laws benefited our clothes as well as our lungs.


    • Good point. Many Chanel suits did come with a matching blouse, made in the same fabric as the silk lining of the jacket and skirt. It is quite difficult to find all three pieces today in a vintage suit. Even the top quality Davidow copies often had a matching blouse, but in all my years of looking at vintage, I’ve seen only one.


  2. What a fun piece! And the quilted skirt portion is so interesting!

    My vote is very late 60s. Edging like that I noticed was very popular during that time, based on the patterns I have seen.


  3. LouLou

    “Lew Serbin’s Dance Art Co.” was a wonderful store on Powell St. in San Francisco when I grew up. I used to go there often after high school and drool over all the great materials and makings for costumes. Another Serbin, maybe his brother, owned a huge costume supply/rental company housed in a big second storey loft near or on Market Street. Undoubtedly the same family.


  4. Pingback: Updates – The Rest of the Story | The Vintage Traveler

  5. Pingback: Serbin of Miami by Marianne Serbin Friedman | The Vintage Traveler

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