I bought this pair some time ago, and I’ve put off and put off writing about them because I’m so clueless about riding attire. I found them at the Goodwill Clearance, and they were so cheap that I couldn’t resist. I was pretty confident I could find extra information on the internet. And as I’ve pointed out before, even clothing designed purely for sport will usually have a bit of “fashion” in them, whether in the colors used, or in the design details.
Actually, I’ve found very little about riding apparel on the net. I do know that these were for Western riding, maybe of the sort one would wear at a show of Western skills.
The shirt has pearlized snap closures, and a ruffled bib and ruffles on the sleeve cuffs. The small spread collar is meant to be worn open.
The shirt reminds me so much of a 1970s man’s tuxedo shirt with all those ruffles. But the collar does not follow the trend toward large and pointed collars. The fabric is cotton, and just look at that label.
As for the pants, they have that marvelous Western styling with the fancy yoke and big tab belt loops. There is a metal side zipper.
There is no interior label, but they still have the paper tag attached to the outside. These were made by Karman.
What was really throwing me off was the shape of the legs. These look like typical 1970s bell bottom pants. But then again, maybe they are just wide because they are boot cut, which allows one to wear the pants over the boots.
You can also see a bit of the construction in this photo. The seams are pinked, and the top of the waist is finished with a strip of bias binding. The leg hems are not finished, as the wearer would have them hemmed to fit.
The pants also have a paper tag that tells the fiber content and that gives us a WPL number. WPL stands for Wool Products Labeling. Unfortunately, the number is not of much use in this case. All WPL numbers were distributed before 1959, but the date is not when the garment was made. It merely means that the garment was made after Karman got their number, which was sometime in the 1950s. There is a database where you can look up the numbers, but it is not useful in dating. It will help with the manufacturer’s identification in cases where you have the number but not a maker’s label.
So, my verdict? I’m leaning toward early to mid 1960s, due to construction details, like the metal zipper and the pinked seams. I also think the label looks old fashioned to be used in the 1970s. But I’m open to opinions, especially from anyone who has experience with this type of thing.