1920 Sports Sweater

This sweater is a real survivor. It’s almost 100 years old, and it has managed to escape the scourge of vintage knits – the moth. I see a lot of these sweaters in old photos from 1915 through 1922 or so, but they are very rarely actually found on the vintage market. Several years ago I let one get away, and I vowed to buy the next one I found that was not held together by a few threads.

It took a while, but finally this beauty came my way. It had everything I was looking for – a great color with contrast, excellent condition, and it was made for a woman (front laps right over left). And who could resist those pockets?

This style was made for both men and women, as shown in this illustration from the 1921 Bradley Knits catalog. The only thing my sweater is missing is a label, but it could have been made by Bradley. Or maybe not, as there were many producers of wool knitwear during this time period.

The details are so nice, and add to my love of the cardigan. This sweet little pocket flap really makes me happy.

The buttonholes seem to be made by hand, using the matching wool yarn. I’m not sure why my colors are all over the place. The sweater is not this purple.

Besides the green stripes, notice the knit-in stripes of red.

And finally, a reminder that the overlock machine was not invented in the 1970s. The overlock was commonly used on sportswear, even earlier than this sweater.



Filed under 1920s fashion, Collecting, Proper Clothing, Sportswear, Winter Sports

9 responses to “1920 Sports Sweater

  1. What a fabulous find, Lizzie! Glad it maneuvered its way into your collection at last, and thanks for sharing all the wonderful closeups. Sweaters are always my favorite items in teens and 20s catalogs–precisely because I’ve never met any in person!


  2. fantastic find…very cool


  3. The time frame and the sweaters fascinate me. I for some reason try to place my Great Grandmother /Aunts who I was so fortunate to have been raised with/by at our family home wearing these. No old photos of them in the 1910’s Thank you Lizzie as always. Fantastic find! I happen to really like coat sweaters. have a few from 70’s – late 80’s.


  4. Those stripes and triangular pocket flaps! Congratulations on the wonderful find, Lizzie.


  5. theprettyandthekitsch

    What a cute sweater! And so amazing that it has survived this long! Thank you so much for sharing it with us!!


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