A 1960 Ski Marriage

I hope you weren’t expecting wedding photos, as this is a different type of marriage. It’s a marriage of objects that started life in the same place, were separated, and are now reunited.

I found the plaid parka three or four years ago in an antique mall here in North Carolina. For a while it actually resided in my own closet, but I was afraid to wear it because it was so pristine. So for over a year it sat, waiting for a companion to make it complete. Then, out of the blue, I got an email from my friend Hollis of Past Perfect Vintage. She had a pair of ski pants that she thought I might be interested in. After seeing photos, I knew I was interested. I had found (or rather it found me) the mate for my parka.

A bonus was that the pants were unworn, and even had the original hangtag attached. And look at the little White Stag logo charm.

Here you see that the parka has the same charm as the zipper pull. I’m not sure how long White Stag used the charm, but I have only seen it on garments from the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Also in the category of Things I Don’t Know, is the issue of labels. Up until around 1960 White Stag used blue or red labels.

At the same time, the colored labels were replaced with a white label with gold lettering. It’s likely that the use of the labels overlapped. It’s also possible that the pants are a year older than the parka, but the blue is identical and the match is perfect.

Both pieces are very well made, as is seen in White Stag active sportswear of this era. But not long after these pieces were made, things began to change at White Stag. I once had a conversation with a former executive of the company who told me that sometime in the 1960s White Stag decided to go in a more “fashion” direction. The ski wear became more about looks than about function, and was eventually just phased out.  If you see White Stag items from the 1970s and later, you will see what he was talking about.

But my set is functional for outdoor sports. The parka is lined in waterproof nylon, and the hood fits tightly to the head without affecting visibility. There is a drawstring at the hem so it can be adjusted to suit the wearer. And all the pockets are deep and are zippered.

The pants pockets are also zippered, and the hems of the pants are slightly flared to allow one to easily pull them on. And there is a wide elastic strap to hold the legs securely under the boots.

As Hollis said to me when I got these, it really does pay to let people know what you collect. I’ve gotten a lot of great items from sellers who have learned my collecting needs. And check out Hollis’s shop and Instagram. She sells some of the best vintage clothing on the net.

A note about my photos. I know they are bad. I have lost my “good” camera, and I obviously have not mastered the art of smartphone photos. Please bear with me!

10 Comments

Filed under Proper Clothing, Sportswear, Vintage Clothing, Winter Sports

10 responses to “A 1960 Ski Marriage

  1. ceci

    Ah this really takes me back…..I had a hand me down jacket (from a glamorous older cousin……) with one of those stag charms as a young teen. I felt so cool……

    ceci

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  2. jacq staubs

    Little White Stag logo zipper bobble is so great. The pants have stirrups ?Some of the stretch pants were worn as casual sportswear on freezing old weekends for running errands – out door sporting like ice skating as recall my mother / her girlfriends with their White Stag ski sweaters and jackets. It would have been 1960/1. The cable knit sweaters were beautiful.

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  3. The pictures are great!

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  4. Frank King

    Years ago mother stopped at a estate sale.There was an antique picture frame with a print of a boy holding a puppy. Next to it was a matching frame with a print of a young girl holding a kitten. My mother fell in love with the frames and offered to buy them both but the woman said she wanted to keep the one of the girl. My mother was disappointed but bought the one anyway. The next day my mother was so sure the pictures belonged together she went back determined to pay whatever it took to buy the second picture but when she got to the house the woman had changed her mind and had sold it. For 15 years we heard my mother complain about how she wished the woman would have sold it to her. 5 years after my mother passed away my wife and i had taken a 100 mile road trip and as we traveled looking for new places and things I saw a sign for a town we had never been so I asked her if she wanted to go and she said yes. When we got into town I saw a sign for an antique store we had never been to so I asked her what she thought and again she agreed that would be OK. We went in and I went one way and her another. Shortly after she came to me and pointed out a picture on the wall.It was a picture that seemed to be the one that had got away from my mother. We drove home without it but after much talk I called back and had them measure it and it was the exact same size. I bought it and drove back the 100 miles to pick it up
    Once I got it home and realized they were exact frames I decided to tske the frames apart to clean the glass so we could display them not really thinking it could actually be the one that got away. Can you imagine our surprise when underneath one print was an old photograph of an old woman and under the other was a photograph of an old man. We have no doubt that my mother guided us to that store on that day to reunite that couple. They are now back together and will be together as long as my wife and I have anything to say about it.

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  5. I love that plaid pullover! And you’ve helped me better date a White Stag sweater with this post, so thank you.

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  6. I love seeing the parka with these. They are perfect together. It’s always a treat to find something you want, Lizzie! Thank you for the kind links, too.

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