Over the years I think I have written more about White Stag than any other sportswear brand. It’s one of my favorites, and I have quite a few pieces in my collection. Because their garments were so well made out of exceptionally sturdy fabric, much survives in excellent condition. Many times I’ve found pieces that I thought were never worn, only to examine them and find evidence of wear. If only clothing today held up as well!
A good example is a set I recently bought. There are three pieces – middy blouse, clamdiggers, and short sleeved jacket. All look like they were made yesterday.
White Stag got its start as a maker of canvas items, and until the 1960s most of their clothing line was also made from canvas or sailcloth. Consequently, many of their items have a nautical flair. So much the better!
These pieces are made in a deep medium blue. I might even call it marine blue.
White Stag made these, or similar pieces for several years in the early to mid 1950s. The styles changed some, and the colors were updated, but other than that one could always find colorful pieces with a pop of white in the offerings from White Stag.
This ad is from 1955, but I could have used several others I have that date from 1951 through 1956. Most of the items were in solid color sailcloth that could mix and match, but in 1951 they used a red, white, and blue stripe, in 1954 they made a print with fish, and in 1955, large polka dots were used. And you can see that a stripe was also used in 1955.
High on my want list are the crew hats and the drawstring bag. The clothes are so easy to find, but the accessories are eluding me.
I found this set on Instagram, or rather, friend Robin found it and sent the photos to me. I love how my online friends help me spend money! Seriously, I appreciate every tag and lead that is sent my way. And I’d really appreciate it if someone would find that hat and bag for me.
I already had the middy blouse in turquoise. It is a bit different, but basically it is the same design.
And for some of my favorite design details – side laces…
and adjustable tabs at the hem of the pants.
All of the pieces, including the turquoise top, have this label. I’ve not completely worked out the system White Stag used to label their goods, but most of the 1950s pieces made after 1951 have this or another blue label, pieces from the 1940s through 1951 often have a red label, and pieces from 1960s and later have a white label. This is not engraved in stone!
7 responses to “White Stag Fun Togs in Topsail, 1955”
Interesting deets about this brand. Thanks, Lizzie.
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Thanks to you for reading!
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My first introduction to White Stag was about 1958, My mother ( a model) wore ski pants (powder dusty blue (with stirrups) and long sweater (of creme same blue / creme/ivory. With a parachute silk jacket in a fashion show in Washington DC. She purchased the outfit / kept it thru the 60’s. I sold it at a silent auction / benefit in DC to Nina Hyde ( the legendary Fashion Editor Washington Post in the mid 80’s. I am sorry i did not keep it! To me they were the signature sportswear house of the period. Of all of the fashion show photos i have from the 50’s-i do not / can’t find that one!
I’m sorry you sold it, as it sounds devine!
I have a memory of harlequin print (multicolor) Capri pants from about 1957. I was 11, living with my funniest and most chic aunt, and she persuaded my widowed father to let me wear “flats” instead of Buster Brown shoes, to get my long hair cut into a “pixie,” and to wear sport clothes ini summer instead of dresses or jeans. I have always thought those pants were White Stag — but can’t find them online (found lots of tight, modern reproductions that are really leggings, as far as I can tell.) I had no knowledge of “brand names” before that summer with her, but she explained that some clothes were better quality than others…. It was news to me! Do those pants strike a bell with you and you collection of catalogs?
What a delightful piece!
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