Winter Sports Catalog, 1935 Lillywhites, London

When searching for items to add to my collection, I focus primarily on things made and worn in the USA. But by the time this Lillywhites catalog was published in London in 1935, Western fashion was becoming less regional. Anyway, that’s how I justified adding this catalog to my print resources.

In 1935 skiing was a relatively new sport, in the States at least. This catalog from the UK references skiing in Norway, Switzerland, Austria, and Germany, so it must have really caught on as a sport on the Continent. And I can see a bit of Tyrolian influence in the clothes, especially in the accessories. Could there be a connection to the fashion for Germanic styles that started to appear in Western dress around this time?

Note the strong asymmetrical jacket closures. This was a big feature of mid-1930s fashion and it extended to sportswear. Also, the knickers of 1920s women skiers are gone, replaced by warmer long trousers.

Ski trips to the Alps or to Scandinavia were so new that Lillywhites felt it necessary to give some instructions to the novice. There are also lists of clothing and gear needed for a holiday in the snow.

This novel skiing motif was available in both wool and cashmere, and in white with blue, navy with white, and white with red.

There were lots of options available for layering beneath the ski jacket.

This is probably my favorite.

Skating costumes (along with skates of all types) were included. The style on the right is actually “skorts”, and was recommended for practice wear.


Filed under Catalogs, Proper Clothing, Winter Sports

7 responses to “Winter Sports Catalog, 1935 Lillywhites, London

  1. mwoolf001

    In the second image, you missed redacting the offensive color term.




  2. jacqstaubssyahoocom

    remember a / the term / byword phrase “you and your Lillywhites”! Ever hear it? The cover art says it all. I am overwhelmed by the style. My former professional association with direct mail/catalog fashion is in awe. Ironically i was trying to reach you to share catalog print with you! Please advise.


  3. morningwaters

    My mother use to say, when we daughters were getting ready to go to bed to sleep…
    “Lets go to Lilly Whites Tea Party”
    The Lilly Whites being the bed sheets.


  4. Any info on skiwear from the 1920s? I’m working on a talk about Hemingway and skiing so am on the lookout for any pictures/ads/brochures that date to 1922-25, the years he was most actively skiing in Europe with his first wife. Thanks!!


    • You can do a search here for “skiing” and there are quite a few images both vintage and of my collection. Feel free to use any of them.


      • Thanks! I just found your piece about 1920s wool knickers for women, which is a great help. One of the very first things Hemingway did upon landing in Paris in Dec 1921 was to have a pair of wool knickers made for Hadley that she then wore in January 1922 on their first ski trip!


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